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It Just Had To Be You! by Tregan

Format: Novel
Chapters: 24
Word Count: 118,578
Status: WIP

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

Genres: General, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Lucius, Luna, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M)
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Lucius/Narcissa, Ginny/OC, Harry/OC, Ron/OC

First Published: 08/29/2010
Last Chapter: 09/01/2015
Last Updated: 09/01/2015

Summary:





 
Banner By The Lovely Cassandra Iris

The war is over, the Dark Lord defeated, and school is back in session. What could go wrong within the halls of Hogwarts, besides a potion project that causes a body switch, and two newly mature Veelas roaming the school in search of their mates?

 
 
 
 


Chapter 1: Head Boy and Girl
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The sun was shinning brightly in Hermione Granger's eyes as she was awoken by a constant tapping on her bedroom window. She moaned angrily, slowly sitting up and looking at her alarm clock.

" 6am are you kidding me? Somebody better be bleeding or dying, or by Merlin they will be!"

Grabbing her wand from under her pillow, she slowly crawled out of her nice warm bed and headed for her window. Sliding it open, a brown owl flew into her room, landed on her desk and stuck out it's leg where a letter was tied. Sighing, Hermione untied the letter and fed the owl a treat and opened it. She unfolded the letter and a shiny gold badge landed on her floor. Picking it up and turning it over in her hand, the letters HG were clearly inprinted in the middle surrounded by the Gryffindor Crest. Hermione let out a squeal of delight as she read her letter informing her of her Head Girl status.


Dear Ms. Granger

Hoping this letter finds you well, I am proud to inform you that you have been selected this years Head Girl. Inside contains your schedule for this years classes along with the duties for the Head Girl and passwords for the other houses.

The Head's will be sharing a dorm in the North wing of the castle, as the school population this year is more then expected. You are to meet with the Head Boy upon departure of the Hogwart's Express to discuss the round schedule for the Prefects, and escort the first years to the carriages and to their house after the Dinner.

The password for your dorm this year is DESTINED and your roommate for the year is Draco Malfoy. Try to be civil to each other as fighting will result in losing your badge as well as points for your house.

Congratulations again

Sincerely,

Professor McGonagall

Head Of Gryffindor House

 

    
Hermione placed her badge and letter on her bed and shook her head. How could they possibly expect her to get along with the ferret for an entire year? It was close to impossible, but as long as he stayed away from her, she would try. She ran to her bathroom to shower. As she finished and was getting dressed, she swore that being Head Girl, this year was going to be different. As she grabbed her trunk and threw her jacket on, she made her way downstairs to have breakfast with her parents and waited patiently to leave for the train.

 

 

 

 

" I absolutely refuse to share living quaters with that know-it-all witch", Draco yelled as he flopped down in an arm chair in his fathers study. He was excited to receive his Head Boy Badge for all about 15 seconds until he read Hermione Granger's name as the Head Girl. He was certain the old bat of a headmaster had surely lost his marbles. Suggesting that HE be civil towards Granger? Hell would have to be frozen over and the Devil ice skating before that happens.

" Draco, you are much to old to be throwing a temper tantrum. You should be proud of getting Head Boy, your mother and I are!" Lucius retorted, taking a sip of his coffee before standing up.

" Father I am not throwing a temper tantrum, I'm simply expressing my anger over Granger making Head Girl in a less then adult way."

Sighing, Draco stood up and started walking out of the study. He placed a hand over his stomach as a wave of pains suddenly rocked him. He let out a short yelp of pain as he slid down the wall. His father rushed to his side and waved his wand over Draco's head.

" Draco, what's wrong? What happened?"

 " I have no idea Father, a sharp pain just suddenly appeared in my stomach, but now it's gone! Damn house elves, they must had fed me something at breakfast that didnt agree with me. You know they've been trying to kill me for awhile now don't you?"

" That's absurd, why on Earth would they be trying to kill you?" His father laughed.

" I don't know, maybe because they hate me?"

" Well Draco, perhaps if you showed them a little more compassion, instead of shooting spells at them turning them into different colors because they happened to wake you up before noon, you wouldn't be in this situation." his father laughed, placing the famous Malfoy smirk on his handsome face as he helped his son off the floor. " Maybe you should go on upstairs and have a shower before you have to leave, wouldn't want to miss the train."

" Sure Father, wouldn't want to miss the train. Wouldn't want to miss out on being a Head with Granger, wouldn't want to miss out on school, wouldn't want to......" Draco's bedroom door slammed shut, quieting his rant. His father waited until he heard his son's footsteps stomping from his bedroom to his walk-in bathroom. He closed his eyes and shook his head, wondering if this was the best time to inform Draco about his upcoming birthday that was in 4 days. Probably not, no need to cause his son to have a stoke. Lucius was already sure he caused his son some sort of heart failure when Draco found out he and his wife were spies for The Order Of The Phoenix.

It had come out one night, sitting around the dinner table. There was yelling, wine spilled and a disgusting issue with food being spat out and landing on Narcissa. Draco was beside himself. The Malfoy's weren't faithful servants of Voldemort as everyone believed them to be. Lucius and Narcissa had joined a few years after they were married, and with them being purebloods, they could join the ranks of death eaters and get close to Voldemort without raising suspicions. Of course appearances had to be kept, according to Dumbledore, so Lucius convinced his son of his false hatred towards mudbloods and muggles, and never once derailed his son's hatred towards The Golden Trio. Needless to say, his son was less then pleased to learn where his parents true loyalties were, thus resulting in Voldemort's end.

 
Sighing, Lucius headed his way towards his study. It was only 10am and he desperatly needed a glass of wine, brandy, or something stronger. Firewhisky was sounding strangely tempting right about now. His son was literaly driving him to drink. Maybe he should tell his son of the upcoming changes. A extremely loud banging was heard coming from upstairs. Then again, maybe he could wait till Draco had calmed down.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 2: Planes, Trains and Jumping To Conclusions
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The Hogwarts Express whistled loudly, announcing the 5 minutes before departing notice. Hermione was wondering aimlessly, looking franticly for any sign of Harry, Ron or Ginny before she had to set off to the Head's compartment. A sudden flash of red hair had her running towards a compartment door. She stopped short of the door and flipped her hair in front to hide her badge, she wanted it to be a surprise when she told them. She approached the compartment door and peeked inside. Her eyes first landed on Ron Weasley.

Ronald Weasley sat the closest to the door. His red hair seemed a bit lighter, probably due to the many hours in the sun playing Quidditch, and cut a little shorter then usual. His bright blue eyes sparkled with laughter at something Harry said and his mouth hung low, filled with candy off the trolley. He stood around 5'10 considerably taller then his sister Ginny who sat in front of him, currently telling him to close his mouth when it has food in it. Hermione laughed, she was forever telling Ron not to speak with his mouth full, he would never change. Hermione thought once that maybe she was in love with him, but the constant arguing and bickering made her think again. She needed someone to have intellectual conversations with, hold valid arguments with, constantly challenge her in everything she does, and though she loved him dearly, Ron just wasn't that man.

Ginny Weasley, the youngest and the only girl of the Weasley clan sibilings. The closest thing to a sister Hermione had. She was smart, funny, and frightenly intimidating when she wanted to be. She was a little taller then Hermione, about an inch or two, her long red hair fell halfway down her back. Her blue eyes, same as Ron's were a little darker and bigger, giving off a look of innocence that Hermione knew was false. She was thin as a stick, and was just beginning to come into her curves. Ginny had her own special place in Hermione's heart, different from Ron or Harry. She understood Hermione in ways the boys didnt. She knew why she was feeling a certain way without having to have it explained to her. Hermione was there for her a few times with a shoulder to cry on when Ginny found out that Harry and her just weren't meant to be. It had hurt Hermione as well, thinking they had made quite the cute couple. Yet Harry had eyes for another.

 
Hermione let out a loving sigh as her eyes finally rested on the tall, black haired boy standing up, putting his trunk on the head shelf. He stood an inch shorter then Ron and his hair fell in his eyes. His glasses she saw, were cracked again, causing Hermione to giggle softly and fondly remembering all the times she had fixed them. His shirt had risen up and Hermione's eyebrows shot up in surprise as Harry's lean seeker body was exposed a little. That defiantly wasn't there last year, he must have aquired that during the summer. As he turned around to sit back down, Hermione couldn't help herself and snuck a look at his butt. It was quite a cute behind, Luna was quite the lucky lady. Her and Harry had started dating over the summer. Hermione thought it was a bit weird. Down to earth Harry and up in the clouds Looney Lovegood, but they balanced each other well and they seemed to be happy with each other, so Hermione wished them the best.

Deciding that staring at her best friend's butt was becoming a bit odd and disturbing, she placed her hand on the compartment handle and with a quick pull, slid the door open. She was immediatly engulfed in a rib-breaking hug by Ron.

" Hermione, Merlin we've missed you. How you've been? What's new? Come, sit down and tell us all about your summer!" Ron seemed to breathe out in one sentence. Hermione was tapping him on the shoulder, her head spinning from the lack of oxygen.

" Ron...Ron....RONALD, oxygen becoming an issue. Please!" she finally squeaked out. She let out a whoosh of air as he let go of her and turned away, his face becoming the same color of a tomato. " Thank you". She straightened out her robes and tie as he backed away and she was tackled yet again by Ginny.

" Hey Gin, how are you?"

" Hermione, I've missed you so much. Why weren't you able to come to the Burrow this summer?"

" After the war, my parents wanted to spend some serious quality family time. Something about constantly wondering if their daughter was dead or alive having an effect on their health or something, I dunno, so we just went for a much needed vacation, and did family things together. How was your summer?" Hermione joked.

" You know, Fred and George played numerous jokes on Ron, Mum yelled and cooked, Dad sat back and watched it all while trying not to laugh, and I sat around doing mostly nothing except a few games of Quidditch, and watched Harry get all cozy with Luna. Same as last year!" laughed Ginny, while looking over at Harry who's face had turned crimson. Hermione was glad that they had gotten over the yelling and screaming about breaking up and Harry seeing Luna. It made it easier for everyone without the heavy tension.

" Well I'm sure we'll have tons to talk about later on, how are you Harry?"

Harry looked up, and his face exploded into a huge, heart shattering smile. He stood up and opened his arms, inviting her in. Hermione ran and jumped into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his torso and he spun her around.

" God Hermione, I have missed you. I've been good, how was your trip?"

" It was awesome Harry, but I missed you guys, I wanted to come to the Burrow, I missed Molly's cooking and..... wait a minute," she scanned his face looking for it and there it was. A little red tinge in his cheeks, "something's different about you. What is it.........Merlin!" Hermione squeaked. She dropped from his arms and covered her mouth with both hands.

" What? What is it? Something on my face? What is it 'Mione?"

" Harry had sex! Harry James Potter had been deflowered!" she shouted at the top of her lungs before falling into a fit of laughter with Ron and Ginny.

" Merlin Hermione, you didn't have to shout it out loud, and if you did, could you use a more manlier word then 'deflowered'?" he whispered.

" Made love?" suggested Ginny

" Horizontal polka?" joked Ron

" Sex?" laughed Hermione

" Alright, I get it, jeez, how'd you know anyways? You can't just tell by looking can you?" asked Harry turning redder then Ron, if that was possible.

" A woman just knows Harry, a woman just knows!"

" The hell you do.....Ginny wrote you and told you didn't she? Did you Gin?"

" Bloody hell Harry, the moans and groans coming from your room late at night, I had to tell someone, and in my defense, it wouldn't hurt to brush up on your silencing spells this year and maybe we wouldn't have known" Ginny shot back, sitting down with her arms folded across her chest, pouting.

" You have to admit Harry, she does have a point. You should have seen his face the next morning Hermione, doing the walk of shame, he looked scared to death while Luna just bounced her way to breakfast and Harry got bombarded with questions from Fred and George." laughed Ron, nearly choking on his Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.

" Ron, swallow then speak, and while that does sound funny, I think that's enough about Harry's sex life," she said while brushing back her hair and letting her badge shine in the light.

" Bloody hell Hermione, your Head Girl? Why didn't you tell us sooner?" asked Ron, after swallowing, thankfully.

" I only found out this morning, and I think talking about Harry's SEX life is far more interesting then my news!" exclaimed Hermione. Harry glared at her and thought about sending a mild stinging hex at her backside for a moment, but decided to stare out the window instead. " But we will have to continue this conversation later, I have to get to the Head's compartment and deal with Malfoy now," she pretended to gag as she said his name.

" Malfoy? Dumbledore made Malfoy Head Boy? You've got to be kidding me!" shouted Ron.

" Yes, sad but true, Malfoy is Head Boy, but it stands to reason he did have the highest marks next to me. If either of you two had studied like I had told you, one of you could have been in his place," shrugged Hermione, gathering her things, " Come on Ginny, the Prefects meeting is about to start, we should be making our way there now and I don't want to be late."

" Sure, see you guys later, in the Great Hall?" Ginny asked.

" Yeah, we'll save you two a seat. I'm gonna go look for Luna, haven't seen her in a few weeks," Harry said as he rose from his seat and made his way to the door, coming to a stop beside the girls.

" Yeah, you guys go, do your thing, and I'll stay here and ahh......"

" Eat!" laughed Hermione, Harry and Ginny together as they made their way out the door and went their seperate ways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

" Hey Draco, long time no see, so how's the life of Head Boy treating you so far?" asked Blaise Zabini, who was seated in the Head's compartment awaiting the arrival of Draco Malfoy.

Draco sighed as he plopped down in the seat across from him and rubbed his temples. " Not well Blaise, not well. Some fourth year Hufflepuff girl decided that today would be a great day to start her feminine issues and then there was something about cramps and bloating, that's when I mentally left the conversation, passed her off to a Professor and came here"

" I don't think they choose which day to start their girly problems Draco, I think it just kinda happens," laughed Blaise, taking a bite from his licorice wand.

" Well either way, that girl has some seriously bad timing. Anyways how was your summer? Hooked up with anyone interesting lately?" Draco asked while searching for his apple.

" No man, no more hooking up for me for awhile. After that one witch who tied me up and wanted me to dress up in her clothes and prance around in front of her, I'm done! That was enough for me. These random shags are getting old Draco, you can't tell me your enjoying them anymore?"

" No, not so much. I mean in the beginning it was awesome, trying something new all the time while getting laid, but now that I've seen it all or done it all, it's starting to get boring. I want something new, something fresh, something..." he couldn't find the word. What did he want? Did he even know? Was He even sure?

" Love?" Blaise suggested, swallowing his last bite and moving on to some pumpkin juice. He let out a soft laugh while imagining Draco Malfoy, in love.

" You can not be serious, are you Blaise? Me? In love? I don't think so!" Draco pondered that thought for a moment. Could he really want that? He pushed that thought out of his head. ' Don't be stupid, your the eternal bachelor, no way you could tie yourself to just one witch for the rest of your life' The thought was just to crazy to believe.

" Alright, but when your ready to talk man, I'm here for ya!"

" Thanks Blaise for that sentiment, but I'd perfer you to stop acting like a damn Hufflepuff and start acting like the Slytherin that you are!"

" Okay, okay, so I bet your happy Granger made Head Girl this year and having to share a dorm with her?"

" So thrilled I could explode Blaise, and how did you know anyways? I only found out this morning!"

"I saw her on platform 9 3/4, walking around, probably looking for Potter and Weasley, and she was wearing the badge. You know, she's ain't looking too bad this year. Actually she was looking pretty hot. Alot hotter then she used too, thats for sure." Blaise answered, gulping down the last of his pumpkin juice.

" Oh bloody hell Blaise, you can't possibly be thinking about shagging the Gryffindor know-it-all princess? I mean it's Granger for Merlin's sake!"

" Just keeping my options open, that's all I'm saying!"

Draco leaned back in his seat and stared wide eyed at his best friend. He didn't have many friends, Crabbe and Goyle were only there for the sake of their fathers being friends with his own and Pansy was just a casual shag in 4th and 5th year. The tall dark Slytherin leaned back as well and stared out the compartment window. Blaise was the quiet type, rarely spoke unless it was something worth saying. He was more a watcher. He was able to read people very well, and was very good at knowing what was going to happen next. He was extremly handsome, Draco wasn't afraid to admit that only to himself, but the boy could give Draco a run for his money for most handsomest bloke in Hogwarts. His skin was a light chocolate color, his hair black and keep short and neat. His broad shoulders and strong arms came in handy as he was a beater on the Slytherin Quidditch team. His eyes were a deep, dark violet. Strange color eyes ran in his family, his mother had orange, and his lips full and pouty. He tended to lean more towards being sweet and sensitive, which Draco concluded came from being raised by only his mother, his father died when he was a baby, and his mother was with a differnt man every month so Blaise never accepted them as a father figure seeing as they didn't stay around for long.

Draco, finally having found his apple, leaned back as well and thought about what Blaise had said. After all he hadn't seen Granger yet, maybe the girl had improved. Any improvement would be a good one on her behalf. Thinking about it, Draco chuckled to himself and took a bite from his crisp apple.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" Mmmmmm, would you look at that! The two sex god's of Slytherin just laying in wait for us. Bloody hell is Blaise ever looking gorgeous. What I wouldn't give to have just the tiniest piece of him." Ginny moaned, while looking at the two boys sitting in the Head's compartment.

" Merlin Ginny, it's Malfoy of all people. Their Slytherin, it's just wrong, morally...wrong!" Yet Hermione felt compelled to at least take a glance in the compartment to see what the fuss is about. Sure Blaise was a beautiful man, but Hermione didn't know much about him. He barely spoke, and usually kept to himself unless he was with Malfoy. But sure, she could see why the girls 'oohhhed' and 'awwed' over him. Had she known him better she very well might have been one of those girls. She allowed her eyes to drift over to Malfoy, only to gasp in shock.

Malfoy had defiantly matured over the summer. He had stopped gelling his soft golden blonde hair in 3rd year and had now allowed it to fall into his eyes. Those silver molten pools of lava that dragged you in and drowned you in the deepths of them. His mouth was clapped around his apple and a thin line of apple juice was running down his creamy, smooth white cheek and continued it's trail down his long thin fingers. His tongue flicked out and licked the juice off his fingers, rather erotically and Hermione had to squeeze her legs together to release some tension that had started building between them. She glanced over and noticed Ginny was doing the same thing as well. She looked back at Malfoy as he used his fingers to wipe the left over dribble from his chin and brought them to his mouth. His soft lips wrapped themselves around his forefinger and sucked the juice off and he licked his lips, wetting them leaving them to glisten in the sun from the windows that streaked in. He had discarded his robes ealier and was sitting in a white t-shirt that tightly hugged itself around his muscular torso, accenting his abs he developed from playing seeker. He stood up suddenly, and began reaching in his trunk for something and both Hermione and Ginny leaned further on the door to get a better look at his backside, when Hermione's hand slipped on the handle and the door flew open, ending with Ginny falling on her back on the Head compartment floor and Hermione on top of her, nearly smacking her forehead with the redhead's.

The boy's jumped in shock when the girls landed on the floor with an undignified thud, and burst into laughter.

" Look Blaise, dinner and a show!" Draco chuckled as the girls tried to get up and fix themselves and failing.

Blaise leaned over, extended his hand towards Ginny and offered to help her up. " Hey Red, need som help?"

" Thanks," said Ginny, turning red at the touch of his hand, brushed herself off and sat down beside him. She steered her glance away from Blaise for a second to look at Malfoy who had too extended his hand towards Hermione, offering to help her up. They seemed to be stuck in a trance.

Draco stuck his hand out, but wasn't paying any attention to it. His eyes were roaming Hermione Granger. Merlin help him, Blaise was right. But she didn't get hotter, she was gorgeous. Her hair had calmed down and was less frizzy and fell in soft curls down her back and shaped her heart shaped face. With the sun hitting it he could see the natural red and gold streaks in it, accenting her large, dark cinnamon brown eyes. Of course they had to be red and gold, Gryffindor to the core this one! Her little button nose had a light dusting of freckles on them and her full pouty mouth was turned up in a light smile. She had grown into her big teeth and she had a beautiful smile. He allowed his eyes to travel a bit further south and the way she was positioned he could just see the tops of her breasts and wondered where the hell she keep them hidden all these years. From the looks of it, she seemed about a C cup! His eyes traveled the lengths of her legs, starting from her nice shaply calves and stopping at her soft silky thighs. His mind was starting to imagine what it would feel like to run his tongue along the lengths of them when she suddenly grabbed his handed and hauled herself up. He came crashing back to Earth and used too much force and pulled her into him where she crashed against his chest. His arms immediatly went around her waist to steady her, noting the slimness of it as he held her tight.

Her bright eyes bore into his and her cheeks burned red as she broke away from his grasp. " Thank you Malfoy."

" Think nothing of it Granger. A gentleman always helps a lady in need!" He shrugged, sitting down and shifting over a bit allowing Hermione some room on the bench. Hermione laughed as she sat down.

" A gentleman Malfoy? I didn't see him come in!"

" It's something new I'm trying, how's it working Granger?"

" Eh, I've seen better," she answered, not looking at him.

" Right, that's why you swooned into my open arms like some sodding damsel in distress!" he retorted. How dare she make fun of his nice gesture? He only did to be nice and try the civility Dumbledore suggested, but if she wasn't going to try, then neither was he!

" I didn't swoon, you idiot, you pulled me too hard and I fell into you. I would have been perfectly fine getting up on my own. I didn't need your help" She hollered, bunching her hands into fists at her sides. She wasn't one for violence, but so help her God, she would hit him in that perfect mouth of his so hard, his dentist would feel it if she must.

Ginny and Blaise looked on in wonderment, how did it go from a nice gesture to a shouting match? They didn't know and they didn't care, just as long as Hermione and Draco remain civil in front of others, they could fight till their blue in the face in private all they wanted. Blasie stood up, helped Ginny to her feet and headed towards the door.

" They better stop before one of them says something they'll regret later." whispered Ginny into Blaises ear, who nodded in agreement.

" And here I was, thinking that you were afraid to get any of my Mudblood germs on you Malfoy!" shouted Hermione

" Don't worry Granger, I'm immune to filth like you!" he sneered. She gasped and bit her lip to stop the tears from falling. ' Good, I hope it hurt like hell, Bitch' he thought to himself.

" Well I wouldn't expect any less of mannerisms from Death Eater scum like you. Your just like your father if not worse Malfoy." she spit out with as much vemon as she had in her body. She was shaking from anger and her face had gone redder then Ron's hair.

He snapped. He pushed her up aginst te side of the compartment and held her by her arms tight enough she was sure was going to leave bruises. She hissed in pain and he dug his fingers deeper as he leaned close to her face so she could feel his breath on her face.

" I'm not a Death Eater and neither were my parents. You shouldn't go jumping to conclusions Granger, you might just fall flat on your face. For someone who's called the brightest witch of our age, you don't know a fucking thing. So just stay away from me Granger" He stated, letting her go and pushing past the three of them and storming out of the compartment. Hermione remained where she stood, shaking from both anger and terror. She had seen Malfoy mad before, but something she said had truely hit home this time. Had he been telling the truth when he said his parents and him weren't Death Eaters? She was going to find out, even if it killed her. She gathered herself and walked out the door heading towards the Head and Prefects meeting.

" Now that you can't come back from" stated Ginny walking out.

" Nope!" agreed Blaise closing the door behind them.


 
 


Chapter 3: First Night's Always The Worst
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" Okay, so the rounds are organized, the passwords distributed..... is there anything else we have to go over?" asked Hermione, checking her notes over again, making sure there wasn't anything she missed.

A sixth year Ravenclaw raised his hand, " are there going to be any dances, balls anything this year?" he asked quietly.

" That hasn't been determined yet. The Professors have been busy trying to get the school back together after the war, and with the number of students this year, " Hermione stopped and pinched the bridge of her nose. Why did the students love dances and balls so much? She personally disliked them. She wasn't prone to dressing up, doing her hair and wearing a ton of makeup. She just wasnt one of those girls. She much rather perfered to study, get good grades, and make something with her life.

" We will bring up the idea to the Headmaster and Professor's in our next meeting with them, until then, I believe we've covered everything we need to for now. Everyone back to your compartments and get ready to help escort the first year's off the train and into the carriages for when we arrive. Meeting adjourned." Malfoy replied, waving his hand in the air, dismissing the Prefects.

Hermione let out a thankful sigh. If Malfoy hadn't stepped in and answered, she didn't know what she would have said. She probably would have admitted defeat and said yes to a dance. More then likely she would have agreed to anything just to end the meeting. She stood up, looking at the door, seeing Ginny and Blaise waiting on the other side of the door. She gathered up her notes and started walking towards the door. She stopped short and turned back towards Draco. He was adjusting his tie and gatheringing his notes.

" Malfoy, I just wanted to say thank you for helping out back there. I swear I have no idea what the big deal is with dances. Just another excuse to dance like fools, get drunk and endure a hangover the next day. Don't really see the fun in it to be honest." shivered Hermione, just thinking about it.

Draco laughed a throaty laugh, " Oh come on Granger, you can't possibly hate dances that much!"

" I've just never seen the point to them!"

He slowly came up behind her, placed his hands around her waist and spun her around, into his arms. He grabbed her arms and wraped them around his neck and his went and rested on her hips, his fingertips gently grazing her back. He started to sway her back and forth slowly and lowered his head to her ear and whispered, " They aren't so bad. You get to dance with the person you like, bodies pressed up close together, swaying to the music in the darkness. Not being able to see anyone else but the one in your arms. Laughing and drinking with your friends, all the while remaining close with your date. And when it gets to hot inside, you grab your date by the hand and take a walk outside under the moonlight, down by the lake. Enjoying some shared kisses....." he trailed off. He leaned over and lightly brushed his lips against her's. His heart felt like it was going to explode in his chest from the excitement. He had kissed plenty of girls beofre, but none had made him feel like this.

Hermione felt like she was going to faint. She was beyond shocked when Malfoy just suddenly pressed his lips against hers. Never before had a boy just suddenly kissed her, I mean sure, she had kissed a boy before. There was Viktor Krum in 4th year, and Ron in 6th, but their's were sloppy and messy, not sweet and soft like Malfoy's. She was starting to feel that tension build again when Malfoy was describing the dance and kisses, espically when his fingers starting to slowly rub slow circles on her lower back while they danced to no particular tune. She was glad he was holding on to her for she would have fallen over from shock when he kissed her. She felt his tongue graze her lower lip, asking for entrance which she gladly gave. She felt his tongue glide in expertly and flick the top of hers. She moaned in his mouth and pulled him closer.

He smiled in her mouth, hearing her moan. He loved hearing her make that noise. If she allowed him, he would gladly spend hours finding out what other noises she could make in pure rapture. He lightly nibbled on her lower lip and leaned into her, leaving no space between their bodies. He slowly glided his hands up her sides and plunged his hands into her hair, tightly grasping a handful and pulling her head back, tracing his tongue down her neck and across her collarbone. He was about the start tracing his tongue down her chest when the door opened and Blaise cleared his throat, causing Draco to look up and end his assualt on Hermione.

All of a sudden Hermione snapped too and shoved Malfoy away from her, her eyes wide with shock. She slapped her hands to her mouth, embarrassed about what had just happened and that they had been seen. She felt the heat rise to her cheeks and spread down her throat. She looked at Draco, to Blaise, back to Draco, grabbed her notes and ran out of the compartment, mumbling something about bloody dances and hormones.

" What was that all about Draco?" snickered Blaise.

" Nothing now Blaise, thanks to your very rude interuption." Draco sighed sitting back down. He rubbed his hand over his eyes and thought to himself ' what was that?'

" Well it looked to me like you were trying to figure out what she had to eat earlier on, but you were just probably asking her the time right?" he joked, taking the seat next to him.

" I don't know man, she was saying something about how she hates dances, and I was just trying to show her the better points of one. Then this intoxicating scent hit me and next thing I know, I'm close to ripping her clothes off and shagging her right here on the floor. What's wrong with me? Draco groaned pulling at his hair.

" Not sure Draco, maybe you fancy Granger. Wouldn't be a bad thing, you've dated worse before, like Pansy!" Blaise spat her name with disgust.

Draco shivered. Just hearing her name made Draco want to throw up in his mouth. " Don't remind me, anyways I'm not sure what happened to be honest, just something in my head kept saying 'she's mine, only mine' and I just had to have her. But I haven't gotten any lately, maybe that's it!"

" I'm sure that was it. Anyways, we better get going, we're going to be arriving any minute and we have to get the first years organized." said Blaise walking to the door with Draco in tow.

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" You did what?" shouted Ginny.

" Shhhh, I don't want everyone hearing Ginny. I kinda sorta maybe snogged Draco Malfoy in the meeting room." shushed Hermione, placing her hand over Ginny's mouth and waited till the redhead had calmed down to remove it.

" Merlin! Was it any good? I always wondered if the rumors were true about Malfoy being a sex god!"

" It just kinda happened, I'm not even sure I want it to happen again to be honest. I mean, I just kissed Malfoy, our enemey of 6 years, the bane of my existence. Oh God! Ginny, I think I might have like it!" whinned Hermione.

" Well, I guess you can come back from that," whispered Ginny.

" Pardon?"

" Nothing, let's go," Ginny replied, grabbing Hermone and hauling her towards the front of the train that had stopped at their destination, " time to help the first years and meet up with Harry and Ron!"

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After helping the first years into the carriages and making sure they were heading off towards the castle, and with a quick hello to Hagrid, Hermione and Ginny had made their way to the castle, opening the grand big doors and walking into The Great Hall. They had spotted Ron and Harry and sat down beside them.

" How the meeting with Malfoy Hermione?" asked Ron

Hermione turned a shade of red and dropped her head down, " it was fine Ron, just a regular meeting," she mumbled.

Ginny tried her best to hold back her giggles but failed. She burst out laughing and Harry couldn't help but wonder what was so funny. Had Malfoy done something in the meeting? Hopefully Hermione hexed the ferret into oblivion. Harry glanced over and unfortunatly there sat Malfoy at the Slytherin table chatting with Blasie. He locked eyes with Malfoy who smirked, and Harry made a rather vulgar hand gesture and returned to his food. 'Well one could hope!'

" If he does anything mean or hurtful, Harry and I will hex the little bastard. I promise Herms, I will punch him in the throat if I have too!" suggested Ron

" Thanks Ron, but I'm sure I can handle myself just fine. Now If you'll excuse me, Dumbledore wants to speak to Malfoy and I before we make our way to our quaters for the night. See you guys later!" Hermione stood up and made her way towards the Professors table, coming to stand beside Malfoy in front of Dumbledore.

" Good evening Mr. Malfoy, Miss. Granger. I hope the train ride was alright." Dumbledore asked, a certain knowing twinkle in his sky blue eyes.

" It was fine sir, thank you" said Malfoy.

" Well as your both well aware you two will be having your own quaters this year in the North wing, but the Professors and I have come to a new agreement. Due to the over whelming number of students this year, we have decided that you two shall each invite a Prefect to share the quaters with you as to relieve some the work load you two will no doubt have. Who would you two like to have?"

" I would like Blaise Zabini, sir!" Draco announced, happy his best friend had made Prefect.

" I would like Ginny Weasley, sir!" Hermione announced, also happy her best friend had made Prefect.

" Very well, their things have been brought up for them. You may go and inform them, show them where the quaters are and get settled. Have a goodnight."

" Good night sir!" the Heads replied.

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" Wow, I can't believe we get the share the Head dorms together. I was a little sad thinking we weren't going to be spending the nights staying up and gossiping like we used too." stated Ginny, sitting on Hermione's bed, twirling her wand between her fingers.

" I know, but it's different now. Did you see the look on Harry and Ron faces when I told them you were coming to stay with me all year in the Head dorms?" laughed Hermione flopping down beside Ginny.

" Merlin, I seriously thought Ron's head was going to explode from anger. Now that would have been a sight. Ugh I'm not looking forward to potions tomorrow." sighed Ginny laying down beside Hermione.

" Yeah but just think Gin, it's our last year. After this no more Snape!" replied Hermione, stealing the pillow from under Ginny's head, which thudded against the mattress. She laughed as Ginny grabbed the other pillow and hit Hermione over the head with it. The girls shrieked and laughed and ran around the bedroom.

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" What was that scream?" wondered Blaise, jumping up and walking towards Draco's door, looking back at Draco, a loopy grin on his face, " you don't think......"

" No Blaise, I don't think the girls errupted into a mud wrestling match in skimpy lingerie. Sounds to me like their just joking around!" replied Draco, rolling his eyes while he changed out of his robes and put on a pair on silk green boxers and white t-shirt.

" Well, a man can dream, can't he? I'm going to turn in, see you in the morning," yawned Balise.

" Night, Blaise! Oh by the way, happy birthday!"

" Thanks Draco!"

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Hermione, groaned and rolled out of bed. it was only 1:36am and she was having trouble sleeping. She had been tossing and turning for the past half hour, but couldn't get back to sleep. Everytime she closed her eyes, she kept picturing Draco, his hands in her hair, his silver eyes piercing her own. She sighed as she stood up, and grabbed her wand lighting it with a simple lumos. She poked her head out her bedroom door, seeing the other three bedroom doors closed. She let out a breath she didnt even know she was holding, as she crept towards the livingroom, to sit in front of the fireplace. She glanced around the room, still in awe.

The livingroom floor was a beautiful dark brown hardwood with a spacious white rug laid in front of the huge fireplace. The end tables and coffee table were made from a rich cherry wood with an antique look to them. A beautiful white goose-down filled couch sat behind the coffee table and two matching arm chairs sat beside one of the end tables. The walls were coated in the colors of black and red with gold and green trim, nicely accenting the Slytherin and Gryffindor colors. Along the walls were stacks of books of different kinds, and the ceiling was a gigantic painting of all the House Crests combined. All in all, the quaters were gorgeous.

Her bedroom was a beautiful maroon and gold colored room, a large king size bed in the center of the room, large walk in closet on one side and a desk, chair and full length mirror alined the left side of her room. She also had another door that joined her room to the bathroom that she shared with Malfoy. She wasn't really excited to see it, once you've seen one bathroom, you've seen them all, but wow, this one was defiantly different.

The floor was a beautiful black marble tile, with shimmers of white in them. The granite counter top held two sinks, one trimmed in gold for her and one in silver for him. The shower was a stand up cubicle with a glass door. Inside the shower, each wall held it's own shower head and emitted a nice cloud of steam. She was in awe over just the shower till her eyes landed on the bathtub. It's was huge! White porcelin with twelve spouts that each had their own scent of bubblebath. It was the size of a swimming pool, with the beginning having a depth of 3ft and the end about 7ft. She was going to come back after classes and enjoy a long hot swim and soak. She couldn't wait.

Hermione was pulled out of her happy thought of the hot swim later on today by a loud groaning and crash. She whipped her wand out in front of her and went in search of the crash. She could hear moaning, and was seriously hoping she wasn't about to walk in on one of the boys and some poor girl they had brought home for the night. Another crash and suddenly she was ducking a stupefy shot from Ginny.

" I'm sorry Hermione, I didn't know it was you."

" Who the bloody hell did you think it was? There's only three others beside you here! What would have happened if you had hit Blaise or Malfoy?" Hermione yelled in a whisper, clutching her hand to her chest, trying to get her heart out of her throat.

" Well let's be honest here, Mione, no one would have lost any sleep if it was Malfoy. You know it's true. Were you the one making the noise?"

As if to answer, a thud reverberated through the hallway and the girls ran towards the sound. They stopped in front of Blaise's bedroom and pressed their ears to it. They heard a couple of moans and groans, which they both made faces at, followed by a yelp and cry of pain.

" I'm no expert here Gin, but that doesn't sound like any sex noises to me. Blaise! Blaise, open the door, or so help me, I will blast it open." Hermione shouted. She waited to the count of three before shouting, " BOMBARDA!" sending Blaise's bedroom door flying in a million pieces.

Ducking and covering her head, Ginny shouted, " Bloody hell Hermione, you could have hurt him."

Hermione went running in, looking around the destroyed room for a trace of Blaise, but not finding any. Did she accidently blow him up in the process? She knew her bombarda spell was strong, but blowing up a human being in the process? Suddenly, she heard another moan coming from the little bathroom adjoining his. Hermione and Ginny both ran into it, clearing out the tiny little pieces of rubble with their feet. In the middle of the floor, laid Blaise clutching his stomach and drenched with sweat.

" Ginny, go, wake up Madame Pompfrey, I'll get Blaise to the Hospital Wing. Should one of us get Malfoy?" asked Hermione, waving her wand over top of Blaise casting wingardium leviosa and levitating him out of the bedroom and down the hall, heading for the hospital.

" He would be here by now if he was in his room. Merlin Hermione, the whole of Britian heard you blow up Blaise's door. Let's go!"

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" Don't worry girls, you got him here just in time. I will be doing a series of spells and tests to find out what's wrong. It might just be something he ate. But it's way past curfew ladies and I suggest you get yourselves back to your rooms. You may come and visit him tomorrow. Now off with you!" said Madame Pompfrey, shooing the girls out of the hospital.

" Where do you think Malfoy is?" asked Ginny, after they walked through the protrait, heading towards her bedroom while side stepping some pieces of wood.

" Merlin knows, Ginny. But I'm tired now, that was one hell of a long day, and I don't want to be falling asleep during classes tomorrow." yawned Hermione.

" Well the first night is always the worst, Mione, but I'll see you tomorrow."

" Yes, goodnight Gin, see you in the morning.

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Draco wandered through the protriat and made his way to his bedroom. He had just come from sending a letter off to his father. All day he had been still having those pains in his stomach, and was starting to run a fever, he wanted to know what was going on with his body and the only one who would have any answers would be his father.

He side stepped the wood pile on the floor in front of Blaise's room, and was about to take a peek inside before he remembered the last time he took a look inside of Blaise's room. Blaise's had some sort of food all over himself and some girl was in the process of eating it off of him. It had taken Draco a few days just to be able to look Blaise in the eyes again, and even longer to forget the image. Draco had learned his lesson that day and never again let his curiosity get the better of him.

' Whatever mess that little nasty freak made, he could clean up by himself, I'm not about to help,' Draco thought as he slipped into his own room, dived into his bed, and slept the worst sleep he had ever had in his life.


 


Chapter 4: Anatomy Troubles
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" Merlin Ron, could you at least swallow first before you try shoveling more food into your mouth?" asked Hermione, wrinkling her nose in disgust as she pushed her plate away from her, unable to eat anymore due to the disgusting show Ron was displaying.

" There's only so much time before classes Herms, I want to make sure I make it to lunch without starving!"

" Who's ready for an invigorating class of potions with Snape?" Harry asked, his head down on the table, attempting to wake up. It had been a long night in the boys dorm.

" I'm so excited I could pee!" Hermione replied, standing up and gathering her books. " Come on guys, we have 10 minutes to get to the dungeons and I don't want to be late the first day."

" You never want to be late Mione, the world would cease to exist if Hermione Granger were a few minutes late for one class." Harry laughed, blocking the roll Hermione threw his way. " Alright, alright, I surrender. Let's go make sure the princess is on time."

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The dungeons were the same dark, dank, creepy hallways they had always been. Hermione was glad she had Harry, Ron, and Ginny there. She had always been a little afraid to walk them alone, but she wouldn't tell anyone that. The boys walked a little ahead, chatting away about Quidditch, as usual and Ginny lingered behind beside Hermione.

" Have you heard anything about Blaise yet? Do we know what's wrong with him or what had happened? Anything at all?" asked Ginny, her voice dropping so the boys wouldn't hear.

" No, nothing yet. I was thinking about going to check up on him during lunch, but I don't know Gin. We're not even friends, do you think it would be weird?"

" I wouldn't think so, but then again, I'm a Gryffindor. Kindness and affection aren't lost on me unlike certain cold blooded Slytherins." joked Ginny. " Well, here we go. Wanna sit together?"

" Sure, the boys can do fine enough on their own"

" We are talking about the same boys right, Harry and Ron?"

Ginny opened the door to the potions classroom and wandered in, grabbing a seat at an empty desk three from the front. Hermione sat beside her, already placing her books, ink and quill out in front of her. The classroom started to fill up with students, and Hermione looked around finding her eyes locked on with the beautiful silver ones of Malfoy. Her breath caught in her throat and she whipped her head forward as the classroom door banged open and Professor Snape stormed in.

" You will be paired up in groups of two for the day," the class started to look around making pairs.

" One male, one female," the class sighed and began making new partners.

" From different houses!" the class groaned.

" And I will be making the partners. So when I call your name, grab your things and proceed to sit with your partner. Potter/Patil, Weasley male/Parkinson, Malfoy/Granger," he continued on with the partnerships till he reached Ginny, " Miss Weasley, you are to be partnered with Mr. Zabini, but since he is in the hospital you shall be writing a 2 foot parchment about the current potion we are about to brew, and discuss the pros and cons of the uses. Now begin!"

The students began making their way to reluctantly sit beside their partners. The only one who seemed to be happy about it was Harry. Hermione looked over at Ginny who was frowning about having to write the essay. Hermione grabbed her hand and whispered,

" If I could trade you spots right now, I would in a heartbeat. Just be happy you don't have to work with Malfoy." as she grabbed her books and walked over beside Malfoy. She watched Snape as he wrote the instructions and page number on the chalkboard.

" I expect this to be finished by the end of the day. And be prepared, you will be testing the potion yourselves at the end of the class. Your overall grade will be determined on how well your potion worked. Begin."

' He has to be kidding. He expects me to brew a slightly different version of Polyjuice Potion with Malfoy, then test it as well? He defiantly has earned himself an extended stay on the funny farm, thats for sure!' she thought as she began gathering the ingredients for the potion, while Malfoy remained seated at the desk. She walked back, sorted out the ingredients in the steps they were used in and began adding water to the cauldron.

" Malfoy, are you going to help or not? Cause I'm not doing this all by myself while you get the credit!"

He grabbed his wand, flicked it towards the cauldron, igniting a flame underneath it. " There, happy Granger?"

" Malfoy, I'm just as excited about this project as you are, but the least you could do is help a little."

" I did Granger, or didn't you notice the fire? And you should be excited Granger, you get to spend an entire day in the body of a handsome pureblood male, it's me who should be worried. I'm going to be wearing makeup, skirts, and I'm going to have to pee sitting down! Peeing sitting down and skirts. It's just not natural!" he moaned and grabbed a few of the ingredients. Hermione just chuckled. The image of Malfoy in a skirt attempting to figure out the mechanics of going to the washroom female style was too much.

" It's not so bad Malfoy, you might enjoy it!"

Malfoy snorted. " I highly doubt that Granger!"

" So before we start Malfoy, is there abnormalities I should know about? You know, due to years of imbreeding in Pureblood families, should I be expecting an extra limb under your robes? Mental issues?" Hermione laughed. She was trying to make light of the situation they were in, but from the look on Malfoy's face, he didn't find it funny.

" You know Granger, you should be thrilled becoming a pureblood for a day. So you'll know what it's like to be better then those tainted with dirty blood like yourself. So you'll know what it's like to be a true wizard." he replied, his face going a slight red from anger. He threw in his ingredients and and began stirring the pot, checking for the proper color to come.

Hermione was shocked. She couldn't believe he had gotten so angry when she had only been making a joke. She shook her head, trying to figure out where she had went wrong in trying to make Malfoy laugh. Maybe he was just having an off day, maybe he wasn't happy about the potion Snape had assigned. Or maybe he just plain horrible.

 

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An hour later, the potion was finished and Malfoy was scooping some up and putting it into three vials. One for herself and him, and one for Snape to review. He still hadn't spoken a word to her and it was starting to get on Hermione's nerves. She had never in her life met someone so stubborn and could hold a grudge like Malfoy. She decided to remedy the situation.

" Look Maloy, about what I said, I didn't mean to make you upset. I was only trying to make a joke. So I'm sorry."

" Save your apologies Granger, it doesn't matter anymore. Let's just hand Snape the potion, get this over with." Malfoy handed her one of the vials and went to deliver one to Snape. He shook his head, surprised that the brave Gryffindor had swallowed her pride and apologized. He didn't need it, he knew he was wrong. He had gotten angry over nothing. If anything he should have been the one to apologize.

' Like that would ever happen' he thought. He was a Slytherin for Merlin's sake.

He returned and looked at Hermione. She was staring at her vial intently, her eyes sparkling with the excitement of the newfound knowledge she was about to gain during this experiment. He sighed.

" Ever the know-it-all," he whispered.

 

" Pardon?"

" Nothing, you ready Granger?"

" As ready as I'll ever be I suppose. Bottoms up!" she exclaimed, her nose crinkling up as she uncorked her vial and took a sniff.

" Cheers Granger, " Malfoy raised his vail and clinked it against Hermione's before emptying the contents into his mouth, watching Hermione do the same. They both swallowed and stared at one another, waiting for any signs of change to occur.

After a few minutes of nothing, Hermione raised her hand to signal Snape. He came over to their table, an unpleasant expression on his face.

" What seems to be the trouble here?"

" Well sir, Malfoy and I both took the potion and nothing seems to be happening." Hermione said, saddened that she was going to fail for the first time ever.

Suddenly, both Malfoy and Hermione slammed into their table, knocking over their cauldron, and making vials come crashing to the ground, shattering into tiny pieces. Malfoy had curled into a ball, clutching his stomach and screaming in pain. Hermione's face had gone a dark shade of red, and she was convulsing in painful jerks. Harry and Ron, now Pavarti and Pansy, ran over and crouched beside Hermione.

" What happened Professor? Is she going to be alright?" squeaked out Harry/Pavarti.

" Potter, you and Mr. Weasley take Ms. Granger and Mr. Malfoy to the hospital wing immediatly." Snape replied, holding open the door to the potions room, allowing Harry/Pavarti and Ron/Pansy to carry out the limp forms of Hermione and Malfoy out of the classroom. He dismissed the class and made his way towards Dumbledore's quaters, before turning around to face Harry and Ron.

" And ten points from Gryffindor for being out of your seats!" he looked at Ron and Harry's shocked expressions, and sneered,

" EACH!" He turned and walked away, needing answers from the one man who could give them.

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Harry/Pavarti and Ron/Pansy rushed to the hospital wing, bursting through the doors. Madame Pomfrey jolted up from her desk where she was sitting reading her steamy romance novel and wishing she could meet a man like the leading man Magnus someday.

" What's going on here? What happened?" She asked angrily, Magnus slipping from her mind.

As Harry went into the story of the potions mishap, Ron had laid Hermione on one of the hospital beds and then went to drop Malfoy on another one.

" We dont know what caused it, Madame Pomfrey. We're thinking maybe the potion!" exclaimed Ron/Pansy.

" Well it would appear so Mr. Weasley, I have yet to hear of students ending up in excruiating pain from nothing, so if you and Mr.Potter don't mind, I have to tend to my students!" She shooed the boys out, and closed the white curtains around Malfoy and Hermione.

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Malfoy groaned and rolled over on his side. He cracked an eye open and looked around.

' How the bloody hell did I end up in the hospital? Wasn't I in Potions?'

He sat up in the hospital bed and streched his sore muscles. He sighed a deep sigh and his eyes shot wide open.

' What is that amazing smell? Where is it coming from?'

He starting sniffing the room, looking around for the source of the smell. All he could see was two other students asleep in their beds, apparent victims of a Transfuguration class gone wrong. One had wings and the other a beak! He didn't see any food near by and turned to his left. There laying in the bed right next to him, snoring softly from the sleeping draught adminstered by Madame Pomfrey, was Granger. He leaned closer and nearly fell off the bed. The smell was coming from her! He walked to the edge of her bed and leaned down. He breathed her smell in deep and something snapped inside of him. He suddenly needed to be close to her, beside her, inside her! He wasn't aware of what he was doing as he crawled in bed next to her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and buried his head in the crook of her neck. With one last smell, he closed his eyes and said a silent goodbye to his sanity and fell asleep next to Hermione Granger!

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She was warm, she was comfy, she was laying next to someone cuddled up in their arms? She bolted awake, jumping out of bed. She looked at herself, noticing she was still in her own body, and looked at her bedmate!

' How did I end up in bed with Malfoy, and in the hospital of all places?'

Hermione tried to piece together the facts, but her mind could only remember a sudden strong pain in her stomach, and then blackness. She looked at Malfoy, asleep in the bed, his hair a little ruffled up. He looked like an angel when he slept, and she allowed herself a few minutes of watching before grabbing her wand and rushing towards the Gryffindor tower. Maybe Ron and Harry would have some answers to what had happened.

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" Harry..Harry.....HARRY WAKE UP! Meet me in the common room in ten minutes and bring Ron!"

Harry and Ron both yawned as they took a seat on the couch in front of a pacing Hermione. They watched her pace a hole in the floor before Harry finally spoke up and asked what she wanted at this ungodly hour.

" What happened to me in Potions class? I remember making the potion, taking the potion, then pain, but after that...nothing. It's a total blank!" she cried, continuing to pace.

" You just collasped Mione! You and Malfoy both, and started screaming in pain. Ron and I took you guys to the hospital," Harry answered, yawning again.

" Yeah right after Snape took points off for Harry and me leaving our seats to see what was going on," huffed Ron, crossing his arms and placing one leg over top of the other, kicking it furiously. Hermione stiffled a giggle. At least she had found out how she managed to get to the hospital.

 

' But how did Malfoy get in bed with me?' she thought about asking Harry and Ron, but she didn't want to ruffle more feathers. She would just ask Malfoy in the morning.

" So, how do you guys like being female for a day?" she laughed as she took a seat between her boys, well girls for the moment.

" Merlin Hermione, how do you girls wear these blasted things?" asked Harry

" Skirts?" Hermione offered the word to Harry.

" Yeah skirts, I keep forgetting that when wearing them, I have to keep my legs crossed all the time, and you girls get breezes in places you shouldn't be, and I nearly broke my ankle walking in these heels." Harry replied, sighing in frustrtion.

" And I cried three times, Herms, three times! For no apparent reason, well Lavender did say something that hurt my feelings, but it shouldn't have. She just said my hair was messy, and I just started bawling in the middle of the Great Hall." Ron exclaimed, standing up and waving his arms frantically in the air.

Hermione laughed as she stood up, walking towards the portait, " well guys,er girls, I should be going to bed. I've had a long day and I'm tired. I'll see you later."

As she opened the portrait door, she heard Harry clear his throat. She turned back around and was engulfed in a bone crunching hug. She pulled away and stared at Harry, a weird expression on her face.

" Sorry Mione, we've just been craving hugs all day. Is that a girl thing?" he asked, his face burning with embarrassment.

She only laughed as she walked out of the protrait, heading toward the Head dorms.

Harry sighed as he closed the protrait. He felt Ron tapping his shoulder and turned around.

" Umm, do you think I could have a hug Mate? She didn't hug me when she left." asked Ron, sniffling and holding back more tears.

Harry sighed and wished unnatural death upon Snape.


 


Chapter 5: The Trouble With Veela's
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Dumbledore sighed and rubbed his eyes. Snape stood before him ranting and raving for about an hour over faulty ingredients and incompetent students. He would never understand why Snape would want to take up a teaching job when he had such a resentful outlook towards students. Dumbledore took off his glasses, cleaned them and placed them back on, pinching the bridge of his nose.

" Do you think, for one minute, that maybe it wasn't the students incompetence but that another issue may be the reason Ms. Granger's and Mr. Malfoy's potion didn't work?" asked Dumbledore, a slight smile gracing his aging features.

" What other issues could have caused that effect? If you know something Albus, please, inform the rest of us. I'm tired of your cryptic sayings."

" Well, at this moment Severus, I'm not sure. Maybe arranging a meeting with young Malfoy's father might be in order. I will owl Lucius immediatly." Dumbledore stood up, wrote a quick letter and sent it off with his phoenix, Fawkes. He turned back towards his desk and watched as Severus poured himself yet another glass of firewhiskey.

" Perhaps you've had enough, Severus. You've nearly finished off the entire bottle"

" On the contrary Albus, I'm only just beginning!"

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Lucius was alerted to Fawkes arrival and untied the note attached to the phoenix's leg. Narcissa floated into the room and took a seat next to her husband at the dinner table.

" What has Draco done this time dear?" she asked softly, pouring herself a cup of tea and sipping slowly.

" Nothing from what I can tell, Dumbledore just requests a meeting to disuss somethings. But I have a nagging feeling that it has something to do with Draco in some way or another." Lucius sighed, placing the letter down on the table and standing up behind his wife. He placed his hands on her shoulders, and turned her around in her chair. He helped her out of her chair and lifted her into his arms, placing her on the kitchen table. Laying her down, he placed a trail of kisses from her cheek, down her neck, across her collarbone and back up to capture her mouth. " But until then, my sweet wife, I have more important matters to attend too."

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Three hours later, the floo in Dumbledore's office roared to life as Lucius stepped out and dusted off his robes.

" What insanely, stupid thing has my son done this time Albus?" Lucius asked, joining Dumbledore as he walked out of the office.

" He has done nothing this time Lucius. In fact, I think something has happened to him, and I think you know what it is. Maybe it's time to inform him of his heritage."

" Perhaps your right Albus, I was hoping to delay it, knowing Dracos' reactions to things he doesn't like." Lucius mumbled, running his hand through his long, blonde hair.

" Yes, he does see to take bad news rather unwell doesn't he?"

" Rather unwell? He acts like a spoiled brat who's in need of a serious spanking." snorted Lucius.

They reached the hospital wing and opened the doors. Lucius scanned the room for his son and found him laying on one of the beds, starring up at the ceiling. He made his way over to Draco's right side and took a seat while Dumbleore remained standing behind Lucius.

" Draco."

" Father."

" I think it's time to have a chat son. There's somethings we need to discuss."

" Father, if this is another attempt at a sex talk, there's no need. I have personally discovered how it's done. So please, save us both the embarrassment." Draco shivered, remembering the last time his father attempted the sex talk. There was alot of stuttering, Lucius started sweating and turning red. Draco had just sighed, kissed his father on the top of his head and stated that everything was okay, that he knew all there was to know.

" No son, this isn't about....that. This pertains to something different. Now Draco, what do you know about Veela's?"

" Veela's? Well not much actually, aside from the pharamones that they give off making the opposite sex attracted to them, nothing. Why would you ask?" Draco sat up a little straighter in his bed, searching his father and Dumbledore's faces for answers.

" Yes, that is true, but there's so much more then that Draco. Son, your a Veela, like I am! Your grandfather was also a Veela, it goes way back to the beginning of our bloodline."

" I'm a Veela? When was this discovered?"

" I began suspecting it when you started getting stomach pains. That's your body accepting the Veela blood maturing inside you." His father relaxed in his chair, and stared at Draco.

" And you didn't deem this little bit of information necessary when you started to suspect? I think I have a right to know about what's going on in my own body. But let's just assume for a minute that it is what's really going on, what am I to suspect?" Draco sighed and sat back. This was just too much all at once.

" Well aside from the extra attention from the opposite sex, you will have heightened senses, like hearing, taste and smell. And with your heightened smell you will be able to find your mate. Every Veela has one mate for the rest of their lives. I'm sure Dumbledore here has some literature in the liabrary on Veela's that should answer any questions you may have on Veela's."

" Yes young Malfoy, we have a wide collection of Veela books, however a few of them have been signed out by Mr. Zabini yesterday." Dumbledore offered from behind his father.

" Why would Blaise have them sir?"

" Because Draco, he's also a Veela, just like you. A new one at that, and he's just beginning to learn about them as well. I suggest that the two of you help each other out in learning all you can about Veela's. However I can give you one insight before reading any of those books. From the day a Veela matures, you have exactly six months to find and mark your mate, and she must be marked willingly. Consequences of marking an unwilling mate is death." Lucius leaned forward, placing his head in his hands. This was not the way he intended to tell his son. He wanted to do it over Christmas break, in his study over a glass of firewhiskey. Not with Draco laying in a hospital bed, and other sick kids around him hacking and gagging all over the place.

 " And just how am I supposed to find my mate? How am I too know who she is and if she's the one?" Draco asked, now standing up and putting on his school robes, slowly tiring from this conversation. All he wanted right now was to go up to the Head Dorm, give Blaise a piece of his mind for keeping this secret from him and go to bed.

" There will be a few signs actually. You'll find that your senses will automatically heighten when she is in the same room as you. She'll have a certain smell to you that you can't seem to resist, and it'll be the most amazing smell you have ever smelt in your life. She will taste better then anything you have every tasted before in your life. You will find yourself more protective around her as well, as Veela's only live for their mate. There's alot more Draco, more then I have time to explain to you right now." his father said, standing up and escorting his son out of the hospital. They walked in silence towards the Head dorms. Lucius kept sneaking glances at his son, watching his face contort into many different looks as the information slowly sank in. They stopped in front of the portrait, and Lucius turned to face his son.

" But mostly, you'll just know if their the right one Draco. It doesn't matter who it is, your mother and I will accept them with open arms."

" Wait, what do you mean by 'them'? Are you ensinuating that my mate could possibly be a male instead of a female?" Draco's eyes bulged out of his head and he whipped around to face his father while standing in the portrait doorway.

" Yes Draco, a mate could be anyone, it doesn't mean if your male, your mate will be female."

" But I don't swing that way, I like females. It'll be a cold day in hell before I have a male as a mate. I'd sooner die!"

" Well if it happens to be a male and you don't mark and mate, you will die. Your mother and I will mourn your death, my son, but it seems like a pretty stupid reason to give up ones life."

" Well we can't all be mated with a beautiful woman, like how you lucked out father." Draco sighed and retreated inside the Head dorms. He was tired and a little freaked out now knowing his mate could be a male. If that just so happened to be true, Draco swore he would be the dominate one in the relationship. There was no way in hell he was being bottomized, no sir! " Well, as informative as this has all been, I would really like to just go get some sleep."

" Of course son, if theres anything you need, send an Owl, or don't hesitate to seek out Dumbledore. Take care son, we'll see you over Christmas break."

" Bye father!" Draco watched as his father disappeared around a corner, and retreated inside the dorm. His mind remembered Blaise, and bolted towards his room. He nearly took the bedroom door off the hinges as he blasted through it, startling a resting Blaise laying his bed, reading one of the few books he took from the liabrary.

" Bloody hell Draco, please be careful, I already lost one door from Granger, I don't think Dumbledore would appreciate me having to request another one."

" What are you talking about Blaise? Granger ruined your door? What did you do to piss her off?"

" Absoluetly nothing..... this time. Her and Weasley found me and took me to the hospital when I was going through the fever. And Granger decided it would be a great idea to blast my door to pieces instead of using an unlocking charm. She's a brillant one, I'll give you that," Blaise joked, setting aside his book and sitting up straight, giving Draco more room to sit on the bed.

" Why didn't you tell me Blaise? How could you keep this secret from your best mate? Your a Veela?"

" Well I wasn't entirely sure, and when my mother suggested that it might be possible, I thought I would wait till my birthday and see if it was true. No sense in telling you a secret that wasn't going to happen. But what about you? You didn't exactly inform me on your Veela heritage either, you git. So don't go getting all self righteous on me mate. You've got some questions to answer yourself."

" I would have told you, if I had known. I was only recently informed about all this about a half hour ago." Draco said, taking a seat close to Blaise, " Have you learned anything interesting about all of this? And did you know that we could end up with a male mate? Is that true?"

" From what I have read so far Draco, yes that is true."

" Bugger!"

" I'm a little worried on that end. I mean, I know we said we wanted something new this year regarding relatonships, but Merlin! That's a bit too much."

" Well, I don't think I have anything to worry about mate, I think I already know who my mate is." Draco sighed, laying back, his feet dangling off the side of the bed. Blaise shot up out of bed and began shaking Draco.

" Who is it? You gotta tell me. Who is it? It's not Parkinson is it? Or Bullstrode? Please tell me it's not one of them."

" No Blaise, it's not them....it's...it's...Granger."

Blaise made a face and stepped back. " Ooookay, so where's your issue?"

Draco shot up and began pacing the room, tugging at his hair. " Are you kidding me Blaise? You don't see the problem? It's Granger, the ruddy know-it-all that's been the thorn in my side for the past 6 years, and you don't see the problem?"

" Well no actually. She's beautiful, smart, and a female. But how do you know she's your mate for sure?"

" When we were both in the hospital wing, I vaguely remember waking up from this incredible smell. It was coming from her. After that things get a little hazy, and the next thing I know, I wake up alone. She wasn't there and the smell was gone."

" Well have you discussed things with her yet? I'm thinking if she's going to be your mate, she might want to be told before you jump her."

" I think I'm going to do some reading up on this first before I do anything else. I want to know everything before I make any assumptions about Granger being my mate." Draco said, grabbing a few books and heading out the door. He closed the door and headed towards the livingroom, and planted himself in the middle of the couch, lit the fire and layed back opening up the first book.

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" Madame Pomfrey, we're here to see how Blaise is doing, we haven't seen him all day." Ginny said walking into the hospital wing, Hermione right beside her.

" I'm sorry ladies, Professor Dumbledore has requested that I send you to him when you got here. He has the answers you seek." said Madame Pomfrey, walking away to asssit another student who had fallen ill due to an apparent Longbottom Herbology incedent.

" Wait, so you can't tell us how Blaise is?" asked Hermione, trying to piece together everything.

" I'm sorry ladies, my hands are tied. Please go see Professor Dumbledore, I'm extremely busy right now."

Ginny grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her out of the hospital wing. They walked the corridors until they reached the Gargoyle statue.

" Lemon Drops" Hermione said and the Garoyle moved revealing the secret staircase. The girls hopped on as the stairs began to raise taking them towards Dumbledore's office. They reached the top and Ginny knocked on the door.

" Come in," came Dumbledore's reply. " Ahhh Ms. Granger, Ms. Weasley please have a seat. Cockroach cluster?" he offered them a piece of candy.

" No thank you" they both replied.

" Excuse me sir, but why have you asked to see us? We just wanted to know how Blaise was doing." asked Hermione, placing her hands in her lap and clasping them together.

" Yes, Mr. Zabini is fine Ms. Granger, he is in the Head dorms resting. Now, I heard there was a little mishap in potions yesterday. Would someone like to tell me what happened?" Dumbledore asked, rounding hisdesk and taking a seat. Hermione just started ringing her hands together. She was afraid that what had happened was going to give her a failing grade.

" I'm not sure sir, Malfoy and I followed the instructions carefully, used the proper ingredients, and even had Professor Snape inspect it before we took it. Next thing I remember a horrible pain shot through my stomach and I wake up in the hospital and Malfoy laying next to me in the bed." replied Hermione, face turning a slight shade of pink.

" Wait, he was in bed with you?" asked Ginny, her voice rasing a level.

" Ahh yes, so I was informed." said Dumbledore, leaning back in his chair.

" You knew?" asked Ginny, whipping her head around to stare at Dumbledore, mouth hanging open.

" Do you know what happened in potions sir? Has that ever happened before?" asked Hermione, ignoring Ginny, wanting to get some answers.

" WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON HERE?" shouted Ginny, standing up, giving both Hermione and Dumbleore accusing glares.

" Ginny please, not now."

" Ms. Weasley, please have a seat. I'll explain everything. Now about Mr. Zabini and Mr. Malfoy. It's quite a sensitive situation and on normal circumstances I would have perferred that they tell you themselves, but seeing as time is an issue, I'm going to have to be the one." he sighed as he stood from his chair and came to stand in front of Hermione and Ginny, leaning against his desk. He placed his hands in front of his body and clasped them together and looked each girl in the eye.

" Now as it would seem, Mr. Zabini and Mr. Malfoy are Veela's. They have a long line of Veela's in their families. What had happened to Mr. Zabini the night you found him, was the Veela blood in him maturing, which from what I've heard and seen is extremly painful. That is also what happened to Mr. Malfoy that day in potions." explained Dumbledore.

" Okay, so Blaise and Malfoy are Veela's? Well that sure explains a few things. I mean, Veela's are extremly attractive beings, and well, let's not lie here, those two are the most handsomest boys in this school." said Ginny, leaning back in her chair. She looked over at Hermione, who's face had blanched. She was wondering how she was taking all this in. Being a pureblood and living in the wizarding world all her life, Ginny had known about Veela's and even met a few when she was a little girl, but Hermione was muggleborn. She probably hadn't met any, except in 4th year when Hogwart's played host to Beaubaxton's for the Triwizard Tournament. Beaubaxton's was a school full of Veela females, but as far as Ginny knew, Hermione didn't make friends with any of them while they were here.

" So how does that explain what happened during potions yesterday sir? I'm afraid I don't understand." Hermione shook her head in frustration. ' Malfoy's a Veela? How did I not know?' she wondered.

" A Veela's blood matures when they reach the age of 18, and most commonly on their 18th birthday. They begin to experience some discomfort a few days before, stomach pains, headaches, muscle pains. Young Malfoy's birthday was yesterday, his 18th. Now I'm not a hundread percent sure, but the potion you were brewing was a slight variation of polyjuice am I correct?"

Ginny and Hermione nodded.

" That potion was supposed to allow a body switch for an entire 24 hours, unlike Polyjuice which only allows a few hours. Now assuming Mr. Malfoy's Veela blood was maturing at that precise moment, when you took the potion and were transforming into him, you took over some of the pain associated with the changing which explains the pain and fainting. Unfortunatly, due to the changing that was alread taking place, the blood over-powered the potion which resulted in it not working. There can't be more then one transformation happening in one body at one time." Dumbledore stated.

" Huh, well I'm now happy I was assigned to do an essay and Blaise wasn't there. But sir, you said time is an issue. What did you mean by that?" asked Ginny. She wasn't quite understanding all the information, but she knew Hermione would explain later.

All of a sudden Hermione jumped out of her seat. Her eyes widened as she began pacing in front of Dumbledore's desk. " Time's an issue because now that their mature, their searching for their mates." she spoke fast, her mind working in overdrive to remember everything she had read about Veela's.

" That's right Ms. Granger. I decided to inform the two of you, I felt you had the right to know that your sharing a dorm with two mature Veela's. Now you'll notice some slight difference to their appearence, maybe height or hair or eye color change. Maybe a little bigger in the body, but most importantly, a mature Veela can give off a high dose of pharamones, which attracts the opposite sex to them. They can control it, but it's difficult for a new Veela. They will be learning to control it, however finding their mates will be more important to them. I strongly suggest you two do some reading up on them, to help better understand what is happening."

This was just too much. It hadnt even been a full week and already Hermione had been sent to the hospital, found out her two male roommates were newly mature Veela's and worst of all, she may have failed her first class ever!

" Now that everything has been put out in the open, is there anything else you wish to know?" Dumbledore asked, returning to his seat behind his desk.

" No sir, I think we've found out everything we needed to know. Thank you Headmaster. Come on Hermione, let's go." Ginny replied, grabbing Hermione's hand and pulling her towards the door.

" Wait, ummmm, Headmaster?" Hermione stopped, placing her hands on the door frame, stopping Ginny from pulling her out the door.

" Yes Ms. Granger?"

" Because the potion didn't work, does that mean that I failed the class?"

" Oh for Merlin's sake." Ginny said, pulling Hermione out the door and closing it, muffling Dumbledore's laughter. Honestly that girl really needed to sort out her priorities.

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The entire Gryffindor common room as in full party mode, as most students were happy to be back to their original selves, and Seamus had finally figured out how to turn water into rum. Everyone was laughing and drinking, a couple of the lightweights had already passed out on the stairs and couches, and a few were making out in darkened corners. All except for Harry and Ron, who had decided to dive into a chess game while they waited for Ginny and Hermione.

" Not gonna lie Harry, I'm happy to be a male again." sighed Ron as he watched his Queen destroy Harry's knight.

Harry laughed, " It wasn't that bad Ron, it could have been worse."

" Wasn't that bad? Wasn't that bad? A man should never have to shave his legs Harry, it's just not natural."

" Boy, did we ever come into that conversation at the wrong time Hermione. I think I would die a happy woman if I never hear my brother talk about shaving his legs." laughed Ginny and Hermione, both doubled over and tears coming out the corners of their eyes.

" Oh bugger off Gin, you know perfectly well what I was talking about. Where were you guys, we went to find you after dinner." asked Ron, raising his hands in the air in victory.

" We were with Dumbledore......Head and Prefect stuff, you know." shrugged Hermione. She didn't feel like explaining things to them, plus she didn't feel it was her place to anyways.

" Well I'm gonna go get me a drink, you want one Hermione?" asked Ginny, looking around for the source of alcohol.

" I don't think so. Your not drinking." said Ron, grabbing her arm.

Ginny ripped her arm away, and glared at him. " Need I remind you Ronald, I'm 17 now?"

" All well and good, but your my younger sister, I won't have you getting drunk."

" I'm of legal age now, and your younger, LEGAL, sister is going to get herself a few drinks, possibly get sloshed and have herself a good time. If your not comfortable with that Ronald Billius Weasley, feel free to not hang around and watch." snorted Ginny, as she made her way towards the firewhiskey.

Hermione laughed as she watched the red rise from his throat to the top of his head. It had always amused the Gryffindors to watch the weekly exchange of humerous banter between the two youngest Weasley's. They would calmly argue, then Ron would say something to anger Ginny, and the end result would be Hermione undoing whatever jinx or hex Ginny had sent his way. A few times it was her infamous Bat Boogey Hex, and that stayed with a person for a few days. She shook her head as Ron followed her around the room, trying desperatly to take away Ginny's drink. She sighed and looked over at Harry, who was currently attached to Luna's side. They were laughing about something Ron had said earlier. She decided that it wouldn't hurt to get something to drink and forget about the days events. She made her way over to Seamus, who handed her a glass of firewhiskey. She took a glup and enjoyed it as the contents slid down her throat, burning all the way. She was finishing her drink when she heard Ron yelp and turned towards him and laughed. Another victim of Ginny's Bat Boogey Hex. She sighed, making her way over to him, ' when will he ever learn?' she wondered as she grabbed her wand and aimed it at him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
A few hours later, Draco still sat on the couch in the Head's common room, a few books sprawled out on the coffee table, while one laid in his lap. He had been doing a little reading on Veela's. After finally finding a passage that seemed to be what he was looking for, he leaned back and began to read, marking important bulletpoints.

 'Veela's are almost like humans except with interesting abilities and heightened senses.
 

All of their senses are heightened. Such things like smell, Veela's are able to smell even the faintest of odurs. The sense of smell is what notifys the Veela of their mate. They hear even the softest murmurs of someone they are intent on listening to, even if they are far away. Viewing things at long distance isn't hard for a Veela either.
 

'A Veela's taste buds are more attuned. Veela's are prone to feeling sensitive to touch, especially from their mate.

When a Veela feels threatened, angry, possessive or aroused, their eyes turn into a dark colour. Generally consuming the entire eye.

The most important thing to a Veela though is their mate. A Veela usually finds their mate at a young age. When the Veela blood inside them matures, it is usually around or on their 18th birthday.. A Veela's mate is their perfect match; in other terms, it is their soul mate.

Veela's, after having become to full maturity, have generally 6 months to find and mark their mate. How this is done is still to this day unknown, as every Veela does so a different way. However, the marking ceremony is always the same. After the Veela has found their mate and had their mate except them, the Veela will then proceed with the marking, which most would deem highly sexual. During the sexual encounter, the Veela will grow 3-4 inch canines, (also referred to as fangs) and proceed to bite the mate where the Veela deems appropriate injecting some Veela vemon. The bite will soon fade away, leaving a hint of a scar behind formed into a design. Nearly invisable to the naked eye, other Veela's will be able to see it and be warned that this person is taken. The Veela vemon injected during the marking, is to make a connection between the Veela and their mate, allowing them to connect to their feelings, to better ensure their mate is happy. A Veela is only as happy as their mate is, which is why they go to great lengths to make sure that happens.


"Sounds like the Veela is a wuss than anything," Draco muttered but continued reading.


'When their mate is injured or ill, they become far more protective then normal, usually only letting other females and others the Veela deems safe come close. If their mate is threatened, a Veela is known to be irrational and angry and will do anything to keep their mate safe.

Veela's tend to live long lives. If the mate of a Veela dies, the Veela dies along with it of loneliness.


 Draco closed the book when he saw that there was nothing more but origin and history. He'd read about that later. He made his way back up to Blaise's room and quietly opened the door. He saw the boy sleeping peacefully and made his way to the side of the bed and began poking him in the arm.

" Blaise...Blaise...BLAISE"

With a short squeaky yelp, the poor boy not only jumped out of his skin, but literally out of bed, landing with a resounding THUD on the floor. Blaise popped his head up and glared at Draco. " Merlin Draco, some of us are trying to sleep at this ungodly hour. What do you want?" He yawned sleepily and crawled back into bed, making room for Draco to have a seat at the foot of it.

" How are you not worried over finding your mate? We have six months or we die and here you are taking a nap!"

" What are you worried about, you've already found yours, it's Granger remember? Now go throw a little woo at her and leave me to my nap," Blaise replied, digging himself further into his bed, happily comfortable and closed his eyes. He let out a shout as he was pulled from his bed and dragged downstairs by Draco, with surprising strength.

" No, you swot, look at this. If it's true and Granger is defiantly my mate, look at what I'll have to do. I'll have to mark her.....sexually!" he whispered, as if the walls had ears, thrusting the book he had currently been reading into Blaise's hands.

Blaise just laughed, " come on Draco, you've bedded far worse and in my personal opinion Granger's not the worst to shag in this school. In fact she makes the top ten in my books." He placed the book back down on the table.

A growl bubbled from the inside of Draco's throat upon hearing Blaise admit to wanting to sleep with Hermione. He was jealous of someone other then him thinking about her that way. His eyes began to darken and he trembled with anger. Blaise took a few steps back raising his hands up in surrender.

" Whoa mate, calm down. I didn't mean it like that. I was trying to explain that Hermione's a perfect mate for you. I meant no harm Draco. Please, just calm down."

Draco took a few deep, calming breaths and sighed, " Your my best friend Blaise, but your walking a thin line. I don't wish nor want to harm you in any way, but I don't ever want to hear you speaking about Granger like that again. Understood?"

" Of course. Never again, I promise. Wait, do you smell that?" Blaise asked, his head snapping up.

Both boys tilted their heads up high and began sniffing the air intently. They turned towards each other, their eyes fully consumed in black. They smiled at each other, and only one word was spoken between them.

" Mine!"

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Hermione giggled as her and Ginny staggered back towards their dorm. Both a little tipsy, it had taken them a little longer to reach their intended destination. When either had taken a step forward, it resulted in one sideways and two back.

" I can't believe we drank so much. I'm glad we don't have classes tomorrow. I don't think I would be able to stand the hangover I'm doomed to have." Ginny laughed as she stumbled into a protrait along a wall, mumbling a quiet apology to it before attempting to regain her composure.

" I can't believe Seamus had gotten so drunk, he decided it would be a good idea to go streaking through the halls." giggled Hermione, remembering the incident, grabbing a hold of Ginny for support as they reached the portrait that concealed their dorm.

" That was funny, even more so when Neville had woken up from passing out on the stairs, and yelled ' he's after my lucky charms' and ran out after him. You know, I don't recall them ever coming back. You think something happened to them?"

" I reckon Neville passed out somewhere in his attempts to foil Seamus' scheme to take his lucky charms and Seamus is still probably wondering out there somewhere naked as the day he was born, lost." Hermione shook her head, ' some people's kids"' she thought to herself, ' 300 million sperm, and that's the one that got through? Speaks volumes for that gene pool'.

" I don't remember our password Mione, wasn't it something like grapes?"

" No no, it was candied farts, errr hearts, or something wasn't it?"

The wizard in the portrait crossed his arms over his chest and began tapping his foot angrily. He didn't want to be here all night, and these apparently drunken girls were far off in their guesses. But as luck would have it, a soft click was heard on the other side, and the portrait swung open, revealing both Malfoy and Blaise.

" See told ya, it was sparklers," stated Hermione as she made her way inside after Ginny, pushing past the boys and headed towards the couch. The boys had made their way around both girls, sniffing around them.

" What the bloody hell do you think your doing, Malfoy?" Hermione wondered as he began smelling her hair and neck, tickling her.

" Hee hee, it's like their dogs Mione.... woah watch those hands mister. Blaise, I said stop touching me. That's enough!" yelled Ginny standing up and moving away from Blaise.

" Malfoy, if you don't back off, I swear I will hex you." Hermione shouted and moved to stand beside Ginny. Both girls slowly started making their way to Hermione's room, which thankfully was the closest to the common room.

" What's wrong with them Hermione? What's up with their eyes?" asked Ginny, immediatly sobering up with terror. Hermione could only shake her head, she too was sobering up, but not fast enough to remember what she had read about Veela's.

The boys by now had rounded up in front of the girls, sniffing the air, and began to pant softly. They were mumbling to themselves, " Mine, only mine", and Hermione knew in an instant what was happening. She slowly reached for her wand and nudged Ginny to do so as well. She nodded slightly in the boys general direction, and suddenly both girls quickly raised their wands and shouted stupefy, hitting both boys directly in the chest sending them sprawling across the room. That was all they needed, as Hermione and Ginny turned and bolted through Hermione's bedroom door, slamming it shut. The girls began throwing up locking hexs, charms and jinxs against her bedroom door and the bathroom door she shared with Draco, as well as all her windows. Contented with their work, they both sighed and took a seat on Hermione's bed. A slight banging was heard, and Hermione threw up a silencing spell, laying back down afterwards.

" What the bloody hell was that Hermione? Did you see their eyes? They were totally black. Is that a Veela trait, or were they on something?" asked Ginny, staring wide eyed at the ceiling and laying on her back.

" Yes Gin, that is a Veela trait. If memory serves, usually tends to happen when the Veela is angry, threatened or ummm.....aroused." stuttered Hermione.

" Well what in Merlin's name got them so worked up they would act like that in the first place?"

" All I can think of is one of two things. One, they found their mates and we trespassed during so and they got angered. Or two, and I highly doubt this, one of us is their mate." replied Hermione, shuddering at the thought. Sure they were hot, but she never thought of mating with them.

" Well that ruined my buzz, and being pissed off has officially tired me out." said Ginny, crawling up beside Hermione and getting under the covers. Hermione pulled the covers up to her chin and turned over on her side. She reached for her wand and threw up a warding spell which would make a terrible loud ringing noise should someone step foot in her room without her consent. She reached over and turned off the light, making a decision to have a chat with Malfoy about what had occured. Yet she couldn't make the butterflies stop fluttering around her stomach at the thought of Malfoy being so close to her.



 
 
 


Chapter 6: You've Got To Be Kidding Me
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


A loud ringing awoke Ginny, who shouted, " I love you Hermione, but if you don't turn that infernal racket down, I'm gonna hex you into oblivion." She grabbed her pillow and smashed it on top of her face trying to drown out the sound.

" That's not my alarm, that's the ward going.....off, MERLIN!" screamed Hermione, jumping out of bed and faced the intruder with her wand out. There stood Dumbledore waving his frantically in the air, attempting to turn off the offending noise and failing. Hermione waved her wand and the noise shut off, her face a beet red. " Sorry sir, I didn't know it was you!"

" Nonsense Ms. Granger, I've had plently of wands pointed at me through out the years. Now what was that spell? For the life of me, I couldn't get it to turn off." the Headmaster wondered. Ginny, upon hearing Dumbledore's voice, jumped out of bed and came to stand beside Hermione, her head throbbing from the hangover.

" That was a spell of my own sir, I used it before and during the war when I was at home to warn me if Death Eaters were near my home."

" Brilliant Ms. Granger, you must teach me that spell for my office, for when Professor Snape decides to stop by, although I would like a less loud noise." he chuckled. " I came here to escort you two to my office, I'm afraid we have a problem that needs attending to," he said, retreating out of the room. " And I'll have Madame Pomfrey send up some pepper up potion for you Ms. Weasley. I'm sure your needing it right now."

Ginny buried her face in her hands, embarrassed her Headmaster had seen her this way. But she mumbled a quick thank you anyways.

" Oh sir, that reminds me, has Seamus been found? He didn't return to the Gryffindor common room last night." Hermione asked, following him out and into the common room, waiting for Ginny to take the potion a house elf had dropped off in the room.

" Yes, Mr. Finnigan was located earlier this morning, down by the lake by Professor McGonagall. He was curled up beside the Giant Squid, and rather nude I must say."

" Oh Merlin, we're sorry Headmaster. I guess things got a little out of hand last night." Ginny said sheepishly as she walked towards them, looking a million times better then she had a moment ago.

" That's quite alright Ms. Weasley. Now, off we go."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Once they arrived at Dumbledore's office he opened the door, allowing the girls to enter first. The sight they were welcomed to probably would have sent them fleeing in terror had the war not been over.

There in the middle of the room stood Snape and Lucius and in between them, sitting in chairs was Draco and Blaise. Hermione was weary of them all as she and Ginny both came to stand as far away as possible from the four men, and closer to Dumbledore.

" There's no need to be afraid Ms. Granger, Ms. Weasley. I assure you, I mean no harm." drawled Lucius.

" Forgive me Mr. Malfoy, but I find it hard to believe any words that come out of a Death Eater's mouth." spat Hermione, inching closer to Dumbledore.

Dumbledore turned around and placed his hands on her shoulders, looking her square in the eye. " Ms. Granger, you have trusted me with your life, I need you to trust me again and believe me when I say that Mr. Malfoy and his family are not Death Eaters."

" But sir, they were branded with the Dark Mark, I've seen it for myself."

" Yes, I am fully aware of that, but that was all part of the plan you see. They were spies for the Order and being who they were, were able to easily infiltrate Voldemort's ranks for us. Having them receive the Dark Mark only allowed them to be trusted. I would never allow a follower of Voldemort inside my school." Dumbledore pleaded with Hermione to understand and believe him.

Hermione shook her head and brushed his hands off her shoulders, taking a step back. Tears formed in her eyes as she looked Lucius square in the eye. " I refuse to believe that. He stood there, Headmaster, while Bellatrix tortured me endlessly... he just stood there." she cried as she pointed her forefinger directly at him. " You did nothing to save me, nothing to stop her. If you really were a member of the Order, you would have offered some form of help instead of watching me as I screamed in pain for hours." she shouted, tears falling freely from her eyes.

Lucius bowed his head. He was ashamed. It was true, he was there. He had watched while Bellatrix tortured the poor girl for information, yet he couldn't do anything even though he wanted to with every fiber of his being. That would have given away his cover.

" I honestly don't think there's words to describe how disgusted I am with myself over that Ms. Granger." Lucius said, bringing his head up, revealing glistening eyes that dared to spill tears. Hermione gasped in shock and Draco raised his head in question.

" Father?"

" Yes Draco, it's true. I was there. I had to watch, sick to my stomach as that happened. Please believe me Ms. Granger, if there was anything I could have done to save you that wouldn't have blown my cover as a spy and risked the life of my wife and son, I would have in a heartbeat. I woke up every night for a month screaming as I relived that scene in my dreams. Your screams echoed my thoughts daily, yet I never tried to rid myself of them, knowing I deserved this punishment for betraying you. I am truely sorry about what happened to you, and I will spend everyday for the rest of my life, doing what I can to rebuild that trust of yours that I lost many years ago, for I know asking for your forgiveness is something I will never deserve." a few tears escaped his eyes, and he bowed his head to hide his shame.

Hermione couldn't believe what she was witnessing. Here Lucius Malfoy,Famous Death Eater, Muggle Hater Astrodinaire, stood before her crying, lowering himself and asking for a mudblood to trust him. She never thought she would see the day.

" Merlin Hermione, if you don't forgive, I swear I will," sobbed Ginny, tears falling from her eyes.

" Mr. Malfoy, as reluctant as I am to forgive you, I believe there's truth to your words. I'm not a cold hearted person, sir, I do not hate freely, but know that I have never been your biggest fan and it's going to take some time for me to be able to trust you fully. However I believe that you have suffered enough and if my forgiveness can give you some relief of the torture you put youself through, then I forgive you. No, I'm not doing this for your sake because I pity you, I'm doing this in hopes that someday we'll regain what we've lost and finally be able to move on."

" Thank you Ms. Granger, "

" Hermione, please sir, call me Hermione."

" Then I insist you call me Lucius. I cannot express how thankful I am to you Hermione. I make this promise to you, as long as I live, there will never come another time when you have to doubt the trust you have for me." Lucius sniffed, and wipped the remaining tears from his cheek. He held out his hand, offering it to Hermione. She shook it, sealing the deal silently made between the two.

" Now this is all well and good, but Headmaster could we please move on to the pressing matters here? We're wasting a perfectly good Saturday blubbering over past happenings. I could be down brewing potions as we speak." sighed Snape, his patience clearly wearing thin.

" Your firewhiskey can wait Severus." said Dumbledore, fixing a glare at him.

" Please sir, why have you brought us here? What was so important?" asked Ginny, comfortable enough to move into the center of the room, but still remained a good distance from the boys in the chairs.

" Ahh yes, that. Well I believe that Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Zabini here can explain what has transpired here this morning."

" We asked to be transfered out of the Head dorms and into one of our own after...after what happened last night." Draco said, his head back down, suddenly becoming interested with the floor.

" You what? Why? What happened? What did you boys do?" asked Lucius, anger rising in his voice. It was never a good time to be had when he was asked to join for a meeting in Albus' office. Just once, he would like to be able to come here, have a seat, perhaps a glass of firewhiskey and be able to bask in pride over something his son did for once. Then again, if that was ever to happen, he might just die from heart failure.

" It wasn't anything all that bad, Father, but to ensure it doesn't happen again, it might be a good thing Blaise and I have our own dorms. Due to our circumstances and all." Draco replied, never looking up from the floor.

" Nothing bad? I beg to differ Malfoy. Hermione and I returned from the Gryffindor common room, and these two started sniffing us like randy dogs, and turned into some handsy prom date, which resulted in them being hexed and Hermione and I locking ourselves in her bedroom for the night. Not that bad, you say Malfoy? Well you and I certainly have different views on the definition of 'bad'!" Ginny spoke, her voice raised enough to have every set of eyes on her and she ranted and waved her arms in the air, clearly taking a page from the Book of Ron.

" You. Did. What?" roared Lucius. " Have I not raised you better then this? To know how to control yourself, rather then lowering yourself to having to cop a cheap feel to surpress your Veela blood?"

Blaise stiffled a giggle and Lucius whipped his head around to glare at the boy who wiggled uncomfortably under his death stare. " Oh, don't think your getting out of this that easily Blaise. I will be informing your mother about the antics you pulled last night."

" Please sir, don't. Punish me, give me a dentention for a month, expell me if you must, just please don't tell my mother." whinned Blaise.

" I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear what your ideas of harmless flirting are."

" Bugger!" was all the poor boy could say.

" Now what, may I ask, got you two so riled up that this happened?" asked Dumbledore.

" I think you know Headmaster, you always know. I think you do as well Father, because I know for a fact you had a similar mishap here in Hogwarts when you located your mate."

" Yes, I resorted to staying locked up in my room until I was sure I had my feelings under control. I ended up being sent to the hospital for being malnurished. I didn't resort to attempted rape."

" Ahh fond memories!" sighed Dumbledore, remembering the past years.

" It wasn't attempted rape sir, I would never in my life hurt Ginny. I just really wanted to touch her hair. It always looks so soft, I wanted to see if it really was. Then I caught her scent, and Merlin, she smells so good. I just couldn't help myself. I needed to smell her. Please sir, Draco and I would never harm our mates." Blaise pleaded with Dumbledore and Lucius, trying to make them understand that there wasn't any harm intended. The girls just smelled real good.

Hermione and Ginny looked at each other with wide eyes. Did they just hear what they thought they just heard? That wasn't possible, was it?

" We know you would never harm your mates intentionally boys, however being newly matured Veela's, you have little control over your feelings at the moment and might have hurt Ms. Granger and Ms. Weasley without knowing it. You can't allow these feelings to overpower you. You must learn self control. I can't stress that enough." sighed Lucius, taking a seat on the arm of Draco's chair.

" Okay wait one just one minute here! Would someone kindly explain what's going on? We are already aware of the boys being Veela's, congratulations by the way, but what's that got to do with Hermione and I? Why do they have to be careful around us?" shouted Ginny, clearly losing it when she couldn't keep up.

" For the love of Merlin, I've had enough. I'm completly out of the loop here Ms. Weasley but even I can keep up. Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Zabini here are Veela's, congratulations by the way, and you and Ms. Granger seem to be the unfortunate mates to these idiotic prats," Snape replied.

" Oi!" shouted both boys

" Now to figure out the great mystery as to who's mate is who, well that's an easy fix. Allow me!" he said condecendingly as he walked up behind the two girls and placed hand on Ginny. Blaise growled and made to stand up, but Dumbledore whipped his wand out and placed a strong Petrificus Totalus on him to keep him still. " Ms. Weasley seems to be the mate of Mr. Zabini." He then placed his hand on Hermione's shoulder and Draco let out a defying roar and went to lunge for Snape, in which Lucius held his son back until Snape removed his hand. " And you Ms. Granger seem to be the lucky winner of being Mr. Malfoy's mate. Now if we're done here, I would like to enjoy the rest of my day in peace and quiet?"

" Yes Severus, you may go. Although I think later on you and I need to have a little chat about tact and patience" said Dumbledore, looking rather angry at Snape's lapse of feelings for this sensitive subject.

" Oh there's no need. Had I not done what I did, we would have been standing here all day, beating around the bush, dippin our toes in the pool, testing the water. I merely jumped right in and did what no one else would. I said what was on everyone's mind and answered questions no one else would. I even solved the mystery as to who's mate was who, and all in 5 minutes. So all in all Albus, say what you want about my patience, but had it not been for my lack of tact, we would have still be here after curfew still being where we were 5 minutes ago. Good day." Snape replied, as he glided out of the door, his cape billowing behind him.

" He may be a greasy little bugger, but the man has a point." sighed Lucius. He looked at the two girls who still stood in shock. He walked over to them and snapped his fingers in front of their faces. They didn't move. " Hermione....Ms. Weasley are you girls alright?"

" You have got to be kidding me!" whispered Hermione " I think I need to sit down for a moment." she took a seat on the floor, her back pressed up against the wall.

" Me too," agreed Ginny and sat beside Hermione.

" Now girls, I now this comes as a bit of a shock to you, but everything that has been said here today is true. And now it appears we have found the mates to these two boys here, and may I send my congratulations to the four of you, I......" Dumbledore was stopped by a standing Hermione.

" No you may not congratulate. Just what about this whole mess is worth congratualting over? The fact that Ginny and I got groped against our will last night? The fact that I was bombarded by three former "Death Eaters" that I had, up until a few minutes ago knew to be dangerous only to find out they were on our side and Blaise?"

" Oi! I'm dangerous!" he shouted.

" Like a kitten, I'm sure, then to be told that we're mates to these boys and now know we don't have an option but to agree to spend the rest of our lives with them, never being able to decide for ourselves who we want to be with? Now please, do tell me, what about any of those things is worth congratulating.......sir?" she huffed sitting back down, out of breath from her rant.

" You know Draco, I happen to like her, she's got nerve. You did well son, you choose well." Lucius laughed, clapping his son on the back. Hermione just glared at him, and he dropped his hand from Draco's back, and looked around at anything but her face.

" Well Ms. Granger, nothing about that deserves congratulating, your absoleutly right. But that was not what I was talking about. I was talking about finding your soul mate. People in this world go years trying with different people and ending in heartbreak before they find their one, and thats the lucky few who do, some never do. You however have found yours. Mr. Malfoy here is your equal in everything that is you. I believe that a soul mate is finding one's self reflected in another, and I believe that's true about Draco. You don't have to go through years wondering if " he's the one" because you know that Draco is. You also know, by him being Veela, he pleadges his undying love for you, and would rather die then see you hurt or upset. You will never have to worry about him cheating or hurting you, because he only lives for you. His love for you will be true, that you can never deny. Now isn't that something to congratulate?" Dumbledore answered.

" But I'll never have the choice to decide for myself to be with him."

" Yes you do!" All eyes shot over to Draco who hadn't said a word. He was taking in everything that had been said, and had made a decision. " You do have a choice love. You can choose to not be with me. It's your right to choose however you seem fit."

" Right, either be with you or you die, some choice "love"!" she scowled.

" No one here will think differently of you if you choose to walk away. That I can promise you, but I do ask a favor. Allow sometime to get to know me, try it out and see if it's what you want. If at any point, you decide it's not, well hell, at least you tried. I'm sure this is going for Ginny as well, am I correct Blaise?" he asked, looking behind him at Blaise who nodded his reply.

Hermione honestly didn't know what to say. She didn't know what to think! Could she see herself with Malfoy for the rest of her life? Could she condem someone to death beause she was being selfish for wanting to make one little decision?

" For now, I'll give it a try, but not just for you Malfoy. I'm doing this also because I don't want to see a mother without her son, I don't want to ruin the trust your father and I are trying to rebuild, and I don't want to be up all night for the next few years wiping away Blaise's tears when he can't get over your death."

" Okay, what is this? Pick on Blaise day? I sure as hell didn't get a owl notifying it was!" yelled Blaise, huffing in anger.

" Oh relax, because everything Hermione said about giving Draco a chance, well the same goes for you too." replied Ginny placing her hand in his.

Suddenly things weren't looking so bad anymore, and Blaise grinned.

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The four roommates were walking back to their dorms when a sudden shriek erupted from down the hallway. The four broke into a run heading in the general direction. When they arrived at the source of the scream, the scene before them would have even made Professor Snape crack a smile.

There in the middle of the hallway was Ron his normally red hair now turned Slytherin green with Harry standing behind him, a look of shock plainly written all over his face, with Luna beside him staring dreamily off into space. In front of them was Pansy, her legs covered in bandages, pointing a blaming finger at Ron. As soon as they approached, Ginny, Hermione and Luna stepped off to the side, while Blaise and Draco went to intervene.

" What's going on here?" asked Blaise calmly, holding in a laugh at Ron's green hair.

" This bloody witch hexed my hair green is what's going on." Ron shouted.

" He mutilated my legs, look at them, gashes everywhere." Pansy shrieked in response pointing to her legs. ' Ahh the so-called shaving incident' Hermione thought to herself.

" Greens a rather becoming color on you Weasel, you should think about making it permanent." laughed Draco, and Hermione sent a glare his way. Pansy shurgged and walked over to stand beside the girls, glad the boys were dealing with it. She had had enough to deal with already.

" Shove off Malfoy, this doesn't concern you."

" Oh but I think it does, seeing as it's someone from my house Weaselbee!"

" Come on guys, can't we just forget about it and go to breakfast? I'm starving." asked Harry, not in the mood for a fight this early in the morning, maybe later when there was food in his stomach and he was fully awake.

" Potter's right mates," statd Blaise. Draco looked at him like he'd lost his mind.

" Since when did you start thinking Potter was right?" asked Draco in disbelief.

" Hey, give a monkey a typewriter, it's bound to get a word once in awhile," Blaise shrugged.

" Traitor."

" Thanks Zabini....I think. Come on Ron, let's go get something to eat before my stomach starts eating itself." Harry said, trying to pull Ron away towards the Great Hall.

" No, I want my hair changed back!"

" In your dreams Weasel."

" I said piss off Ferret!"

The girls just stared in shock. " You know, this is really getting old fast. It's been years, and they still use the same insults. You'd think they'd come up with something more original." sighed Hermione.

" I agree, this happens way to many times." agreed Ginny.

" Well you'd be mad too if he hacked away at your limbs like they were tree stumps. I don't for the life of me know why he felt the need to shave my legs. I have a permanent hair removal spell on them. There was no need!" said Pansy, shaking her head.

" Quite true, I probably would be, but I wouldn't have hexed his hair though." Hermione laughed. " Although that was quite brilliant of you!"

" Yeah, I have my moments, just glad someone was around to see this one."

" So when do you think......" Ginny was cut off by the four boys suddenly whipping their wands out and pointing them at each other. " Nevermind!"

Draco and Blaise on one side, and Harry and Ron on the other, with the four girls caught right in the middle.

" Alright, that's enough, put the wands away. There's no need for anyone to lose house points or get detention for wand brandishing." Hermione said, grabbing the boys arms, trying to lower them. Ginny tried to help as well.

" I agree, he should have kicked him in the crotch," Pansy replied.

" Yes..no wait, that's not what I meant. What I meant was drop this whole thing and let's get to breakfast."

" Trust me Granger, from what I saw when we had switched bodies, it wouldn't have hurt him much," Pansy scoffed. At that moment all wands and grudges were forgotten as they turned to face her. Ron's face had turned beet red from embarrassment.

" YOU LOOKED?" he shouted.

" Well I wouldn't have had to if you had the normal hormone balance everyone else has!" she retorted, shouting back.

" What's that supposed........ you got ... in my body?"

That was everyone's cue to leave as they all quickly made their way to the Great Hall. Ron and Pansy trailing behind them.

" So, did you like what you saw Parkinson?" Ron asked, wiggiling his eyebrows.

 " Wasn't bad, but I've seen better." she laughed.

" So maybe sometime...err...would you like to go to Hogmeade..." Pansy cut him off.

" You've got about a snowballs chance in hell of that happening Weasley," and she walked off, swinging her hips a little more then usual, knowing he was watching.

As he watched them sway he said to himself, " at least there's a chance!" and he took off in search off Harry and everyone else, grinning like a fool.


 
 
 


Chapter 7: They'll Be The Death Of Us Yet
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" So?" asked Hermione, swallowing her last bite of bacon, looking at Ginny.

" So what?" she asked.

" What are we gonna do about Malfoy and Blaise? We agreed we would give this, whatever it is, a try but I think we should tell Harry and Ron."

" Now why would we do that? This has nothing to do with them." Ginny replied. " Personally I think we should see where this is going first. No sense in telling them about nothing. Well we should head back to our dorm, and discuss a few things with Blaise and Malfoy." she stood up and began making her way dow the asile.

Hermione just sighed and followed her.

The girls made their way to the Head dorms and paused outside the portrait. Neither made the attempt at the password.

" Ahh, you go ahead. I'll follow behind." mumbled Ginny, looking at her feet.

" Oh for Merlin's sake, destined!" shouted Hermione, grabbing Ginny's arm and pulling her into the dorm. " I'm sick and tired of walking on eggshells because everyone is afraid to address the sensitive issue. I'm going to take a page out of Snape's book."

" Your going to quit washing your hair?" Ginny giggled and Hermione sent her a pointed glare. " It was a joke Mione, jeez. So what are we going to do?"

" Well I don't know about you, but I know nothing about these boys. I think the first step should be to sit down all four of us, and get to know one another before we go any further."

" That's a great idea, yeah and we'll serve tea and cookies, and talk about unicorns and rainbows. Come on Hermione, let's be real about this for a minute here. We know what is expected of us within six months from now, so I say we start there."

Hermione's eyes widened and her mouth dropped open, and she stood there gaping at her best friend like a shocked goldfish. " You cannot be suggesting we just allow them to mark us then jump into bed with them?"

" Well no, not quite like that. How about we start with a date to Hogsmeade before we make any decisions. Then when we're there we can get to know them better over dinner and drinks. It'll be fun, Mione I promise." Ginny suggested, trying to calm Hermione down. She was still wide eyed, but at least she had closed her mouth. Ginny was sure she had succeded when Hermione blew up.

" I'M NOT SLEEPING WITH MALFOY!"

" And I'm not expecting you too either, it's just a date in Hogsmeade. Merlin Hermione, when did I say anything about sleeping with Malfoy?"

" Well you didn't, I was just clarifying my decision." Hermione shrugged and went to sit on the couch. She leaned against the armrest, resting her head. " I didn't get enough sleep last night."

Ginny came and sat beside her, resting her head against Hermione's shoulder. " Everything will turn out for the best, Mione, you'll see. I didn't realize how tired I was either. Maybe after a nap we'll go and see..." she stopped and turned towards Hermione. Her mouth was slightly open and she was emmiting soft snores. Ginny just laughed and leaned her head back on Hermione, before she closed her eyes and everything went black.

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The wind lightly blew, sending a slight chill through both boys as Blaise and Malfoy came to a stop by the edge of the Great Lake. After the meeting in Dumbledore's office, both boys needed some air, a chance to clear their heads and come up with a serious game plan.

" You know, surprisingly enough, after everything that happened earlier, I'm still not secure in knowing I'm gonna live to see my 19th birthday." Draco moaned, picking up a rock and chucking it in the lake, watching it skip twice.

" I think your reading way too much into it mate, she agreed she'd give you a chance, and that's more then you had last night. Last night we were setting out your funeral plans. I don't see your issue here, just don't screw it up!" Blaise replied, wrapping his robes around himself tighter, it was really chilly this morning.

" Sure Blaise, she did say she'd give me a chance, but let's get real for a minute. This is Granger we're talking about. Every fiber of my being wants to run up to the dorms and be with her, yet my brain is kicking me in my ass for even considering this. I know, it's her or my life, but for the past six years, it never would have been her." Shaking his head, Draco turned and began walking back to the castle, Blaise on his heels. " Do you at least have a plan as to how I'm to throw this so-called 'woo' at her and have her fall in love me?"

" Well, we could always kidnap her, take her away to a isolated place, obliviate her memories and fill them up with years of loving you, and then your problem would be solved," at this the blonde's eyes lit up, igniting a dangerous glint Blaise had seen before. " HOWEVER, I was thinking maybe we could start out with a date and for now settling with getting to know one another, trying to become friends if anything at all."

" But we're not ruling out the whole kidnapping thing though are we?"

" You can not be serious!"

" Wishful thinking Blaise, wishful thinking." Replied Draco, walking through the castle's doors, heading down the halls. He paused for a moment, coming to halt, causing Blaise to slam into the back of him. Regaining his footing, Blaise came around to stand beside him, watching as a slight smile graced his aristocratic features.

" I've seen that look before, and everytime nothing good has come from it. What are you thinking about?" Blaise wondered with a worried expression on his face.

" I've just had a thought Blaise!"

" Never a good sign."

" Oh, but this time, my dear, dear friend, this time it is. I was just thinking, however I'm going to win the fair Ms. Granger's heart, she will have to eventually inform Potter and Weasel about our little predicament. Blaise, I believe I have found the silver lining in all of this."

" I'm not following." confused, Blaise continued walking along side of Draco.

" It's going to be a joy to watch their faces and hear what they have to say once she tells them of her being my mate."

" Sure, it could mean a few kicks but Potter's not so bad. He's actually a pretty decent guy once you get to know him. And sure Weasley over reacts, but after he calms down and stuffs his face, he's alright, I guess."

" Yeah Potter's okay, and I'll never admit again under threats of death, but it's still a riot to get him going, and he's going to blow a gasket when he hears this little diddy. And my guess is Weasley is going to suffer from heart failure when he finds out his best friend is destined to be with his arch-nemisis, but don't forget Blaise, your his baby sister's mate."

Blaise moaned and banged his head against the wall when they stopped in front of the protrait. " I had forgotten that part. Merlin, help me."

They walked trough the portrait and both tilted their heads in the air and took a big breath.

" As long as I live, I don't think I'll ever get over how fantastic she smells." Draco whispered, his eyes blackening over. He made to make his way over to Hermione, when Blaise stepped in front of him. A low growl emmitted from deep in his throat as Blaise directed him back towards the door.

" Draco, contain yourself. Your going to frighten Hermione. We've got to learn to control our urges. Snap out of it." Blaise yelled in a whisper. It was just as hard for him to control himself, but he didn't want another episode to happen like what happened last night. And he sure didn't want Lucius going through with his threat to tell his mother what had occured. He let go of Draco's shoulders once his eyes had changed back. Draco blinked a couple of times, before he took a few calming breaths, shook his arms and rotated his head a few times.

" Okay, I can do this. Just gotta keep myself in check."

" Your hormones is more like it," Blaise muttered under his breath. He followed Draco towards the couch and came to stand infront of it. Both boys peered down at their mates, tilting their heads to the side. They would never understand how women could sleep beside each other, let alone cuddled up with one another without any creepy feelings of being that close to the same sex. Blaise looked over at Draco, who had a confused look upon his face.

" I'll never understand it Blaise!" Draco commented, wrinkling his nose.

" I can understand it, girls are soft, smooth. Their comfortable to curl up with, and their a good source of heat when the nights are cold. I can see why they could cuddle up with each other, or sleep with each other in the same bed. Plus, Granger and Ginny are best friends, it's normal for this to happen often."

" I care for you deeply Blaise, but if I ever wake up and your laying next to me in bed, curled up against me, I won't hesitate to hex you senseless." Draco quirked an eyebrow up at the boy. " But what do we do in this situation?"

" I suppose waking them up would be a good start."

" Thank you genius. Honesly, I don't know what I would do without you. I know we need to wake them up, I was asking about how we go about it?" Draco sneered, shaking his head at his friend.

Blaise walked around the couch, when suddenly he smiled at Draco. " I have an idea," he placed two fingers inside his mouth and gave a short but extremly loud whistle, startling both girls awake. Ginny shot up off the couch and whipped her wand out. Hermione was a bit faster and Draco soon was ducking spells shot his way.

Blaise laughed as Draco jumped over the coffee table, turning it over onto its side, using it as a sheild. " Granger, Weasley relax, it's just us. Stop trying to kill Draco." By this time, Draco had rasied his wand in the air in surrender, and was waving it back and forth, imaging a white flag attached to the top of it.

" Sorry Blaise, you startled me is all," Hermione replied, lowering her wand.

" Startled? You nearly killed me!" Draco shouted, regaining his Malfoy posture and straightening out his robes. "

" Don't start Malfoy, I'm not awake yet. What was the meaning of waking us up?" Hermione huffed, annoyance clear in her voice.

" Well after today's informative meeting in Dumbledore's office earlier, Draco and I thought we would take you ladies up on your offer to give us a chance and ask you two for dinner in Hogsmeade later tonight. That's if you wanted to go, of course." Blaise answered, coming back around to take a seat on one of the armchairs.

Hermione went to open her mouth, when Ginny raised her hand in the air, took a seat opposite Blaise in the other armchair and leaned forward. " Now suppose we agree to dinner, where would we be going?" she asked, clasping her hands in front of her.

Draco came to stand behind Blaise, and looked on as Hermione did the same behind Ginny. If anyone would have walked into the Head's common room, the scene in front of them would have resembled a hearing between two lawyers and their clients, negoiating a contract.

" Well we were thinking maybe a dinner in a restaurant Draco and I know well, followed by a few drinks and conversation at The Three Broomsticks, ending with a walk and more conversation down by the lake before retiring for the night. How does that sound?" Blaise offered, raising his eyebrows looking Ginny in the eye.

" Deal..."

" GINNY!" Hermione shouted.

Again Ginny raised her hand in the air, quieting Hermione. " However, you two will pick us up at our door, 7pm sharp no later, flowers will be expected. You two will be paying for dinner and drinks. The walk by the lake will be kept by curfew and completly innocent and you two will walk us to the door at the end of the evening. All the while being perfect gentlemen. Any resistance to comply to these rules will deem the date over immediatly and I fear another chance may not be in the cards again for either of you two. Are we understood?"

" We are understood." Blaise agreed. Draco raised his eyebrows and tilted his head towards the redhead. Blaise just smirked.

" So we're in agreement as how this date is going to go?" Hermione asked, still a bit skeptical.

" Absoleutly Granger." Blaise answered, standing up, shaking hands with both girls, as did Draco. He stopped as he pulled his hand from Ginny's. " You know Weasley, you would make one hell of a lawyer," he said, blushing a little.

" Well when you have as many brothers who are sneaky and cunning as the best of them as I do, it's in your best interest to argue and iron out the finer points of a deal before agreeing to one." she laughed, also a slight tint of blush in her cheeks.

While Blaise and Ginny were conversing, Hermione and Draco just stared at each other.

" What's the matter, scared Granger?" Draco asked.

" Of a lot of things actually, Malfoy. Spiders, thunder, but of you, hardly." she spit back, taking a step closer to him. She moved closer, coming to stand a few inchs from him. " And going on this date with you, doesn't even make the list." She turned and began to take a step when his arm shot out and pulled her back.

Electricity shot through her body and goosebumps suddenly appeared where his skin made contact with hers. She stared wide eyed up at him, unable to catch her breath. He really was extremely gorgeous, how she had missed that all these years, she didn't know. He pulled her in close and leaned down to whisper in her ear,

" Perhaps that's because we're double dating. Wait till I get you alone, Granger."

She pulled back a bit and looked up at him. " Now why would I agree to being alone with you.?"

" Because love, your my mate. At some point, your going to have to be alone with me, and it's then that I promise you, I will not have you afraid of me. If I had it my way, instead of the date, I would be taking you up to my bedroom where I would have you screaming my name from hours of pure pleasure. But, I must abide by the ludacris terms my so-called friend agreed to." he whispered into her ear, leaving her shuddering from the feel of his breath on her, and he briskly walked away. Grabbing Blaise by the arm, he poiltely excused himself and Blaise, claiming to having to get ready for tonights date that was in less then two hours. Hermione could only remain where she stood, still wide eyed and her mouth hanging open.

Ginny came up beside her, " come on Mione, we better start getting ready as well. What's wrong?"

" Hours?"

" Huh? What was that?"

" Nothing let's go." Hermione replied, walking towards her room. ' Hours, really? Merlin!' she thought to herself, pulling out outfits to decide upon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Blaise paced in front of the portrait, nervously waiting for 7pm to arrive. He was speaking to himself, trying to figure out what he would say, what he shouldn't. It wasn't going well at all. He started shaking his head, ' what is wrong with me?' he thought. ' I have never been this nervous with girls, ever!' But then again, all of them were just casual lays, nothing serious. " Then again, none of them were my mate that I was going to spend the rest of my life with either,' he began to feel woosy. He needed to sit down.

Draco had been watching the whole episode, while currently sitting along the wall. He was laughing to himself at his best friends antics. He couldn't understand what was causing Blaise to act all weird. There wasn't anything to be nervous about. It was just dinner and drinks, something they did with friends everyday. Not like they were planing a hostile takeover, or getting married.

" Blaise, for Merlin's sake your making me dizzy. Sit down before you fall down!"

Blaise placed his back against the wall and slid down. " And just how the hell can you be so calm about everything? Why aren't you freaking out?"

" It's just dinner and drinks. What's there to be worried about?"

" Maybe the fact that if this night doesn't go well, their be singing the funeral march while digging our graves. Did that thought ever occur to you?"

" As a matter of fact, wasn't I the one freaking out yesterday about the prospect of dying? So yes, the thought has crossed my mind, Blaise. I just don't see the point to freaking out until there's something to freak out about. Now come on, we need to knock on our own door to pick up our dates for this evening."

Draco stood and pounded his fist against the portrait.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 The girls were ready. They had been for the past twenty minutes. Both girls stood infront of the large mirror, standing along Hermione's wall. Both were inspecting their hair, makeup and clothing.

Ginny had curled her hair, putting it on top of her head with a few small tendrils falling down. She hadn't put alot of makeup on, not needing much to begin with. She wore a green sundress, which fell halfway to her knees, accenting her red hair beautifully. She had choosen black ballet shoes, silver drop earrings and a nice light flowery scented perfume. She looked stunning.

Hermione on the other hand, had Ginny do everything for her. She wasn't skilled in the ways of makeup, hair or dressing up for boys. Ginny made the perfect friend in times like these. She had straightened her hair, now falling perfectly down her back, coming to a stop halfway down. Ginny had picked out a white baby doll dress, with tiny little tear drop diamonds scattered across the top with a v-neck cut. Hermione liked the way it accented her cleavage, but it was a little shorter then what she was used to, It barely covered her thighs, but Ginny assured you couldn't see anything.

' As long as she doesn't bend over,' laughed Ginny to herself.

She lightly covered Hermione with a faint coverup and mascara. She placed light brown eyeshadow on her eyes and clear lip gloss for a final touch. Hermione couldn't argue, she did like how she looked. She felt beautiful for the first time in a long time. Ginny placed the finishing touch by having Hermione wear her favourite felt lined black high heels.

The entire transformation of Hermione shocked Ginny. She barely looked like herself, and Ginny was glad. She didn't want Hermione to resemble herself. She wanted to shut Malfoy's mouth once and for all, or leave it hanging open from shock. Either reaction would suit Ginny just fine. She watched Hermione twirl one last time before standing up.

" You nervous about this date?" Ginny asked, gathering both cloaks, heading out of Hermione's bedroom.

Hermione bounced out behind her, " dressed like this, how could one be nervous?" she laughed.

They made their way to the common room and Ginny did one last check over of both girls before they heard the knocking. Ginny went to open the portrait when Hermione stopped her.

" Wait, I changed my mind. I am nervous, I..I don't want to do this anymore."

Ginny laughed and grabbed Hermione's arm, dragging her towards the door. " You can't back out now, Hermione, we made a deal. Now your going to go through with this, or so help me, I will place a bat boogey hex on you the world has never seen."

Hermione raised her hands in surrender. " Okay. Merlin Ginny, no need to go to such extremes. A simple please would have sufficed just as well."

Ginny wrapped her cloak around herself and answered the door as Hermione did the same with hers.

" Good evening ladies. Your escorts have arrived and might I say, you look beautiful." Blaise said, bowing before Ginny, handing her a bundle of Lillies wrapped together with a maroon ribbon.

" Thank you Blaise, you look handsome as well." Ginny replied, taking her flowers and smelling them before placing them on the coffee table. Draco came forward, and handed Hermione a bundle of blue roses, tied together with a white glossimer ribbon.

" You look gorgeous Granger."

" Thank you Malfoy, you clean up good yourself. How did you know blue roses were my favourite?" Hermione asked, placing them beside Ginny's.

" I did my homework. Shall we?" Draco asked, offering his arm to Hermione. She slid her arm through his, and walked out the portrait hole, followed closely by Blaise and Ginny.

They made their way through the hallways, everyone trying to figure out something to say to break the tension. Thankfully, the brightest witch of her age came through.

" So might I ask where we're going for dinner?"

" It's a quiet little place not many people know about. Called The Witching Hour, serves amazing Muggle foods. I suggest the lobster. What?" asked Draco, crunching his face when Hermione gawked at him.

" I'm sorry, I'm just a little shocked to hear Draco Malfoy eating Muggle food is all."

" Well food is food Granger, no matter who makes it. It would still be lobster if a wizard cooked it, just would be done a lot quicker." Draco laughed. They had reached the outside, and everyone shivered. Draco raised his wand and cast a warming charm on everyone, receiving a thankful smile from Hermione. His heart pounded in his chest. If he felt this elated from receiving a thank you, would he even survive when they reached a more physical state of their relationship? God he hoped so. They made their way to the carriage the boys procurred, and climbed inside.

Hermione welcomed the warmth, though when Malfoy came and sat beside her, brushing his arm against her side accidently, she found it suddenly hot. She turned her head to stare out the window, trying to cover her flaming red cheeks, unfortunatly Blaise of all people happened to notice. He slightly raised a single eyebrow in a knowing way, letting Hermione silently know she was in for some one on one questions later on. She rolled her eyes when he broke out into a grin, and went to staring back out at the window.

" So Malfoy, I just have to ask, how did you take the news when you found out your parents were really spies for the Order, and not the Muggle hating, Death Eaters they were pretending to be?" asked Ginny, trying to start up another conversation. She didn't really care for silent carriage rides. She knew if the night continued in silence, they would get nothing accomplished.

" You want the truth?" he asked, leaning forward a bit.

" Why would I want anything but?" she questioned, also leaning forward slightly.

" Well...honestly... I was outraged!" he answered.

Hermione snorted in disgust. She turned in her seat, facing Ginny " you were expecting a different answer Gin? This is Malfoy your talking to. He was, if not more, a even bigger notorious Muggle hater then his own father. It must burn you alive inside that a Mudblood has turned out to be your mate for life. How fate has royally kicked you in the ass huh Malfoy?"

She was expecting him to blow up, scream, even hex her. Yet instead he just sighed and leaned back. " Contrary to popular belief Granger, I'm not as big as a Muggle hater as my previous actions these past 6 years have made me out to be." Once again Hermione snorted her disbelief. " Actually, I didn't even know what a Mudblood was until I was 12." Draco shrugged. He was willing to finally tell her the truth, but if she wasn't willing to believe him, that was her problem.

" You can't be serious. You called me that when we were 12. You clearly had to have an idea of the term. 12 year olds don't go around calling one another names they don't know the meaning of, that's more 6 and 7 year olds." she huffed, turning to face him.

" I am serious. I had never heard the term before coming to Hogwart's. It was said quite often in the Slytherin common room. I wrote home one day asking my father what it meant. He happened to write back explaining what it meant, and that just so happened to be the day I called you it. So in reality, that would be fate kicking your ass Granger. Had you not said anything, I wouldn't have called you it and started our beloved rivalry." he snickered.

" It's true Hermione. Draco and I weren't raised in cruel homes. We were loved and cared for dearly. Our parents were kind, caring, and didn't raise us to hate anyone. We were allowed to be friends with whoever we wanted, we were punished when we did wrong, and we were praised when we did right." Blaise offered, coming to Draco's rescue. It was true, they weren't raised any differently then a normal child raised in a loving home.

" So why did you say you were outraged when you found out your parents were spies for the Order?" she asked, wanting to learn more about the anomally that was Draco Malfoy.

" Well like Blaise said, we were allowed to be friends with whoever we saw fit. When Voldemort began raising to power again and my parents had to pretend to be Death Eaters, I was no longer allowed anymore. I actually wanted to be friends with Potter. Hell even Weasel, mainly because he was friends with Potter as well. I wanted to be friends with you! From the moment I met you, I liked you. You were strong, outgoing, and a little cute with your big teeth and unruly hair. Then you showed how smart you were in class and it made me like you more. I perfer smart people to dumb people," he began, running a hand through his blonde locks, " I was forced to be friends with Crabbe and Goyle because they were future Death Eaters, as was Blaise. Made sense to surround me with other Death Eater kids, maybe I would hear something my father wouldn't, tell him and he could turn it in to the Order. You know how kids are always hearing things they shouldn't." she nodded, he continued. " So my father and mother put on this act of hating those less then pureblooded, and because I was so young, I assumed they didn't want me to act like that before I was old enough to understand why I should hate them. So here I was, fake forced to hate people who secretly I wanted nothing more then to be friends with, and friends with people I hated more then anything. Plus I was forced to believe in hating those of lesser blood then myself, when in all honesty, I couldn't find anything to hate. My number one reason was you. You, someone considered a Mudblood, besting every Pureblood in the school, even those before our time, yet I was hate you because you weren't good enough to have magical blood? Stupid beliefs if you ask me." he explained, shaking his head.

" Wait, wait wait. So your telling me, when you extended your hand to Harry in first year, it was out of friendship? Not because your father asked you too? And you just happened to call me Mudblood because I started fighting first? And you never believed any of the Pureblood beliefs Voldemort tried to instill in everyone? Ever?" Hermione asked.

" Yes, everything you just said is true. Every word of it."

" Merlin!" both girls breathed. Ginny sat there not knowing what to say, instead looked to Hermione with her brain to solve the issue. Unfortunatly, it seemed Hermione was at a loss for words as well.

The rest of the carriage ride was silent. They reached the restaurant 10 minutes later. Blaise hopped and held out his hand for Ginny, followed by Draco who did the same for Hermione. She held onto his arm, holding him back from entering the restaurant. He looked down at her, noticing she was fighting in war with her mind.

" Malfoy, I've been thinking, about everything you said. I was able to forgive your father for worse things, so I'm going to extend the same courtesy to you, although I'm going to offer one thing I didn't to him. I can't say I'm going to be able to forget everything you've done in the past, but I'm going to try my best too. And if your up for the challenge," she stopped and extended her hand. He didn't know what do to. He stared at her hand for a minute, thinking back to first year with Harry Potter and himself in the exact same position. Except, there weren't any harsh words exchanged between them, and she wasn't making fun of his friends. He thought for a moment, before he smiled and took her hand in his, shaking it softly. " I'm Hermione Jean Granger."

" Draco Lucius Malfoy"

" Friends?" she asked

" Friends!" he answered, and offered her his arm once again, walking into the restaurant.

" So you suggested the lobser huh?" Hermione laughed, sitting down in the chair Malfoy pulled out for her. He took the seat next to her, laughing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 " Bloody hell Harry, becoming a girl for a day would drive any man to drink!" said Ron, walking out of Zonko's Joke Shop. " How's about we head to The Three Broomsticks for a few? Maybe Ginny and Hermione will be there?" he asked, leading the way to the bar.

Harry just laughed, putting his arm around Luna's waist. " Your just hoping you'll run into dear Ms. Parkinson, and maybe she'll allow you to buy her that drink she so flatly turned you down for."

" Ahhh young love," Luna sighed, resting her head on Harry's shoulders. " It's the Crumpled Horned Snorklaks mating," she began but Ron interruted her.

" Yes yes, all well and good Luna. Why would you say that Harry? I'm simply missing them is all. This has nothing to do with Pansy!" Ron said, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

" Right Ron, that's why you haven't mentioned a word of Hermione or Ginny since the party, suggested we go to the place for drinks that every student visits in Hogsmeade knowing that we'll run into all three girls in there. And since when did we start calling Pansy by her first name?" Harry asked, a hint of humor in his voice.

" Well it does happen to be my name, Potter. Just usually spoken amongst people with more class then you." Pansy sneered, casually walking past them, pausing to glance over her shoulder to wink at Ron.

" Forgive me Parkinson. Didn't know we were confusing class for the common, everyday style of whore nowadays. Where was my manners?" Harry shot back.

Pansy spun around, " bastard!" she shouted.

" Slut!"

" WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON HERE?" Ron shouted, pointing to where Ginny, Hermione, Blaise and Draco sat, enjoying a few butterbeers and laughing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hermione wiped away a tear that was rolling down her face while she tried to catch her breath from laughing so hard. " So, she wanted you to not only wear her clothes, but prance around and dance for her too?"

Blaise took a drink of of his butterbeer and shrugged, " Yeah, so I went into her bathroom, and climbed out the window. I didn't know what else to do."

" And what about you Malfoy, any embarrassing yet hilarious sex stories you wish to share?" asked Ginny, coming back with four more butterbeers.

" I don't kiss and tell." he smiled, leaning back in his chair.

" No he doesn't.. I do it for him. Okay so there was this girl in a bar right? And she was asking him to......" Blaise started but Draco quieted him. They all looked to where he was pointing, seeing a seething Ron, confused Harry, shocked Pansy, and off in another world Luna looking right at them. Hermione stood and motioned to the four of them to come over.

" Hey Harry, Luna, Ron and Pansy? Ummm what are you guys doing here?" Hermione asked, shocked to see Parkinson amongst her friends, but she supposed she knew how they were feeling, her with Malfoy.

" I could ask you the same thing, being with Malfoy and Zabini." asked Ron, glaring at the Slytherin's.

" Okay, before things get way out of hand, why don't we get a bigger table, and everyone sit down. There's a few things we need to tell you guys." Ginny suggested, gathering her things and moving to the back of the bar where a bigger table was.

They all took their seats, and everyone was waiting for someone to begin explaining when Harry began.

" Well I would like to take this time to order a round of firewhiskey, seeing as we all might need it." he signaled the waitress and ordered the round, which magically appeared in front of them.

" Well somebody better start explaining what's going on, cause I sure don't know!" said Pansy, taking a gulp of her firewhiskey.

" Okay where to begin?" Ginny asked.

" How about at the beginning?" said Ron.

The girls began telling the rest the story, explaining how Blaise and Draco were Veela's, they were their mates, the meeting in Dumbledore's office and what they were doing at The Three Brromsticks. Harry, Luna and Pansy were taking this all in stride while Ron was just getting redder by the minute.

" I don't believe this. You two are Veela's and your telling me my best friend and younger sister are your mates? No, absoluetly not. There's no way I'm going to allow my best friend and sister to be with you two." He stood up and began walking over to Hermione and Ginny. He grabbed both their arms and hauled them to their feet, " while you two may have everyone else fooled, I'm not. Get your coats girls, we're leaving."

Harry glanced over at Blaise and Draco, noticing their eyes had turned black and they began standing up, growling quietly. " Ahh Ron, you might wanna sit back down and step away from the girls."

" Ron, get your hands off of us, we're not going anywhere." Ginny yelled, trying to pull her arm out of Ron's death grip, but failing.

" No, we're leaving right now. Get moving." he said, pushing both girls towards the door and grabbing their arms once more.

All anyone heard was a loud growl before both girls were whipped behind Blaise who stood in front, growling and baring his teeth, while Draco held Ron up against the wall, his feet dangling a few inchs from the ground. He had his hand wrapped around Ron's throat and was growling angrily, his eyes flashing.

" Believe what you want Weasley, but if I ever see you handle those girls like that again, even so much as lay an unwanted finger on them, I will tear you into a million pieces. Begining with whatever limb you touched them with. Do I make myself clear?" Draco asked, calm and quietly. All Ron could get out was a high pitched squeal, before Draco let him go, allowing him fall to the ground clutching his throat, trying to regain his breath. Harry came over and helped Ron to is seat, looking at him with an 'I told you so' look upon his face.

" Oh shut it Harry." Ron mumbled, rubbing his neck.

Blaise escorted the girls back to their seats, and sat in his while Draco was taking a few calming breaths, trying to regain composure. He sighed and took a seat next to Hermione, slinging his arm around the back of her chair.

" Well, I for one can now say I believe the story. And after that incredible display, I would find it hard to believe that you still don't Weasley." Pansy exclaimed, who had remained sitting in her seat the entire time.

" Thanks Parkinson. But yes, I do believe it now."

" Well I can't say I'm surprised." Luna said, everyone turning to look at her with weird expressions. " I've thought of Draco as rather effeminate. And Blaise, you are have always been thought of as pretty rather then the usual handsome and rugged."

" Well as exciting as being told I'm effeminate is, the four of us are going to continue our date. So see you all tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your night." laughed Draco, pulling out Hermione's chair and helping her with her cloak, Blaise doing the same with Ginny.

" Good night guys, see you tomorrow." waved Hermione, walking out of the bar, climbing into the carriage. Except this time, when Draco brushed against her while climbing in, she didn't blush. Instead she just smiled the biggest smile she had in the longest time.

" You alright mate? You look down. It wasn't because Lovegood called you effeminate was it?" laughed Blaise.

" No, and you shouldn't be feeling all high and mighty either, she thinks Potter is rugged and handsome, while she called you pretty," Blaise frowned at this, Draco continued. " But no, I was just expecting more of a reaction out of Potter when we told him of the situation we happen to be in, but nothing. Not a yell, not a curse, not even a bit of saliva being spit from his mouth. Nothing! Such a let down."

" I personally think he took it well, and surprisingly, I think he's not against the four of us dating. In fact, he might even approve a little bit. Even with the little scence with Ron, I think it went better then Ginny and I expected." Hermione said, happy it went well.

Draco just sighed and leaned his head against the back of the seat.

' So much for my silver lining.' he thought to himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 The moon was shinning brightly, reflecting beautifully off the Great Lake. Even the squid had decided to surface, sending ripples through it. Draco had shed his cloak and draped it over Hermione's shoulders. He had decided to tempt fate and place his arm around her shoulders as well. Well imagine his surprise when she leaned into his arm and rested her head against his chest. You could have knocked him over with a feather.

" Have you been enjoying the night so far Hermione?" he asked.

She raised her head off his chest and stared at him.

" What?" he asked

" You called me Hermione. You've never referred to me by my first name, ever. It's always been either my last name, a mean name, or Mudblood!" she said.

He cringed at that word, " Well I figured since we're friends now, and trying out this dating thing, the least we could do is call each other by our first names, don't you think?"

" I think that could be arranged...Draco. Merlin that sounds so weird." Hermione laughed, placing her head back on his chest. He came to stand behind her, placing his hands around her waist, resting his chin on her shoulder, staring out on the lake. He loved the way she laughed, it was infectious. It coursed through him like electricity, and he welcomed the jolt. It felt amazing.

" So, since we know little about each other, how about we play a little game where we ask anything, and the other has to answer honestly, no matter what. That should help." she suggested. Pulling him down, they remained in the same position, but sitting on the grass, leaning back against a tree.

" I think that's fair, though if one of us doesn't want to answer a question, they may pass, but only once."

" Fair enough."

" So where did you grow up?" Draco started.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 " So your saying, you've always been attracted to me, just never did anything because you thought I was too good for you?" Ginny asked, walking along the shore. Her hand entwined with Blaise's.

" Well yeah, how could a man ever think he was good enough for you Ginny?"

" Well I am pretty damn amazing, not gonna lie." she laughed.

" That you are." Blaise whispered. Ginny spun around and stared into his violet eyes, she sighed and shook her head, and laughed.

" What's the matter Red?"

" You have no idea how many times I have imagined, even dreamed about doing this. How long I have wanted to do this," and she stood up on her tip toes and pressed her lips against his. His body shivered at the touch, and he pressed her closer into him. He melted into her, and wrapped his arms around her waist, lifting her up in the air. She squealed with delight, and wrapped her arms around his neck while he spun her around. She nibbled lightly on his lower lip, and he moaned in pleasure. He ran his tongue along her lower lip, asking for entrance to which she gave willingly. He lightly ran his along hers, and before he knew it, she began fighting back with hers. The kiss began heating up and their tongues battled for dominace. She ran her fingers through his hair, while he ran his up the sides of her body. She brought her hands to his chest and began unbuttoning his shirt, almost ripping the buttons off the offending clothing. She placed her hands inside and rubbed, sending heat scorching through his skin. He emmitted a deep growl and began sliding off the straps of her sundress, his tongue tracing her the sensitive areas on her neck. She moaned, tilting her head back, lowering her hands to lightly dance underneath the waistband of his trousers. She loved the way he felt, so smooth, so warm. As she lightly pulled him down on to the ground, he placed himself gently between her, lifting her dress. He placed his hand on her leg and slowly began running it up the inside of her thigh. Just then, his gums started tingling, and he knew his canines were begining to grow, his body feeling the need to mark her. He pulled his hand back, and moved off of Ginny. He stood with his back to her, trying to calm down. Ginny stood up and placed her hand on Blaise's shoulder, turning him around.

" What's wrong Blaise? Did I do something wrong?" she asked. He shook his head, unable to answer, not wanting to show his canines.

" Talk to me, tell me what's wrong. I thought you were enjoying yourself."

He opened his mouth, showing his fangs. Ginny gasped and took a step back. "Because I haven't marked you yet, anytime we become close, or physical I will get these. Merlin this is so embarrassing." Blaise muttered, lowering his head.

" No offense Blaise, but someone sees another with fangs at night, first impression is 'Eeek vampire, grab the crosses, holy water and stake the thing!' so forgive my reaction. But don't ever hide yourself from me. I think your beautiful the way you are, weither you have fangs at the moment or not." Ginny said softly, placing her hand under his chin and lifting it up. He smiled a little smile, the tips of his fangs showing, and she smiled. She placed a kiss on his cheek, and grabbed his hand.

" Come on, let's go find Hermione and Malfoy. Give each of us a chance to cool down, lord knows I need it." she shyly said.

" I know, I can smell it."

" What? You can smell what?"

" Ahhh, nevermind, come on lets go find Hermione and Draco."

" No no no, what did you mean you could smell it?"

Blaise sighed, he was already embarrassed about his fangs, now he had to explain this to her as well. What next, his clothes vanish?

" Veela's have heightened sense of smell, espically when it comes to their mates. I can tell weither you brushed your teeth, put on perfume, when your aroused...." he trailed off, a light blush gracing his cheeks.

" Well so can anyone else if they stand close to me. So how's that any different?"

" I could smell that waiting outside the portrait, before you stepped out of the shower," Ginny gave him a weird look, " We also have stronger hearing as well, I can hear what your doing without having to be in the same room, but I have to focus extremely hard."

" Right, well that's going to take some time to get used to. But that means it's just more to love I guess, well let's get going."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Draco was listening to her tell some ridiculous story about how she spent an entire summer in something called a cast, having broken her arm riding a bicycle.

" And you spent 6 weeks with broken bones? How did you not go insane from the pain?" Draco asked, shocked she survived that ordeal.

" Well Muggle's don't have bone-growing potions Draco, they don't use magic remember?" she giggled.

Draco just laughed along with her, hugging her tight, not wanting to let go. Suddenly, she pulled away and spun around to face him. " Okay, last question, because it's getting close to curfew. When you kissed me on the train, was it because you knew I was your mate?"

" Not at all, I had no idea Veela blood even ran in my family, let alone that I may have been one. When I kissed you on the Hogwart's Express, there was a little voice inside my head repeating phrases like 'mine', and then I got hit with your scent, but that just added to the want. I wanted you when you first came into the Head's compartment with that ladylike entrance." he laughed at the memory. She laughed as well. " Now your last question. Would you have given me a chance to take you out on a date if you weren't my mate and my life wasn't in your hands?"

" In all honesty, probably not. But thats because I had no idea you weren't yourself. If I had of known you were this person, I would have been one of those girls gushing over you constantly, rather then loathing the ground you walked on." she replied truthfully.

" Well then, I'm glad that this has happened."

" Why would you say that?"

" Because, not only has this allowed me to be myself, but it also brought me to you."

At that moment, he should have seized his opportunity and kissed her. He had said everything that was in his heart, he had been truthful, he had been honest. And here she was, fully swooned, fully romanced just asking to be kissed with her slightly parted mouth. Her full lips begging for him to taste, to violate with his own, and all he could do was sigh. He had heard Blaise and Ginny approaching, coming to get them to walk back to the Head's dorm together. Well he could wait, he would have her, all in good time.

" Come on Draco, time to get our dates back home before curfew." Blaise yelled, waiting for the two to join them. Draco grabbed Hermione's hand, placed a kiss on it and entwined it with his own. Hermione sighed as well, rested her head against his shoulder and walked up to meet their friends.

" Did you two have a good time?" asked Ginny, noticing Hermione's flushed face.

" It was perfect!" was all she could say.

Ginny smiled and looked at Blaise. He grinned down at her. It had really been a perfect night. They all walked in silence until they reached the portrait. They each said goodnight and the boys held the door open while both girls walked through. The girls headed straight for Hermione's room, while the boys stayed in the common room.

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" So you saw his fangs? What did they look like? Did they look like their going to hurt?" Hermione asked, interested in learning all she could about Veela's.

" Yeah, they were like normal fangs I suppose, white and gleaming. At first I nearly jumped out of my skin, thinking he was a vampire and everything, but then when he explained what was happening, I relaxed. If anyone could pull off a set of fangs, it was him. Merlin Hermione, if it was possible, I think he was even more handsome." Ginny explained. " And anything that was built to pierce your skin is gonna hurt. But we're expecting it to, so at least it won't come as a shock. How was your walk?"

Hermione just sighed, " You know I have never done anything more then kiss a boy before, and those kisses weren't anything to write home about either, no offence to your brother, but Ginny, if you hadn't had come when you did, I swear I would have not only let him mark me right there, I would have slept with him as well. How does he do it? Make me break down all my walls, trust him, and have me panting like a dog in heat?"

" I think thats called love Mione. Because I'm right where you are. Had he not pulled away when he did, I would have been marked, and had slept with Blaise as well. Your not the only one going through this, I'm feeling everything you are."

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In the common room both Veela's were focusing really hard, hearing every word. Both stared wide eyed at each other, neither believing what they were hearing. They not only could have both marked their mates tonight, but could have also gotten some from them too?

Only Blaise spoke, " No doubt about it mate, their going to be the death of us."

But Draco wasn't so sure. With the information he had just overheard, he was already setting a plan in motion. He only needed to work out all the kinks, and if everything went according to plan, both boys would mark their mates by next week.


 


Chapter 8: Drunken Antics
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Hogwarts was buzzing with rumors. A few students had seen the incident at The Three Broomsticks, and by morning the entire school had heard. The next days following it, the rumors began to change. They had started with Draco being some other worldly creature which explained the show of superhuman strength, to Blaise and Draco putting some sort of love spell on Hermione and Ginny which was the reason they were on dates with the two Slytherins. There wasn't anywhere the girls could go without being bothered by some younger student asking if the rumors were true. It was beginning to get on everyone's nerves. Even during dinner four nights later, the buzzing hadn't calmed down. The four Gryffindors were sitting together at their table, eating and enduring the glances they were receiving from other students. Harry was enjoying himself.

" I am so happy that for once, the glances and whispered rumors, aren't about me. Is this how it feels to be on the other side of the field? Feels pretty good I must say." he said, laughing and taking a bite of his chicken leg.

Hermione and Ginny both glared at Harry. Ginny flicked her wand and sent a light stinging hex at Harry's bottom, which he jumped at, spilling his pumpkin juice all over himself and his food. He still couldn't stop laughing, drying himself off.

 " I have been enduring rumors, whispering and glances for 7 years, you guys are already breaking after four days. Sorry for finding the humor behind all of this."

" Yes, but your rumors were a little different then ours, Harry!" mumbled Ginny.

" Yeah your only under a love spell and at worst your virtue might not be intact anymore because of it. I was considered the killer of Muggleborns in 2nd year, was the reason Dementors came to Hogwarts 3rd year, 4th year I somehow got myself in the Triwizard Tournament and lied about Voldemort killing Cedric, 5th year I was called a liar and people were worried I was losing my mind until the Department of Mysteries brought out the truth Voldemort was back. Oh and lets not forget 6th year, with Death Eaters entering the school and having to embark on the Horcrux hunt, nearly causing Dumbledore's and my death. But I got over it. I got though it, because I had friends like you guys. It will end, maybe not today or tomorrow, but I promise you, it will end." he said, grabbing another plate and putting new food on it.

 Hermione just sighed and layed her head in her crossed arms. In retrospect, the rumors going around about Harry were indeed alot worse then the one's going around about her and Ginny. She began thinking about how right he was. After eveything he had been through, he was still here, still standing strong. She had friends who loved her, who cared deeply for her, maybe she could get through this. She stood up and started gathering her things, wanting to make a trip to the library. She wanted to not only brush up on her knowledge on Veela's, but wanted to learn more about the marking ceremony. Never having done anything more then a simple kiss with a boy, this had her terrified. She waved goodbye to her friends, politely excusing herself saying she was going to the library and walked out of The Great Hall.

" Hermione, wait up." Ginny yelled, rushing to her side. " Do you mind if I come as well. I want to research more on Veela's. I promise I won't be in your way."

" No thats fine Gin, that's what I was going to do there as well. After what happened these past couple of days, I've suddenly realized I don't know Veela's as much as I thought I did." Hermione laughed.

They continued walking along in silence, both thinking. Ginny finally broke the silence. " What did you think about what Harry said back at dinner?"

" I think he's right. He's been thought of to be crazy, a liar, a killer even. And he got through it with the love and support of us, always having his back. He went through it for years. Yet here the two of us are, acting like immature kids because for 4 days people have been saying mean things about us. I think we need to get over it, start standing up and start setting the student body straight, instead of moaning and graoning 'oh poor me' all the time." Hermione said, opening the library doors.

" I agree. We haven't seen Malfoy or Blaise acting like we have. So, where do we begin our search?"

" Do what I do when I can't find what I'm looking for. Ask!"

" Brillant deduction Granger. Couldn't have come up with a better idea myself." laughed Pansy coming up behind the girls.

" What do you want Parkinson. We're really in no mood to have a duel, espically in the library." asked Ginny, trying to keep her anger in check.

" No, and I have no want for a fight either. I was doing some thinking lately, and have come to a decision. How about we take a seat somewhere and talk?"

They made their way to the furthest table in the back, so they wouldn't be bothered by anyone. Hermione dropped her bag beside her chair and sat down beside Ginny, while Pansy took a seat on the other side of the table, crossing her legs and placing her hands on the table.

" Okay, Parkinson, talk." Ginny said, staring at the other girl.

" Well first off, how about we drop the last names and start calling each other by our first names? That might be a good place to start." Pansy replied, staring back at the redhead.

" I think we could do that Pansy. Might be a little weird, but we could defiantly do that. Now what did you want to talk about?" Hermione asked, placing her hand on Ginny's arm, getting her to calm down.

" About you two being with Blaise and Draco. Now I know we have never been friends, and I can't say we ever would be either if this hadn't come about, but I'm close with both boys and you two being their mates, I'm sure we're going to be seeing each other often and I'd rather it not be hostile everytime. So I figured, instead of asking to forgive and forget, which is a crazy notion seeing as we have alot to forgive and forget, we could just start from this moment on, trying to be civil and possibly sometime in the future we may even become more like friends." she suggested, leaning back in her chair, opening up the floor to either Hermione or Ginny to say something.

" Now when you say your close to both boys, what exactly do you mean?" asked Ginny.

" I knew this was going to come up, so before we begin being civil, might as well get everything out in the open. My family and the Zabini's along with the Malfoy's have been close friends for as long as I can remember. The three of us grew up together, so granted we were close friends. I have never done anything with Blaise in my entire life, it was just to weird to think of him that way. I considered him my brother, but Draco on the other hand, since first year I was in love with him. Our families were even talking about the two of us getting married, but that was before the fall of Voldemort. And yes, Draco and I have been together, but only twice. Once was in 4th year because we were both curious, and once again during an extremely drunken night. But that's it. We were dating from 2nd year to 4th. But afterwards, we both realized that there was nothing between us, and having sex was the worst mistake either of us ever made. I consider Draco one of my best friends, same with Blaise, and before you ask, no, I have no intention of wanting to get back with Draco. In fact, I happen to have my eye on someone else, someone I have liked since 5th year." Pansy explained, hoping getting everything out in the open would help move things along.

" So it is true, you and Malfoy had slept together. I knew it, Lavender owes me two galleons." Ginny smacked the table with the palm of her hand, making a mental note to collect from Lavender later on.

" So what do you say guys? To being civil with each other, maybe working towards having a friendship?" Pansy asked, trying to get back on track.

" I don't think I see any harm trying. How about we have a girls night out? Go to Hogsmeade, have some drinks, sleepover in the Head's dorm, stay up all night gossiping and what not? What do you think?" Hermione suggested, thinking it might help the friendship thing along.

" Oh, I'm defiantly in. Haven't had a decent girl's night in a long time." agreed Ginny, clapping her hands together excitedly.

" I've always wondered what the Head dorms looked like, I'm in. Friday night sound good?" suggested Pansy.

" That sounds good. I'll invite Luna as well, she's a good friend of ours, and if your willing to be our friend Pansy, your gonna have to be hers as well. You up for it?" Hermione asked, fearful of Pansy's dislike for the looney Ravenclaw.

" She's the one dating Potter right, the fuzzy one?" Hermione nodded her head, " I don't have a problem with that, might even be some fun having her around." Pansy sad, standing up and shoving her chair back in the table. " I'll meet you guys at the Great Hall say around 6pm?"

" We'll see you there. I'm actually kinda excited about this. Should be alot of fun." stated Ginny.

" Ginny, if there's one thing Slytherin's can do right, is have a good time. See you then." Pansy turned and walked out of the library.

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" Your having a what?" asked Blaise, sitting in the common room, on the couch, playing a game of exploding snap with Draco.

" A girl's night. We're going to Hogsmeade for some drinks, maybe do some shopping, then we're coming back here and spending the night in Hermione's room. I'm giving you guys a fair warning, there will be giggling, screaming, and tons of girly things going on. So unless you want a makeover, and shoved into girls clothing, I suggest you keep your distance." Ginny laughed, taking a seat in one of the armchairs, slinging her feet over one of the arms. She took out one of the books she got from the library and began to read.

" Whatcha reading Red?" wondered Blaise, glancing over at her.

" Just brushing up on my Veela reading. Trying to find out how we can be close without those pearly white fangs of yours coming out until we're ready." she said slyly, turning a page. Draco blanched. He immediatly stood up, and looked around for any excuse to leave the awkward situation.

" I'm gonna go take a hot bath, I suddenly feel the need to leave the room." Draco mumbled, wishing the redhead would learn to keep things to herself. He walked into his room and closed the door behind him. He flopped onto his back on the bed, covering his face with his hands. With this 'girls night' all his plans for being with Hermione went right out the window. He needed to come up with something different, and he needed to quick. He started gathering his toothbrush, shampoo and towel as he stripped out of his clothing, only leaving his boxers on. He was too caught up in thinking of new ideas of how to get Hermione alone, he didn't notice the bathroom light on.

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 " Ahhhhh," Hermione moaned as she slipped into the steaming hot bathtub, feeling her tense muscles relax as the aroma of vanilla and strawberries from the bubblebath surrounded the room, fogging up the mirrors. She dipped her head under the water, staying there until her lungs felt ready to explode. She sat up, resting her back against the cool marble bathtub and reached for the library book she signed out earlier. She planned on getting some reading done before anything more happened between her and Draco. She knew the basics of course, like what and who a Veela was, but she didn't know much regarding the marking ritual. She wasn't a prude, she knew it was regarded as a sexual encounter between a Veela and it's mate, but she didn't see the significance of dwelling any deeper into it. But that wasn't the reason she signed out this particular book. She selected How To Be A Mate, Viewpoints From The Mates Of Veela's, to help get a better understanding of her own feelings. She didn't know why she was feeling the way she was, and maybe reading about what other mates had been through might help.

She flipped open the book, looking down the index for the chapter she was most interested in first, selecting the marking ritual.

" I was scared, of course, who wouldn't be?"
 

Evangeline Vesquel, found out she was a mate of a newly matured Veela at the young age of fifteen. Born to poverty, worked as a servant from the moment she could walk, she soon found herself living in the life of luxury when she became the mate of a Veela Prince. Here she explains what took place during the marking ritual and what she went through.

" I had never even talked to a male before. I was a servant, only to speak when spoken to, and other times to remain invisible. I came from nothing, and was treated as such, so I was completly shocked when The Prince walked into the household, claiming me as his mate."

" When he told me what he was, and who I was to him, I was floored. So many questions were going through my head. What does he expect from me? What does it mean to be a mate to a magical creature? How am I going to do this without causing death? So many questions. After finally excepting his courting, and a few disaster dates, I was informed about the marking. I was frightened. I was scared, and I was an emotional mess. I had never been with a man let alone laid in ones bed with him. I was expected to forfeit everything I had worked for to save about myself for the life of someone I barely knew."

Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's, most female servants were subjected to sharing the bed of their male employers. Not willing to comply usually resulted in severe beatings and in a few extreme cases, death. Evangeline was one of the few lucky women who hadn't been brought to bed, keeping her virtue in tact. Most female servants were raped by their employers as young as 13, resulting in unwanted births.

" I was way to young to be a mother, and that was what I thought was expected of me. The night it happened, nothing went right. We fought about everything we talked about, I ripped the dress he had bought for me, and I nearly impaled him with my dinner fork. Yet after dinner and wine by the fireplace, we discussed the marking. I allowed him to take me upstairs and sat beside him on his bed. He started doing things like playing with my hair, rubbing my arms and legs, trying anything to relax me. I was shaking, and I'm sure at some point I was crying, but something inside told me this was right. That I needed to get over this fear and let him mark me. My hands were shaking as I undid my dress, allowing it to fall to the floor, bearing my body to another person for the first time since I was in diapers. He asked me to come to the bed and lay down, but I tripped over my dress and fell flat on my face in front of him. My face was hot from embarrassment, but I only rolled over and began laughing. Awhile later I heard him laughing, and I was calm. The marking itself did hurt, but it only lasted for about a minute. Afterwards, everything was amazing

According to studies and information from other mates, as soon as one is marked from their Veela, one is brought to immediate sexual euphorism. It is believed to be said that the bite from a mature Veela is extremly arousing and intoxicating.

" I was returning to the present, trying very hard to catch my breath when I suddenly felt hot. It felt like my blood was boiling, and I was about to catch on fire any second. My skin was burning and tingling and I felt like I was about to explode. I screamed as I blacked out. I later found out that he had injected me with some sort of Veela magic, that not only strenghtens the bond between the Veela and their mate, but also intensifies any magic that the mate already had or gives a magical quality to those without."

Many have said being injected with Veela vemon causes heating up of the body. That they experience something close to a fever and the pain factor of being bitten can range from little to no pain to the worst pain the person has experienced. It all tends to depend on the person being bitten.

" We didn't consumate the marking that night, my Veela knew it was asking to much from me, but after that night I felt closer to him then I have with anyone in my entire life. I found myself more relaxed around him and I began to have loving feelings for him. At first I thought it was from the vemon, that it was some sort of magic forcing me to love him, but the vemon doesn't do that. It doesn't force one to fall for another, it just strenghtens the bond that was already there no matter how small it was to begin with. Our love has flourished since that night. We rarely fight, we hardly argue. We live for one another."

" If I had anything to say to a newly informed mate reading this trying to figure out what their feeling, I don't think anything I could say would help. Love is strange, scary, and exciting. Nothing is planned, it's all up in the air. Your scared, you should be. You've got questions, that's good, but you doubt yourself, you doubt your Veela, and I can promise you one thing. It will not turn out good. Everyone has different feelings and thoughts and the experience of one will not be the experience of another. Trust yourself, and everything will turn out alright."

 " That was no bloody help. Arggg!" Hermione yelled, throwing her book to the other side of the bathroom. She sank into the bathtub once again, screaming underwater, watching the bubbles travel to the surface. She didn't hear the bathroom door open.

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 Draco noticed the steam when he came in, but shrugged it off, thinking maybe Hermione had just finished having a shower and this was leftover from it. He glanced around the bathroom and didn't see anyone in it, so he dropped the towel from around his waist, and made his way over to the bathtub. It was still full, ' maybe she had forgotten to empty it before she left', he thought. He was about to dive in when Hermione surfaced, gasping for breath. He nearly jumped out of his skin and dove to find his discarded towel, resulting in him slipping on a puddle of water, his feet flying up in the air from underneath him. His back made a loud smack as he landed on the floor, causing Hermione to whip her head around.

" MALFOY, GET OUT!" she screamed, trying to cover herself, but failing miserably. Draco's face burnt red, as he tried to look anywhere else but at her.

" I'm..I'm ahhh sorry, I'll just...uhhh, you know, would you like..." he stuttered, his eyes roaming her body. He felt his mouth begin to tingle and couldn't help it, he quickly grabbed a towel from the rack and threw it at Hermione more harder then he wanted. He just really needed her to cover up, or he was going to have a meltdown. He slapped his hand over his mouth and shut his eyes tight, trying to get them to back to normal. He grabbed his own towel off the floor, wrapping it back aound his waist.

Hermione stepped out of the bathtub, watching Draco intently. She saw him shut his eyes and cover his mouth and knew something was wrong. She tapped him on the shoulder.

" Draco what's wrong? Are you okay? It's alright, it was a mistake, just next time try knocking." She tried to comfort him, but it wasn't helping.

He spun around and she gasped. His eyes were completly black, and he was panting heavily, showing off his perfectly white fangs, gleaming in the light. She took a step back, clutching her towel closer to her body. He frowned, reaching his hand out to her.

" Please, Hermione, if I could ask anything right now, please don't be afraid of me." He looked at her soaking wet towel, clinging to her curves, leaving very little to the imagination. " I won't hurt you, I promise. I just can't seem..." he trailed off, not knowing what to say.

" Draco, it's alright. I'm not scared, just shocked is all. Ginny told me about the fangs, but I have never seen some up close before. What caused this to happen?" she asked, letting go of her grip on her towel a little.

" What do think happened? Your naked, wet and within touching distance. You haven't been marked Hermione, so everytime I see you in anything less then the school uniform, though you do make it look rather fetching, this is going to happen. I'm sorry....if that helps any." he said, running his fingers through his hair.

Hermione was flabbergasted. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. In all her years in Hogwart's, boys never looked at her. Harry and Ron considered her one of the boys, and she was treated as such. She never considered herself anything special, there was defiantly alot better looking girls out there then her. There was no possible way she even ranked on the 'Good Looking Girls List Of Hogwarts' every boy in school seemed to have. Yet here she was, standing in only a towel with Hogwart's most wanted male, Draco Malfoy, and he was having a hard time controling himself because he wanted her. She pinched herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming, but stopped herself. Why would she be dreaming about Draco Malfoy anyway? Merlin help her, she was losing her mind.

" It's alright Draco, I understand... I think. But we need to talk about this whole marking thing though."

" Please, I don't think I can take it. Just thinking about it might just push me over the edge, and I'm just barely hanging on with my sanity here." he moaned, his gums tingling more.

" All I want to say is, I'm not ready at this moment, but I am going to say this. I accept you as my mate Draco and I your's. I want this Draco, I really do, but we need to take it at my own pace here. I'm not as sexally experienced as you, well actually I'm not.." she babbled, wishing she could just shut up.

When she admitted she accepted herself as his mate and him as hers, his fangs retracted back inside his gums and his body fully relaxed. He took a step towards her and rubbed her arms with his hands.

" I appreciate your acceptance love. You don't know what it means to me to hear that." he said, turning around, heading for his door. As he was about to close his door, he poked his head back in and said, " And by the way Hermione, I knew you were a virgin. That's what I love most about you. Plus it's a boost to my evil demeanor that I'm going to be the one to defile the Gryffindor Princess." She threw a bar of soap at him as he laughed.

" Watch yourself Malfoy, or you might just piss me off," she glared at him, attempting the most mean face she could muster.

" The gods themselves do tremble Hermione," he laughed again, closing the door behind him.

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 Friday night found Hermione, Ginny and Luna waiting in front of The Great Hall, standing around, waiting for Pansy to arrive.

" You know, it has to be written somewhere that Slytherin's and Gryffindor's aren't allowed to be friends." Pansy replied, coming to stand with the three girls.

" Imagine the look on Salazarr's face if he knew you, a pureblood, were conversing with and spending the night with a blood traitor and a mudblood." joked Hermione.

" He would probably admit himself to St. Mungo's for physic testing. Well who's ready for some drinks at The Three Broomsticks?" asked Ginny, opening the doors, beginning the walk to Hogsmeade.

" I wonder what the guys are doing tonight?" asked Hermione, tightening her cloak, the chill September air hitting her.

" Harry said they were hanging out in the Head dorms. Draco and Blaise asked him and Ron over for some guy time." replied Luna.

" I never thought I would see the day when Potter and Draco would become friends. I think I need St. Mungo's right about now!" laughed Pansy, as the girls made their way to the bar.

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 " Alright Malfoy, what did you invite us here for?" asked Harry, cleaning his glasses.

" I figured since our girls are out together getting to know one another, maybe we could do the same. We're going to be seeing alot of each other in the future, so why not try to get along? For the girls." suggested Draco, setting out four glasses. Blaise followed behind him, carrying a bottle of Firewhiskey.

" How did you get alcohol in the school? Isn't it forbidden?" asked Ron.

" Well being Head Boy has it's advantages. One of them being knowing when the teacher's aren't around to be able to smuggle the bottle in." Draco poured four glasses and handed them to Harry, Ron, and Blaise. He took a sip of his own and sat down on the couch beside Blaise.

" So how do you purpose we go about this whole getting better aquianted business?" asked Harry, setting his half full glass down on the coffee table.

" Well I thought first we would sit around, holding hands, sharing stories about tragic events that took place in our lives, followed by hugs and maybe a makeout session before we retire to our bedrooms for some well needed spooning. What do you think Potter, we're going to get plastered and play a manly game of truth or dare. You game?" said Draco sarcastically, putting the bottle of Firewhiskey on the coffeetable.

" Hold on, how is truth or dare a manly game? Isn't that a game girls play?" asked Ron, wrinkling his nose.

" Easy Weasley, the way we play is different. Instead of one person asking another to choose between truth or dare, One person either picks truth or dare and everyone has to do it. If it's truth, the person who asks selects the question and we all have to answer the question. If you choose not to answer, you do a shot, or if you don't tell the truth you do a shot. If the person chooses dare, everyone has to do it. If you don't, you do a shot, or if you don't complete the dare, you do a shot. Everyone understand?" answered Blaise, looking around at everyone, who nodded. " Alright let's get started, I'll go first. Draco you want to ask me?"

" Sure, okay Blaise truth or dare?"

" We'll start easy, truth."

" Okay, everyone pour their glass full, we all have to answer truthfully, or we drink. Your choice. Who's the first person you ever had sex with?"

" Ugh, you just had to bring that up..... Milicent Bulstrode." Blaise muttered, fake vomiting.

Harry and Ron both burst out laughing, " I think that alone deserves a drink." said Harry, wiping a tear from his eye.

" Here here Potter," laughed Draco cheersing the guys. After everyone took a shot, eyes turned to Harry to answer his question.

" Luna was my first." he answered.

" Pansy Parkinson!" answered Draco.

" I think everyone knew that one Malfoy!" laughed Harry, which earned a glare from Draco.

While everyone was waiting to hear Ron's answer, he instead grabbed his glass and took a huge shot.

" Oh come on Weasley, it couldn't be that bad as Bulstrode." said Blaise, trying to coax the answer from him, wanting to know who it was.

" No, it's not as bad as that. I just don't want to answer. That was the rule wasn't it? I took my shot, let's move on! Malfoy your next!" Ron replied, face red.

" Fine by me, Weasley. Dare."

Ron took a minute to think about something to make the ferret do that would shut his mouth. Suddenly an idea popped into his head. " Okay before I give you your dare, I have a question. If it's your dare and you decide not to do it, do the rest of us have to do it even though you didn't?"

" Yes, everyone has to do it, or take a shot. Now what's my dare?"

" You have to take a swim in the Great Lake."

" Wow, such a incredible dare, how am I going to manage this?" replied Draco, his tone dripping with sarcasm.

" Naked!"

Everyone's eyes went wide with shock as Draco sneered and began heading towards the portrait, the boys following behind.

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 " I didn't think it was as late as it is. I think I lost time between the fourth and fifth shot," slurred Luna, walking a little wobbly.

" Oh yes, I forgot how time consuming a trip to la-la land can be." laughed Pansy, holding onto Ginny's shoulder for support, while her other hand carried a smuggled a bottle of Firewhiskey.

" Pansy, you shouldn't have gotten that bottle, we're going to get in trouble." whispered Hermione, trying to regain some sobriety.

" Oh, get your knickers out whatever twist you got them in Hermione. It's not like we're the first people to ever try to sneak liqour in school. Trust me when I say, if your going to be with Draco, wait what was that?"

Off in the distance, the girls could just make out four silhouettes sprinting across the field towards The Great Lake. One of the shadows seemed to be hopping on one foot, attempting to rid themselves of something from it. The girls became suspicious and began following the shadows.

" Wait, we don't know who it is, we should just continue to our room." whispered Hermione, halting in her tracks.

" Mione, your Head Girl, it's your job to catch people out after curfew. Now come on!" urged Ginny, tugging on Hermione's sleeve, dragging her unwillingly towards the bushes, close to The Great Lake.

" Merlin, would you look at that!" Pansy exclaimed, ducking behind the bush, pushing some aside making a little hole to peek from.

The four girls gasped as the sight of Draco, Blaise, Harry and Ron jumped into the lake, stark naked. Hermione covered her eyes with her hands and turned away.

" I don't think spying on them is appropriate."

" Come on Hermione, no time to be a prude now." whispered Pansy, pulling her down beside her and prying her hands away from her eyes. Hermione couldn't help but stare as Draco emerged from the water and ran his hands through his hair. The water on his chest and shoulders glistened in the moonlight, making him appear as though he was glowing. Hermione soon felt her skin growing flush and she began fanning herself with her hand. The boys were splashing each other, before a gust of wind had them running towards the girls, in an attempt to gather their clothing. They were coming up fast when Hermione took a step back, crashing into Ginny, who fell into Luna who let out a shriek as they tumbled to the ground. The boys heads shot up, looking for the source of the sound when Pansy just stood up, hands on hips.

" Well if your going to run around and play in the lake naked, don't be surprised if someone watches." she shouted at them, and turned around and walked back to Hogwarts, shaking her head.

Draco started at Hermione, watching she looked him up and down. She came to stop at his face, which held a proud grin, knowing she was enjoying the view. She made a face at him and followed Pansy. Luna winked at Harry and skipped after her, while Ginny just shrugged her shoulders and walked away. They were at the front doors when Pansy turned around and cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted, " By the way Weasley, this time, I did like what I saw!" and walked inside, the three other girls laughing as Ron beamed with pride.

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 " Did you see Blaise? Merlin, he's one piece of gorgeous man flesh." slurred Ginny, siping from the bottle of Firewhiskey, handing it off to Pansy.

" Have to admit, he is handsome. If you weren't his mate, I wouldn't mind having a romp in his bed with him." exclaimed Pansy, who handed the bottle to Hermione.

" Jeez Pansy, no need to be so blunt." Hermione said, swallowing her mouthful and giving the bottle to Luna.

" Oh I don't think theres any need to be worried. She fancies your brother Ron anyways Ginny. Oh the percleps are defiantly in mating season." Luna said, in her sing song voice.

" What was that Luna?" asked Hermione.

" Percleps, their these invisible flying bugs, close to flies, that during mating season cause.." Hermione cut her off, waving her hand in the air.

" No, no no, that thing about Pansy and Ron?"

" Oh that. Pansy likes Ron, and from what I can tell, she's liked him since fifth year am I right Pansy? Hasn't anyone else noticed how she stopped being mean with him and started using flirt fighting. It's been in front of everyone's noses all this time and I'm the only one who's noticed?" she shrugged, and everyone turned to look at Pansy.

" Well, I think I've finally figured ou why you were placed in Ravenclaw, Lovegood. But yes it's true, since fifth year. Shocking no one else noticed this, I'm not exactly known for my secrecy when it comes to my liking someone."

" Merlin!" Ginny and Hermione exclaimed, looking at each other.

" But enough about me, what about Hermione and Draco. I couldn't have been the only one who felt the heat between them. I think our dear little Hermione here is in love." Pansy laughed, polishing off the last bit of Firewhiskey left in the bottle.

" Not true, I'll admit he's good looking, and I may have a tiny crush on him, doesn't mean I'm in love with him. So I've had a few dreams about him, maybe thought about him a few times during class or maybe had one teeny tiny sexual fantasy about him, that doesn't even begin to amount to love." huffed Hermione, attempting to stand but plopped back down on her behind. Sitting really was doing wonders right now.

" No sweetie, in reality, we call all those things infatuation, which in my experience tends to lead to love... eventually." laughed Pansy, throwing a pillow at Hermione.

After letting Pansy's information sink in, Hermione grabbed the pillow, placed it over her head and screamed a deafening scream into it.

" Oh it's not so bad, you could have fallen for an ogreish brute. Think of the beautiful babies you two will have. Ahhhh," sighed Luna, clearly not grasping the situation.

" Get over yourself Mione, sure he's a pain in the ass, but what guy isn't every now and then? You guys are going to fight and argue, but I've always thought that deep down inside of you, you've kinda had a sick, twisted liking to fighting with Malfoy. He's pretty much the only person in Hogwart's, except Dumbledore, who could keep up with your witty banter, but I don't see Dumbledore as the arguing type." explained Ginny, walking out of the bathroom having changed into her pj's.

" Gotta agree with Gin on this one Hermione. I've always thought there was something between you and Draco. Even when I was dating him I thought that. Enemies fight, but not like you two. Draco and Potter didn't fight and argue as often as you two did and they've come close to blows a few times. Speaking of Potter, don't mean to offend you Lovegood, but he's turned into quite the good looking boy, wouldn't mind sampling that!" Pansy laughed.

" PANSY!" The three girls shrieked and began whomping each other with their pillows.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 " They were plastered, I mean completly drunk! Did you see the way they were eyeballing us? I felt all naked and exposed." shuddered Ron, entering the Head's room.

" We were naked Weasley." laughed Blaise, coming to sit on the couch, Potter planting, or rather falling, beside him.

" Now that was defiantly interesting. I can now cross off skinny dipping in The Great Lake, with Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini in the middle of the night drunk, while getting spied on and caught by my girlfriend, two best friends and Pansy Parkinson off my list of things to do before I die." Harry joked, taking his index finger and crossing off an imaginary list in the air.

" I can honestly say I have never done that before. Great dare Weasley, you showed some Slytherin potential. I think you would have done well in my house." sneered Draco, listening intently to the screams coming from Hermione's bedroom.

" Your hearing it to huh?" asked Blaise, knowing full well his Veela friend was listening for his mate.

" Hearing what? All I hear is muffled noises." stated Harry, listening harder.

" Veela's have a heightened sense of hearing. Blaise and I can hear everything that's going on in Hermione's room, but in order to do that we have to focus really hard." explained Draco.

" We also have stronger taste, smell and eyesight." whispered Blaise, adding to Draco's explaination.

" Well that's not the least bit creepy, is it Harry?" laughed Ron.

All of a sudden, Hermione's door burst open and out flew Hermione with warts on her face and Ginny with bright purple hair, both in their underwear, running fast into Draco's room, followed closely by Pansy with snakes for hair and Luna, another tragic victim of Ginny's famous Bat Boogey Hex, both in their underwear.

" Come here you little brainiac know-it-all, I'm gonna hex you good." laughed Pansy, sending harmless hexes towards Hermione who dodged them easily.

" You little redheaded she-devil, I'll get you for that," shouted Luna who skipped dreamily after Ginny. The four girls slammed Draco's door and more screams were heard and hexs and jinx's were thrown about.

The four boys stood wide eyed and shocked.

" What the bloody hell was that?" asked Ron, looking for answers.

" I have no idea, but I'm sure I want to stay as far away from that as possible." laughed Draco, taking a seat, " Now let's continue our game shall we?"

" But Malfoy, aren't you worried? I mean it's your room, your things and their in there throwing hexes around drunkenly." said Harry, wondering why Draco hadn't blown his top yet.

" Their only things Potter, nothing I can't buy again if anything gets broken. Plus they sound like their having fun, why interrupt that? Anyways, we have Blaise's room if my room does get ruined to crash in, so no worries. It's big enough to fit four people."

" Nope, no thank you. From the sounds of those girls, I'm staying down here. It's far away from them and their hexes, and it gives me enough time, if I hear them coming this way, to get away from them. Zabini's room is too close for comfort tonight!" Ron grunted, crossing his arms. No way was he staying anywhere's near four drunken girls with wands.

" Weasley's got a point, the common room does seem a bit safer. Alright so who's next?" Draco asked, filling their glasses back up.

A few hours later, the girls had yet to come out of Draco's room, which meant they had either went through the bathroom entrance, or passed out in his room. Either way, it didn't bother the boys. They were pretty sloshed as is.

" Okay Zabini, I dare you to go into Hermione's room and steal an article of clothing from one of the girls!" Harry drunkly dared, swaying as he rose to his feet.

The four boys staggered their way to Hermione's room. Blaise slowly turned the handle, creeping the door open inch by antagonizing inch. From inside they heard soft snores coming from each of the girls so they tempted opening the door wider. They chanced a glance at the girls, all covering their mouths with their hands to keep from laughing.

Ginny was laying on her back, hair bright purple and skin beet red, with Luna covered in Bat Boogey and feathers sleeping with her head on her stomach. Pansy was laying a few inches away, curled up in a ball. Her hair was made completly of snakes and she had hairy arms and legs. She was spooning Hermione and her arm was placed over top her side. Hermione's face was covered with warts and her feet were turned into horse hooves.

" I didn't know Parkinson sucked her thumb!" whispered Ron, grabbing an article of clothing from each of the girls.

" And I bet she'll murder you if you ever bring that up!" whispered back Blaise, leaving the room with his share of the clothing.

The four boys left the room with the clothes, piling them up in the common room next to the fireplace. After each had taked a piece of clothing, there was nothing left for he girls to wear. Draco somehow thought they were going to pay for that prank, but as drunk as he was, it really didn't matter to him at this moment.

" As much as I'm enjoying this game, I'm really kinda tired. Why don't we go and grab some blankets and get some sleep? We can always continue this at a later time." suggested Ron, yawning loudly.

The boys set up their blankets in front of the fire, and were out as soon as their heads hit their pillows, neither one considering the hell that would unleash upon them in the morning.


 
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 9: Hell Hath No Fury
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


"Ughhh," groaned Hermione, rolling on her back, throwing her arm across her eyes attempting to sheild them from the treacherous sun. Her head was pounding so hard, it seemed her brain was trying to escape through her forehead. She chanced a glance at herself to find the hooves were gone and she was in her underwear. Forgetting her painful headache, she jumped up, shouting at the other girls, who too were in their underwear.

" WAKE UP! Why are we in our underwear, and where the bloody hell are our clothes?" Hermione asked, looking around her room, noticing the alarming lack of clothes in her room!

" Hermione, what are you going on about?" groaned Ginny, sitting up, Luna's head falling to the ground, causing her to slightly open her eyes.

" Granger, no offense to our building friendship, but if you don't pipe down, I will hex you bald!" moaned Pansy, rubbing her eyes.

" Well in case it's slipped everyone's attention, we're all in our underwear, and for the life of me, I can't seem to find any of our clothing, or any clothes for that matter. How did we lose our clothes anyway?" Hermione questioned, searching through her closet, only to find that empty as well.

" Now, I'm not one hundred percent certain, but I think it happened somewhere between the pillow fight and when Pansy hexed Ginny's hair purple, but I may still be drunk though." sighed Luna, standing up with some problems and stretching her arms in the air.

" Well, from half of the things that come out of your mouth Lovegood, I think your constantly drunk, or just as up-in-the-clouds as everyone's says you are!" Pansy laughed as Luna shot her a disapproving glare.

" Hold on everyone, I think I have an idea as to where our clothes may have went. Does anyone remember 4 other drunk wizards last night? Now, I may be going out on a limb here, but I think we're the victims of a drunken prank. I say, we each grab a towel and go on a quiet search for our clothes. It's only," Ginny glanced at Hermione's alarm clock, " 6am and I highly doubt that the boys are even having dreams about waking up. Let's go!"

The four girls each wrapped a towel around themselves that Luna had gotten from the bathroom and tip toed their way out of Hermione's room. They began their search in the bathrooms, coming up empty handed and the same result in Ginny's room. They crept to Blaise's door and carefully opened it up. Noticing that his room was vacant, they each spread out, searching each and every corner. The girls were beginning to lose their patience, and were beginning to wonder where the boys were, when they heard a soft growling coming from the common room. Hermione placed her finger in front of her mouth and told the girls to be quiet and follow her. They descended the stairs and came to a stop at the foot of them. Ginny pointed to the huge pile of clothes that layed in front of a nearly extinguished fireplace. Luna and Ginny rushed over and grabbed them while Hermione and Pansy both crossed their arms over their chests and huffed in anger.

" I dont know about you Pansy, but I think this requires some retaliation!" whispered Hermione angrily.

" I couldn't agree more. You know Granger? I'll bring the Slytherin out in you yet!"

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Harry groaned as he rolled over on the couch. Unfortunatly he forgot he wasn't in his bed and rolled right off onto Draco's stomach. Draco let out a huge whoosh of air as his eyes shot open, staring into the emerald green of Harry's.

" I knew you always had a secret crush on me Potter, but sadly, I'm spoken for!" sneered Draco as Harry lifted himself off of him.

" Oh shut it Malfoy, I don't fancy you, I merely fell off the couch!"

" Right!"

Blaise opened his eyes hearing the exchange of words between the boys and laughed at the sight. " Now what's going on here?"

" Nothing, Potter here was just trying to seduce me, and he's put off because I turned him down. But I'm worried. Potter your an okay guy, but don't let this come between our friendship okay?" Draco replied sarcastically, placing his hand over his heart and putting on a pretend hurt face.

" Malfoy, I swear if I had my wand right now I would hex you or shove it somewhere very unpleasant!" grumbled Harry, pinching the bridge of his nose.

" See there he goes again with his romantic gestures." laughed Draco, standing up.

Blaise just laughed while Harry just moaned in frustration, throwing his hands in the air. He walked to where Ron was laying and woke him up.

" No, no...uhhhh.....spi- spi- SPIDERS!" Screamed Ron, jumping up and wiping the imaginary spiders from his clothes.

" Manly, Weasley, very manly," laughed Draco and him and Blaise collasped on the couch in fits of laughter. Harry only sighed and took a seat on the other armchair while Ron sat himself back down on the one he was sleeping on.

" Bloody hell, my head hurts. What time is it?" asked Ron, rubbing his temples with his forefingers.

" Just a little after 9am. Draco, where's the pepper up potions?" Blaise wondered.

" My trunk, in my room!"

Blaise walked to Draco's room and slowly opened the door, peeking in to see if the girls were there. Seeing they weren't, he grabbed four vials of Pepper Up potion and returned to the common room. He handed the vials around, one for each of them. After taking the potions, the boys were beginning to feel immediatly better. Harry walked over to the fireplace to retrieve his wand and was placing it up his sleeve in it's holder when he noticed something off.

" Uhhhh guys, where did the clothes we took last night go? Weren't they right here?" he asked, searching around the fireplace.

" There should be a huge pile, we took every piece of clothing that was in Hermione's room!" replied Ron, coming to check.

" Well, hate to break it to you, but there's no clothes here."

" Then where did they go? Their clothes, not like they got up and walked away themselves.....," Draco paused and began sniffing the air. It was strong with not only Hermione's scent, but three other female scents as well. " The girls took them!" he muttered.

Blaise sniffed the air as well, the scent of his mate strong against the scent of the other three. He lowered his head, " They aren't here anymore, I can't hear them at all."

" Think their mad?" asked Ron, looking a little worried.

" Nah, probably not. We were all drunk last night, we'll just blame the firewhiskey if they ask." Draco said, rubbing his stomach, " but let's go, I'm starving and Potter's beginning to look tasty!" Draco made soft kissing noises towards Harry backing his way to the portrait.

" Malfoy, I swear of you don't stop that..." Harry growled, following Draco.

" Yeah yeah yeah, you, wand, unpleasant places. Quit teasing me Potter, it's unbecoming of you."

Blaise just laughed and followed Draco out the door, Harry on his heels. Ron stopped Harry and asked, " what was that about teasing him and unpleasant places?"

 Harry only shook his head and walked out of the dorms.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 The Great Hall was just recovering from the shock of seeing the four girls walk in together, taking a seat at the Gryffindor table, Pansy included, seeming to be in deep discussion about something, but imagine it's surprise when the doors banged open loudly again a few minutes later and the two most famous Gryffindor's and the two most feared Slytherin's walked in together. A loud gasp was heard, and a Hufflepuff fainted, landing on the floor with a deafening thump, shattering the deathly silence, errupting the Great Hall into whispers and pointed fingers. The four boys only looked at each other and almost began walking towards the girls, when they received angered glares from them. Turning on the spot, they headed towards the Slytherin table. As they sat down in a row, facing towards the girls, Pansy spun back around in her chair, looking at Hermione,

" So your sure you can get the spell to work? I want them to pay for what they did, I mean, they put all our clothes by the fireplace. One false spark and 'woosh', there goes all our clothes, up in flames." she said, taking a bite of her muffin.

" Hermione's the brightest witch of her age, if anyone can perfrom this spell, it would be her." replied Ginny, flashing a smile at her best friend.

Hermione giggled, " believe me Pansy, I'll get the spell right if it kills me."

" I'll make sure the Mumppled Ruren Secks aren't anywhere near us when we do this. They are known for getting inside people's brains and eating their thoughts." stated Luna, sipping her pumpkin juice.

" Yeah, you do that Lovegood, good idea!" muttered Pansy, shifting in her seat to glare at the boys. Seeing they were caught starring, the four immediatly looked down at their plates.

" So when are we doing this?" asked Ginny.

" I'm thinking Sunday night. Would be a great way to start off their week, not to mention Monday morning." suggested Hermione, shrugging.

" Perfect," the other three said, all of them bringing their glasses together in a toast, sealing the deal. Glupping down their last bit of breakfast, they all gathered up their robes and headed back up to the Head dorms. They had decided to spend another night together, just not drinking, and they were going to begin with a swim in the Head's bathtub.

The boys watched as the girls left, each one shuddering with uncertainty.

" I didn't like that one bit," whispered Harry, biting into his bacon.

" Me neither, something's not right. I think their up to something." Draco said raising on eyebrow in question.

" Yeah, something's not right there. If there's one thing I know for sure about Granger and Parkinson is that they aren't very known for taking anything laying down. They should have been shouting and screaming at us or hexing off valuable body parts, not sitting there, eating their breakfast calmly and quietly like nothing happened." Blaise sighed, polishing off the last bit of eggs left on his plate.

" Well that settles it then. I think in order to stop whatever plan their concocting and to keep in tact certain valuable body parts, we should stick together tonight." Ron exclaimed, piling more food into his mouth, barely chewing.

" Good point. Guess it's another night in the Head dorms." laughed Draco, glad to have the company. He knew there was strength in numbers, and he would need all the numbers he could get against Hermione. Draco was smart and talented in dueling, but he wasn't anything compared to Hermione. He knew from personal experience how strong her spells were, not to mention her right hook, and he didn't care to be spending time in the hospital wing.

 " Well, anyone up for some Quidditch?" asked Harry.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While the boys were flying around the pitch, whipping quaffles at each other and attempting to try to knock one another off their brooms, the girls were currently relaxing in a nice hot bath, swimming around in their bathing suits.

" Alright, so I'm going to take this time to say this, because with Draco and Blaise being Veela's, they have heightened hearing and can hear us in here from out in the hallway. I have an idea how we can mess with them tonight, allowing us to get them tomorrow night." Ginny suggested, coming to the shallow end, taking a seat on one of the steps. The three other girls came and sat beside her, Hermione and Pansy sitting one step below.

" Okay, I just had a idea, hear me out. Hermione, Pansy, you two are known for always speaking your mind." Ginny started.

" Your not so quiet yourself, firecracker!" giggled Pansy.

" Which adds to my point. We sit around acting like nothing happened, their gonna know something's up. So I think we begin today, when they get back. We wait for them in the common room, and when they get back, we start a fight, fake mind you, and once that's through, they won't expect anything. They'll be thinking it's over and done with. Later at night we'll leave, I'm thinking Room of Requirements, they won't be able to spy on us there, and there's where we'll spend the night, putting the final touches on our plan. How does that sound?" Ginny asked, swirling her legs in the warm water, walking past Hermione and Pansy.

" Genius. They'll think that the 'fight' is all their going to get. Your brilliant Weasley, frightenly so." Pansy clapped her hands in glee, she couldn't wait to get back at the boys.

" Thanks, oh and Pansy?"

" Yeah?"

" This is for the firecracker remark," Ginny grabbed Pansy's arm and pulled her into the bath, dunking her underwater. All hell broke loose as the girls began a dunking match, water splashing everywhere, completely flooding the bathroom.

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An hour before dinner, the boys came back to the Head's dorm, freshly showered and ready for a attack. Each boy stopped at the portrait.

" Okay everyone have their wands?" Draco asked, making sure his wand was in his pocket.

Each boy produced their wand, nodding their heads.

" Now, watch your spells, we don't want to hurt them, just deflect their spells, hexes, jinxs, anything they send our way. Watch yourself and be on your guard."

" Geez Malfoy, we're just heading inside a dorm, not walking into bloody battle!" Ron exclaimed, chuckling to himself.

" We're walking in there to four very talented, very pissed off witches. It might not be life or death, Weasley, but it's sure to be a battle none the less. Now let's get this over with, all that Quidditch has made me hungry."

Blaise let out a big exhale of breath before saying the password and opening the portrait. All four boys walked inside, and what was waiting for them when they did surprised them.

Standing in a straight line, was Hermione, Ginny, Pansy and Luna, each had their arms folded across their chests and were tapping one foot on the ground, angry looks painted clear across their faces. The boys halted in their footsetps.

Ron leaned over, never taking his eyes off the girls, and whispered in Draco's ear.

" So what do we do now Malfoy...wand at the ready?"

" Shut up Weasley, I wasn't expecting this. I say play it by ear," he growled back, " Ladies, how was your day? How about we discuss it at dinner, I'm famished, what about you guys?"

" SIT!" All four girls hollered, pointing to the couch and armchairs. The boys looked worriedly at each other, but decided it best to do as they said. As they took their seats, the girls walked around coming to stand once again in line, arms still crossed, standing in front of their own guy.

" Well?" They hollered in unison.

" W-well what?" stammered Harry, wrinkling his brow in confusion.

" Just what do you have to say for yourself Harry James Potter?" Luna asked, raising one eyebrow in question, trying her best to keep a straight face.

" What would you like us to say? We don't know what this is about!" Ron asked, trying to find a way out of this. He was never one for getting yelled at. He got enough of that at home from his mother. He came to school to get away from it, not get more!

" Don't even try to worm your way out of this one Weasley!" Pansy snorted, pointing a finger in his face. Ron gulped and hung his head.

" Hermione, what's this about? Please, just tell me how I can make this better and I swear, I will do it!" Draco replied huskily, staring deep in her eyes and standing up. He was trying to be smooth.

" Don't try to suck up Draco, now sit back down before I hex you to that chair," she replied, her eyes flashing a fake anger, but what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him. Draco's face went sad as he sat back down. " You know why we're mad, and nothing's going to get solved until you guys tell us what happened, and apologize."

" How about a compromise? We'll meet halfway and just straight out apologize, Because I think Draco had a good idea with the whole going for food." Blaise tried to set a calm atmosphere, but from the look Ginny gave him, it was the wrong idea.

" How can you apologize for something you did if you don't know what you did? Isn't that sort of like a fake apology? How the bloody hell would that make anything better Zabini? DO YOU NOT GET IT?" Ginny hollered, causing the air around her to crackle. Upon seeing this, the other three girls made their magic crackle around them. The boys went wide eyed and shrank back in their chairs. Finally the boys exploded, neither one able to hold back any longer.

" Well if you girls-"

" Just bloody tell us what we did-"

" We could settle this right now-"

" Just stop being mad-"

" AND I'M BLOODY STARVING!"

Everyone turned and looked at Ron. His face went a deep shape of red and he shrugged at the boys, " sorry, but I am hungry!"

" ENOUGH!" Pansy roared. " You want to know why we're mad, why your this close to being hexed into oblivion? Alright let me give you a hint and see if you guys can go from there. Something about 4 drunken wizards, and certain articles of ours going missing in the middle of the night? Ringing any bells?"

" Oh," was the general reply from the boys.

" Yeah, 'oh' is right. What were you thinking?" Hermione asked, tapping her foot against the floor, glaring daggers at Draco.

" Well I guess we weren't thinking. It was just a harmless dare, nobody got hurt, nothing got damaged. That's all!" Draco shrugged.

" That's all? That's all? Not only did you guys take every article of clothing in Hermione's room, leaving us naked, but you guys passed out with all of them next to a roaring fire. What would have happened if they caught on fire and we lost all of our clothes huh? What would you guys have done then? You didn't take any of this into consideration when you thought up that little dare did you?" Pansy drilled, looking each and every boy in the eye, giving them a hard glare.

" Well, we were drunk. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Not like you guys were missing them anyways." Ron replied, chuckling to himself again.

" Excuse me?" asked Luna

" We just happened to be sitting in this very common room, when much to our surprise, 4 equally drunk witches decided to run across the hallway in nothing but their underwear. I seem to recall those same 4 drunken witches having a little peek fest while we were taking a leisurely swim in The Great Lake, not a few hours before that." countered Blaise, trying to regain some lost yards on the girls.

" Oh no, don't you dare try to turn this on us mister. You guys decided to go skinny dipping on your own accord. Don't blame us if you happened to be seen while we were coming back from Hogsmeade." Ginny huffed, her face going red.

" It was a dare, by the way, wasn't something we decided to do on a whim. And you guys didn't have to stop and hide behind the bushes and spy on us, you could have kept going. So really, you guys did the same thing, well almost. You guys were in your underwear, we were butt naked." rebutted Draco, smirking at Hermione.

" Not even close. We didn't take your clothing, leaving you four," she pointed her finger at each boy. " to walk back naked now did we? Or happen to leave all your clothes were something could have happened to them either. I will agree that we each made a mistake, seeing each other naked, some more naked then others, but we didn't play a prank on you guys." Hermione replied, smirking back at him, hers rivaling his own.

He sat back, crossing his arms in a pout, " I didn't think it was a mistake!" he muttered under his breath.

" What was that Malfoy?" asked Luna, turning her head to look at him.

" Nothing." he replied.

" Look, we're sorry. We were just playing a harmless prank, we didn't know it would upset you girls like this. Had we known, we wouldn't have done it. And clearly, we were't thinking when we placed your clothing by the fire. We had no intention of destroying your clothing what so ever, seriously." Harry apologized, trying to get this fight over with. Luna was beautiful when she was angry and Harry just wanted to take her somewhere private and snog her senseless, and do very naughty things to her, causing her to scream his name, over and over again.

" Weasley put the clothes by the fire, not us. That was his brillant idea." laughed Blaise, hoping some of the anger would leave him, and if Weasley had to take one for the team, so be it! It really was his idea.

" Hey, I was trying to be nice, trying to keep their clothes warm for them when they got up. I agree, now that I'm sober, it doesn't seem all that great of an idea." Ron would be damned if he was going to be taking all the blame.

" It doesn't matter who's idea it was, you each had a hand in it, now what do you say?" asked Pansy.

" We're sorry," the boys answered together.

" For what?" asked Ginny.

" For playing a prank and taking your clothes." they said again.

" And you'll never do it again..how long?" asked Hermione.

" As long as we live!"

 " Good, that's settled. See how easy that was? All better!" Luna said, swaying her way to the counter and grabbing all the robes, handing each to the girl it belonged to as they headed for the portrait.

" Wait, where are you going? We just had a argument and now your leaving? I demand snuggles, I demand snogging, and I demand to know where your going!" yelled Draco, standing up, hands on hips.

" Well one demand we can do, we can tell you where we're going!" laughed Hermione, she couldn't conatain her laughter when he acted like a little child. He just looked too darn cute.

" Alright, and where's that?" Blaise asked, curious.

"OUT!" The girls hollered together as the portrait slammed shut behind them, leaving four boys behind, with looks of shock and disbelief etched on their faces.

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" Bloody hell that was amazing." laughed Pansy, collaspsing on one of the four beds the Room of Requirement had made. " I thought for certain one of them was going to cry!"

" I thought Ron was going to throw up his lunch when you hollered at him. Did you see how white his face went? I think you scared him half to death Pansy, poor little guy," chuckled Hermione, taking the bed next to Pansy's and beside Ginny, who had Luna on her other side.

" I think a round of applause is in order, for each one of us keeping composure and making it seem real. Luna you were brilliant, using Harry's full name like that." the girls clapped loudly, still laughing.

" I only use his full name when I'm really mad at him, or we're having sex and he asks me to say it. Usually it's only during sex, I've never really been mad at him to be honest!" sighed Luna, trying to control her laughter.

" Ugh Luna, please keep your sex life with Potter to yourself, we sure don't want to hear it. But seriously, I thought we were done for when Blaise brought up us spying on them while skinning dipping." Pansy laughed again.

" I had thought about that while we were swimming, I was working on a counter argument the entire time." Hermione said, in all seriousness. " But when he brought up how they were more naked then we were, Merlin, I was nearly speechless. I came up with the first thing I could think of. I'm happy it worked."

Pansy leaned over off her bed, grabbed Hermione face with both hands and placed a huge kiss on top of her head. " Merlin Granger, I love that huge brain of yours. Don't ever stop using it! But I have to say, good job with the magic crackle Ginny, but how did you make yourself so mad to be able to that?"

" I just thought about something Ron did to me a few years back that still makes me mad!" she replied, laughing again.

" That's what we did!" the other three girls answered too, laughter ringing through the enormous room. Hermione was grabbing her sides, holding on for dear life. Her stomach was in pain from so much laughter. Pansy's makeup was smeared, running down her face from tears as was Ginny's. Luna was rolling around on her bed, laughing her head off.

Ginny, running her fingers under her eyes, wiping her tears away, cleared her throat and stood up. " Okay, I think it's time we put the final touches on the plan, remember, we're doing it tomorrow. Now, how are we getting a sleeping draught, Snape keeps those under close guard, unless we brew it, which takes how long Hermione?"

" About a week!"

" That's too long to wait. What are we going to do? Our only other option is knock them unconscious with a hex."

" There's no problem, you forget, he's my head of house Ginny. And everynight around 10pm, he makes an appearence in our common room to terrify the first years and hand out house points by hearing stories about how the Slytherin's got the best of the houses. That'll be a good time to sneak in and grab the vials."

" That's not right, he shouldn't be doing that. Merlin, that man aggravates me. But that will work out great. It's my night to do rounds, Pansy you come with me, that way we can keep Snape away from his potion room, Ginny, you and Luna will sneak in, grab the vials and we'll meet back here...say 11pm? An hour good?" Hermione asked.

" Works for me, but how are we going to get the boys to take it without them knowing it?" asked Ginny, walking over to the coffeetable with dinner on it, making herself a plate.

" I don't know, we could always slip it in their food or drinks at dinner, but then somebody will see us doing it!" sighed Hermione.

" Plus it'll hit them to hard and they be in Madame Pomfrey's care, we wouldn't be able to get them out of there." Ginny rolled her eyes, she really liked the medi-witch, but sometimes she could be a real hardass.

" Why don't we just slip it in a nightcap in the Head's dorm?" asked Luna, sipping her pumpkin juice.

The three girls turned a shocked look at Luna. " What do you mean?" they asked.

" Have the boys over, apologize for yelling and over reacting, and then everyone sit down and have a cup of hot chocolate, their's will have the potion in it obviously. That way, they'll be in Head's dorm, allowing us to finish the plan. We can move them after curfew, having Hermione as Head Girl and one of us doing rounds with her." explained Luna, making it sound as if it was the most logical thing in the world to do.

" Wow Luna, that's acually pretty good. That would work great. I'm impressed, really I am. Well let's get going, we need the potion. So everyone knows what to do?"

Everyone nodded, heading out of the door. The girls made their descend down the moving staircases, down into the dark, creepy dungeons.

" Why is it always freezing down here?" asked Ginny, shivering a little.

" We're Slytherin's Ginny, we like the dark and cold. Knowing that nobody would come down into the dark, cold and creepy dungeons, makes it easier for us to devise evil plans and schemes without being found out." shurgged Pansy

" Your kidding right?" laughed Hermione, waving goodbye to Ginny and Luna, watching as they made their way down towards the potions rooms.

" Of course I am. Everyone knows the common room and the girl and boy dorms are heated." she giggled, turning away heading towards the Slytherin Dorm, leaving Hermione wondering what really went on in there. She came to stand beside Pansy, fiddiling with her wand, watching as different colored sparks shot out the tip. Pansy watched, amazed.

" I've always wanted to know Granger, how is it your able to do all these advanced spells with the snap of your fingers, like your not even trying? How do they just come so easily to you?" Pansy wondered, moving herself to sit in an alcove and Hermione plopped down beside her.

" Actually, it doesn't!"

Pansy snorted, rolling her eyes.

" I'm serious. It was never easy. I worked my butt off everyday. Like take the summer months we're not here. Everyday, I'm sitting at home, reading and practicing, never really enjoying my time off. Then the last week of summer, we spend at The Burrow with Ron's family. Everyone plays Quidditch, I sit and read some more, practice my wand movements some more." Hermione explained.

" So you don't get to enjoy your summer vacation? That's insane." exclaimed Pansy, stretching her legs out beside Hermione, crossing her ankles and smoothing out her skirt.

" Tell me about it. Then I come here, and it never ends. I'm always studying, reading and practicing. Doing my homework a week before its due so I have more time, putting a foot more on essay's so I'm guaranteed a good mark, trying to suck up as much information as I possibly can. Never going and playing with friends, staying inside on Hogsmeade weekends, even missing some Quidditch matches, just so I can learn more."

" But what's all the work for Hermione? You hoping to become the next Minister of Magic, when a Nobel Wizard's Prize or something?"

" No, nothing like that, I actually have no idea what I want to do outside of school. I've just always worked to be the best. Before the war, Pureblood's, even Halfblood's, made sure to remind me everyday that I didn't deserve to be here, didn't deserve to have magic ability. So I worked my hardest to prove to them all wrong. By being better, smarter then all of them, I hoped would open their eyes and see that I belonged here. That I deserved to be here, that it didn't matter if you were pureblooded or come from a famly with no magic at all. It never came easily to me, I worked hard so it seemed that way."

" You know, we've never actually talked about everything that happened between us. I won't lie and say I always wanted to be your friend, or had some secret obsession about you Granger, but I will say, most of the time I was jealous of you. I wanted the grades you got, I tried my hardest and I couldn't even come close to you. I said most of the things I did to you out of jealousy, and I'm sorry. It never should have happened and it won't again." Pansy sighed, inspecting her fingernails. She was never really known for being able to express her feelings.

" Yeah well, it's not like I'm the victim here either, I said some pretty nasty things back to you as well. So I suppose an apology is due from my part as well. I'm sorry for all the things I said about you in the past. Now I've got to see the person you really are, none of what I thought was actually true. Your a smart, funny, loving person, who's capable of great things Pansy, just you wait!"

" Yeah, well lets not hurry to spread that little drabble around Hogwarts, I've got a reputation to uphold, you know Granger!"

" Sure, my lips are sealed. Oh, here he comes!"

Snape emerged, his cape billowing behind him, turning to head down the hallway towards his classroom.

" Professor, Professor, we need your help. Peeves has struck again. He's causing problems up in the thrid floor corridor. Please Professor, you have to come quick." shouted Hermione, running up to Snape and began pulling on his robes, trying to get him to follow her.

" Please Miss. Granger, I can walk on my own, now you continue your rounds with Miss. Parkinson, and I'll go see what that foolish poltergiest has done this time. Honestly I don't know why Dumbledore allows them in the school, if I had my way -" Snape faded down the corridor, and Hermione and Pansy went running towards the potions classroom, opening the door.

" Ginny? Luna? You got the vials?"

A crash was heard and Ginny came running out with a pink colored Luna following right behind her, holding four vials of Sleeping Draught.

" Yes, we got it, now hurry, we need to go. I kinda maybe accidently let loose some Cornish Pixies, and their unleashing hell in Snape's classroom, so we kinda need to go, like now!" Ginny panted, out of breath and took off towards the Room of Requirement with Pansy, Luna and Hermione hot on her heels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The four girls collasped on their beds in the Room of Requirement, each one out of breath. Pansy rolled over on her side and asked, " so you got the vials I hope?"

Luna, unable to answer, could only hold the hand that had the vials in it up in the air in victory. All four girls cheered, and began getting dressed for bed.

" So we go back to the Head dorm's tomorrow, apologise for being prats and then slip them the potions. I can't wait, this is going to be the sweetest revenge ever. I bet they'll think twice before messing with any of us again." Ginny said, crawling under her covers. Hermione giggled and waved her hand in the air, extinguishing the candles lighting the room and each girl fell asleep, dreaming about their plan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday afternoon, the girls finally arrived back at the Head dorms, the boys were lounging around in the common room, playing a game of exploding snap. Their heads snapped up when they heard the portrait open.

" Hey guys, how was your night?" Ginny asked, coming to sit inbetween Blaise's legs on the floor, leaning her head on his leg.

Blaise and Draco exchanged looks between them as the rest of the girls came and sat down. Luna on Harry's lap, Pansy beside Ron, leaning back on her hands and Hermione on the floor beside Draco's feet, placing her head on the couch. Draco began playing with her hair as she smiled up at him.

" Where were you guys last night? We waited up but you didn't come back." Harry asked, rubbing Luna's arms as she giggled softly.

" We were too angry to stay here last night, so we stayed in the Room of Requirement, you know, doing girly things." Hermione replied, closing her eyes at the feel of Draco's hands in her hair. It felt amazing and soothing. He pushed her forward, placing a leg on either side of her and began massaging her neck. She silently moaned and leaned her head down, closing her eyes.

 " We're sorry, we were out of line, yelling at you guys like that. We were just so mad, can you guys forgive us?" asked Ginny, putting on her best baby face and staring up at Blaise.

" Of course love, I could never stay mad at you." he softly placed a kiss on her lips. Harry gave Luna a little squeeze and Draco kissed Hermione's cheek, whispering quietly that he forgave her as well. Pansy and Ron pretended to vomit at the loving gesture. She turned to Ron and asked.

" Weasley, sorry for yelling and turning your hair green."

" Yeah me too Parkinson, sorry for hurting your legs and pulling a prank on you."

Pansy was overwhelmed, he was talking to her, and couldn't hold it in anymore. She leapt into his arms and kissed him right on the mouth. Ron's eyes went as big as saucers as she wrapped her arms around his neck. He finally came to his senses and grabbed her waist and pulled her further into his lap, kissing her back. Pansy sighed and leaned into him. Everyone in the room watched in surprise and began laughing when they pulled apart, Ron's face beet fed and Pansy's flushed. Pansy glared at everyone laughing while Ron just sat there holding on to her, a lopsided grin on his face.

" Well, now that all's forgiven, how about we go get something to eat? I'm starving, how about the rest of you?" asked Harry, twirling a strand of Luna's hair around his finger.

" Sure Potter, let's go." replied Draco, helping Hermione to her feet and headed out the door, holding her hand in his.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" I'm so full, I couldn't eat another bite." mumbled Blaise, sitting down in one of the armchairs, pulling Ginny into his lap, holding onto her waist. Harry claimed the other one with Luna, while Draco stretched out on the couch, Hermione laying on top of him, head resting on his chest. Ron and Pansy were snuggling up next to the fireplace, and he was whispering something into to her ear, making her softly giggle. Hermione sighed as she cuddled deeper into Draco's chest. She closed her eyes as she listened to the faint thumping of his heart. He brought his arms up and wrapped them around her waist, snuggling closer to her, placing a kiss on the top of her head, closing his eyes.

Ginny quietly cleared her throat, making the other three girls turn to look at her. She secretly winked at them and got up from Blaise's embrace. The boys groaned when the other girls got up as well.

" Where are you going love? I was comfy!" whinned Draco, reaching out to grab his mates waist.

" I'm thristy, I was going to go get some hot chocolate, would you like some Draco?" Hermione asked, runnning her fingers through his hair.

" Actually that doesn't sound half bad, yes I would love some." he answered, smiling at her, thankful she was his.

" Would anyone else like some?" she asked the rest of the room, getting nods in response. " Ladies, would you like to come with me and get it, so the guys can relax?"

" Sure," they answered and followed her out the door, heading to the kitchens. They each grabbed two mugs of hot chocolate and made their way back to the Head dorms. Stopping outside, each girl took out a vial from their robes and poured the contents into one mug.

" So how long should it take?" whispered Pansy.

 " A couple of minutes, shorter depending on how strong it is. Knowing Snape, it's strong." answered Hermione, whispering quietly.

They walked through the portrait and handed each boy one of the mugs.

" How did you get it so fast?" asked Draco, taking a sip of his.

" You'll get used to the fact, Hermione's got an easy in with the elves around here. Their willing to do anything for her because she's their favourite!" mocked Ron, gulping his cup down.

" Well it wouldn't hurt if everybody started treating them better instead of worthless servants." Hermione stuck her tongue out at him and started sipping away at her cup.

The girls watched with interest as the four boys drank the last drop of their hot chocolate. Soon, four thumps were heard as each one of the boys passed out, crumpling on the floor, and the girls tuned and looked at one another. Evil grins gracing their beautiful faces.

' Game on!' Hermione thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday morning the girls yawned as each took a turn at the shower, getting ready for classes. Pansy was brushing her hair, Luna was tying her tie, Hermione was making sure her bookbag had everything in it for the day, while Ginny was stepping out of the shower.

" So Mione, how long till the boys wake up? I don't wanna miss it!" she asked, starting to get dressed. After spending an entire weekend together, seeing not only the boys but each other quite nude, they had grown comfortable with changing in front of one another.

" If my calculations are correct, they should come too around the start of potions." Hermione replied, putting on her robes and slinging her bookbag over her shoulder.

" Your never wrong Mione, this is going to be great. Let's go, I wanna get front row seats for this show." Luna laughed, opening the portrait while the other three followed her out, Pansy closing the door behind her.

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His vision was blurry as Draco tried to glance around the room. He was freezing cold and shivering and as he tried to move his arms, he found he was frozen in place. He opened his eyes wider, his vision slowly becoming more clear. His shook his head a few times and glanced around the room. He wasn't in his room, but in the potion's classroom.

' How did I get here?' he wondered as he heard a noise from beside him. He turned his head to his left and saw Blaise standing beside him, shaking his head.

" Where am I?" he asked, blinking a few times.

" We're in the potions classroom Blaise. How did we get here?" Draco answered, noticing Harry to his right and Ron beside Harry.

" How did we get here?" asked Harry, coming to.

" The last thing I remember is having a drink with the girls in the Head's commom room and then waking up here!" mumbled Ron. " Harry, what are you wearing?"

Harry glanced down and noticed he wasn't wearing any clothing except a matching set of white with red polka dotted hearts bra and panties. His faced turned bright red as he noticed the other boys were wearing the same thing. He tried to move but couldn't move anything but his head.

" I can't move, why can't I move?" asked Blaise, trying to raise his hands to cover himself.

" I think we're frozen. Where are the girls? Are they okay?" Harry wondered, beginning to freak out.

" Relax Potter, Professor Snape should be coming in to start class soon and he'll get us out of here and we can go find the girls." Draco began, interrupted by the potions classroom door banging open and students filing in.

Everyone stopped in their tracks and stared at the four boys, frozen in place, standing in front of the classroom in women's underwear. Everyone started laughing and claping at the boys when the students parted, clearing a space. In walked Hermione, Ginny, Luna and Pansy, starring wide eyed at the boys. They didn't stop to stare, instead took their seats, Ginny sitting with Hermione and Luna with Pansy. They were piling their books and quills on their desk when Professor Snape cleared his throat.

" Why are you fools standing around for? Take your seats so we an begin class." Everyone quickly took their seats, allowing Snape to finally see what was so funny.

" Merlin forbid I have a normal day in this bloody castle." He muttered to himself, as he waved his wand, freeing the boys and transfiguring the underwear back into their robes. Each boy muttered a thanks, and took their seats. Blaise and Draco sitting behind Hermione and Ginny, Harry and Ron behind Luna and Pansy. Snape began writing instructions on the board, and students made their way gathering ingredients.

" What happened last night?" whispered Blaise, when Ginny and Hermione came back to their desk.

" What do you mean?" asked Ginny innocently.

" What? We mean how did we end up in girls underwear, frozen in the potions classroom is what I'm taking about." he questioned, his face flushing red when two girls passed the table, giggling and pointing at him and Draco.

" I have no idea, you guys were drinking the hot chocolate. We said we were tired and went to bed, after that you guys we're on your own. So what did you guys do?" asked Hermione, raising an eyebrow in question.

" Miss Granger, since you were on rounds saturday night, I would like to speak with you about four vials of my personal Sleeping Draught going missing. Did you happen to see any other students down here besides yourself and Miss. Parkinson when doing rounds?" Snape asked, coming up behind the girls and scaring them. Draco and Blaise shared knowing looks and snorted.

" No sir, we didn't see anyone out after curfew that night." she answered. Snape nodded his head and walked away. Hermione hung her head in defeat when she turned and faced Blaise and Draco. They didn't look at either girl the entire class, just quietly worked on thier assignment.

The class had ended and everyone was gathering their stuff when the four girls rounded the four boys.

" We're not going to apologize, if that's what your after. As far as we're concerned, we're even. You guys played a prank on us, turnabout is fair play. Now though we're even, we're going to warn you four. Try to get us again, and we'll get you back, ten times worse. Is that clear?" Hermione asked, walking away, the other three girls in tow.

The boys could do nothing but stand there staring at the retreating back of the girls, mouths hung open in sock.

" Merlin, I didn't think they had it in them to pull off something like that!" said Ron, grabbing the last of his books and following the others out of the classroom.

" Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Weasley", quoted Draco, turning down the corridor, heading for his next class, Charms. His gums tingling, he tried to calm himself, taking a few deep breaths. He never knew Granger would have a evil side to her. He never knew it would excite him to this extent. Merlin, he needed to mark her, needed to claim her, needed to have her.
 
 


Chapter 10: Home For The Holidays
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The warm summer breeze turned chilly as September turned into October. The rain turned into snow as the end of November brought about the beginning of December. With The Great Lake frozen, and the climate to cold to play outside, the student body was becoming quite antsy. Everyone was feeling it. There were more fights happening, more arguing, more dueling. Draco and Hermione were overwhelmed with the amount of fights and duels they were breaking up in a day.

Collapsing on the couch, Hermione groaned in relief as she got to lie down. She stretched herself full out and layed her head on her arms, folded behind her head. She was just beginning to dose off when she heard the portrait open. She turned her head up and glanced at Draco and Blaise as they dropped their bags, shed their robes and made their way into the common room.

" Hey," she yelped as they both sat on top of her. They both jumped up in surprise and looked at the poor girl they had thought was their couch and chuckled.

" Sorry Hermione, didn't see you there," Blaise laughed, picking up her feet, sitting down and placing her feet back on top of him.

" The hell you didn't," she mumbled as Draco placed his hands under her upper torso and raised her up, sitting down and placing the top part of her in his lap. Officially laying on both boys was oddly more comfortable then the couch had been.

" You feel tense love, what's the matter?" Draco asked, playing with her hair. He could feel her tension coursing through his body, making him wish he wasn't Veela. He wondered if Blaise could feel it, but one look at his best friend's face and body twitch, he knew he could.

" Ugh, you wouldn't believe the day I had, aside from classes and homework, I broke up four fights, three duels and was the tissue for a tear-machine of a girl who just had her heart broken. That bloody girl cried for over an hour, can you believe it?" she cried, throwing her hands in the air.

" She didn't happen to be a Hufflepuff by any chance was she?" Draco asked, a flashback of the train ride to Hogwarts bringing a shudder coursing through his body. ' Bloody Hufflepuffs,' he thought.

" Ummm, no she wasn't, a Ravenclaw actually. But anyways, I wasn't able to find Luna or Pansy all day, Ginny is in detention for something and won't be back till late tonight, and Harry and Ron have gone missing as well. I'm glad you guys are here though. I would have gone stark raving mad." she sighed, before closing her eyes.

" Sounds like you've had one hell of a day Granger." said Blaise, taking off her shoes and rubbing her feet. Hermione sighed in bliss, while Draco flipped himself so Hermione was now laying in his lap between his legs, and began rubbing her neck.

" Ginny got detention for hexing some girl who made fun of her in Herbology, Harry and Luna are in the Gryffindor tower, most defiantly doing what your thinking their
doing, and Pansy and Ron are on patrol with McGonagall. Draco was supposed to patrol, but Weasley jumped at the opportunity when he heard it was with Parkinson and Draco wanted a night off." Blaise informed her, putting her feet back on his lap and picking up a book from the coffeetable, and began reading it.

" And I'm sure you've finished all the homework assigned to you. You just need to relax love, holidays are coming up and we're leaving school for two weeks in a few days. You should be excited." Draco tried to relax Hermione, but she only sighed.

" Yes, I have finished the homework, but that's not the point Draco. People are getting on my nerves, and yes, while holidays are coming up, I'm not leaving. It seems my parents are going on vacation and a dental conference, so it looks like I'll be staying here while everyone is enjoying being away from Hogwarts." she retorted, rubbing her eyes in frustration.

" Why don't you go with Weasley and Potter to the Burrow for the holidays?" asked Blaise, looking up from his book.

" I love the Weasley's, they are like my second family, but Merlin knows that place gets way to crowded over the holidays. Could you imagine yourself stuffed in that tiny house with nine Weasleys and other family and friends? I think it best to stay here." she replied.

" Well why don't you come with me to my house for the holidays?" Draco offered, hoping she would accept his offer. Getting her away from school would hopefully allow him some much needed alone time.

" Huh?" she asked, jumping up from between his legs and standing infront of the boys.

" Come with me to my house for the holidays. Stay at the manor and spend Christmas and New Years with me and my family. I know they would love to get to know you." he suggested, trying to get her to come.

" Would it just be me, you and your parents?" she asked shyly. She had come to terms being Draco's mate, and so far it was working out great. They had a few dates, many nights spent walking along the shores of The Great Lake, getting to know one another, but she was fine with those things because she was here at Hogwarts. She knew she was safe here, being alone with Draco. Leaving school grounds and spending three weeks at Malfoy Manor was making her nervous. She knew she could trust his parents, that she wasn't in any danger being there, but she was scared. Being away from school would mean being alone with Draco and her feelings for him. She knew she cared deeply for him, might even be love, but she didn't know if she was ready to decipher it, but being alone at Draco's house, just might make her.

" My parent's would be there, and my handsome self of course," Draco laughed.

" Of course," Hermione giggled. She loved how he could calm her down with his jokes and laughter.

" Plus we have about a dozen of elves who help around the house that I'm sure you would love to meet and get to know. But besides all of that, there's a cherry on the top of this sundae. Blaise and Ginny and spending the holidays at Malfoy Manor as well." Draco loved teasing her about her love of house elves. He never treated any of the elves in his home terrible. In fact, for many years, while Blaise was gone, they were his best friends. They cared for him when he was ill, played with him for hours, held him when he cried when his father had to leave. He loved those little creatures dearly.

" Wait, you'll be there...and Ginny as well? Why didn't she mention it to me?" Hermione gasped, looking at Blaise in shock.

" Because we wanted it to be a surprise, and it's Draco obligation to ask you to spend the holidays at his Manor, not ours Hermione. I know Ginny would love to have you there. We could all spend the holidays together, what do you say Hermione?" Blaise begged, getting down on his knees and looking up at her with his best puppy dog eyes.

Hermione laughed, and Draco joined Blaise on the floor, trying his best puppy dog eyes as well. The portrait slammed open, making everyone turn and look as Ginny stormed in, but paused at the scene before her.

" What's going on here?" she asked, laughing.

" Oh, the boys here are finally learning where they belong, on their hands and knees, like the dogs they are!" joked Hermione, earning her a pinch on her thigh from Draco. " No, I'm just accepting Draco's offer to spend the holidays at his home."

" Are you serious?"

" Yes Gin, we're going to be together for the holidays afterall."

" Yay!" squealed Ginny as she ran and jumped on Hermione, knocking her to the floor. The boys cheered and joined the pile as well. They were all rolling around when a tapping was heard at the window. Draco jumped up with Hermione on his back and went to let the owl in. It flew over their heads, coming to land on the fireplace and stuck it's leg out. Draco untied the letter while Hermione fed it a treat. It was a letter from his parents.

Dearest Son,

Your mother is beside herself with worry. You haven't written a single letter letting us know how you are, how school's going. But fortunatly Dumbledore has kept in touch, informing us that things with you and Miss Granger are going great. Your mother is sitting here poking me, insisting that I extend an invitation for Miss. Granger to join us for Christmas and New Years. Your mother would love to meet her, and get to know her. She promises not to embarrass you, or show pictures of you as a child, or bring up Wubs. Please write back and let us know of yours and Miss. Granger's plans for the holidays, or I swear, I will tell her about Wub's myself."
 

All Our Love,

Mother and Father


Draco, groaned and rolled his eyes. ' That dirty, underhanded dog said he'd never bring that up as long as he lived', he thought to himself.

"What's a Wub's?" asked Hermione, looking at Draco, who looked like he was going to pass out.

" Ahhhh, nothing, father's losing his mind,...you know..old age and everything." he joked, but silently cursed his father into the deepest, darkest corner of hell.

 "It's official, Lucius has gone off the deep end mate," Draco sighed and handed the note over to Blaise, who read it, holding in his laughter.

" I can't believe he threatened you like that. That's just cruel." Blaise snickered. Draco wrote back his response saying that all four of them would be joining them for the holidays and sent it off with the owl.

" His suttle idea of blackmail Blaise, you know how he works."

" So how come your not spending the holidays with your family Blaise?" asked Hermione.

" This is the way it's always been in our families, Granger. I spend Christmas and New Years with Draco and his family, while my parents go on vacation together. Then for the summer, Draco comes and stays with me and my family while his parents go for a vacation." replied Blaise.

" I can't wait." Hermione replied, trying to pry Ginny off herself.

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" So, you get to spend three weeks in a huge palace, having people wait on you hand and foot, and lavish yourself in luxury? I'm sorry Herms, I'm not seeing the issue here." Ron exclaimed, trying to see where she was coming from, but growing up poor, he was finding it hard.

Hermione just sighed and sat down between Harry and Ron on one of the couches in the Gryffindor common room.

" But I feel bad Ron, not spending it with your family."

" Hermione, if it goes well, the Malfoy's will be your family. I think it would be good to get to know them a little better." Harry replied, patting her shoulder lightly in reassurance.

" And you agree with him, Ron?"

" Yes, I do Herms. I think it's a great idea for you to go. I know Mum will understand that you won't be coming to stay!"

She stood up and made her way to the portrait, opening it. She walked out, but before she closed it she asked, " and is that the answer you gave to Ginny when she informed you she was staying there as well with Blaise?" Just before the portrait closed she heard Ron scream at the top of his lungs,

" WHAT?"

She laughed as she began to make her way to the Head dorms, working on her apology she would no doubt have to give Ginny in the morning when the redhead got a stern talking to by her fuming brother.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bags were packed, and friends were saying their goodbyes as the holidays were beginning. Hermione was standing infront of the Great Hall, saying goodbye to Harry and Ron.

" Don't worry Herms, it's only three weeks, and if anything happens, just use your patronus and we'll be there in a minute." Ron said, hugging her tight.

" Thanks Ron, but I highly doubt anything will happen."

" Wasn't worried about you, I was talking about Ginny. You tell that snake to keep his grubby hands off my sister, or there will be hell to pay." he grumbled.

" Will do." she laughed, as she turned around to face Harry. She smiled the biggest smile as he gathered her up in his arms, spinning her around.

" I will miss you so much Mione, you have no idea." he whispered in her ear as she squeezed him with all her strength.

" I will miss you so much to Harry, I wish you were coming with me as well."

" Ummm, from what I think Malfoy has in mind to do with you during the holidays, I'm pretty sure you won't want me with you," he laughed as she slapped him on his arm.

 " Harry James Potter, you have such a dirty mind."

" Better not be having dirty thoughts about my mate Potter, or we'll be having words." Draco exclaimed, coming to stand beside Hermione, wrapping his arm around her waist.

" Take care of her Malfoy," Harry said, extending his hand and walking over to Draco, but he tripped and fell forward into Draco, who caught him in his arms.

" You really need to have a chat with Potter here Hermione, he just can't seem to keep his hands off of me." Draco laughed, holding Harry a little longer then needed.

" Shut it Malfoy, I fell." Harry blushed, pushing himself away from Draco. " I have no feelings for you, aside from the feeling of bashing your head in I'm having right now."

" Your such a flirt Potter, I'd be swooning but we're in public."

" I swear, I'm going to throttle you, but we have to get going, the carriages are here." Harry exclaimed, grabbing Ron's arm and dragging him away. He waved back to Draco and Hermione before climbing into the carriage.

" I'm counting the days until I get to see your face again Potter," Draco shouted, blowing kisses at the carriage, earning him a very rude hand gesture out the carriage window from Harry. Hermione waved goodbye one more time before turning to Draco and laughed,

" You really shouldn't tease Harry like that Draco."

" Love, I'm all for being friends with Potter and Weasley, but teasing them is the only thing I have left, so don't take away my fun. You ready to go?" he asked as their carriage came up.

" Aren't we waiting for Blaise and Ginny? I thought we were arriving together!"

" Wait, we're here, we're here!" Ginny hollered out of breath, running up to the carriage with her trunk floating behind her. Blaise was panting, leaning over, placing his hands on his thighs.

" Where were you guys?" asked Hermione, placing her trunk inside the carriage, after shrinking it.

" Waiting for Ginny. The world would end if she didn't bring every article of clothing she owns for a three week holiday." Blaise huffed, putting his shrunken trunk inside the carriage.

" I like to be prepared. There's no harm in that." Ginny mumbled, taking a seat beside Hermione.

" No, only in the case of possibly missing the carriage, then there would be cause for alarm." Blaise laughed, sitting beside Draco. The boys began talking about Quidditch so the girls turned towards each other.

" I would like to thank you so very much for telling my over protective brother my holiday plans. He hollered at me for two hours straight Mione, I swore I would be deaf before he finished." Ginny grunted.

" I'm sorry Gin, I thought he knew. I didn't mean to get you in trouble."

" I wrote my mother a foot long letter, informing her of everything that's happened, with Blaise and Draco being Veela's, me being Blaise's mate and spending Christmas and New Year's with his family. She agreed and suggested that she tell Ron what was happening, so I wouldn't have to deal with his temper." Ginny explained.

" Again, I'm sorry Ginny, I hope he wasn't mean or anything."

" Well not to me, but he was pretty rude towards Blaise."

" He promised to hex certain important and neccesary body parts off if I layed a finger on Ginny. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? He's a male for Merlin's sake, he should know how valuable those body parts are." Blaise exclaimed, shaking his head.

Hermione chuckled and nestled herself closer to Ginny, resting her head on her shoulder, nodding off. Soon everyone had fallen asleep, missing the rest of the ride.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The carriage came to an stop, signalling their arrival. Everyone piled out of the carriage, groggy from the sleep. Draco and Blaise hauled the girls trunks out along with their's and escorted them towards the front door. Both girls stopped in their tracks and stared up at the gigantic house. Suddenly feeling overwhelmingly under dressed, Hermione clutched her robes tighter around herself. Feeling her worry, Draco came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, resting his head in the crook of her neck.

" Relax love, there's nothing to worry about. You look beautiful. I know my parents will love you just as much as I do, now let's get inside before one of us catches our death of cold." Draco whispered, taking her hand in his and walking through the front doors.

" Hello Master Draco, Master Blaise, Tippy is glad to sees you." squeaked a little elf, popping up beside the boys.

Hermione and Ginny both gasped in surprise to not only see the little elf dressed in clothes, but to see the two most fearful Slytherin's in Hogwarts bend down to give the little elf a hug.

" Hello Tippy, we missed you too. Are Mother and Father around?" Draco asked, taking off his and Hermione's robes and handing them over to Tippy.

" Yes sirs, they are in the livingroom, waiting to see the Misses."

Draco grabbed Hermione's hand and Blaise grabbed Ginny's and led them through the front hall into the livingroom.

" Merlin!" both girls breathed. The livingroom was the size of the entire Head dorms. The walls were a beautiful cream color with gold trimming , while the carpet was a plush, forest green. A gigantic fireplace was built into the furestest wall, which Hermione guessed was also the floo. Along the top of it, was many moving family photos and keepsakes, and a huge painting hung above it. Two silver trimmed, black leather couches sat on either side of it, while two beautiful, regal looking armchairs sat in between them. ' That's probably where Draco's parent's sit in the evenings,' Hermione thought. Along another wall stood an enormous cabinet, filled with many different wines and liquers, and a few brandy glasses as well as wine and champaigne glasses. As if out of nowhere, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy stood up from the armchairs and came to stand in front of the boys.

" Mother, Father, it's so good to see you." Draco exclaimed, giving his father a hug and placing a kiss on his mothers cheek.

" It good to see you well.... and alive." snickered Lucius, giving his son a pat on the back. " Blaise, you look well, how are you godson?"

" I'm fine, thank you uncle. Aunt Cissa, you look fantastic, as always."

" Thank you Blaise, you always did know how to suck up. I heard about what happened at Hogwarts, and I am appalled. I thought we raised you better? You better hope your mother doesn't hear about your actions." Narcissa raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow at Blaise, who's faced blanched for a second before turning beet red.

" Yes Ma'am. " Blaise whispered, moving behind Draco.

" So, let me see your mates. I wish to meet the women who have captured my son and godson's hearts!" Narcissa demanded, folding her arms across her chest. Blaise cleared his throat, grabbing Ginny's hand and leading her to stand in front of Narcissa.

" Aunt Cissa, may I introduce my friend and mate, Ginerva Weasley."

" Pleased to meet you ma'am." Ginny squeaked out, holding her hand out. Narcissa shook it elegantly, and began to lean forward.

" Miss. Weasley, you are without a doubt, one beautiful witch. How's your mother doing?"

" She's fine Mrs. Malfoy, she sends her regards and thanks you for allowing me to spend the holidays here." Ginny replied, smiling a shy smile.

" You are welcome here anytime, and please call me Narcissa or Cissa. Mrs. Malfoy was Lucius' mother. Blaise, she is wonderful, I approve of your mate." Ginny breathed out a thankful breath and went to stand back with Blaise. " Now Draco, introduce me to your mate."

" Mother, allow me to introduce to you my friend, my heart, my mate, Hermione Jean Granger." Draco said, pulling Hermione towards his mother.

" It's a pleasure to meet you Ma'am." Hermione whispered, bowing her head. She felt Narcissa put her fingers under her chin and lift her head up, her eyes meeting with Narcissa's steel blue ones.

" My dear, you are my son's mate. You bow to no one." Narcissa said, her eyes softening and her mouth turned up in a beautiful smile. She began walking around Hermione, studying her. Hermione was beginning to feel nervous, and a shiver of fear slipped down her spine, making her skin break out in goosebumps.

" Miss. Granger, you are an absoluetly breath taking beauty. And from the praises I have heard from both my son and husband, a very powerful witch who's marks and intelligence no one can match, and I would be very honored to have you as a part of our family. Draco, I approve of your mate with all my heart." Narcissa smiled at her son, who wasn't paying any attention to her, but looking at Hermione with loving eyes.

" Thank you Ma'am, you are to kind."

" Please call me Narcissa or Cissa, I abhor the the Mrs's title. Makes me feel old."

" Alright Cissa, but please call me Hermione, the same title makes me feel old as well." Hermione laughed. " But may I ask a question if that's alright?"

" Of course dear, ask anything you like!"

" How come you had to approve of their mates? I didn't read anything in the Veela books at school about having to be approved of, or is that an old tradition in Pureblood families?"

" Your right Lucius, she is curious." Narcissa laughed, but when she looked at Hermione who looked like she'd been slapped in the face, she frowned. " Oh no dear, don't take offence to that, I myself, am also a curious person at nature. It's fine you want to know, there is nothing wrong with wanting to learn, something I've been trying to drill into Draco and Blaise since they were babies. It's not a Veela thing, my dear, but it is a Pureblood thing. It's been done since I can remember, that the elders must approve of the mates or future husbands and wives that are going to be taking over the running of the family. Stupid if you ask me, but don't fix what's not broken I guess." Narcissa explained, extending her arms to both girls and walking into the kitchen.

The boys beamed at Lucius, who was shaking his head.

" I think my wife has found a kindred spirit in your mates, boys. I knew she would approve."

" I'm glad she did. Is dinner ready? I'm starving." complained Draco, rubbing his stomach.

" Draco, the last time you ate here, you were under the impression that the elves here were trying to kill you slowly by poisoning." laughed his father, following behind his wife.

" Well, I thought they were, but now that I know what was going on, I no longer think that Father. But thank you for reminding me, now I'm not so hungry."

The three laughed and walked inside the kitchen. Draco was about to take his seat, when he stopped, his face blanching when he heard Hermione ask,

" Cissa, what's a wub's?"

Draco needed a drink.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" Ugh, I'm officially stuffed. I couldn't possibly eat another bite." moaned Blaise, rubbing his stomach. The dinner was over and the four teens made their way back into the livingroom, each plopping themselves down on a couch and moaning about their stomachs. Draco laid his head in Hermione's lap and she began running her fingers through his hair. Lucius and Narcissa came in not a little while later, taking their seats in the armschairs.

" Did everyone get enough to eat?" asked Lucius, getting only moans as response. He laughed, " okay, well it's getting late, and I'm sure the girls would like to see their rooms for the next three weeks. Would you escort them to their rooms where they can get out of their school robes and washed up boys?"

" Yes Father," moaned Draco, helping Hermione stand up and walking out of the livingroom, coming to stop at the grand staircase.

" We have to walk up all of those?" asked Hermione, counting the stairs, but losing count somewhere after forty.

" If you know another way of climbing stairs Granger, I'm all ears, but a far as I know, walking up them is the only way to go." replied Draco, beginning his climb with Blaise and Ginny on his heels. He was halfway there when he glanced up, and at the top of the steps, was Hermione a huge smile plastered on her face.

" Now how the hell did you get up there?" Blaise asked.

" Well, unless I'm mistaken, we're four, legal wizards. I didn't feel like climbing stairs, so I just levitated myself, which I would have informed you to do if you hadn't gotten all snippy." she huffed.

" We weren't snippy, we were more like short fused, snippy just sounds so cold." joked Blaise, finally reaching the top.

" So what's on this floor?" asked Ginny, glancing down the hallway.

" Father's study, Mother's reading room, library, and a few other rooms that are used as spare rooms," Draco replied, watching as Hermione's eyes lit up at the mention of a library. He raised an eyebrow and continued climbing the last steps up to the last level where the bedrooms were. Blaise and Ginny were talking about visiting the gardens outside afterwards and Draco thought that was a good idea. He spun around about to ask Hermione, only to find her not there.

" Where did Hermione go?" he asked, searching behind them.

Ginny laughed, " I have an idea. What does Hermione love more then school, and would pass up a date with the hottest wizard in Hogwarts to do on a saturday?"

Draco groaned and shook his head. He nodded to Blaise to take Ginny to her room, while he went in search of his to-curious-for-her-own-good mate. He quietly opened the doors to the library and stuck his head in. He breathed in deep and knew she was in here somewhere, he felt her inside him. He silently made his way past the stacks, peeking down every one, till he found her, nestled in an armchair wth her legs tucked underneath her, a book opened in her lap. She was twisting a strand of hair around her finger while nibbling on her lower lip. He never saw her look so beautiful. He crept up behind her and lunged, grabbing her shoulders. She screamed bloody murder, and leapt from her chair, the book falling to the ground. Draco grabbed his sides and fell to the ground, laughing while Hermione stood there, eyes wide and her hand on her heart, trying to calm her breathing.

" Merlin, you scared me half to death." she wheezed, leaning over, placing her hands on her knees. Draco only laughed harder. " And look, you made me lose my place in the book."

" If you hadn't wandered away from everyone, this never would have happened. I would have been glad to give you a full tour of the library once we got settled in." Draco panted, wiping the tears from his eyes.

" I just couldn't resist. I hear the word library and I suddenly feel this overwhelming need to go inside and look around, smell the bindings and lose myself in a good read." she sighed, " you wouldn't understand."

" You sure about that?"

She nodded her head, bending over to retrieve her book.

" Well, let me tell you something. What you just described about your love of reading, is the same way I feel about you. I can't help but want to be near you, every minute of everyday. You walk in the room and my sanity walks out, that's just a taste of how a mere glimpse of your presence effects me Hermione!" Draco grabbed her hands, bringing them to his lips, kissing every knuckle. " So don't you ever say I don't know about your love of books, because it's the same love I have for you."

She didn't know what to say. She knew he cared for her, but there was that word again. Love. He had been using that word alot lately, and frankly it was terrifying. She liked him, she liked him alot, but she was sure she didn't love him. She searched her brain for something to say, only coming up empty handed. He was looking at her with an expression that was begging for her to say something, anything.

" Alright then." Was all she could come up with.

" Alright then," he laughed. He pulled her down into his lap and brought his lips to hers. Honey colored eyes stared deep into silver, and she reached around and laced her fingers behind his neck, pulling him tighter against herself. He smiled against her mouth wrapping his arms around her waist, pushing his mouth harder onto hers. He ran his tongue along her bottom lip, asking for entrance that she gave willingly. He slipped it in and massaged her tongue with his. Deep from her throat, a growl bubbled, and soon each of theirs were battling for dominance. Her hands slipped from his neck, and ran through his hair, grabbing it tight. He groaned and leaned forward, laying her on the floor, placing himself between her legs. The need for air was becoming to great and he removed his mouth from hers, only to latch it on her neck. Hermione closed her eyes and leaned her head to the side, granting him more access. Her skin prickled as he ran his tongue down her throat, across her collarbone and up the other side, leaving a trail of fire in it's wake.
 

Draco was heated, never before had a female made him feel so alive. Needing her closer, he ground his hips into her, feeling her shudder beneath him, knowing she wanted more. His gums began tingling, he felt the sharp pricks of his canines on his lips. Merlin, this girl was like a drug. So addictive, like nothing he had ever come accross before. Somehow this girl had burrowed herself so deep into him that he could feel her moving restlessly beneath his skin. He wanted her to feel him.

Ever so slowly, she felt his hands leave her waist and begin to travel. Her head was swimming and she felt a sudden chill. She gasped when Draco unbuttoned her blouse, revealing her plain white bra, exposing her to him. She watched as his eyes began darkening, becoming completely black and he began panting. His hands roamed her upper body, lingering on more sensitive areas a little longer and he bent his head into the crook of her neck and breathed in deep.

" Merlin, you smell amazing." he groaned, taking a deeper breath of her scent.

" What do I smell like?" she whispered, her fingers dancing lightly on his arms.

He didn't answer, only growled when his hands dipped lower, running along the lengths of her thighs. He grabbed the hem of her skirt and began raising it up as he bared his fangs at her. A slight smirk graced his features and he began decending his head down to meet his hand, his body tingiling with excitement over finally marking his mate, when Hermione suddenly placed her hands against his chest, pushing hard, sending him sprawling backwards and landing on his back. She grabbed each side of her blouse, pulling it tightly around herself, trying extremely hard to catch her breath. She jumped up, taking a few steps away from him for safety.

" What's wrong?" Draco asked, panting hard.

" I like you Draco, I mean, I really like you. So much that I'm worried it might be love, but I...I," she sighed, shutting her eyes tight, trying to get the image of him sitting there on the floor, hair dishevled, shirt pulled out of his pants and bunched around his chest, panting hard from their previous adventure and eyes darkened with intense lust. He looked too good to turn down, but she knew she wasn't ready. " But I don't think I'm ready to do..that yet. I'm scared Draco, no scratch that, I'm bloody terrified to my very soul. I'm sorry, I guess I'm not the perfect mate you thought I was." She whispered the last part, dropping her head against her chest and allowed a few tears to escape the corners of her eyes, feeling the wet trail of them as they rolled off her cheeks and splashed on the rug.

" You have to be the dumbest, smartest person I have ever met in my entire bloody life, you know that Granger?" He replied, smoothing his shirt and running a hand through his hair. She glanced up, a single eyebrow raised, her cheeks beginning to tint a light pink as anger began seeping into her.

" Excuse me?" she angrily whispered.

" You think that because we're not sleeping together that your not a good mate? Have you seen the slags I used to be associated with?" he asked, coming to stand in front of her.

" Yes, unfortunatly I have been privy to a few of your escapades during previous school years." she replied, rolling her eyes at the memory of some of the girls.

" They were just for my entertainment. I never talked to them and wanted to know about them, hell sometimes I didn't even catch their names! But you, I took the time to get to know about you, everything my mind could squeeze in about you. I used them for a few hours to get what I wanted then it was done and I never spoke to them again, never thought about them again, never really wanted to actually. I think about you all the time, all day and night. I love how your brain works, constantly thinking about something, never shutting down. I have a bet with Blaise that it's even running while your sleeping! I have never once tried pushing you into doing something you weren't ready for, never asked for anything from you except maybe not let me die. With them, if I wasn't getting anything, I didn't have time for them. I love you Hermione, with everything I have, and I would never, ever ask or make you to do anything you weren't ready for. If it took forever for you to be ready, then that's how long I would wait." he calmly said, rubbing her arms with his hands, and helping her with her buttons. After the last button was done up, his placed his hand under her chin, lifting her head up so she was looking him in the eyes.

" We can't forever Draco, you'll die if we wait longer then March." she joked, trying to ease the tension.

" If your not ready by March, then my death will not have been in vain because I died for the one I loved."

" Alright then."

He laughed, " you really are one peculiar witch, you know that?"

" How so?"

" I tell you I love you, your answer back was ' alright then'. We start messing around and you freak right out, I tell you I'm willing to die for your virtue, you say again 'alright then'. Very peculiar. But if you don't mind me asking, why are you terrified? Is it me your terrified of?" he took a step back, just incase it was him.

" It would be a lie if I said no. You scare me to death!"

" Why? You should know I would never do anything to hurt you, and I explained that how I was in the past was...." Hermione placed her fingers on his mouth and shushed him.

" No, not you as a person Draco, you couldn't scare a child. It's what you do to me, how you make me feel, what you make me want to do."

" Not following you Hermione. And for your information, I'm a pretty scary bastard." he replied, folding his arms across his chest in hurt.

" Yes dear, forgive me. How could I have assumed such an idiotic notion of you not being scary, I'm such a fool. Please forgive me," she begged, getting down on her knees.

" Alright, but never forget I am scary or I will be forced to remind you." he answered, rasing an eyebrow to prove his point.

" I'm afraid of how I feel. What I feel for you, I have never felt for another man before in my life and it's scary. I'm not sure what to call it, I care for you, I do, but it's more then that, but I don't know if I would call it love, but Merlin knows I'm sure it's pretty damn close to it. And that's more then I've ever felt for another man other then my father. I wanna..you know.. with you anytime, all the time, but I can't bring myself to until I know for sure what I feel for you. Draco, I wanna hug you and throttle you all at the same time. You make me laugh and piss me off simultaneously. I don't know what I'm saying." She laughed nervously, picking her book up and holding it tight across her chest.

" I think I understand love. It's weird, because I was having the same doubts about you in the beginning. I live my life for you now, but for the past six years, I would have laughed if someone suggested the idea. It's a tough thing to get through for sure, but your a very smart witch, I know you'll figure it out. For now, let's just keep doing what we're doing, I think we got a good thing going. What were you reading?" he asked, nodding towards the book while taking her hand and leading her back to the armchair.

She sat down, Draco between her legs on the floor. " Just some witchy romance novel that I'm assuming your mother left laying around." Draco rested his head on her inner right thigh, running his fingers lightly up and down her calf.

" Read to me?" he asked, childishly.

" Seriously?" she asked, shocked.

" I love the sound of your voice, it's soothing to me. I think it's a Veela thing, plus I just enjoy being in your company, and if you wanna read, well why don't we read together?"

" Soothing? Really? What's the thing with smelling me all the time, like when you stick your face in my neck?"

" It calms me. Why does it bother you? I can stop if you like."

" No, I just wondered what it was about. Speaking of smelling, you always say I smell nice, and I know Veela's mates have a certain smell to them, what do I smell like to you?"

" Oh no, you'll laugh at me."

" I promise I won't, however I can't promise the same about wub's" she looked down at him, and he shook his head." Well I'm not reading till you tell me!"

He sighed, " fine. You smell like home," he mumbled, hoping she didn't hear him.

" Home? I don't understand."

" I never felt like I truely belonged at Hogwarts, somehow I always felt unwanted. The only place in the entire world I ever felt wanted, needed, loved and safe was at home. When I'm with you, I feel all those things, and it only intensifies when I'm in your arms. You smell like home, because when I look at you, smell you, hear your voice, I feel like I'm home, and its the most amazing feeling in the entire world to me." he explained, his cheeks sporting a light pink blush of embarrassment.

" That may have been the most romantic thing I have ever heard." she sniffed, fresh tears stinging her eyes.

" Yes, well I have been known to be romanic from time to time. Now, let's get reading, I want to hear about this half naked man flexing his arms around a stick-like girl on the front cover. 2 galleons says he's the woman in the relationship." he joked.

Hermione laughed, shaking her head. She opened to the first page and began reading, while Draco closed his eyes, and started to again trail his fingers up, down and around her calf, drawing some design he didn't know.

Halfway through the book, Hermione didn't know when she started playing with his hair, but she had a few strands wrapped around her fingers. She lowered the book to see him passed out on her thigh, his mouth slightly parted and she could feel little puffs of his breath, tickling her skin. She smiled, he looked so much like an angel when he slept, but Merlin knows it's completly different when he's awake. She yawned and quietly went back to reading her book, only to nod off herself a few minutes later, resting her head on the armrest and her arms draped around Draco's neck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The fire in the library began to dim, the heat slowly drifting away, yet both sleeping occupants hardly felt the cold. Wrapped completly around one another, sharing each others heat, both had wandered off into dreams, neither one hearing entering footsteps.

" Look love, I remember we used to read to one another when we were younger." Narcisssa exclaimed, fondly remembering her younger years.

"Yes, except I hardly drooled on your leg as Draco seems to deem fit to do on Ms. Granger." Lucius snorted, his nose bunched up in disgust as he watched a trickle of drool leave his sons open mouth and run down Hermione leg.

" And I do believe we had a deal we weren't going to call me Ms. Granger anymore." Hermione mumbled, causing Narcissa to grab her heart.

" Indeed we did. My apologies, Hermione. How are you enjoying your room? Is everything to your liking?" Lucius asked, offering a hand, helping Hermione climb around the sleeping form of Draco, and coming to stand in front of the adults.

Hermione's face reddened. " Actually, I never got there yet. I-I kinda got sidetracked, as you can see. I'm sorry." she dropped her head.

Lucius rasied a hand to silence her. " Not a problem, I can sometimes lose Narcissa in here for days if I'm not careful."

" Might I ask what time it is? I-I don't know how long I feel asleep for." Hermione blushed.

" It has only been a few hours since dinner, my dear. Would you like me to show you to your room?" Narcissa asked, extending her arm, waiting for Hermione to take it.

" But what about Draco? Should I wake him up?"

" Oh no, leave him, he's a big boy, he knows where his room is." Narcissa flicked her hand towards the fire, igniting a small flame, giving her son some heat. Hermione linked her arm through Narcissa's and walked out of the library.

" So might I ask what peaked your interest in our library?" Narcissa asked, starting some conversation.

"This is embarrassing, but I was thinking since Draco is a Veela, that you two would have some better information about them then Hogwarts does. For the life of me, I can't find anything that has helped me so far."

Narcissa opened a door to an extremely large room which she led Hermione inside. Oddly, it resembled her room at Hogwarts and Hermione looked up at Narcissa is wonder.

" We found we actually didn't know that much about you, and my son seems to have come down with a case of never-writing-home disease, so I took it upon myself to write Dumbledore, and with some help from him, I made this room." she explained, coming to sit on the side of the bed. She patted the space beside her, silently inviting Hermione to come sit beside her.

" That was too kind of you Cissa, I would have been fine with a normal room." Hermione sat, bringing her legs up under herself.

" Nonsense, nothing is too good for my son's mate my dear, now why would you be looking for information on Veela's? From what I have heard about you, you should have all the knowledge you need on them."

Hermione felt ashamed. Here was the most elegant, most refined woman, mother of her Veela sitting in front of her, calling her intelligent, when she felt far from it. A tear slid down her cheek, and she wiped away the offending thing, hoping Narcissa hadn't seen. Unfortunatly she did.

" Why are you crying Hermione? Did I say something to offend you?"

Hermione chuckled lightly, " no, of course not. I'm just so frustrated. I know, or I have read, everything ever written about Veela's. Yet here I sit, knowing basically nothing." Hermione shrugged her shoulders in defeat.

Narcissa grabbed both of Hermione's hands in hers and turned to face her. " I have been waiting for this day my entire life. I love my son, don't misunderstand me, but I have always wanted a girl. I think that's true of every mother though. Draco's an amazing son, who, more often then not, tends to get into trouble. He also perfers to go to his father for knowledge and everything. It seems, the older her gets, the less of an importance I am to him. When he was a baby, he needed nearly everything from me. Feeding, changing, then when he got a little older, a kiss when he fell off his broom, a hug when he had a bad dream, but lately, it's more his father. I guess that happens when a boy gets older though."

" He loves you dearly Cissa, he speaks often about you."

" I know he does, and I him, but now I have you in my life. I feel like I have a daughter, and when it comes to this, I have a place. I think I might know what your problem is Hermione, and I going to try to help."

Hermione's face lit up. " You can help me?"

" If I am correct, I believe I can. Why don't you change into more comfortable clothes, and I'll wait outside in the hallway. We'll go down into the gardens for an evening stroll, it's so beautiful, and we'll discuss some issues."

" That would be wonderful. I won't be but a minute." Hermione raced into the closet, while she heard Narcissa shuffle out of the room. She threw off her robes, changed into a light sweater and black yoga pants with a pair of sneakers and raced out, nearly running over Narcissa in the hallway, anxious to learn everything she could. Narcissa laughed, knowing the girl was curious, she herself was when she was younger. They began walking down the stairs. Reaching the bottom, Narcissa directed her towards the back of the house, opening two elegant doors. They began their decent into the gardens.

" So, I hope I'm not too forward in assuming this Hermione, but I believe your problem with the books is that their all facts, am I correct?"

" Yes, I knew about Veela's, and even met a few when Hogwarts hosted the Tri-Wizard Tournament in fourth year. But I never thought I would be subjected to becoming a mate. For the longest time, I always thought I would have some say over who I loved, who I married,"

" Who was your first." Narcissa finished. Hermione's face flushed deep red. " Hermione, you forget I am myself a mate to a Veela."

" I forget all the time that Lucius is a Veela. He doesn't act like a Veela at all!"

" Well he's had many years to learn to control his actions and feelings. A fair bit better then Blaise and Draco from what I've been told."

" Yes, he does seem a bit more controlled, that's for sure."

" But unfortunatly, all new Veela's have very little control over their feelings and actions." Narcissa stopped by a nearby pond and sat down, removed her shoes and dipped her into it. Hermione, glad they had a heated garden, followed suit. " Now, when I was young, I was just like you. Always wanting to learn, always wanting to be the best. Yet when I found out I was the mate to Lucius, I was terrified. I wasn't his friend, infact I hated him. He was popular, handsome and had lots of girlfriends, a trait I'm afraid Draco has inherited, as well as Blaise. But being a pureblood and living in the wizarding world, I knew about Veela's. But here I was, being thrown into that world, fresh and new and scared, as I'm sure you are."

Hermione nodded. " I'm just scared because Draco's had so many, um, flings I guess, and I've never been with a man before, and he's going to have all these expectations of me, where I'm worried that I can't even kiss him properly."

Narcissa laughed. " Yes, as much as I'm ashamed to admit, my son and godson are not as uneducated when it comes to being with women as I would like them to be, but neither was Lucius. He had quite the reputation when it came to being with the girls in our school. Where I had the reputation of being a prude and frigid."

" Me as well. If I didn't have to wear a skirt, I'm sure my friend's wouldn't even know I was female." Hermione agreed.

" Oh my yes," Narcissa laughed, " I felt the same way. And I bet every single book you've read has claimed that the marking ritual is a highly sexual thing am I correct?" Hermione nodded, " well as some would see it that way, it's more bonding them sexual. It's really just a bite, get injected with some vemon, which does hurt at first, then afterwards your actually able to connect better with your Veela. Doesn't mean you have to sleep with them right away. There's nothing written that says that you need to have sex with them to save their lives, that's a common misconception. I hope that clears some things up."

" Ugh, some of those authors need to be shot. Not once did I read that it wasn't a sexual proceeding. I even tried reading the book where they interviewed some mates and tried to get their side of the story for knowledge, but that book didn't help either."

" Your scared about your sudden feelings for my son?" Again Hermione nodded. " From what I have been told these past years, you two weren't the best of friends. Infact I'm sure the term unfathomable hatred was used a few times, and yet now in the couple of months that have passed, you feel yourself feeling something close to love that you never imagined you'd feel for Draco ever in your life?"

" It's scary how much you actually understand me Cissa. No one has ever come close to knowing what's going on in my head, even those who have known me my entire life."

" I find it's easier to relate when you've been in similar positions yourself. But I think I can help you there. While I'm sure you know Veela's have these pheremones that they give off that attract the opposite sex to them?" Hermione nodded. " You do know they don't work on us right?"

" Wait what? No, you can't be serious. That's the only thing I have going that can even possiby begin to explain my attraction to Draco."

" Yes dear, unfortunatly it's true. It wouldn't be right to trick your mate into loving you, it has to be true love. However, once a Veela is able to mark their mate, they stop producing so much pheremones, but they still attract attention."

" But, before now, I have never had any sort of attraction to your son, how is it I do now?"

" Well most of the books say that the marking strenghens the bond between the Veela and mate, and most mates would say that they didn't have any feelings towards their Veela. However, many, including myself, easily forget that hate is a feeling."

" Merlin, I forgot about that. In one book, it said that even the tiniest of feeling will turn into stronger feelings, and I just thought that it meant I would hate him even more, not fall in love." Hermione slapped her hand over her mouth. She had said she was in love with Draco Malfoy!

" No matter the feeling, the fact that there was something between you two, the Veela magic will attach itself to that. I don't know the fine mechanics of it all, I don't think anyone really does, but it somehows turns it into love, a stronger love then the usual. But one good thing comes from being with a Veela. They will spend the rest of their lives trying to make you the happiest you'll ever be. Which is better then most could ever hope for."

" I suppose that's true." Hermione sighed, there was just so much to learn and get used to in such a short amount of time. Hermione nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard Ginny come up behind them.

" Sorry, I didn't mean scare you two, I was just going for a walk myself, too much on my mind to sleep. I hope I'm not interrupting anything, I can leave if you like." Ginny began backing up, when Narcissa held up her hand for her to stop.

" Nonsense dear, as my godson's mate, you are officially family now. Come sit, what's on your mind?"

Ginny came and planted herself beside Hermione, leaning her head on her shoulder. " It's just Christmas. I love Blaise and would really like to get him something real special, I just don't know what!"

Hermione's head snapped up, sending Ginny falling sideways. She had forgotten about Christmas and presents with everything going on. Merlin, it was only two days away, how was she going to go shopping and get everything done in just two days?

" Well how about we do a girl's day tomorrow, head to Diagon Alley, get our shopping done, have something to eat, and I have a surprise for each of you." Narcissa offered.

" Cissa we don't have the money to do all those things. It took since last year to save up to buy presents this year." Hermione exclaimed.

" I won't hear about it anymore ladies. Hermione and the same for you as well Ginny have an account to ours and Blaise's family Gringrott's vaults. Money is one thing you will never have to worry about again for the rest of your lives. Lucius and Marco, Blaise's father, have seen to it. Now we are going to Diagon Alley, and that's final. Have a good night ladies, and got lots of sleep, we have a full day ahead of us!" Narcissa stood up and left, leaving Hermione and Ginny wide eyed.

" It's really scary how much she's like your mother Ginny." Hermione chuckled.

" Yeah, nothing like being home for the holidays!" Ginny mumbled, splashing water at Hermione.

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Chapter 11: Happy Christmas Granger
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


After five long hours of shopping, Hermione had finally finished her Christmas shopping. For Ron she got an autographed picture of some Chudley Cannons player she didn't know, for Harry she got a golden snitch that flew around and when Harry caught it, it would produce a scene of other famous seekers and their glorifying catches, a different one everytime he caught it. Her and Ginny had an agreement that since they were shopping together, they would each buy one thing for the other that they liked, wrap it anyways and act surprised for the sake of Christmas. For Pansy, she got a load of brand new make-up of every color and for Luna, a muggle fairy tale book. Hermione knew Luna would enjoy it, and maybe even give her father something new to write about in his magazine The Quibbler. For Blaise, she had a hard time deciding between a few things, but had finally made a decision on a magical bag that when opened would produce his favourite candy, whatever it happened to be that day. Draco however, was a bit harder. She was stumped, even with help from both Ginny and Narcissa, she couldn't find something that was good enough.

" Hermione, there's still another day. After we're done with lunch, and whatever else Cissa has planned for us, we'll go back to the manor and both you and I, and we can recruit Blaise, will sit down and put our heads together and come up with a perfect gift. You'll see." Ginny tried cheering Hermione up, but so far, nothing she did was working.

" I know Gin, but everytime I think of something, it just doesn't seem good enough. I mean, what do you give someone who already has everything?"

" I honestly have no idea, but let's forget about it for right now and.." Ginny began but stopped when Hermione had ran away from her side. Ginny ran to keep up and nearly smacked right into her back when Hermione came to a sudden halt infront of a store.

" Look Gin, it's perfect, absoluetly perfect. You think Draco would like it?" Hermione asked, her nose pressed right up against the glass and her finger tapping against it, pointing to the gift she was looking at.

" Mione, it's beautiful. If he doesn't like it, I will personally hurt him. You have to get it." Ginny exclaimed, her eyes as big as saucers. Along with Hermione, the girls entered the store.

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" Did you girls get your shopping done?" Narcissa asked, sitting down at the table the three girls were just brought to. It was a fancy french restaurant with a line out the door and starting to wrap around the block. Hermione and Ginny were both floored when Narcissa just walked past everyone, up to the host and said her name. The host had immediatly began apologizing for having the ladies wait and ushered them to the best table in the restaurant.

" How did you manage to get past all those people waiting in line?" asked Ginny, still a little shell shocked.

" You two girls will come to find that both the Malfoy and Zabini name will take you places you've never imagined and fast to." Narcissa explained, placing her napkin in her lap while the waiter began pouring some name brand red wine into her glass. He offered the same to both girls who, out of politeness accepted.

" But isn't that sort of exploiting your name for personal gain?" asked Hermione, reading over the menu.

" Our families have worked very hard to get where we are in life, and while I agree that using our name for personal gain is wrong, using it to help get somewhere in life, providing you work very hard to get there, shouldn't be a bad thing."

" I guess that's not so bad. Merlin, the prices in here are so high. A salad is 10 galleons, who would pay that for a salad? I could go and pick my own for free." exclaimed Ginny, skimming the menu.

" Yes it is rather pricey here, but wait until you taste the food, makes it all worthwhile. Now forget about the prices and order what you will. I suggest the salmon, it's to die for." Narcissa said, folding her menu and taking a sip of her wine.

" I think I'm going to have the fettucine, with grilled chicken and a side of sauteed mushrooms in garlic and butter." Hermione ordered, and put her menu down.

" I'm going to try the grilled chicken breast with garlic mashed potatoes and garden vegetables." Ginny ordered and placed her menu on the table and took a sip of her wine.

" And I of course, am going to have the salmon." Narcissa placed her order and dropped her menu on the table. All three menus disappeared and in their places, the food appeared with cutlery and fresh glasses of wine.

" My, that was quick." laughed Ginny, who watched as the appearence of the food made Hermione jump in her seat and slightly choke on her mouthful of wine.

" Merlin, these mushrooms smell amazing, and the pasta is so soft. I could live in this plate of food and be happy to never leave." Hermione moaned, placing another forkful of food into her mouth.

" Somehow the prices don't seem to matter anymore." Narcissa laughed under her breath as she watched her girls enjoy their meal and began cutting into hers.

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" Thank you again Cissa, that was quite possibly the greatest meal I have ever had in my entire life." Hermione rubber stomach in appreciation. Her stomach was full yet the quality of the food didn't leave her feeling tired afterwards.

" It was my pleasure ladies, I've been needing a day out with the girls for some time now. So are you ready for your surprise yet?"

" The lunch wasn't the surprise? There's more?" asked Ginny, nearly dropping her bags in shock.

" Of course there's more. The lunch was to stock you up with energy for what's next, I assure you, your going to need it." Narcissa laughed. She pointed over towards a clothing store, except this one didn't have any robes or regular clothes in it. Instead, lining the front window were beautiful manneqins dressed to the hilt in elegant dresses.

" Whoa, hold on we're going in there?" Hermione asked, stopping dead in her tracks.

" Of course, that's my surprise. Every year we have a New Year's ball and this year I'm going to introduce you two as my son's mates. Kind of like a debutante ball, you know, a coming-of-age thing, and my surprise is I'm taking you to the best tailor and beautician and we're going to get you the best dresses England has to offer and get you all set up for the ball. What? Is this something you don't want? We don't have to do this if your not comfortable with it. It can just be a regular ball like every other year and we can go somewhere else for dresses,"

" No no, Cissa, no." Hermione interrupted, " It's just that, this is way too much. First lunch then dresses and a make over. You didn't have to do all of this for us."

" I've always wanted a daughter to going shopping with, buy dresses and have makeovers, talk girly things with. I'm living my dream right now with you two, please allow me this one last indulgance, and on my word as a witch, I will never make you two do this again!"

" Okay, I guess we can't say no too that." Ginny laughed and looped her arm through Hermione's, following Narcissa through the front door, sighing, knowing it was going to be a long day.

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" So boys, may I ask as to what you have planned for your mates for the upcoming Christmas?" Lucius asked, pouring himself and each boy a tumbler of brandy.

" Honestly Father, I have no clue what to do for her. I am, for the first time in my life, stumped for what to do for a woman to please her." Draco groaned, taking a sip and sitting down on the couch in his father's study.

" I have an idea as to what to do for Ginny, Godfather, but not quite sure how to pull it off. I think I may need Aunt Cissa for this one." moaned Blaise, sitting beside Draco on the couch.

Lucius chuckled lightly to himself and took a seat in his armchair, resting his cane beside him. " I know for a fact, Cissa will jump at the opportunity to help you with your mate Blaise, have no fear, she will go all out."

" That's what I'm afraid of!" mumbled Blaise into his cup, before taking a sip.

" But I may have an idea for you Draco, however you may not like it."

" Seeing as Christmas is only two days away, I'm all ears for any and all ideas."

" Well Hermione is a Muggle right? And if I'm not mistaken, every year for Christmas she spends it with the Weasleys? So how long has it been since she's had a Muggle Christmas? Decorating, tree, lights, stockings I believe they are called. Give her a Muggle Christmas, with help from magic of course." Lucius offered.

Draco jumped off the couch, his glass of brandy sloshing over the brim, landing on Blaise, who shot him a dirty look while using scourgify to clean himself. " That's gotta be the most amazingly, brilliant thing I have ever heard."

" Well, I am Lucius Malfoy, known for being brilliant, intelligent, and of course devilishly handsome." Lucius joked.

" Blaise, I'm going to need some help, would you mind? I have to get started, I want to be done for Christmas morning." Draco asked, running to the door, hollering for any house elf available to come and help.

" I suppose," Blaise sighed, " Thanks Godfather, now I'm going to end up doing all the work while Draco orders me around, you do know this right?" Blaise sighed once more, before following Draco out into the hall, waiting for his orders.

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" My feet are screaming at me Hermione. I never knew feet could hurt this much." Ginny complained, taking a seat on Hermione's bed, her floor covered in a ton of bags and boxes from their shopping spree with Narcissa.

" I know she said just a makeover and get a dress for the ball, but 5 hours of standing on a pedestal, while some strange woman dressed and undressed me a million times is a little much."

" Well we just had a little cut and had some slight makeup added to our faces, I wouldn't really call it a makeover Mione. Are you happy with your dress though. I can't wait to wear mine."

" Yes, it's beautiful. Now let's get started wrapping these presents. I really need to take a nap."

" So what are you expecting Malfoy to get for you? I bet it's something like a house somewhere exotic, maybe a castle."

" Gin, I highly doubt it's castle, or even a home. But anything he gets me would be perfect. It's really the thought that counts anyways, not the gift."

Ginny snorted. " Tell that to Fred and George."

The girls spent the next hour wrapping their presents and Hermione helped Ginny carry hers back to her room. After making her way back, she collasped on her bed, barely having enough time to remove her shoes before her eyes closed on their own and soon she was in a blissful dream.

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Dinner was uneventful. Ginny and Hermione sat quietly, eating very little, still spent from their day of shopping. Lucius ate while Narcissa filled him in on the shopping and lunch. Draco and Blaise ate as quickly as they could, before rushing off and disappearing for the rest of the night. Hermione was curious, but thought nothing of it, chalking it up to 'boys', and excused herself, heading to her private bathroom for a long, hot bubblebath. Her muscles were sore from carrying the heavy bags, and she needed to relax.

Upon exiting the bathroom, she heard the distinct 'pop' from a house elf in the hallway and muffled whispering. She knew it was wrong, but couldn't help it when she pressed her ear up against her door, listening in.

" Should Tinky get the misses?" the elf asked.

" No Tinky, we can't even be sure Dumbledore is correct. No need to upset everyone. I will floo to Hogwarts right now though. Not a word to anyone till I return, is that clear?" Lucius whispered. Hermione was straining to hear him, wondering what he was talking about.

" Yes sir, Tinky won't tell anyone. Will sir be needing anything more from Tinky?"

" No thank you Tinky, you've done enough. Your everything to this family, know that we appreciate everything you do for us. Thank you again old friend." Another loud 'pop' was heard and Hermione heard Lucius' footsteps as he headed down the hallway, probably to his study. She leaned her forehead against the door, silently wondering what had just been discussed. Was it bad? Good? Did it even have anything to do with her? Her mind was racing, but she was still to tired to even think, so she just made her way back to her bad and climbed under the covers. Loving the feeling of the silk sheets, she yawned and stretched her arms above her head as she let herself drift off again into sleep.

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" And your sure it was them? They haven't been heard from since the fall of Voldemort!" Lucius stated, pacing infront of Dumbledore's desk, his cane smacking the palm of his other hand in anger.

" While I didn't see them first hand, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley have it on good account from their twin sons it was them."

" Where? When? How can they be so sure? Perhaps it was others who bare a resemblence, how are we to know Albus?"

Dumbledore felt for the pacing man infront of him. This man had fought not only for his life, but the life of his family. Had endured things no man should ever have to. Now here they were, possibly awaiting another war. " Yesterday. They were at their shop, and decided to leave early. They were taking the garbage out to the back alley, and happened to see them walking down the same alley. They followed them but stopped as they headed inside Borgin and Burke's. Instantly, the twins apparated home, to inform their father what they had just seen."

" NO! I refuse to believe it was them. I did not almost give up everything I hold dear to me, just to have it ripped away again. I WON'T LET THAT HAPPEN!" Lucius roared, picking up an ornament from Dumbledore's desk and throwing it across the room, watching as it shattered against the wall into tiny little pieces. Lucius growled loud as he plopped down into the chair. " What are we going to do Albus?"

" Everything we need to Lucius, to protect those kids."

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Her stomach was rumbling as Narcissa was walking down the steps to the kitchens. She screamed bloody murder as something fluffy brushed up against her leg and jumped down the last remaining steps, beginning its slaunter out to the gardens. Her husband was immediatly at her side

" What in Merlin's name was that Lucius?" she asked, her hand placed above her heart, trying to stop it's pounding that threaetned it's way through her chest.

" I believe that would be Ms. Granger's cat."

" It would appear it suffers from the same hair problem that she does!"

Lucius was trying everything he had to hide his laughter as him and his mate made thier ways into the dining room, awating breakfast. He had arrived home after the meeting with Dumbledore completly wrecked. He had flooed straight to his study, flopped down in his armchair and contemplated drinking himself into an oblivion. However, had he decided to do that, the wrath that Narcissa would bring down upon him immediatly changed his mind. His wife was a charming woman, no one could argue that, but piss her off and it would be like hell had been unleashed on earth. Lucius shuddered from the thought.

" Good morning ladies, how was your night?" Lucius asked, pulling out his chair and looking at Ginny and Hermione.

" I was so exhausted from yesterday, I could have slept all day today." Ginny mumbled, taking a sip of her pumpkin juice.

" Oh nonsense, that wasn't half as much shopping as I do on a regular day." Narcissa gauffed, taking her rightful seat beside her mate.

Hermione's eyes shot open in surprise, " Merlin Cissa, how much shopping do you do?"

" Not nearly enough, if I had my way." Narcissa muttered. She glanced around the table, noticing two vacant seats. " Where are those boys of mine? I haven't seen them since yesterday, when they took off after dinner. Lucius?"

Lucius simply shrugged his shoulders. He knew exactly where the boys were, but didn't want to ruin the surprise.

Narcissa narrowed her eyes in suspicion. " If you know something, you had better tell me Lucius. You know I hate being kept in the dark."

Lucius simply leaned over and patted her hand with his, silently telling her that he would enlighten her later on in their own secret way. Narcissa smiled in relief, she really hated not knowing what was happening in her own house.

" So, do you ladies have everything in order for tonight?" Lucius asked, taking a bite from his toast and opening up The Daily Prophet.

Both of the girls heads snapped up. " Why? What happens tonight?" Hermione asked, not knowing what in the world they were talking about.

" Merlin, I hope it's not more shopping," Ginny muttered to herself.

" Well tonight is when we exchange presents. We have done so every year, since tomorrow is so busy with visting friends and family, we hardly have time to ourselves for our own private family time. So awhile back, we decided to make Christmas Eve our night." Narcissa explained, watching as relief spread over Ginny's face, and laughed quietly to herself.

" What goes on tonight?"

" Usually we exchange our presents first, after Narcissa hustles us into the family room, then we sit around the fireplace, and we relive old family Christmas' and the boys tell us of their year so far at Hogwarts. Not as elegant as some would like, but it's one of the few times where we're together as a family." Lucius said, taking a hold of Narcissa's hand and smiling lovingly at his wife.

" Actually, it's sounds beautiful. I don't get to spend much Christmas' with my family anymore, it would be nice to have a quiet Christmas. I can't wait." Hermione exclaimed, clapping her hands in excitement. She couldn't wait for tonight.

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" So, is everything in order Blaise?" Draco asked.

" Since I did most of the work for your present to Hermione, I can confidently say yes it is." Blaise muttered, plopping down on his backside in exhaustion.

" My dear friend, don't think of it as work, think of it as putting your talents to good use. Think of how happy Hermione will be when she sees this. Think of how she'll repay me!" Draco laughed, coming to sit beside Blaise and grabbing a clump of grass in his hand.

" Glad I could help you get laid, mate."

" I'll forever be in your debt."

" I doubt it!"

" So are you ready for tonight?"

" I didn't do anything like you did, but I think Ginny will be happy with what I got her. Or I'm hoping she will be."

" Blaise, I don't know Ginny as well as I should, but I guarantee, anything you decided to get her, she will treasure forever."

" Merlin I hope so!"

" Well, we better get back inside and start getting ready for tonight. Mother will have our heads if we're late."

The boys stood up and began their walk to the Manor, each hoping tonight went as well as each hoped it would.

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A clock somewhere in the Manor chimed, alerting the occupants it was 7pm. Ginny and Hermione, both ladened with presents, made their decent towards the family room. They stopped in front of the door and took a deep breath. Ginny turned towards Hermione, her face flushed.

" What's the matter Gin?"

" Nothing really, it just suddenly hit me that in the near future, this will be our Christmas' for the rest of our lives. That we're going to be part of this family. Had someone told me a year ago that I would be spending Christmas at Malfoy Manor, I would have laughed at them."

Hermione laughed, " trust me Gin, I know how your feeling. I'm going to be a Malfoy, that's enough to cause me to wonder about my sanity. Well, let's head inside, I really don't want to keep them waiting."

Ginny nudged the door open with her foot and pushed it open further allowing Hermione to walk in first, and followed behind her. Narcissa and Lucius were sitting in their armchairs, each holding a sniffter of brandy, while Draco and Blaise each occupied a seat on one of the couches, keeping a spot open beside them for the girls. They held a glass of champaigne in each hand, handing one over to the girls when they placed their gifts on the floor. Narcissa cleared her throat, and stood.

" Alright, who wants to go first?"

Lucius' eyes sparkled evily and Narcissa laughed. " Alright Lucius, you first. You were always such a child when it came to Christmas."

" He enjoys this more then we do I think," Blaise whispered in Ginny's ear, making her chuckle.

He went about opening his presents. Receiving a few from Draco, Blaise and Narcissa. He paused when he grabbed the last present, unmarked. Hermione and Ginny both came to stand in front of him and sat down on their knees, almost like kneeling infront of royality.

" What's this?" he asked, shaking it delicatly and looking at both girls at his feet.

" Open it and find out!" both girls exclaimed excitedly, looking at each other.

Lucius tore at the wrapping and gasping in shock as he glanced down at his present. Its was magnificant. It was a brand new top for his wand, that he kept hidden in his cane. It was a beautiful, silver carved snake, it's eyes a deep, forest green, matching the color of Slytherin. When he placed it on the handle of his wand, it's tail immediatly wrapped around it, while the head hissed quickly before baring it's fangs and biting sharply, taking a solid grip. It really was an amazing gift.

" Ladies, I don't know what to say, except it's beautiful and thank you!"

Hermione blushed and glanced down at her hands. " I know your wand was practically destroyed in the final battle, so we thought you might want something to remind you of what you had lost."

" It's perfect, thank you both again." He got up and grabbed both of the girls hands, placing a grateful kiss on each of them. Hermione went and sat back down beside Draco, who wrapped an arm around her shoulders and placed a kiss on top of her head.

" That was a wonderful thing you did for my father, love. You made him extremely happy!" Hermione smiled up at him and snuggled closer into him, watching as Blaise began digging into his pile of presents.

" Sweet Merlin's ghost. Hermione, this is brilliant!"

" Glad you like it Blaise!"

" Look, licorice wands. Head's up fellas, I'm gonna devour every last one of you!" Blaise spoke to his candy. He took a gigantic bite and opened his next present, Ginny's. He nearly choked on his candy, when he glanced inside the box. " Dragon hide beater's gloves? With my name embrodiered in each one? Ginny, this is just too much."

" Nonsense, I saw you looking at them in one of your thousands of Quidditch magazines you have in the common room. Nothing is too much when it comes to you Blaise. I hope you like them." Ginny replied, tilting her head to the side and smiling slightly.

" Like them? I love them. But I hope you still think the same thing when you see your present!"

" Okay Mother, you go next!" Draco said, bringing over her gifts and placing them at her feet. She reached for a silver wrapped box, bringing it to her ear and shaking it. Hearing no sound, she frowned slightly. She began to slowly unwrap it, her eyes narrowing in suspicion. Opening the end of the box, she placed a hand over her mouth, her eyes watering immediatly.

" Oh my!"

" Cissa, what's the matter, don't you like it?" Ginny asked, worried her and Hermione may have upset the lady of the house.

" No, no. Quite the opposite. I had thought this was lost in the fire. However did you get this?"

" Hermione has great standing when it comes to the elves of Hogwarts. They would do anything for her. And so they did."

" What is it mother?"

" It's my favourite memory!" Narcissa exclaimed as tears began rolling down her cheeks. She lifted the silver frame, engraved with different celtic designs all around it and handed it to Draco. She had this same photo in her dorm when she was at school, but a wrong curse sent, had everything burned, everything lost. It had hurt her deeply, but now she had it back. It was a moving picture of her standing by the Quidditch stands after Slytherin had won the House Cup. Suddenly, Lucius appeared, dressed in his chaser gear, picked her up by the waist and planted a kiss on her lips. He leaned over and whispered something in her ear to which she beamed at and whispered something back.

" That's the first time your father and I said we loved each other. Thank you girls so much." she opened her arms and welcomed the hugs from both girls together, tears freely rolling down her cheeks and landing in the tops of Hermione's and Ginny heads.

" Okay, enough of this sentimental nonsense, I wanna open my presents next." Draco jumped from where he was sitting and began digging into his pile of presents. He had finished opening Blaise's, when the last one sitting there was from Ginny. He picked it up and unwrapped it, finding inside was Dragon hide seeker boots, with Slytherin green and silver lining the outside, while soft fur lined the inside.

" Ginny, this is amazing. How did you know I wanted these?"

" I know you'll find this hard to believe Malfoy, but your not hard to read at all. I watched you for months in the common room with Blaise reading over the same magazines, and watched how excited you got when you turned to the page with the boots."

" Thanks Weasley, they are awesome. I'm going to wear them during our game against Gryffindor after the break. Prepare to be destroyed."

" Bring it on Malfoy, I'll take great pleasure watching Harry holding the snitch in triumph while you wear your new boots in defeat."

Draco laughed, " we'll see who's right Weasley. Watch your back!"

" Watch your's Malfoy!" Ginny giggled, and sat back, waiting to see Hermione give him his gift.

Draco looked around but couldn't see anything else for him,so he got back up and began making his way to the couch when Hermione stopped him.

" Umm Draco, I wanted to give you this personally. I hope you like it." she held out her hand and inside her palm sat a small, green box. He picked it up and sat down on the couch. Hermione joined him, sitting as far away as possible and turned to face him, watching closely as he unwrapped it.

Draco held his breath as he opened the top of the box and removed the gift. In his hand he held a silver ring. On the outside, was a picture of a dragon, which moved and flew around the band, breathing fire and smoke, it's eyes shining bright green. The smoke began to form letters, which spelled out 'D+H'

" Look on the inside!" Hermione quietly said.

Turning the ring on it's side, he looked closely, and engraved on the inside of the ring it read, 'Always and Forever'.

" Now blow on the ring" Hermione again said quietly, barely making a sound.

Draco lightly blew on the ring and inside his head he heard Hermione's voice whisper, " I Love You!"

" Just incase I don't say it enough, you'll always hear it!" she replied, blushing furiously, and worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.

" I don't have the words to express to you how much I love this gift. I'm speechless!"

" Bout time someone shut that mouth," Blaise laughed, raising his glass in a toast to Hermione. Draco shot him an angry look, and he lowered his glass, mouthing an apology to Draco.

" Hermione, I didn't think I could ever love you more, but apparently I was wrong." Draco leaned forward and wrapped his arms around his waist, placing kisses all over her face, coming to stop and hover over her lips, " I love you Hermione."

Her breath hitched and caught in her throat, " I love you too Draco!" She let out the breath and lightly placed a kiss on his lips, her face growing hot from showing such intimacy in front of his parents.

" Okay Ginny, come on, I'm dying to see what you got!" Blaise begged, coming to sit beside her on the floor in front of her presents.

" I think your more excited then she is Blaise!" Narcissa laughed, taking a sip of her brandy and looked back down at her photo for the hundredth time.

Ginny unwrapped the present from Hermione, which she already knew she got, a beautiful gold chain from Draco, a gorgeous bracelet from Blaise which held plently of charms and she suddenly knew why he said what he had said about his gift. But the biggest shock came when she opened up the gift from Draco's parents.

" Bloody hell, uh I mean, Merlin!"

" No, I think bloody hell pretty much covered it!" Hermione laughed as she looked down at Ginny's brand new Lightning Bolt broomstick. It was the fastest, latest broom, and it wasn't even out on the market yet. It was due out next year! Harry was going to have a cow when he saw this at next practice.

" How in the world did you guys get this? It's not due out till next year?" Ginny asked, running her hands along the fine mahogany wood.

" Lucius has his ways, and when we heard you played on the Quidditch team as chaser, we had to get it for you. We were going to give one each to the boys, but decided it would suit a chaser better. You need to be fast to score those points for Gryffindor" Narcissa explained, raising the corners of her mouth up in a sneaky grin that was only for the girls.

" Oi!" both Blaise and Draco shouted. " Mother you were in Slytherin, and you give my best rival the fastest broom ever as a gift to beat me with for House Cup? Your going against your house, son and godson!"

" Oh hush Draco, I'm doing no such thing. Besides, I've been out of Hogwarts for years now, houses mean little to me anymore. If I just so happen to give my future Daughter in law a gift that might help her win a Quidditch game against my son, then so be it. Don't blame me if your not better then a simple broom dear."

" Hmmph," Draco snorted and leaned back against the couch, his arms crossed over his chest.

" This is the best gift I have ever received, thank you Lucius and Cissa. And excuse my language, I seem to have inherited my brother's mouth!"

" Quite alright dear, now Hermione, your last. Open your gifts!"

Hermione sighed and sat down on the floor around her pile of presents. She opened her gift from Ginny, faking surprise and giving her a sly smirk and a sneaky wink! She opened her gift from Narcissa, receiving a pair of diamond drop, Malfoy heirloom earrings. She didn't know what to say, only hugged Narcissa tightly and whispered that they were perfect for her dress for New Years and a quiet thank you. Narcissa only squeezed her reply back and Hermione continued on her presents. Lucius had gotten her a matching diamond drop necklace, and she snickered to herself, thinking that Narcissa had gotten it for him while getting the presents to match the earrings. Hermione looked over at Lucius and rasied a single eyebrow in question. Lucius only raised one back in answer and went to take a sip of his brandy. Blaise had handed his over and she ripped into it. He had gotten her a brand new edition of Hogwarts, A History, only it was signed by the author on the inside page.

" I saw your copy was getting old and worn out, seeing as you read it twice a night!" was his reply. She smiled lovingly at him and gave him a slight kiss on the cheek.

" Hermione, I need you to come with me. I have your present elsewhere," Draco replied, reaching for her hand and helping her to stand.

" Where are we going?"

" Out to the gardens."

Everyone watched as they walked out, Lucius making sure he caught his son's eye. He gave him the look that said either 'I'm proud of you' or it was, 'Mess this up and your dead', but Draco couldn't decipher it. Instead he nodded his head, and walked with Hermione out of the room.

" Will I be needing my jacket?"

" I suppose it wouldn't hurt, but I highly doubt you'll need it."

" Umm, okay."

Draco helped with her jacket, and placing his hand on the small of her back, began leading her out to the gardens. He stopped short of the door and spun her around to face him.

" I need you to close your eyes and not look until I tell you okay?"

" Why would you need me to do that?"

" Just humor me okay?"

Hermione sighed and not only closed her eyes, but placed her hands over top of them as well. " Happy now?"

Draco waved his hand in front of her eyes, and when he was satisfied she couldn't see he replied, " immensly so, Love."

Hermione waited on bated breath. She had no idea what he had in store for her, let alone what her present was. But as she heard Draco open both doors, felt him grab her wrist and lead her outdoors, her heart began pounding even harder.

" Okay Hermione.....open them!"

Hermione slowly removed her hands, and peeked out from underneath her eyelids. The sight before her, had her eyes shooting open. " Oh Merlin!" she exclaimed, her hands coming to her face.

Every single tree in the garden had been decorated with Muggle christmas lights, every one a beautiful blue, green, red, yellow, and orange! He even had them decorated with Muggle ornaments. Nothing moved except her and Draco in this scene. He had used magic, of course, to make it snow. Now it was falling in light flakes, covering the ground in a dazzling white. He even went through the trouble of building a Muggle snowman, unlike the magic one Dumbledore makes every year on the Hogwarts grounds that does nothing but terrify the students and pelt the unsuspecting ones with snowballs. Everytime Hermione would decide to take a walk down by the lake, or curl up under her favourite tree with a heating charm and her favourite book, that damn snowman would bombard her with snowballs! Hermione's nose crinkled at the thought of that thing. She was going to get that hell minion, if it was the last thing she did. However, this one did not move, even had a real carrot of a nose, coal pieces for eyes and buttons and sticks for arms. Draco had even dressed him in a top hat and scarf.

" Draco, a Muggle christmas! This is all so wonderful. How did you do it?"

" Well I read a million Muggle Christmas books, listened to a few Muggle songs, and even Blaise helped. He wanted to know what a Muggle Christmas was all about too."

Hermione's eyes began watering, and slowly tears began running down her cheeks. Draco got worried.

" What, don't you like my gift?"

" No Draco, it's not that. I love my gift, it's wonderful. It's just that, I haven't had a Muggle Christmas in years. I always go to the burrow for Christmas or Harry's place and everything there is magic and has to do with witches and wizards. It makes me miss my Christmases even more. But now, thanks to you, I have my Christmas back, and it's never looked so beautiful."

" I will make sure you have your Muggle Christmas every year. However, I was thinking about asking Dumbledore, when we graduate this year, if I could have that adorable snowman he has on the grounds every year. Something to remember him by."

Hermione's eyes flashed in anger and she spun around on Draco so fast, he nearly fell over in surprise. Her voice was low and even, " don't you dare!"

" Okay, geez. What do you have against a harmless snowman anyway?"

" You have no idea!"

" Alright, well let's continue. I have another surprise, however it did have a little magic to make it work, but I'm sure you won't mind in the least." Draco brought two fingers to his mouth and whistled. Hermione's eyes widen in surprise when she saw what came next.

In front of her was a huge, horse drawn carriage, complete with horse driver on top. The horse was bigger then any horse she had ever seen. It was a brilliant light brown, with spots of white covering its body. Its mane and tail a bushy yellow color, swishing restlessly. The driver on top was dressed in a full length black suit, who jumped down, removed his hat and bowed before them. Draco grabbed Hermione's hand and helped her into the carriage when the driver opened the door for them.

" Where are we going to go?" Hermione asked, nestling beside Draco.

He wrapped an arm around her and answered, " Just around the gardens, The magic will only last an hour, then it will turn into the little figurine I saw in a store window. A Muggle store mind you!"

" My brave hero, you fought the Muggle's during Christmas time, and lived to tell the tale!" Hermione giggled

" They are vicious. I went to look at a sweater, and not only did an old woman grab it out of my hands but she bit me as well. Bit me! Can you believe it? Bloody savages!"

" How did Blaise enjoy the Muggles?"

" He pretty much held on to my arm for dear life the entire time! I tell you Hermione, if I wasn't able to get this, I was sure ready to blast them all into oblivion."

He held out his hand, and inside was a beautiful small, red, velvet box. He placed it into her plam and gestured for her to open it. She narrowed her eyes at him in suspicion and began to removed the ribbon. She nearly dropped the gift when she lifted the lid. Inside was a beautiful, princess cut, white platinum, diamond ring.

" Draco?"

" No love, it's not a wedding ring or engagement ring. This is the Malfoy ring, made for the women of the house. I saw what my parent's had gotten you and thought who better to wear the ring, then the next Lady Malfoy?"

" Draco, it's beautiful, much to beautiful to be worn at Hogwarts. But I'm going to wear the bloody hell out of this at the New Year's ball your parents are throwing."

Draco laughed, and rested his head on top of Hermione's. This had been a beautiful day, and everything had gone perfectly. Only he felt something...off. He knew it wasn't him, he looked down at Hermione, who had worried her bottom lip into her mouth.

" What's wrong love?"

" Um, nothing Draco."

" Being a Veela does come in handy sometimes. You can't lie to me Hermione, I can feel something is wrong, now tell me what it is!"

" It's just, I was thinking about what happened the other day in the library."

Draco moaned in frustration and shook his head. " Hermione, we discussed this. I don't care about sex, I care about you."

Hermione shook her head. " No, no. Not about that. I've just been doing alot of thinking and I have come to a decision."

" About?" asked Draco, not really following her.

" While I'm not ready to have sex yet, I am fully ready for you to mark me!"

Draco eyes widened in shock, as he waved his hand, instantly making the horse, driver and carriage disappear. He and Hermione now both stood in the middle of Malfoy gardens somewhere, Hermione wasn't quite sure where. " You'll have to forgive me love, I think I had some snow or something in my ear, and I'm afraid I misheard you. Did you say you are willing to be marked by me?"

Hermione laughed out loud, " yes Draco, that's exactly what I said."

If it was possible, his eyes bulged more, " here?" he squeaked out.

" While it's not the most romantic setting, but if you wish it to be..." she carried off.

" Hermione, if I had my way, I'd take you everywhere in every which way. But to put your mind at ease, we are at least twenty minutes from the house." He came up in front of her. " Are you sure you won't get cold?"

" A simple heating charm will help."

" So your sure? You do know what being marked entails right?"

" Yes Draco, it means that from that moment on, I will forever be bonded to you, heart, body and soul. It means that for as long as I live, no other will ever posses my heart, and no other man will ever be allowed to touch me, for I am yours and you mine. I'm ready to do it Draco. You've patiently waited and allowed me my time to think it over and decide on my own, even giving my chance to walk away before it started. And because of that, I've come to love you, and I want nothing more then to be yours for the rest of my life, if you'll have me, of course."

The only answer that came from Draco, was a deep, animalistic growl, as he wrapped his arms around Hermione and roughly pressed his lips against hers. Trying to remember not to hurt her, he released some of the pressure, dragging his tongue along her bottom lip before nibbling on it, asking for entrance. Hermione sighed as she felt his tongue softly dip into hers, curling around her tongue, massaging ever so slightly. She grabbed the bottom of his jacket and pulled, telling him to follow her to the ground where they could lie down.

The snow was magically gone as their bodies hit the ground, which Hermione was thankful for. It was like Draco had been expecting this to happen, ' the sneaky, little bastard,' Hermione thought with a chuckle. She felt his hands undoing the button of her jeans and pulling the zipper down. She started shaking, ever so slightly, but wasn't sure if it was from the cold or their current situation. Hermione lifted her hips a little as Draco wedged her jeans off her hips, leaving them to rest at her knees. He began sliding his hand across her stomach and up and down both legs, looking for the perfect spot to mark her on. As his hand lightly passed over her right hip joint, right where it connected to her thigh, he suddered. His body reacted instantly, his eyes blackening over and his fangs springing to view. Hermione began rethinking her decision as soon as she saw those fangs.

" Draco...?"

He looked up at her, panting heavily now, his every being needing to mark her right now. " Y-y-yes?"

" I love you."

" I love you too Hermione, this may hurt a little."

He bowed his head, using his hand once more to find that spot again. When his body shuddered, he lightly grazed it with his tongue, trying to relax Hermione. His entire body was racked with nervousness and fear that was radiating off his mate. Once he felt her relax a little bit, he opened his mouth wide and sunk his teeth deep within her hip. He felt his body draining energy as he flowed his Veela vemon into her. Everything around him was becoming blurry, and he was vaguely aware of Hermione screaming when suddenly he was pushed off of her by an invisable force, his fangs disappearing immediatly. He shook his head, regaining vision once more and rushed to Hermione's side. He looked down and saw the angry marks from his canines and bent down and licked it once more, watching in fascination as they closed up, leaving behind a faint scar to anyone who saw it, however, to any Veela who happened to see it, it was his initials that would be clear as day to another Veela, should they try and mate with her, alerting them she was taken. He smiled a faint smile as he watched his initials being forever imprinted on her skin.

" Bloody hell! ' May hurt a little'? Rubbish, that fucking hurt like hell! I feel like my entire body is on fire, and I'm running a two hundred degree fever." Hermione moaned as she pulled her jeans and did them up.

" Do you want to go back to the house?"

" Yes, I think I need a freezing cold shower to try to get this fever down."

" Your not the only one," Draco mumbled under his breath.

Hermione, now having Veela vemon in her veins, heard that and merely chuckled to herself as they began their walk back to the house. Before coming to a stop by the back door, that Draco ran ahead to open for her to enter through, Hermione stopped and grabbed his collar, bringing him in for a heart stopping kiss.

" Happy Christmas Draco."

" Happy Christmas Granger!"


 


Chapter 12: New Year's With The Malfoy's
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


Hermione was awoken by violent jerking and someone bouncing on her bed. She moaned and rolled over on her right side, only to hiss in pain when she rolled over her fresh mark from Draco the night before. She layed flat on her back once again and glanced up at her intruder. Jumping up and down like a five year old, was her best friend Ginny.

" Wake up Mione, it's Christmas. We need to get going. Mum's going to blow a gasket if we're late, and I personally don't want that to happen. Plus I want to hear about your present from Draco." Ginny squealed, pulling Hermione by her arm out of her warm bed.

Hermione and Draco returned back to the house, settled into the family room once more and participated in the family stories about their past Christmas'. Draco had gone an angry red, along with Blaise when Narcissa had begun discussing the time Draco, when he was three, had run donstairs early one Christmas morning, and had unwrapped every single present, while Blaise and joined him, only instead of unwrapping the presents, decided that today he wouldn't be needing a diaper on and was streaking through the house. Hermione had choked on her champaigne when she heard that, while Ginny had rolled off the couch, holding her sides with laughter.

" Wasn't that funny Weasley," Draco had mumbled, while Blaise just crossed his arms over his chest.

Ginny regained herself, and told them about some of her Christmas' at The Burrow. Her stories included the one time that every single present from Fred and George that was given to Ron, had been a hex everytime he opened it, ranging from turning his hair a different color, to making him a blubbering idiot who couldn't form a word. The entire room was laughing when she told them one present had actually exploded in his face, rendering him deaf and blind for an hour. Hermione couldn't deny that that had been extremely funny watching that happen, and listening as Molly had given the twins a wicked tongue lashing after that.

Lucius was defiantly interested in Hermione's Christmas memories. Her being the only person in the room to have experienced a Muggle Christmas, everyone was curious to hear what they did. She told them about ice skating, sledding, baking cookies, watching christmas movies with family, making snow angles and playing in the snow, caroling, and decorating a christmas tree and singing christmas carols with the family on Christmas Eve.

" But what about this Grinch character I've heard so much about? Aren't you worried he's going to come and steal your presents every year?" Blaise had wondered.

Hermione stifiled a laugh and explained to him that the Grinch was a fictional character from a beloved children's book and movie by a Muggle author. After an hour, Hermione really needed to go to bed. The marking had caused a severe headache, and had taken alot out of her, making her yawn every couple of minutes. Her, along with Draco stood, and excused themselves. He had walked her up the stairs and helped her into bed after she changed, kissed her on her forehead and wished her goodnight, but not before he told her he loved her a million times and thanking her for letting him mark her. She could only murmur her response before she drifted off to sleep.

" So come on, tell me, what did he get you?" Ginny wondered, following her into the bathroom, not allowing her to escape her question. She waited until Hermione had finished brushing her teeth before she began tapping her foot on the floor in frustration. Hermione merely moaned and began describing the backyard.

" Merlin Hermione, that sounds so romantic. That carriage ride must have been gorgeous."

" Probably would have been if it had lasted more then five minutes."

Ginny raised an eyebrow in question. " Why only five minutes?"

Hermione only smiled a sly smile and whistled as she walked out of the bathroom.

" Oh no you don't. You fess up now, or I'll tie you to the chair and hex it out of you."

" Well, now it's not what your thinking Ginny, we didn't do that! However I did kinda..." Hermione mumbled to herself the last part.

" Didn't quite catch that last part. What was that Hermione?"

" He marked me last night. That's why I excused myself early, I needed to sleep afterwards."

" WHAT?" Ginny squealed, clamping her hand down on her mouth. " What was it like? Did it hurt like we thought? Are you different?"

" Ginny shush, everyone is still asleep. It was, well different, never had anyone bite me before, and bloody hell yes it hurt. Hurt like hell, I felt like I was on fire. But it was also magical, Ginny. I've never felt so close to someone in my entire life. Now I don't feel different, but I can hear Blaise softly snoring down the hall, and I can smell the house elves cooking in the kitchen. Plus I can see the birds in the trees about fifty yards from here. I think it's the venom, it has magical qualities, I'm assuming these are them."

" Merlin, Mione, that's incredible! Do you think I'll have those quirks when Blaise marks me?" Ginny asked, pondering the situation.

" Only one way to find out, I suppose! Only, do it when you feel the time is right Gin, don't rush into anything." Hermione begged her best friend.

" Oh I had already planned to do it on New Years Eve. You know, start the new year off with a bang, so to speak."

" GINNY!" Hermione yelped, and hit her friend over the head with one of her pillows off her bed.

The girls errupted into a pillow fight, which with the shrieking, woke up the other four sleeping occupants of the Manor, who shot up in their beds, wondering who was being murdered!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The smell of food cooking, wafted through The Burrow, causing Hermione's stomach to growl uncontrolably. Molly's cooking was, in Hermione's opinion, better then any five star restaurant in the world.

" Is there anything I could do for you Molly?" Hermione asked, never one to sit out while there was work to be done.

" Merlin, no, Hermione. Go, play.. er.... watch the boys. Make sure they don't get themselves into anymore trouble. Merlin knows that little red head boy of mine can find trouble in the most holiest of places." Molly replied with a fake laugh. The war had taken it's toll on her. She had seen many of her friends, even close ones, like Sirius, perish. Then when her youngest son had jumped at the opportunity of following ' The-boy-that-trouble-follows, and the most sought after Mudblood, she nearly went bald, spending nights pulling out her hair, wondering if her child was dead or alive, espically during the trek of finding horcruxes. That was the worst of all. Now knowing that her youngest son was safe and at home, she wasn't going allow him the thought of going off alone again! She knew she could trust Hermione to keep him at home!

A loud boom was heard, followed by Ron shouting and laughter. Molly only sighed and placed her hand on Hermione's arm. Her hand began to tingle, and she looked at Hermione knowingly as she pulled it off. " Kids! You'll understand when you have a few yourself one day." She looked Hermione up and down, trying to notice a difference before walking out of the kitchen in search of the damage that was undoubtibly caused.

Hermione stood there for a minute, her fingers lightly grazing the spot here Molly's had been a little while ago. She had felt the sharp tingle as soon as the womans fingers brushed her skin, and knew Molly had as well. It was part of the marking. No one that her and Draco hadn't deemed alright to touch Hermione would be allowed to without them feeling like they were being burned, depending on the touch. A tingle from a motherly touch on the arm, Hermione shivered with fear when she began wondering what was going to happen if any one of the Weasley brothers or Harry hugged her. Figuring that the only way to keep that from happening would be to keep her distance till she had a chat with Draco later on that night.

" Ronald Billius Weasley, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. If your going to degnome the garden, make sure you stun them first. Now look at you, boils all over your face and right before the family Christmas picture. How am I going to be able to send them to your grandmother now?" Hermione heard Molly berating Ron, three rooms over. Hermione chuckled and made her way outside to see her friends that weren't having problems with the gnomes.

" Hey Hermione, Happy Christmas!"

The rest of the Weasley brothers and Harry began to make their way over to give her a hug and welcome her, but she only took a step back, held out her hand in front of her for them to stop and shook her head.

" Mione, you okay? What's wrong?" Harry asked, walking slowly up to her and stopping when his chest was an inch from her hand.

" I'd love to tell you, but not infront of everyone. Can we go somewhere private?"

" Sure Mione." Harry almost reached for her hand, but stopped when she put them in her pockets and began walking out into the field towards their favourite spot. It was a corner of a tiny pond that they used to swim in every summer, but mostly it was recluse for the Trio during the war when they needed to get away and either be alone or just together, away from everything and everyone. Coming to a stop at tiny hill, Hermione plopped herself down in her usual spot while Harry took one beside and turned face her.

" So what's up? You seem really off Mione. What's the matter?"

" Nothing's really the matter, just a new complication has risen and I didn't want to discuss it with everyone. It's kind of a personal problem."

Harry began to turn a slight pink, " it's not one of your feminine problems is it? Merlin Hermione, I am a pretty open guy and willing to discuss anything with you, but if I have to go through another chat about cramps or bloating or anything of the sort, I swear I will hex myself deaf for the remaining seven days if I must."

Hermione laughed, remembering the first time her and Harry had discussed her intimate issues when she had yelled at him for no reason one morning in the Gryffindor Common Room. " No Harry, it has nothing to do with that. Although if you would like to hear about it.."

" Merlin Hermione, I swear, if you even begin.."

" I was joking Harry, calm down. No this actually has to do with Draco and myself."

Harry face broke out in an evil grin, " Oh really? Come to ask if it was done properly?"

" HARRY JAMES POTTER! Get your mind out of the gutter this instant. But for your information, I have not slept with Draco, but when I decide too, you'll be the first to hear all about it."

Harry only chuckled, " Good to know. Well if it's not that, then what's the issue?"

Hermione sighed, " I decided last night that the ferret is going to live a long and happy life, with me as his mate."

Harry's eyes bulged out of his head. After hearing that Malfoy was a Veela, Harry figured out quickly that he knew very little about them, and since his two best friends were mated to two of them, he went and did a little research on them. He knew full well what she was talking about. " You let him mark you?" Hermione nodded, " What was it like?"

" I guess the usual. Hurt like hell, my skin felt like it was on fire and I had an enormous fever. Then I got very tired and almost slept an entire day. But the weird thing was, when I woke up this morning, I was different. I mean, I don't feel different, but I seem to have these extra powers I didn't have yesterday." she shurgged her answer.

" What powers do you mean Mione?"

" I can see far distances, hear quite a ways away, and I can smell things alot easier as well. Like I know, right now, that you were with Luna," she stopped and sniffed Harry, " about two hours ago. It's weird yet at the same time, exciting."

Harry blushed a deep red, Hermione was right. " Are they going to stay, er I mean, last? Are you always going to have these powers now?"

" I think I will. It's a way for the mate, that's less magically inclined then the Veela, to feel more like an equal."

" Wow, that's incredible. Now, I know this is going to sound weird, but if it's not too personal, might I ask to see the mark? I read about them, but was never able to find out what it actually lookes like."

" Sure," Hermione stuck her fingers into the tops of her jeans and pulled the corner of them down passed her hip. Harry leaned in close but couldn't really see anything.

" I don't see anything but a really, really tiny white line. It's almost invisible."

" What? No way, it's right there." Hermione used her other hand to point to Draco's initials, on her right hipbone. She had been a little peeved when she saw that little bit in the morning. She had thought it was going to be like a design or marking, but instead it was his initials. Oh how Draco must have loved that, seeing her embrodiered with his name.

" I'm telling you Hermione, I see nothing but a line."

" Oh wait, you won't be able to." Hermione pulled up the waistband of her jeans. " To a regular person, it will look like a tiny scar, barely visible. To a Veela though, it will be as clear as day. To let them know I am marked, or taken in regular terms."

" What does it look like then?"

Hermione growled, " it's his bloody initials, I've been branded with the ferrets name."

Harry began laughing so hard he hunched over, clutching his stomach. " Malfoy must have loved that. I can almost feel the smirk."

" Not funny Potter."

" Oh, but I think it is Mione. Anyways, so why are you all depressed. It couldn't possibly be because the mark turned out to be his name?"

" No, it's not that. When a mate is marked, no other will ever posses their heart, no one may be allowed to touch the mate unless deemed okay by the Veela and mate. And unfortunatly, I haven't been able to talk to Draco since last night. If a person was to touch me, depending on the severity of the touch, is how much pain will be inflicted on them. Molly touched my arm in the kitchen and her and I got a slight tingle. Had you or anyone else had hugged me, it probably would have been an excruiating burning sensation. I can not be physically touched until I see Draco."

Harry stretched out his hand and experimently touched her arm. He allowed his hand to linger for only a moment when suddenly, it felt like his hand was on fire. He yanked it back, and immediatly stuck it in the pond, trying to cool it off.

" Now imagine if you had hugged me?" Hermione whispered.

" But you said Molly touched you in the kitchen and all she got was a little tingle?"

Hermione shurgged, " must be more severe if it's another male who touches me, seeing as how I'm a female mate. It's probably the same for male mates if a female touches them."

" Well, you had better have a little chat with Malfoy when you go back tonight because I refuse to go the rest of my life without being able to hug my best friend. And since that polyjuice class, Ron's found his love of hugs as well. He'll go mad if he can't get a hug from you. Let's head back, or was there anything else?"

" Well, I have been feeling a little bloated......."

" LALALALALALALA," Harry clamped his hands over his ears and began walking back to the Burrow, Hermione in tow, laughing the entire way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" That one?" hissed a dark, cloaked, hooded figure. Two shadows emerged from bushes off to the side and were watching intently the two kids by the pond.

" No, I don't want Potter, I want the Mudblood! She is the heart of the Trio. The only way to break Potter, is to break her! Besides, she smells delicious. She'll make a fine addition to my collection."

" Your taking them all! There won't be any for me!"

" Don't worry, I'll let you play with them all you like, but the Mudblood is mine!"

The two figures turned on the spot and disapparated away before they set off the wards of The Burrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" Merlin Hermione, this is amazing. I love it!" exclaimed Harry, having caught the snitch and watched the scene play out.

" Your welcome Harry. Molly, this sweater is perfect, I love it." Hermione said, running her hands over her new, midnight blue sweater. Over the years, Molly had come into better tastes when it came to fashion. Hermione was thankful, as was everyone else.

" Oh nonsense dear. It was nothing really, now if we are done here, let's get dinner started."

At that moment, Ron's stomach grumbled so loud, the entire room heard. Hermione laughed while Harry joked, " I think Ron's stomach has answered for all of us."

Ron merely turned beet red and hopped up from the floor and followed his mother into the kitchen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dinner was amazing, as usual, and Hermione and Ginny were saying their goodbyes to everyone before stepping into the floo, back to Malfoy Manor. Ginny went first, walking right out and into the waiting arms of her Veela. Blaise immediatly wrapped her in his arms and held on for dear life. Ginny awaited the arrival of Hermione, but she didn't come.

All of a sudden there was a flash of bright green and out tumbled Hermione, covered in black soot and landing unladylike on her bottom. Everyone laughed, while Draco offered her his hand and helped her to her feet.

" Never let it be said that Hermione Granger doesn't know how to make an entrance." Draco mocked, earning a death glare from Hermione.

" I've never been able to properly exit the floo. I perfer to apparate. Much safer then these blasted fireplaces." Hermione mumbled, dusting the soot from her new sweater. Narcissa went to take Hermione's hand and lead her into the kitchen where she wanted to discuss the ball with her and Ginny, but was stopped when a light, burning sensation ran through her hand and up her arm. She pulled her hand back fast and looked at Hermione with wide eyes. Hermione only rubbed her arm and looked down in embarrassment.

" What's the matter love?" Lucius asked, coming to stand behind his wife. He was about to tend to her hand when he began sniffing the air. He was twisting and turning his head from side to side, trying to find where that smell was coming from.

Blaise had walked over beside Draco, leaned in and whispered in his ear, " I think your father has officially gone off the deep end, Mate."

Draco only nodded in agreement before asking, " Father, what's the matter?"

" I don't know, I smell...something. Somethings different....." Lucius trailed off and began walking towards the children, sniffing everyone till he came to Hermione. He sniffed her once and placed a hand on her shoulder. She screamed out in pain, as well as Lucius, who gripped his hand as though it was on fire. Hermione nearly fell down from the pain, until Draco wrapped his arms around her waist and snuggled her into his chest. He turned to his father with wide eyes.

" What happened Father? Why did that happen?"

" You marked her?" Lucius asked, the pain slowly going away.

" YOU WHAT?" shrieked Narcissa, grabbing her husbands arm.

" So what if I did, it's what we wanted. I didn't force her, I waited until she was ready. It only happened last night. How did you know?"

Lucius shook his head slightly in disbelief. Sometimes his son could be so dumb. " A newly marked mate has a certain smell to them, though it only lastes for a little bit. It's from the Veela vemon. However, when a mate is marked, they are unable to withstand the touch from anyone else but their Veela, until discussed between them. I thought you would have been smarter then this Draco. You could have seriously hurt your Mother and I."

" I didn't know that part. I would never intentionally hurt my family and you know that, Father. So what, how do I stop whatever is going on with Hermione?"

" You two need to agree on who can and can't touch her."

" That sounds insane. I can't tell her who can and can't touch her. I'm not her owner. That's barbaric."

" Unfortunatly, yes, however we're talking about Veela magic. Magic that's been around since the dawn of men. That was a barbaric time, there's nothing we can do about it."

" Okay, I agree that you, Mother, Blaise and Ginny may touch my mate."

" Also the Weasley family, Harry, Luna and Pansy as well," Hermione piped up.

Draco growled low ," fine, I agree to them as well. Anyone else you feel the need should be able to touch my mate, or are your demands set, Princess?"

Hermione gasped in shock and anger set in. " Actually, one more thing. You can add your name to the list of people who can't, you self righteous git." and with that, Hermione ran up the stairs, Ginny following right behind her.

" Draco Abraxas Malfoy, I rasied you a hell of alot better then that. How dare you treat a woman, not to mention your mate, the way you did? You march yourself up those stairs right this instant and apologize, and afterwards, you may retire for the rest of the evening." Narcissa exclaimed, swatting her son on the back of the head.

" Mother, I am in no mood to be yelled at by you. I have bigger issues at the moment, or did no one else see my mate fly up the stairs in anger because of me. Now please, leave me alone."

Lucius began panting and his eyes blackened over. He raised his right hand, his fingernails growing dangerously long, almost animalistic, in an attempt to strike his son. Draco saw this and immediatly stepped back, Blaise hiding behind him.

" Draco, I have never rasied a hand to you once in your life, but so help me, you speak to your mother, like that again and we will be having one hell of a row. Now you will go upstairs, apologize, and retire for the evening. I do not wish to harm my son." Lucius was trying his hardest to get his breathing under control and relax.

" I'm sorry Mother, it was wrong of me to speak to you like that, please forgive me."

" I do, however, there's a young woman upstairs who deserves your apology more then I do, now go. I will see you tomorrow."

Draco's mouth hung open in shock. " I apologized. You can't seriously still be grounding me? I'll gladly apologize to Hermione, but you can't still be gounding me, that's absurd."

" NOW, DRACO," Narcissa yelled, pointing her finger up the stairs.

Mumbling a mouthful of swears, that he made sure no one heard, he headed up the long flight of stairs, towards his ever appending doom, Granger's bedroom, to apologize.

He stopped short of her bedroom door and focused his hearing as hard as he could, trying to hear anything going on in Granger's bedroom.

" I heard you coming up the stairs, Malfoy. Now instead of standing outside my door, evaesdropping, feel free to come in and say what you came to say."

He grinned, he had one hell of a mate! He slowly opened her door, hoping nothing would come flying towards him. " About what happened down there, well, I came to apologize. What I said was wrong, and should never have been said in the first place. I beg your forgiveness."

Hermione huffed in anger, " Draco, cut the bull, I heard your mother order you to come and man up. Malfoy's never ask for forgiveness, as I seem to recall. However, to make your mother happy, I accept your apology. But you will however, have to make it up to me."

Draco threw her a very naughty grin, " Anything you desire, love. I live to make you happy," he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

" Anything my heart desires?"

" Yes, anything, yes." A smug grin appeared. He hoped it was leaning towards dirty deeds and either hers or his bedroom, he really didn't care.

" Crookshanks needs a bath. Your in charge, no elf, no Blaise, just you. He needs to be groomed for the New Years Ball."

Draco's grin instantly faded. " What?"

" Did I stutter? I'm sure your Veela ears heard me correctly. And before I even begin to think about letting you touch me again, the deed must be done. Now, I'm tired, it's been a long day, see you in the morning."

Draco grumbled a quiet goodnight, closed her bedroom door and began searching the house for that ruddy beast of hers. Where was that damn cat when you needed him?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" I'm not sure we'll be able to break the wards. Malfoy Manor wards are long since ancient. Even Dumbledore himself couldn't break them." One shadowed figure hissed to the other, who both huddled in some bushes, not far out of sight of Malfoy Manor.

" Quiet, you fool, someone will hear us. Have no fear. I have my own way of getting onto the grounds. I'll get that cowardly bastard, whatever it takes."

" Mmmm yes," the first shadowy figure licked their lips in hunger, " starting with his son's and their ever so delicious mates."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Draco emerged from the bathroom, cursing very imaginatively that amazed even Hermione. He had small little cuts all over his arms and legs, a few across his cheek. He was soaked from head to toe, and he looked dishevled. He jumped aside as Crookshanks trotted out behind him, a brilliant, proud look on his face as Hermione scooped him up.

" You look so handsome, your all ready for the ball," she put the cat back down who immediatly pranced out of the room, but not before turning around and glaring one more time at Draco.

" I swear it Hermione, that bloody beast tried to kill me." Draco growled, sticking his tongue out at the retreating backside of the cat.

Hermione scoffed, " hardly, he's a very well behaved cat. He wouldn't harm a fly."

Draco snorted and held out his arms as evidence to thwart her theory.

" Oh nonsense, he's a cat, Draco, he by nature, hates water. Of course he would put up a struggle, did you honestly expect something different?"

Hermione turned and walked into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. She was quietly laughing to herself, for she had sent Crookshanks to The Burrow for a few days after her agreement to Draco, only to pick him up New Years Eve, allowing her time to cool off from being mad at Draco, and finish some last minute preperations for the ball uninterrupted.

" Ugh, Hermione, you in there?" Ginny knocked softly.

" Yeah, come in, Gin. Everything alright?"

" Yeah, just ugh, why haven't you begun getting ready for the ball? You do know it begins in two hours right?"

" MERLIN, Ginny I lost track of time. You have to help me, I haven't even begun to get ready." Hermione began digging into everything she owned, trying to find everything she needed.

Ginny only laughed, " Mione, calm down. I'll get everything set up in here, you go shower. When your done, I'll be here to get you ready and myself, now go."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An hour and a rushed half later, the girls stood in front of Narcissa, who was putting the finishing touches on them. On Hermione, she had placed the Malfoy heirloom necklace and earrings, making sure her ring sparkled. On Ginny the Zabini heirloom necklace and earrings that Blaise's mother had owled over earlier that day.

Narcissa took a step back, tears welling in her eyes. " You two look absoleutly breathtaking. My boys will be beating others off with sticks tonight I think."

" Thank you Cissa, but don't cry, you'll ruin all your hardwork on your makeup."

" Yes, uh yes, your quite right. Now I'll you'll excuse me, I must be at the bottom, to greet our guests and welcome you two down the stairs." and with that Narcissa elegantly wisked herself off, down the stairs to begin to greet guests.

" How's everything Mione, how's my hair?"

Hermione turned to look at Ginny. Her hair was pulled up tight, into a proper bun, with only little tendrils escaping down the back, while Baby's Breath was stratigically placed throughout her hair. Her dress was an off the shoulder, forest green, velvet number that fell just above her calves. Outlined in black, it made her red hair stand out more. Her makeup was dark, dark green and coal ontop of her eyelids, black eyeliner rimming the outedges. A faint blush added to each cheek and light, pale pink to her lips. Her feet were donned with the most blackest and highest heel Hermione had ever seen, a single strap, wrapping it's way around her ankle. She was stunning. Simply put!

" You look gorgeous Gin, it's remarkable how much you look like your mother."

" I can't wait for her to see you. Incase it's slipped your notice, your quite the fantasy yourself."

Ginny took in Hermione hair, swept completly off her neck in some weird, but fashionable updo, three tendrils fell on each side of her face, outlining the heart shape it was. Her hair, everytime she moved, seemed to sparkle, as if it were made of diamonds. Her dress was something to behold for sure. A deep midnight blue corset cut, a deep v-shaped down the middle of her cleavage, only leaving a little bit to be seen. The length ended just above her knees, and shaped her frame beautifully. The straps wrapped around her shoulders, leaving her neck and shoulders bare. The Malfoy necklace and earrings she got from Narcissa and Lucius at Christmas, matched beautifully the diamonds incrested along the top of the dress. Her makeup was a dark blue, eyes rimmed with dark black eyeliner and her lips stained red. She was defiantly a sight to behold for sure. She had again borrowed Ginny's velvet black, 4inch heels, shaping her legs. After borrowing them all the time, Ginny decided to give them to Hermione, stating she gets more use out of them then Ginny ever had herself.

The music started up loudly, announcing the arrival of the two girls. Ginny grabbed a hold of Hermione's hand and began their decent down the stairs. Hermione's eyes washed over the crowd as she heard their announcement. Everyone was there. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, who was crying her eyes out. Harry and Luna, with Ron and Pansy standing beside them. Hermione caught Pansy's eyes and watched as Pansy made a descret gesture for Hermione to straighten her back. Hermione stood straighter, thankful she had a pureblood friend who had to endure this more then once. She turned to look at her boys, Harry with a proud smile on his face while Ron stared, mouth hanging open. Pansy put her middle and forefinger under his chin and closed his mouth. More of their friends from Hogwarts, including a few professors. Snape, McGonagall, even Dumbledore had made an appearence. She nodded her head as Dumbledore looked at her, the knowing twinkle apparent in his eyes. They reached the bottom, where Ginny parted from her and took ahold of Blaise's arm and Hermione hooked hers through Draco's. The boys looked fantastic with top of the line black robes.

Draco leaned over and whispered in Hermione's ear, causing her to shiver, " you look amazing love, absoleutly perfect."

" Thanks, you clean up good yourself Malfoy," she giggled and walked behind Blaise and Ginny into the ballroom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The band had begun their second set that night, and Hermione needed to sit. Her feet were throbbing. She had danced with most of everyone, including Snape, which shocked everyone, including Hermione. Harry kept laughing while Ron stood with his mouth hanging open, trying to form words, but only curse words were coherent. " Hermione, may I have this dance?" she heard, a hand placed open in front of her, awaiting her answer.

" I'd be honored." she replied, placing her hand in his delicately and allowed herself to be lead on the dance floor. Everyone parted off the floor and circled around to watch as Lucius Malfoy and Hermione Granger elegantly waltzed around the floor.

" Everyone's watching," Hermione whispered, her cheeks blazing red.

Lucius chuckled, " and so they should be, I am a Malfoy after all," he joked, twirling her out and spinning her back in.

Everyone was gobsmacked. Here was the most renowed Death Eater, dancing with the most famous Mudblood, and they were laughing, enjoying themselves! No one could speak let alone breathe. Lucius made a sudden change and spun Hermione over and over again, allowing her to spin fast, coming to place his arm across her back, finishing the dance with her bent backwards over his arm, two inches from the ground, and a gasp was heard throughout the crowd.

" There, that should give them something to talk about for the rest of five minutes. Thank you for the dance, my dear."

" Uh, my pleasure." Hermione curtesied while Lucius bowed and began to make his way back to his wife, who had tears sparkling in her eyes.

" Hermione, that was beautiful." Ginny squealed, coming to stand beside Hermione, followed by Luna and Pansy.

" Positively devine, " Luna breathed, and began swaying to her own music that played in her head.

" I don't know about anyone else, but it's getting close to midnight. How about we go out onto the balcony for some fresh air?" Pansy asked, fanning herself with her hand. " I'm sweating like a pig."

" Ladies don't sweat, Pansy, they glisten." Ginny joked.

" Well unless it's escaped your notice Weasley, I'm no lady! And last time I checked, none of us were, now get me outside before I die from the heat!" Pansy quipped, rushing out into the cool air.

All four girls moaned in appreciation as the cool night air brushed their fevered flesh. Hermione scrunched her face in disgust, " does anyone else smell wet dog?"

" Have you been into the firewhiskey Granger?" Pansy asked, sniffing the air.

" I don't smell anything Mione," Ginny replied, also sniffing the air.

" Perhaps I'm losing it. Well we had better get inside before the boys send out a search party." Hermione sighed and began walking inside. She had only made it a few steps before strong arms pulled her aside and enveloped her. She melted right away recognizing Draco's scent.

" Where did you run off to, my little lioness? I was looking everywhere for you." Draco bent his head and breathed in deep, his eyes glazing over in lust from her scent.

" I went outside for some air, I was beginning to get hot," Hermione moaned, and tilted her head back as Draco began trailing feather light kisses down her throat.

" You don't know hot yet love, but I promise, in a few minutes, you will," Draco growled, picked her up bridal style, and ran into the closest deserted hallway.

" Draco, stop. We could be seen." Hermione pleaded as he began his assault once more on her neck, sucking, nipping and licking. His only response was an animalistic growl from deep in his throat.


He smirked, and pushed her against the wall. "I had a feeling you wouldn't need the bed," he whispered as his teeth caught hold of her earlobe. His mouth traveled down to her neck, and she reveled in the feel of it when he bit her. His quick hands had the back of her dress undone in seconds, and she sucked in a breath when she felt his cold hands on her skin. She ran her hands through his blonde locks, relishing in the feel of his soft hair against her fingers. She brought her hands down and grazed his shoulders with her fingertips once before sinking her nails into his skin--it was a silent plea to get him to be rougher, and they both knew it.

He smirked again and shoved her up, keeping a knee between her legs to support her. The stone of the wall scraped against her back, leaving marks she knew she was sure to have later on. He managed to undress her completly, even in that position. She looked down at him with clouded eyes. He looked up at her, matching her expression. Suddenly he pulled her into a bruising kiss which left her lips pained and her lungs burning for air. She didn't even realize he had also undressed until he pulled away from her, then gave her a malicious look that she should have hated, yet couldn't help but enjoy.

He smiled as he whispered against her ear, "Scream if this hurts."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Moments later they returned, Hermione trying endlessly to reposition her dress while fumbling with her hair. She grunted in anger and turned towards Draco, who had a goofy grin on his face.

" You do know, everyone is gonna know. I mean look at me, I looked positivly wrecked." Hermione whined and gave up on her hair, waving her wand, allowing it to come undone, falling down her back.

" By all means, you should Granger, that was no half assed attempt back there, but if you need a repeat performance, I'd be glad to show you once again." he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

She gaped at him, " Not right now Draco, people are going to notice that we're not there when they ring in the New Year. Now let's just get this night over with, and later I promise, I will be all yours." She finished fixing her dress and walked into the ballroom. Harry was the first person she saw and walked over to him.

" Hey Harry, seen Ginny, Pansy or Luna around anywhere? I can't seem to find them."

" Yeah, last I saw they were heading back outside. Something about finding a wet dog or something, not too sure. You alright? You look like you've been to hell and back. Problems in paradise with the ferret?" Harry joked, laughing at the blush that crept up her neck and sank into her cheeks.

Hermione puffed up. It was perfectly alright for her to call Draco a ferret, but far be it for anyone else to use that name to describe her mate. She only knew one way to close his mouth.

 " On the contrary, snogged him within an inch of his life. Shagged the living daylights out of him too, if you must know! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go look for the girls." With that, she turned on her heel and walked away, leaving Harry wide eyed, frozen in place and staring out into space, trying to decide if she was telling the truth or not. She paused a moment, before looking over her right shoulder at him and said, " I did say you'd be the first to know," and continued her search.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" There you are, I came to get you so we can ring in the new year together." Hermione exclaimed as she came up behind the three girls on the balcony.

" Is it that time already?" Ginny asked.

" You know, I gotta say, if someone had told me a year ago that I was going to be standing here, friends with you three, dating a Weasley and actually enjoying myself along the way, I would have considered them mentally unfit." Pansy sighed.

Hermione laughed, " your not the only one Pansy. Now lets get inside and... hold on, you guys hear that?"

" What?"

" Shhh, I hear someone, or someones!"

Pansy, Luna, Ginny and Hermione all pulled their wands out and huddled together.

" Can you guys see who it is?" Whispered Ginny, her hand holding her wand trembling a little bit.

" No, I just hear rustling and footsteps." Hermione whispered back.

" STUPEFY" was shouted and a flash of bright light hit the four unsuspecting girls. They all fell to the ground, unconscious.

" I got them, did you see? I got the little witches."

Hermione moaned and tried to open her eyes, attempting to see her attackers, but wasn't able to with Ginny on top of her.

" Oh look, the Mudblood is awake."

Hermione cried out in pain as one of them kicked her in the stomach. She felt one of them bend down and grab a hold of her and Ginny's arm, and felt the distinct pull behind her navel as they transported away from the Mansion and everything went black.
 

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" Bloody hell, Blaise. What was that?" asked Draco, a sudden pain ran through his stomach.

" What are you playing at Draco? Nothing happened."

" Well, I don't get sudden pain like someone just kicked me in my stomach for no reason now do I?"

Harry and Ron ran up to the two boys suddenly in panic.

" Have either of you two seen the girls? We can't find them anywhere." Ron asked, his face flushed.

" We went outside and all we found were their wands on the ground." Harry said, holding out the wands as proof.

Draco looked at Blaise for a moment before running outside and coming to a halt where the girls were. Both him and Blaise began sniffing the area.

" They were here, I can smell them. It's still strong, but it's not anywhere else." Blaise said, his nose scrunched up as a disgusting odour hit his nostrils.

Draco had his scrunched as well. " And they weren't alone." His eyes blackened over and he at once began putting the pieces together. Someone had hurt Hermione, thats why he felt pain. " Someone took the girls. Potter, go get my father and Dumbledore."

Harry nodded his head and ran back inside. A moment later Lucius appeared with Dumbledore trailing behind.

" Do you recognize the scent Father?"

Lucius growled loudly, causing the boys and Dumbledore to jump in surprise.

" Only one person has that disgusting stench around him. Greyback was here and he was with someone too. A female. Smells like Bellatrix. They've taken the girls."

" I thought this place was protected with centuries old wards, how did they get on the grounds?" asked Ron, his face pale at the mention of Greyback.

" Yes, however Bellatrix is Narcissa's sister. She's family and allowed to enter the grounds. She must have gotten Greyback in as well. We need to find the girls and fast. I know Greyback. He's not one to keep prisoners alive for long." Lucius answered and looked at Dumbledore.

Dumbledore only nodded his head. Fears and images parading around in his head of what the two kidnappers were going to do with the girls. He only hoped that they arrived in time before it was too late.
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Chapter 13: This Is Torture
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


' Don't scream, don't give them any satisfaction,' Hermione thought as another cruiatus curse was sent her way. Her vision became blurry as she began losing consiciousness. Teeth clenched, she attempted to picture herself somewhere safe and warm. Somewhere with Harry, watching him catch a snitch. With Ron, as he stuffed his face with food and grinned. With Draco, being loved. It wasn't exactly working.

" Look at this disgusting Mudblood. How could you even begin to think yourself worthy of magic, with nothing but filth running through your veins?" Bellatrix screamed, spitting on Hermione. " Answer your superiors Mudblood!"

Hermione squinted her eyes, and stared defiantly at the crazy woman. " Show me where they are and I will, however all I see is a deranged, crazy, whore of Voldemort, nothing I would call a superior," she breathed out, finding it hard to form words.

" You bitch, how dare you speak his name?"

" Why shouldn't I? He wasn't anything better then a megalomaniac with nothing but unrealistic dreams of world domination. He deserved what he got in the end and more, I'm glad he's dead. Harry Potter is the worlds greatest wizard, we're all just waiting for everyone else to figure that out"

" CRUCIO!" Bellatrix shouted, her eyes wide with anger, " you will learn your place, Mudblood, even if I need to kill you."

Hermione slumped forward when the curse was lifted and moaned, " weren't you going to kill me anyways? What's the point of standing around, just do it already!"

Bellatrix laughed loudly, " oh no, we're going to be having some fun, just us girls before I grant you the release death will bring. I will have you begging for death by the end Mudblood. That you can guarantee."

Hermione shivered and felt tears welling up inside. She had heard tales of this crazy witches idea of fun before, now she was going to have a first hand experience.

' Draco? Can you hear me? I don't care if you walk, run or freaking fly, I need you here now!' she thought as Bellatrix rushed to the back of the room.

Bellatrix tapped a finger on the corner of her mouth in deep thought and spoke, " now what should I begin with?" Her eyes sparkled with an evil glint as she turned around and smirked evily at Hermione. " Now, Mudblood, let's teach you some manners."

~~~~~
Draco moaned and slumped forward in his fathers study. Blaise and Harry ran quick, catching him before he fell over.

" You okay mate?" Blaise asked, helping Draco sit down.

" She's hurt Blaise, hurt bad, I can feel it. Father, we need to get to them. Have you found anything?"

Lucius and Dumbledore were standing in the corner of his study, along with Snape. They were discussing different hideouts and locations the two murderers would have taken the girls.

" Being the animal Greyback is, his natural instincts wouldn't allow him to abandon what he considers home. He only has two places he goes to. One isnt big enough to hold more then two people, that only leaves one other." Snape offered, knowing the place very well, having been privy to a few tortures of muggles there in the past. He shivered at the memories.

" Okay, so we go in, kill everything that isn't our girls, and bring them home. Let's go!" Harry exclaimed, reaching for his wand, but Lucius grabbed his arm, stopping him.

" Potter, while known for your bravery, your intelligence is not world renowned. You don't just go blasting in on Death Eaters, espically ones such as Bellatrix and Greyback. They will be expecting us to go and rescue them, and as such, will be ready for an attack. We won't be any help to them if we're dead." Lucius stated and let go of Harry's arm. Harry just glared back at the older man and went and took a seat next to Draco.

Harry leaned over and whispered in the blondes ear, " I don't like your father much."

Draco chuckled and whispered back, " Most of the wizarding world would agree with you Potter, however, my father knows what he's doing. He knows how much the girls mean to us, and he'll do everything in his power to get them back, trust me!"

" Your asking me not only to trust a Slytherin, but to follow one into battle? Have you lost your mind Malfoy?"

" Potter, your forgetting one important part of that question," Draco mumbled, " you have to have had a mind in the first place in order to lose it!" Draco went and stood, taking a few seconds to regain his balance and cleared his throat, " Father, time is of the essence, we need to do something. Hermione's in alot of pain and I can't feel her as strongly as I am used to.'

Lucius nodded to his son and turned back to Dumbledore, " Right, let's get going. We've got to hurry if we wish to pull this plan off. Potter, Weasley, you go with Dumbledore and take the back. Severus, Draco, Blaise and I will take the front. Remember, we're only there for the girls, if your able to get them and leave, do it! Let's go."

All the men nodded their heads and apparated out of the Manor.

~~~~~~

The cellar door was opened fast and a body was tossed roughly into the room where Ginny was kneeled on her legs with Luna's head in her lap, trying to clean off the dirt that had been caked on her temple and Pansy was nursing her leg, probably broken. Pansy limped forward and hauled Hermione's limp form over to the corner as the door slammed shut. The dim light allowed the girls to see just what had become of their friend. She had a huge gash on the side of her head, and the left side of her face was swollen with black and blue bruises coloring it. 

" What did they do to her Pansy?" Ginny sobbed, shifting Luna and herself closer to the two girls.

" Looks like the result of a few too many cruiatus's to me." Pansy whispered, trying her hardest to make the blood go away.

Ginny gasped and looked at Pansy in question. Pansy merely sighed and answered, " Weasley, you don't live in a house with Death Eaters all your life and not know the after effects of that particular curse. Damn it Granger, you and your bloody Gryffindor courage. You'll be lucky to get out of this with half your mind in tact." Pansy whispered at Hermione, her eyes quickly filling up with tears. A few escaped and fell on Hermione's cheek and she winced, but didn't wake.

" What's that on her shirt?" Ginny asked, pointing to the small dabs of blood on her shirt, that seemed to be leaking through. Pansy muttered a few curse words and ripped the bottom of her dress, dipped it in the little puddle of water close to her and began dabbing at the cuts.

" Do you suppose thats what the screaming was we heard?" Ginny asked, gluping back tears. Pansy only looked at her and they both knew the answer.

Pansy nodded her head towards Luna, " how's the fuzzy one doing?"

Ginny ran her hand smoothingly over Luna's hair. " I'm not sure. Pansy, we've got to find a way out of here, and fast. I don't know how much longer we're going to survive down here, where ever here is."

Pansy sighed and continued cleaning Hermione's wounds. " Where's Potter and his band of heros when you need him?" she laughed slightly.

Ginny chukled half heartedly. She was thinking the same thing until an idea suddenly popped into her head. " You think they can hear us Pansy, right now I mean?"

Pansy shook her head, " not likely, they aren't to worried about whats being said between four defenseless girls, locked in a cellar with no escape and no wands, why?"

Ginny moved closer and lowered her head to Pansy's ear incase they were being monitored and whispered, " because I have a feeling they are on their way now. Hermione and Draco are linked now and he can feel her, sense her and will know where to find us. It's only just a matter of time before we are rescued."

Pansy's eyes widen, understanding what Ginny was saying, Draco had marked Hermione! She looked down at Hermione, shocked, " didn't know you had it in you Granger, I'd high five you if you weren't passed out. So you think that they are coming?"

Ginny nodded, " without a doubt!"

Luna groaned lightly and slowly opened her eyes, " what happened?"

" Well it definatly wasn't nargles this time Lovegood, we've been kidnapped. Bellatrix and Greyback have us prisoner here. How are you feeling?"

Luna sat up slowly and moaned in pain, " like I've been trampled by a herd of Findelbints, how do you think I'm feeling? How is everyone else?"

" I have a few bumps and bruises, but I'll live." Ginny shrugged.

" You never said you were hurt Weasley, lemme see!" Pansy exclaimed.

Ginny simply shook her head, " I'm fine, if I was worried, I would have said something."

Pansy sighed in frustration but continued to answer Luna, " I think my ankle might be broken, but Hermione is the worst of us!" She looked down at Hermione and choked on her tears. " Come on Granger, wake up! Your stronger then this!" she whispered as the cellar door was opened once more. The girls sheilded their eyes from the light as Greyback entered again and reached for Ginny.

" Come here blood-traitor, I'm going to have fun with you," Greyback snarled and grabbing Ginny's arm roughly and hauled her to her feet. Ginny screamed bloody murder as the other two girls shouted thier protests to leave her alone. No one saw Hermione open her eyes and stand, swaying on her feet.

" Leave her alone Greyback. It's me you want and you know it," she spat at his feet and he released Ginny, pushing her back on the cellar floor.

" Ahhhh, the main attraction wakes. Didn't get enough from Bella, did you?" he smiled, showing his yellow teeth. " Don't worry Mudblood, when I'm through with you, you'll be begging me to kill you."

Hermione merely chuckled, " nothing I haven't heard before, yet I'm still here."

Greyback growled loud and grabbed Hermione, dragging her out of the cellar, leaving the three girls screaming behind.

" Granger, you stupid little bint. What was she thinking?" Pansy cried, tears flowing freely now.

Ginny rubbed her shoulder from where Greyback had grabbed her. Her shoulder was out of joint, she knew it, but wasnt going to worry about that now, " she knows Draco can sense her, she knows what she's doing. I just hope for her sake, they arrive before it's too late."

~~~~

" Son of a bitch," moaned Blaise, grabbing his shoulder and leaning against the darkened house.

" You okay Blaise?" asked Lucius, whispering low.

" Yeah, I'm good. I'm gonna find that bastard and rip him apart." Blaise growled, his eyes growing dark. Draco and Lucius followed suit and began growling as Greyback's disgusting smell hit their nostrils.

" This way boys, just remember, get to your mates, they need you and.... DRACO!" Lucius yelled in a whisper as Draco slumped to the ground and began panting heavily.

" I'm gonna kill them, if it's the last thing I ever do Father, I will see the end of their lives, weither it's from my own wand or someone elses." Draco seethed, and ran towards the front door.

Lucius, Snape and Blaise followed closely, Lucius unlocked the door and the four men entered, walking quietly. Suddenly they heard a loud blood curling scream coming from somewhere upstairs. The three Veelas perked their ears.

" That's Lovegood, where's Potter and the others?" asked Snape, searching the darkness for the others.

" I'm not sure Severus, come. This way," Lucius directed, sniffing his way, searching for the familar scent of the girls. It was difficult with Greyback's odour blocking it.

A sudden crash was heard and the four Slytherins spun around, wands raised, and there stood Dumbledore, Potter and a very red Weasley, looking down at his latest victim, a poor antique vase.

Blaise released a breath and whispered angrily, " damn it Weasley, watch where your walking."

" Well we can't all have super Veela abilities, like being able to see in the dark, now can we Zabini?" Ron mumbled and moved away from the vase.

Snape grabbed the two bickering boys and threw them against the wall, along with the others and put a finger against his lips, silently telling the others to keep quiet. Out of nowhere Bellatrix and Greyback came slauntering down the stairs, laughing to themselves.

" You know, for a Death Eaters daughter, Parkinson isn't much fun to play with. Passed out in a matter of minutes she did!" Bella laughed.

" Yeah but that little blonde one was more fun. She lasted a little longer, but all she did was cry and beg for me to stop. Got so annoying I had to stun the little bitch myself just to shut her up."

Draco glanced over at Harry and Ron. Ron had gone white as a sheet and Potter looked like he was going to kill. ' Good, Potter, use that anger, it'll help' thought Draco as he turned his attention back to the two Death Eaters.

" The blood traitor wasn't much fun. She's a delicate thing. Can't wait to see her bleed some more, break her, devour her!" Greyback laughed loudly and turned to look at Bella, " I see you had some trouble with the Mudblood."

Draco heard Blaise growl and Lucius placed a hand over his mouth to quiet him. Draco was close to breathing a sigh of relief when he heard they had issues with his mate until his crazy aunt spoke next.

" Tried my best. Cursed her a hundred times, not a scream. Watched as that filthy blood drained from her, she mumbled something slightly before passing out. She sure knows how to ruin a girls fun." Bella huffed and folded her arms across her chest.

" Then by all means, allow me. I wold love to have a go at her again, I wanna see the life leave her eyes from my own hands, I wanna......" Greyback paused. He sniffed the air and emminated a growl. Bella rushed to his side, worried.

" What is it, what do you smell?"

Greyback curled his lips into a sneer and mumbled one word, " Malfoy!"

Harry, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape, Blaise and Lucius looked over at Draco, who was panting very heavily, and his eyes had darkened over. He was growling deeply and his hands were gripping the wall, some of it breaking off under his strength. Greyback and Bella rushed off, out of sight. Harry Ron and Dumbledore took flight up the stairs immediatly, while the four Slytherins took to the lower floor.

Lucius quickly grabbed a hold of his son and godson as they came to a fork in the basement that spilt off into two different directions. " Please, be safe, only think of your mates, not revenge. We'll get it in due time. The girls are our first priority," The two boys nodded and went to hurry down one hallway when Lucius stopped them once more.

" And please, for the love of Merlin, don't do anything....Gryffindor," and with that he rushed off after Snape.

~~~~

" Ron, be careful, we don't know what wards or traps they have set up in here." Harry warned, crouching up next to a door, and pressing his ear close, trying to hear anything.

Dumbledore came up behind him and swished his wand around. " I assure you Mister Potter, this room is quite safe." Harry nodded in reply and slowly opened the door.

Harry, followed by Ron and Dumbledore,came to a halt in the blackened room, and strained to hear anything. Nothing, silent, empty. They were about to leave when they heard a tiny sob coming from the back of the room.

" Lumos" Harry whispered, and pointed his wand where in the direction the sob came from.

" Pansy!" Ron yelped and ran towards the girl laying on the floor. Harry came up beside Ron, who bent over and scooped her up in his arms. She buried her face in Ron's neck and began crying harder.

" Shhhh, love, it's alright, your safe now. Everything's alright!" Ron tried to calm the girl, but she sobbed even harder. Harry placed a reassuring hand on Ron's shoulder and asked Pansy,

" Where's Luna? Ginny? Hermione? Pansy please?"

" I'm over here Harry!" came a faint whisper and Harry sprinted to the opposite corner to find Luna slumped against the wall, the entire left side of her face swollen, and her eye bruised shut. Harry wrapped his arms around her waist and helped her to her feet. He began placing light kisses all over her face, just happy to have her back in his arms. She giggled softly, but began coughing roughly. She nearly collasped in Harry's arms when Dumbledore came up behind Harry and levitated Luna out of his arms.

" These girls need medical attention, Mister Weasley will help me take these girls back to Hogwarts where Madame Pomfrey will take good care of them, you go help Lucius and Draco, I'm sure they will need it!"

Harry nodded and placed a kiss on Luna's forehead before he ran to the door. He was almost there when Pansy spoke up,

" Potter, help Hermione, she's not good, and if I find out that this is the one time your hero luck ran out, I will hunt you down and personally kill you!"

Harry smiled and dashed out the door, bolting down the stair case.

~~~~

" Why are they here, tell me!" shouted Greyback as the back of his hand made contact with Ginny's cheek again. Ginny waited till her eyesight had cleared before she smiled up at him from the ground.

" Obviously to save us, or are you too daft to understand that as well?" Ginny answered, and ducked another blow.

" You'll regret speaking to me like that."

" I already regret being in your presence," she replied as she saw Blaise and Draco enter the room quietly, " but your going to regret ever touching me!"

Greyback chuckled, " and why is that blood-tratior?"

Ginny pointed a shaky finger to the two figures behind him who had their wands drawn, " them!"

Greyback spun around as both Draco and Blaise shouted, "stupefy!" He flew through the air, and landed behind Ginny in a heap. Blaise immediatly ran to Ginny and gathered her up in his arms.

" Are you okay Red? Can you walk? Where are you hurt?" the questions were flying out of his mouth and Ginny just pulled him down by his collar and placed a rough kiss on his mouth.

Feeling the need for air, she released him and smiled, " feeling better already!" Ginny tried to laugh and ended up coughing, blood sputtering out of her mouth. Blaise felt her pain immediatly.

" Come on Weasley, let's get you out of here," Draco smiled and helped Blaise lift her up.

" Your not going anywhere with my toy," Greyback sneered, coming up behind the boys. He threw Draco across the room with his wand while he slashed Blaise from behind with his claws. Blaise screamed in agony and dropped to the ground, with Ginny on top of him. " We've got some unfinished business." Greyback said, coming to stand in front of Ginny.

Suddenly, Greyback was throw across the room again and landed on his back, moaning in pain. Ginny glanced up and saw Harry standing there, puffing out of breath and moving fast to Greyback's side. The werewolf looked up in fear as Harry pointed his wand once more at him.

" You'd think you'd learn after Voldemort, that what I hold dear to me, should never be messed with." Harry spat, his eyes never leaving the werewolf's.

" Couldn't help myself, she just smelled so delicious. But not as good as the Mudblood though." Greyback shot back, his eyes narrowing as Harry raised his wand at his face.

" See you in hell," Harry whispered, as a jet of green light escaped from the tip of his wand and he watched as the light left the wolf's eyes. Harry let out the breath he was holding, and turned to his three friends.

" Ginny, you okay?"

" I'm fine Harry, help me with the boys."

They trudged over to Blaise who was moaning in pain and rolled him over on to his stomach. Ginny grabbed Harry's wand and healed the cuts, watching as they disappeared.

" Now where did you learn to do that?" asked Harry, amazed.

Ginny grinned, " your not friends with the smartest witch of our age and not learn a few simple healing spells, how are you feeling Blaise?"

" Like I was slashed apart by a werewolf, but I'll be alright. Where's Draco?" Blaise wondered, coming to stand and looking around for his friend. They found him in the corner, unconscious.

Blaise chuckled, " it's probably considered bad taste to joke at a time like this, but this is the quietest I've ever known him to be!"

Harry laughed and looked down at Draco, " I suppose we should wake him up," he looked over at Ginny, who was still holding his wand and watched as she waved the wand over Draco and whispered, " ennervate."

Draco moaned and sat up, his head still a little foggy. When his vision finally cleared, he saw Harry standing over him.

" Ahhhh, what a sight for sore eyes. Never thought I would say this Potter, but I'm glad to see you, now give us a kiss," Draco held out his arms while Harry made a face and took a few steps back.

" I think you hit your head harder then I thought Malfoy. Now get up, we still have to find Hermione." Harry exclaimed, helping Draco to his feet, touching him as little as possible.

At the sound of Hermione's name, Draco turned back into his Veela form and began growling uncontrollably. Blaise looked around and asked, " where's the other Weasley and Pansy and Luna?"

" Ron and Dumbledore took Pansy and Luna back to Hogwarts where they are being looked after." Harry replied, motioning towards the door. " Come on, lets get Hermione and get the hell out of this place."

Draco and Blaise nodded and with Harry under one of Ginnys arms and Blaise on the other, the three fled the room in search of Hermione, hoping they weren't to late.

~~~~

The boys and Ginny reached the room where they saw Hermione slumped against the wall. It was hard to tell if it was her from all the brusing, but they knew. Her hands were bound behind her back and Snape was unconcious by her feet while Lucius was locked in a ferious battle with Bellatrix.

" What my incredibly mental sister ever saw in you, I'll never know," Bella laughed as she sent a hex his way.

" Why she never saw the need to smother you in your sleep as a child still puzzles me to this day, Bella!" Lucius drawled and side stepped the hex, sending two back her way.

Bella screeched in anger, " you were a sad, pathetic excuse for a Death Eater. I'll be doing my sister and the wizarding world a favour by ridding them of you!"

Lucius laughed and dodged another hex, " and here I thought you were going to insult me instead of praise me. Nice to see the softer side of you, Bella dear."

Harry quietly made his way over to Hermione, and undid the robes, binding her hands behind her back. She slumped forward to the floor in Harry's ams, moaning in pain.

" Harry?" Hermione croaked and opened her eyes, enjoying the emerald eyes that watered at the sight of her. " Where's Draco?"

" SHHH, Hermione, we need to get you out of here first, then we will deal with everything else." Harry tried to reason with her, but knew he was doomed.

Hermione grunted in protest and stood up, " oh please, I'm not some helpless damsel in distress, Harry, I can fight well enough on my own!"

Harry chuckled lightly and looked her up and down, "  yes, how could I have come to that dumb conclusion? You seem to have done a fine job so far, and might I ask, how do you plan to fight Bellatrix without your wand?"

Hermione blushed slightly and stood a little taller, wincing at the pain in her body, " I do seem to be minus a wand, but be that as it may, might I borrow yours?"

Harry handed her his wand, but not before they heard Lucius yell. Draco and Blaise both shouted for him to stop and Hermione looked up just in time to see Bellatrix send a curse she had never heard before her way. She closed her eyes and waited for the blow, but it never came. She peeked out her left eye and saw Lucius crumpled on the floor. Hermione rushed to his side at once.

" Why did you do that? Why would you take the curse for me?" Hermione cried, tears falling onto his forehead which she cradled in her arms.

" I swore to you once, that I would never let a day go by, where you questioned my loyalty to you again. So I thought what better way to prove myself?" Lucius coughed.

" Awwww, wittle, bitty baby Mudblood getting all choked up? Think I'm gonna be sick." Bella taunted. The boys watched in amazement as Hermione growled low, her eyes blackening over, and saw her stand up, her knuckles white, gripping Harry's wand.

" This ends now," she whispered and bolted straight at Bellatrix, slamming into her, tackling her to the ground. Bella screamed as her made contact with the cement floor and Hermione roughly grabbed her by the head and slammed it down. Hermione let up and placed each of her knees on the older womans shoulders, pinning her to the ground. She placed Harry's wand underneath the woman's chin and pressed it in till she heard Bellatrix whimper.

Hermione lowered her head to Bella's ear and whispered, " I told you, if your going to kill someone, do it! Don't stand around talking about it. Avada Kedavra!"

Hermione felt Bella's body go limp under her and rolled off. Draco rushed to her side immediatly, gathering her up in his arms. She felt light as a feather, as he carried her bridal style over to their friends. She glanced up nervously, and smiled a half smile,

" Hello love!"

" Hey yourself," Draco whispered as Hermione's head slumped back and she passed out.

With Hermione, and a very pale looking Ginny, Draco made the notion with his head to leave and make their way to Hogwarts. The rest agreed as Blaise carried Ginny, Draco with Hermione, and after waking Snape up, Harry took Lucius and apparated away, back to school. Draco shook his head in disbelief in the fact that he never thought, him of all people, would ever be happy to be returning to school. ' Hermione would be so proud!' he chuckled to himself.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 14: Piece Of You
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


" Ow, ow ow, bloody ow!" screamed Ginny, as Pompfrey set her shoulder and Blaise winced. After wrapping her shoulder and placing a magical sling on her, Pompfrey left Ginny's side to attend to the other girls. Ginny, with the help of Blaise, weakly walked over to Pansy's bedside. Ron sat on her left side, softly running his fingers through her hair as Pompfrey finished wrapping her ankle up and placing it carefully on top on some pillows.

" Now, your going to need to stay off of it for a few days." The medi-witch advised.

Pansy's face lit up, " does that mean, I'm excused from classes for the rest of the week?" she asked hopefully.

" Don't worry Pans, if your unable to limp your skinny butt to class, I'll be sure to bring you your homework." Ginny laughed as Pansy stuck her tongue out at the redhead.

" Is it your goal in life to kill any and all fun Gin?"

Ginny beamed, " anytime there's a hint of a possibility to ruin your fun Pansy, there I'll be," she tilted her head back and laughed.

" Thanks Weasley, love you too!" Pansy mumbled, while she flopped her head back on her pillow, whispering to Ron, who starting blushing immediatly.

Ginny looked over at Harry, who sat beside Luna, who was presently being drowned with potion after potion by Pompfrey.

" How is she Harry?" Ginny asked, rounding up behind him and placing her good hand on his shoulder.

Harry sighed and rubbed his face with his hands. " She's got a mild concussion, though it's hard to tell, her being so, well you know. Anyways, just a few bumps and bruises, but overall, fine."

" Glad to hear it Potter, " Blaise sighed and patted Harry's shoulder in comfort.

Harry looked up at Blaise, tears in his eyes, " any word about Hermione?"

Blaise sighed and hugged Ginny into his chest, when she suddenly broke into sobs. " Nothing yet, just wish I knew what was happening behind that white screen.

~~~~~~~

Draco sat in between two beds. To his right lay Hermione, her breathing extremly shallow and her skin a pale white. On his other side, lay his father, in the same condition as Hermione, only with less bruising and cuts. Dumbledore was pacing a good ten feet from the foot of their beds, his hands folded behind his back, and a hard look on his face. Every so often, he would stop pacing, causing Draco to look up, and stroke his beard, before sighing and continue to pace. Draco swore the old man was going to wear the floor thin by the time he was done pondering.

All of a sudden, Pompfrey appeared from behind the screen and made her way to Lucius. She waved her wand over his unconcious form a few times, before her eyes went wide in horror, and she rushed to Dumbledore's side. She whispered something in his ear that made him stop pacing.

" Are you absoleutly sure Poppy? There couldn't be room for mistake?" He asked quietly.

The Medi-witch shook her head, " No, Albus, I ran the test four times. Now unless your doubting me, and in the slim chance I am wrong, I will hang up my wand forever and will not practice medicine again as long as I live, however I know for a fact I am right!"

" Then I must hurry. Stay here and tend to the children and Lucius, I must owl his wife at once."

" Please send Minerva, Albus, I'm afraid I'm a bit overrun at the moment." The Medi-witch asked and scooted off to tend to Snape.

Dumbledore merely nodded his head and made his way out of the hospital wing, towards his office.

~~~~~~~~~

Draco smoothed his hand over his father's and gave it a light pat, before crawling into bed beside Hermione. She had lost alot of blood and was very weak. He could barely feel her inside him, and it tore him apart. There was no way that fate could be this cruel. He had just found his mate, his beautiful Hermione. Had mated and marked her and had barely begun to live their lives together, there was no way she could be ripped from him that easily. He buried his head in the crook of her neck and breathed in deep. A tear fell from his eyes when he failed to grasp her scent.

" Please, don't leave me love, I can't face this world without you," he cried softly into her cheek.

A rustle was heard from behine the screen and Draco wiped the wetness from his eyes, cleared is throat and sat up straight.

" May I see her?" came a whispered plea.

" Of course Potter."

Harry shuffled in slowly and came to stop beside the bed. He glanced sadly down at Hermione and back up at Draco. He sighed a defeated sigh and plopped himself on the edge of the bed, taking her petite hand in his.

" She's cold, she never liked the cold." Harry said, laughing a bit.

Draco raised a questioning eyebrow at Harry and encouraged him to continue.

" Every winter, she would complain the castle was to drafty, and it was like ripping a band aid from a wound to get her to come outside. The few times she did, she was always bundled up with layers upon layers of clothing, to the point of sweating and still complaining about the cold. In the common room she would blare the heat, and wouldn't allow anyone to turn the fire down. I remember one time, Ron attempted to and she hexed him within an inch of his life." He chuckled fondly at the memory, " to this day, Ron refuses to go anywhere near the fire during the winter, in fear he would lose a limb."

Draco laughed lightly, and stared down at his bright witch.

" She spoke often of working somewhere where there wasn't any winter. Warm all the time. You think she'll get that chance now?" Harry asked, his voice breaking.

" Your not going soft on me now, are you Potter? You fought Dementors and Death Eaters, and defeated the Dark Lord, and you pick this time to give up?" Draco snarled.

" Shove off Malfoy, I'm not made of stone. When one of my best friends is laid up in the hospital wing, I'm allowed to get emotional!" Harry exclaimed, glaring daggers at Draco.

" Awwww, who would have ever guessed that Potter has a soft under belly? Sometimes, your just too adorable for words."

Harry sighed in frustration, " I don't think now is the right time to be joking around Malfoy."

" On the contrary, now's the perfect time. We're alone, with the privacy of the screen. Just the two of us, surrounded by the sick and injured, with the lovely smell of antiseptic to set the mood."

A groan was heard from below the bickering boys and a quiet voice faintly laughed, " romance, thy name is Draco Malfoy!"

" AHHHH," Harry yelped and jumped off the bed, while Draco just looked shocked and immediatly wrapped his arms around Hermione, completely smothering her into the thin mattress.

" Draco....oxygen becoming an issue." Hermione breathed.

Draco pulled away slowly, but still remained wrapped around her.

" Oh, my dear, your awake. Mister Malfoy, I must ask you give me and Ms. Granger some room. She needs attending to." Madame Pompfrey appeared from tending to Snape.

Draco only shook his head and began growling. How dare this medi-witch demand he leave his mate? He crawled over top of Hermione, sheilding her with his body, and turned and glared at the older woman. A deep, booming growl erupted from his throat, causing Pompfrey to take a few steps back.

" Uhhh Blaise, we seem to have a situation!" Harry yelled, his eyes never leaving Draco.

Blaise and Ginny both appeared from behind the screen.

Blaise shook his head and sighed, " of all the bloody times to go all protective Veela, you choose this time Draco?" Blaise took a step forwards, his left arm reaching up to touch Draco's soulders.

Draco's head whipped around, his lip curled back and snarled at Blaise. He swipped for the boys shirt, missing by inches.

" Hey man, what the bloody hell is your problem?" Blaise yelled, his eyes blackening over and slow, soft pants began emerging.

Harry stepped away from Hermione's bed, afraid he was going to bear witness to two fully mature Veela's battle it out in the hospital wing. He had survived the war against Voldemort, and came out relatively unscathed. He'd be damned if his demise was going to be caused by Malfoy and his inability to control his Veela emotions.

Blaise bowed his head and growled at Draco. Draco slipped from the bed and growled at Blaise, his left hand swipping at the boy, catching the front of the boy's shirt, slicing four holes across it.

" ENOUGH!" roared Ginny. She came around infront of Blaise, grabbed the side of his head with her good arm and pulled it forward towards her face. " Blaise, look at me. It's me, Ginny. Calm down."

Blaise chanced a glance at his mate, and instantly his growling stopped. He bowed his head, close to her neck and breathed in deep. He nuzzled her neck for a minute, before snapping his head back up, his eyes clear.

" What happened?" he asked groggily.

Ginny didn't answer, instead she whipped her head around to face Draco. His eyes still black, his fangs glistening and growls sounding from deep in his throat. " That's quite enough Draco, do you hear me?" Ginny took a small step forward.

Draco turned his head from Blaise and focused his gaze upon Ginny. He growled lightly and bared his fangs at her.

" Ginny, I don't think you should be doing that." Harry whispered, trying to reach for her arm to stop her.

" Oh nonsense Harry, he won't hurt me. Draco, calm down." Ginny kneeled down on the floor and placed her good hand on top of her legs, palm facing up. Hermione had read somewhere, that when dealing with angered Veela's, the best case scenerio is to show surrender and hope you walked away with your life.

Draco began sniffing the air and looked down at the kneeling girl. He tilted his head to the side, before slowly kneeling down infront of her and placed his hand on top of hers. He took a few deep calming breaths and looked back up, his cheeks tinting pink with embarrassment.

" What?... Weasley, why are we on the floor holding hands?" Draco asked, standing up straight and bushing off his robes. The floor really was an undignified place for a Malfoy. Suddenly, images of his fight with Blaise came rushing back and Draco cleared his throat.

" Uh, yeah, uh sorry mate. About the whole, you know, thing and..." he trailed off. He really never was one for apologies.

Blaise only raised an eyebrow in shock, " your sorry? This shirt cost me over a hundred galleons, you git, and all you can say is sorry? Your lucky I didn't tear you limb from limb!"

" As if you could!"

" I could and you know it"

" Oh I hardly doubt it....."

" Boys!" Ginny shouted, " This is neither the time, nor the place. The fact remains Hermione needs attention and your standing here arguing strength."

Draco's eyes went wide as he rushed to Hermione's side, she was breathing lightly, having fallen back asleep. " She needs help," Draco whispered.

" Yes, she does!" agreed Ginny, and the medi-witch slowly began walking towards Hermione again, when Draco snapped his head around and growled again at her.

" Madame Pompfrey, I don't think Draco's going to allow you to see to Hermione. With your permission Draco, would you allow me to adminster the potions? You know I would never hurt Hermione."

Draco nodded, and moved away from his mate. He watched closely as Ginny fed Hermione a few different colored potions, and she rested more peacefully. He let out a breath he wasn't aware he was holding. He nodded his thanks, and Ginny walked back to stand beside Blaise.

" Now, all of you who are not in need of medical attention, please leave. My patients need their rest. You may all return tomorrow. Now out, all of you."

Draco sighed and kissed the top of Hermione's head and walked out behind Blaise and Ginny. Harry said his goodbyes to Luna and waited till Ron caught up with the rest. Harry glanced back one last time at Hermione, sleeping soundly on her bed before the doors silently closed behind him.

~~~~~~~~

The Head Dorms didn't seem so full of life anymore. Draco was off somewhere, wallowing in self pity over his mate being in the hospital wing, while Ginny was catching some sleep on the couch. Blaise was sitting, opposite the couch, tumbler of firewhiskey in one hand, his other stroking his chin. He thanked Merlin for his Slytherin ability to sneak forbidden items into school. He wasn't sure he would have gotten through the night without some liquor in his system. He swirled his drink around in his glass and looked back at his mate.

She was so beautiful, so sweet, everything he had ever imagined ever wanting in another, and he had nearly lost her today. All because he hadn't been able to train his senses. He should have known she was in trouble, he should have felt it. Hell, he should have been able to smell that disgusting werewolf a mile away. He sighed, and lowered his head. If only he had been stronger, faster, better, they never would have been in that mess in the first place. A single tear escaped and he allowed it to roll down his cheek. He heard Ginny shift in her sleep and glanced up at her, only to find her sitting up and staring oddly at him.

" Blaise, what's the matter?"

Blaise laughed softly, " nothing love, go back to sleep. You need your rest."

Ginny sighed and sat up straighter. " Now I may not claim to know much in the way of boys, or Veela's for that matter, but I do know, when one tends to shed tears, there's usually a reason for it." Ginny watched as Blaise stood up, placed his tumbler down on the coffe table and sat beside her. She waited until he was comfortable, before grabbing a pillow, placing it in his lap and laying her head in it on her back, able to glance up at him.

" It's nothing really, just today was a huge eye opener for me, that's all!"

Ginny furrowed her brow in confusion. " I don't know what you mean."

" It all of a suddenly just occured to me, that you are not immortal, and at any given moment, if I'm not careful, I could lose you forever. If I had be training my senses, been better, stronger, you never would have been hurt and the others wouldn't be laying in the hospital wing, my Godfather wouldn't be fighting for his life. All of this could have been avoided."

Ginny laughed, while Blaise gave her a disapproving look, " I'm sorry Blaise, but you can't honestly believe that can you? No matter how hard you work at it, something, sooner or later, is gonna seperate us. Weither it be from sickness, a person, or old age. And no matter how hard you try to stop it from happening, I'm going to get hurt. Trip and fall, a spell fired wrong, fall off my broom playing Quidditch. From the day I first drew breath on this planet, it was one less I'll breathe in my life!"

Blaise sighed in defeat. He didn't want to argue with his mate. All he wanted to do was curl up behind her on the couch, wrap his arms around her, and fall asleep in front of a roaring fire, knowing she was safe in his arms. Unfortunatly for him, his mate, it seemed, had other plans in mind. She climbed off the couch and stood in front of him.

" If your really that worried about my health and well-being Blaise, there is something we can do about it."

Blaise snickered, " what, put you under house arrest, wrap you up in bubble-wrap and have you escorted by minimum of four Auror's whenever you have to leave the Manor?"

" Now that's a tad extreme, don't you think?" Ginny exclaimed, eyes wide in mock shock.

" Not for me, but for arguments sake, what are you imposing?"

" Mark me!"

" WHAT?"

~~~~~~~~

Narcissa walked regally into the Headmaster's office in a swirl of green flames, dusted off her robes, and took a look around the room. The somber faces of Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape, who was sporting a rather nasty bruise, halted her in her steps immediatly.

" What's going on?"

Dumbledore walked from behind his desk and pulled out a chair for Narcissa. " Perhaps you should take a seat Narcissa."

" Thank you Albus, I'd rather stand! Now would someone kindly explain to me what in Merlin's name is going on?"

" Narcissa, it's your husband!"

Narcissa's face went pale as she fell into the chair offered to her, her eyes gleaming with tears.

~~~~~~~

Hermione shrugged her t-shirt on, silently moaning from the pain in her muscles. She had been cleared for release after downing a few disgusting potions, and with a promise to Pompfrey to take it easy for the next couple of days. The medi-witch had even tried to keep her from classes for the rest of the week.

Hermione chuckled silently to herself, it's like she didn't know who the medi-witch was speaking to. Missing classes would be like a death sentence.

She finished slipping on her shoes and took one last look around to make sure she hadn't forgotten anything. She was looking forward to seeing everyone again, they were serving lunch right about now, and as she turned to leave, her eyes caught a glimpse of white hair. She inched her way closer to the bed opposite hers. She came and stood beside the bed and stared down a the pale face of Lucius. Hermione sighed and took a seat on the edge of the bed.

" I never got to properly thank you, for saving my life. If you hadn't have stepped in front of me, I might have died." She sighed and took his hand into hers. " You never should have done that." A tiny trickle of tears escaped the confines of her eyes as she bowed her head and silently cried for the man, barely hanging on to his life because of her. She allowed herself a few more minutes, before she straightened up, wiped the wetness from her cheeks and stood back up. She rubbed her thumb over the back of Lucius' hand and smiled a half smile before making her way out of the hospital wing.

She made her way down to The Great Hall, passing a few students who welcomed the Head Girl back. She smiled politely and thanked them and continued to her destination. She paused for a minute outside the doors and took a deep breath. She pulled heavily on the doors. Instantly the smell of food and the chatter of the students reached her and warmth flooded her heart. She was home, and Merlin did it feel good.

As she began her walk down the rows of tables, the chatter slowly died down. She glanced down the Gryffindor table, and watched as Pansy, Luna and Ginny stopped eating. Ginny pointed her finger towards Hermione and the four boys looked in her direction. Harry and Ron were the first to stand and ran toward her, engulfing her in bear hug. Tears of joy ran down her cheeks as she hugged her boys back. Blaise soon joined in, as Draco stood off to the side, awaiting his turn.

" Potter, if you don't mind, I would like to hug my mate as well before the day ends." Draco laughed, and wrapped his arms around Hermione's waist when Harry stepped out of the way.

" I missed you," he whispered, as he lowered his head and breathed in her scent.

Hermione blushed and whispered back, " I missed you too."

" Alright, enough of this sentimental nonsense. I'm sure Hermione would like to sit down and have something to eat, wouldn't you Granger?" Pansy asked.

Draco sneered at her and helped Hermione to her seat. As soon as she started piling food on her plate, conversation picked back up. The boys began a boring argument about Quidditch, while Luna and Ginny began discussing the latest issue of The Quibbler.

" How you feeling Granger?" Pansy asked, taking a bite from her sandwich.

" You know Pans, I've gotta say, I've felt better. How's your leg?" Hermione laughed lightly.

" It's alright, still hurts, but Madame Pompfrey has me on pain potions. So your alright then?"

" I said yes, Pans, why?"

" So I can do this," Pansy leaned across the table and hit Hermione over the head with her charms book. Hermione yelped and Harry laughed as Draco rubbed the top of his head, a confused look on his face as he turned around and faced the girls.

" What the bloody hell was that for?" Hermione yelled, as she glared at Pansy.

" If you so much as offer a toe as a sacrifice for us again, I will personally see to it you never see graduation. What in Merlin's name were you thinking? You could have been killed, and leaving the rest of us worrying ourselves sick."

" Okay Pansy, I'm sorry. I was only trying to save you three. I wasn't thinking and it won't ever hapen again." Hermione explained, and held her hands up in mock defeat, trying her hardest to hold in her laughter.

" As long as my point got across." Pansy answered and went back to her sandwich.

Hermione shook her head in disbelief and took ahold of Draco's hand under the table and squeezed lightly. He turned around and flashed her a heartbreaking smile that would have most girls swooning and continued talking to Harry. Hermione picked up a muffin and began devouring it. Suddenly the Great Hall doors slammed open and in limped Snape, his cape billowing out around him as he decended down the Gryffindor table. He paused in front of the group and he looked down at them.

" The Headmaster would like to see the eight of you in his office immediatly following lunch. I suggest you don't keep him waiting." And with that, he whisked off out of Great Hall.

Harry stood and motioned for everyone else to follow him. Ron helped Pansy stand as the group made their way out of the Great Hall and towards Dumbledore's office. They stopped in front of the Gargoyle protecting the entrance.

Hermione walked forward, whispered, " Accid Pops," in the Gargoyle's ear and scratched it's chin as it moved aside and allowed the group to stand on the stairs as they accended towards Dumbledore's office. Harry went to knock, but the door opened up by itself. The group trudged in, but Blaise and Draco sprinted past the group and came to kneel at Narcissa's feet.

" Mother, what's wrong? What's happened Professor?" Draco asked, wiping his mother's tears away from her cheeks.

" Please, all will be revealed, but I must ask for everyone to take a seat." Dumbledore suggested, gesturing to the extra chairs as they magically appeared.

Everyone took their seats, however Hermione and Ginny sood on either side of Narcissa, each holding a hand.

" What's happened Professor, why is my mother here?"

" It's about your father, mister Malfoy." McGonagall explained, and at the mention of her husband, Narcissa let out a soft wail and began crying again. Hermione and Ginny leaned over and embraced the woman, soothing her.

" What do you mean? What's wrong with my Godfather? He's being looked after by Madame Pompfrey, isn't he?" Blaise asked, his voice breaking a little.

" Yes he is, however, his condition has been updated, and we seem to have hit a little snag." Dumbledore answered, his brow sloping a bit in frustration.

" What do you mean 'snag' Professor?" Harry asked.

" It would seem, the spell that Bellatrix hit him with, is quite an ancient one. It causes the victim to fall into a deep state of unconsciousness. Similar to what Muggle's call a coma." Hermione gasped, " However, while not much is known of this curse, what we do know is causing somewhat of a problem."

" And that would be?" Harry asked again.

" It would seem, the spell takes a little piece of the victims soul and binds it to the caster. Now I know what your thinking, and no, it's not like making a Horcrux. But the fact remains, that because of the binding, the only way to lift this curse is to have the caster lift it, or by the death of them."

" Merlin!" Ginny exclaimed, but then she gasped, " But sir, Hermione killed Bellatrix. By your meaning, the spell shouldn't be effecting him any longer. How is it still?"

" Yes Ms. Weasley, but all accounts, with Bellatrix's death, the spell should have been lifted, and Lucius on the mend. Yet it seems to still be affecting him. There's only one logical explanation to this whole situation."

" You can't surely mean Albus......" McGonagall began, but Dumbledore stopped her.

" Yes Minerva. It seems Bellatrix took a page from Voldemort's book and appeared to make a Horcrux herself. It appears she was just as afraid of death as Voldemort was. This is the only explanation to why the spell is still taking effect on Lucius. Bellatrix still lives!"

Harry stood up, " so what must we do?"

~~~~~~~~~~~

While Ron walked Pansy to her next class and Harry escorted Luna back to Ravenclaw tower, Ginny, Hermione, Blaise and Draco slauntered towards the Head's tower.

" Destined," Ginny mumbled, and the four walked inside. Draco and Blaise took a seat on the couch, while Hermione sat in one of the armchairs and Ginny perched on the arm.

" I cannot believe this. Draco, I'm so sorry. It should have been me!" Hermione whispered, saddness evident in her voice.

Draco's head snapped up, fury written clearly across his face. " Are you daft?"

" Excuse me?"

" I asked if you were daft, although I should have asked if you were deaf as well. Why would I ever wish for my mate to be where my father is right now?"

" Well, there was no need to get mean about it!" Hermione huffed.

" Forgive me love, but you really do have to be the dumbest smart person I have ever met! Yes, I am upset about my father, and yes I am angry, but it would be a million times worse if it were you."

Hermione's eyes softened again and fresh tears of anger sparkled in her brown orbs. " Yes, but he's in this condition because of me, and I, for one am not going to sit idley by and wait for the solution to fall into our laps."

" Mione, what are you saying?" Ginny asked, worried her friend hadn't fully recovered from being on the receiving end of one too many crucio's.

" What I'm saying Gin, is go round up the girls, Blaise and Draco, the boys. We're going to find that Horcrux and save your father."


 


Chapter 15: Run Run Run As Fast As You Can
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Her eyes stung with tears, as the wind whipped ferociously against her face. The rain pelted her face, freezing her skin. Off in the distance, a faint clap of thunder rumbled, alerting the frozen woman of the terrible storm that was about to come. The woman attempted to pull the hood of her cloak up, but it was no use. The wind kept shooting it back. She needed to hide. She needed to get away. She needed sanctuary.

She spotted an abandoned cabin, deep within the woods she was currently running through. Anywhere would be better then out in this weather. She crept up quietly to one of the windows and peered inside. Nothing but dust and white sheeted furniture. Looked empty enough, she supposed, and she stalked quietly to the front door. Looking over her shoulder, looking for any signs she had been followed and seeing none, she whispered a quiet Alohamora, and quickly pushed herself through the door and slammed it shut behind her.

She glanced around at her new surroundings. Her nose quickly turned up at all the dirt, dust, and grime the place had aquired the entire time it had been abandoned. It wasn't as bad as the Shrieking Shack, but it came to a close second. Shivering, she aimed her wand at the empty fireplace and quickly started a roaring fire. She shook her cloak off and hung it up to dry. Her raven hair clung to the side of her face as Bellatrix began pacing the floor. She couldn't allow the Potter brat of that ruddy Mudblood to find her. She would have to devise a plan. Take them out one by one. With a evil grin slowy spreading across her face, she knew just how to begin.

~~~~~~~~~~~

" Bloody hell Hermione, slow down." Ron softly whispered from underneath Harry's invisibility cloak, with Hermione's Extended Charm currently making it large enough to fit everyone under it.

" Ouch Blaise, that was my foot!"

" Pardon me Parkinson, but I can't see anything."

" Potter, that had better be your wand, or else..."

" Quiet, all of you. Merlin, your all going to get us caught." Hermione shushed as she lead the group towards the Great Hall. She slowed down, coming to a halt. She turned and faced the group. " From here on, it's just us. I've brought these coins we used back when the DA was formed. If we happen to get seperated, just touch the tip of your wand to the coin and the message will be sent to the rest of us," she whispered as she handed each person a single gold coin dangling from a thin, silver chain.

Draco frowned slightly. He didn't enjoy the fact that they were heading out to face danger again. He loved his father, true, but there had to be another way. His mate had a different opinion however, and after hours of arguing, he finally agreed. The eight of them were heading out to find the Horcrux his deranged aunt had made, destroy it, find Bellatrix and heal his father, whether Bellatrix did so herself or by her death.

Hermione turned, and pushed the Great Doors open, the rain and wind immediatly causing everyone to shiver. Thunder boomed loudly overhead and lightning crashed, illuminating the grounds they were to cover before they could apparate safely from the school. She took a deep breath, ripped the cloak off and made a mad dash out the doors. The rest of the group followed and soon they were standing in front of the gates.

" Leaky Cauldron?" Hermione asked, yelling over the thunderous rain.

Blaise shook his head, " too many shady wizards there, I say Hog's Head!"

The rest of the group nodded, and with a loud pop, each vanished from sight.

~~~~~~

 

" Now that was fun," Luna chuckled as she shook her head, her hair sending water splashing everywhere.

" Yes, loads! Now what's the plan?" Draco snorted, pointing his wand at himself, casting a drying charm.

Hermione's face dropped, " I-I don't rightly know. If you were Bellatrix, where would you hide a Horcrux?"

" Whoa, whoa whoa. Hold on a minute here. Your saying that, not only have you had us leave school grounds without authorization and begin a hunt for a murderous witch, but you have absoleutly no idea where the Horcrux might be?" Pansy asked, shaking her head in disappointment. " And they call you the brightest witch of our age. Slightly exaggerated if you ask me," she chuckled.

" Shut it Parkinson," Draco warned, his voice low.

" No, I won't. I have no problem facing danger head on when there's a plan involved. Also a back-up plan, should the first fail, but I nearly lost my life a while back, incase you've forgotten, and I don't fancy pushing my luck a second time. Now if Granger has any ideas, I'm all ears, if not, I'm staying put until one is devised." Pansy huffed.

Hermione's mouth tightened into a thin line, her eyes slited in anger. " And just what would you have me do huh? Grab Bellatrix, hex her into an oblivion until she gives me the location of the Horcrux?" She asked, her voice quiet and solid.

" If you think that would work, by all means Granger." Pansy smiled.

Hermione whipped her wand out, frustration clearly written on her face and shouted, " I'm tired of always having to be the one with a plan, the one with the brains. The bloody know-it-all who has the answers. I'm not perfect Pansy, and contrary to popular belief, I don't know everything. I'm doing my best, and all you can do is make fun of me with your snide comments."

Pansy jumped up, her wand raised as well. " I'm not making fun, just pointing out the obvious. All I'm saying is I'm not going anywhere with you, the Kamakazee Twins, the two Veelas with a nose for trouble, the firey redhead, and la-la brain without a plan."

" Hey!" the others shouted, to which Pansy just smiled sweetly and replied, " I meant it all with admiration and love!"

" Now ladies, why don't we put the wands down and try to act civily?" Blaise asked smoothly, his hands reaching for the girls wands.

Both Pansy and Hermione turned to their side, their wands focused on Blaise and yelled, " SOD OFF ZABINI!"

" Fair enough!"

Hermione turned her wand back to Pansy and huffed, " Well, since your so keen on a plan Pansy, why don't you give it a shot? Where would you begin? What would you do? Not as easy as it sounds, now is it?"

Pansy sneered, " actually, it is!"

Hermione lowered her wand fast as her eyes shot out of her head, " Huh?"

" If I were her, I'd keep it somewhere safe, somewhere personal. Some place where it wouldn't be harmed. Lestrange Manor!"

" Excuse me?"

" Think about it Granger. Everyone in Wizarding London knows who she and her husband were. Do you know anybody foolish enough to just wander into their manor? I don't bloody think so."

" Hold on a minute, your suggesting we head to that creepy place, full of traps to search for her or the Horcrux?" Harry asked, shocked.

" Not suggesting, Potter, I'm stating it! What do you think Granger?"

Hermione had taken a seat and was comtemplating, weighing the pros and cons. She was beside herself with anger that she hadn't come up with this herself, but she couldn't argue that Pansy had a point. Even if they didn't find Bellatrix or the Horcrux, they were sure to find something. She sighed, running her hand through her hair and stood up.

" Alright Pansy, lets go!"

~~~~

 " Of all the hair-brained schemes," Ginny whispered to herself as the eight of them fearfully looked up at the enormous mansion, silhouetted in darkness. It was no Malfoy Manor, but it was damned frightening none the less.

" So, whats the plan now?" Hermione asked as she giggled to herself, the expression on Pansy's face clearly one of terror.

Pansy gulped. She knew she had come up with a good plan, now she just needed to find the guts to walk inside herself. " Either front door, or blast a hole in the side of the wall and go in that way. Don't rightly know."

The group slauntered up the long walk, slowly, careful and on the lookout for anything that happened to move. They reached the front door, and Luna tried the doorknob. Like they assumed, it was locked. She turned to the goup and shrugged,

" Worth a try!"

" Oh move over, " Ron muttered. He waved his wand and said Alohamora, and tried the door handle again. Still locked. His face went a bright shade of red at the disapproving glares from the three other boys. " Worked for Hermione in first year."

" So you'd figure, since it worked for a locked classroom in first year, a renowned murderous Death Eater's house would be just as easy to enter Weasley?" Blaise scoffed.

" It wasn't a locked classroom Zabini. For your information there was a huge three headed dog on the other side."

" Awwww, did the puppy scare you Weasel?" Draco laughed.

" Hey! Fluffy happened to be deadly."

" FLUFFY?" Draco and Blaise exclaimed before bursting out laughing.

" For the love of Merlin!" Hermione yelled, pointed her wand at the door and shouted, " BOMBARDA MAXIM!" The door blew apart in a million tiny pieces, sending everyone but her sprawling in different places.

" Merlin Granger, thats one hell of a spell you have there, " Pansy exclaimed standing up and brushing off her clothing.

" Thank you for the idea Parkinson," Hermione smiled triumphantly.

" Seems oddly familiar in a weird way, " Blaise muttered to which Ginny and Hermione giggled.

" Okay, here we go." Draco said and took the first steps in, Harry following behind him. Darkness and quiet surrounded them, and everyone shuddered. " Game face on Potter, it's dark in here. You might need to hold my hand for support."

Harry groaned in frustration and shoved Draco hard from behind, pushing him forward, followed by everyone else.

~~~~~~

Back at the cottage, Bellatrix smiled to herself. The wards she set at the Manor years ago, went off quietly from her wand, alerting her to the guests she now aquired at her home. Her plan was going smoothly.


 


Chapter 16: Just A Bit LeStrange
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Everyone whispered Lumos at once, lighting the front foyer up. The group all gasped at once. Ron's face paled considerably, Pansy had to breathe deep to avoid spilling the contents of her stomach all over her shoes, while Hermione's eyes welled up with tears and Ginny and Luna buried their faces into the closest person's chest. Harry's face showed every amount of disgust he had in his body, Blaise's held strong anger, while Draco's remained blank. Not even three feet into the front hallway, splashed upon the walls in what they could only guess was blood, was the saying, 'DEATH TO ALL MUDBLOODS'. Underneath the writing, was a magically chained up skeleton, that from the looks of it, had been there awhile. Draco only coughed and waved his wand, the chains breaking free and the skeleton crumbling to the floor in a pile of dust.

" Do you suppose it was a Muggle?" Hermione asked in a whisper, grasping Draco's shirt lightly. His only response was to look back at her with his eyebrows raised and a look written painfully clear across his handsome face that said ' What do you think?'. Hermione shook her head in disgust.

" Still proud of your Pureblood heritage Malfoy?" Ron joked.

" Oh shut it Weasel, I had nothing to do with this,"

" Alright enough. Now where should we begin? I think this will go faster if we spilt up don't you agree?" Hermione asked, not wanting to indulge in another Draco/Ron fight right now.

" I think we'll cover more ground faster, that's for sure," agreed Ginny, tightly holding Blaise's hand.

" If it gets me out of this disgusting house faster, I'm game. It's going to take me years to get all the dirt and dust out of my clothes." Pansy whined, looking down at her favourite shirt in sadness. It seemed it might be doomed for eternity.

Hermione rolled her eyes, and sighed. " Alright, Harry you'll come with me. Everyone spilt up." Everyone nodded in agreement, except Draco, who only folded his arms across his chest defiantly.

" No," he firmly stated.

" Oh, I'm sorry. Did I begin that sentence with, ' if it pleases your Highness?' Now incase your still confused, I wasn't asking for permission. If you like to stay here, by all means Draco, stay. We should be done in an hour or so." Hermione spat, the tone in her voice was leaving no room for argument.

Draco sighed and dropped his arms to his sides. " Fine," he shrugged, walked over beside Blaise and everyone went their seperate ways.

~~~~~

Draco, Blaise, Ginny and Luna began their roaming on the first floor. They each picked a corner of a room, and searched, coming up with nothing. They had been through the dining room, living room, a ball room and were about to begin their round of the kitchen when Luna began swatting air. The other three stopped in their tracks and stared at the girl in wonderment.

" Lovegood, pardon my rudeness, but just what the bloody hell are you doing?" Blaise asked, one elegant eyebrow raised in question.

" Gnarleyfinks are all over the place here. You have Veela magic, can't you see them?" she answered, her arms flailing wildy in the air.

Now both his eyebrows were raised, and this time in bewilderment. " One can't usually see things that don't exist. Only the creator of such imaginary things can," he slowly answered, as if speaking to a child. " But for the sake of argument, and my own personal curiosity, what's your issue with Gn -whatever-they-are?"

Luna's swatting died down a bit, so she didn't look like she was trying to take flight, to a dull swat. She shot a look of surprise towards him and asked, " You don't know what Gnarleyfinks are Blaise? I was sure, that you of all people, would have known what they were. Guess I was wrong," and she went back to shooing invisible bugs.

" And why, pray tell, is that?"

" Because Gnarleyfinks, while normally harmless when alone or in small groups, are dangerous in large quantities. They tend to sting and bite at women, which causes said women's menstrual cycle to begin."

Blaise's eyes bugged out of his head, and Ginny had to hide her giggle behind her hands. Draco just leaned against the nearest wall, watching with amused interest.

" And just how the bloody hell would I know that Lovegood? If it's failed to have been noticed, I happen to be male."

Luna merely shrugged her shoulders and replied, " I'm not gender confused Blaise, I know your a male. I just thought you might have known about them is all. I always thought you were the smart one of the group, other then Hermione. Guess I was mistakened. Oh well, let's continue shall we? I think I got them all, we're safe Ginny." Luna smiled triumphantly, and began walking towards the kitchen.

" Thanks Luna, appreciate it," Ginny laughed and followed after her.

Draco came up beside Blaise and stared after the two girls.

" There's something seriously wrong with that girl," Blaise muttered, shaking his head slightly.

Draco chuckled, " Perhaps, but Potter likes her well enough, and we can't deny, she's anything but boring." Draco clapped his hand on Blaise's back and motioned towards the girls, " Come on mate, let's not get left behind."

Blaise shook his head one last time, mouthed to himself ' bonkers' and followed after Draco. He was just about to come up beside him when an ear-peircing scream tore through the house.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hermione watched as her Veela wandered off and sighed deeply. She loved him, true, but sometimes he could act like such a child. She smiled to herself as Harry came up beside her.

" Well seeing as how they decided to take that way, and I'm pretty sure Pansy and Ron took the cellar, I'm guessing we're heading upstairs. Care to lead the way?" He offered, extending his hand and mock bowing before Hermione.

" How about we race? Winner gets to choose which room first."

" Your on," and like a shot they were both off. Even though they were racing up, what seemed to be an over 200 staired staircase, with the Veela magic flowing through her veins, Hermione easily flew past Harry, coming to a halt at the top. She waited a few seconds as Harry emerged, gasping for breath and clutching his chest as if he had just ran a marathon. " Too many....WHEW..... Bloody hell..... fastest woman alive," he panted, trying desperatly to return his breathing back to normal.

" Merlin Harry, it's like you don't play any sports or keep in shape at all," Hermione joked, the ends of her mouth slightly turned up.

Harry made a sour face at her, " I'll have you know I am in shape, thank you very much. And as for sports, I happen to sit on a broom, for sometimes hours on end, searching for a tiny little golden flying ball. Now where in that description did I mention I ran, instead of sitting on my arse the entire time?"

Hermione only raised her hands up in mock defeat, and hiding a giggle, she headed to the left, opening the first door she saw. It appeared to have been a library at one time, however, most of the tomes and novels were scattered all over the floor, burnt or blown to pieces.

" Think they've been robbed?" Harry wondered out loud, picking up a burnt book by the cover, the rest of the book ripped off and fell to the ground, the cover still in his hands.

Hermione shook her head, " no, I don't. If they had, the rest of the house should look like this room as well, should it not? I think something else happened. I think Bella burned down the library in an attempt to keep something a secret. Something she didn't want others finding out about."

" The Horcrux?"

" Exactly. Harry, look over here. Judging from the layering of dust, this room hasn't been used in years, however, someone slipped up. Something was taken from here. See the difference in dust layers?" Hermione pointed to a square patch on the desk in the corner, there wasn't any dust, just a clean, square patch of wood.

Harry nodded, " Looks like an outline of a book."

" Yes, and judging from how clean it is, whatever was taken, wasn't taken too long ago." Hermione squealed in delight.

" Brillant, but forgive me Hermione, I fail to understand why your so happy. The impression seems to be a book," Hermione nodded, " there are millions of them, out there in the world. How will we know which book is the one we're searching for? Plus if the book isn't here, it means it was taken, to a place we don't know. Most likely with Bellatrix, another thing we have no clue of it's whereabouts. So why are you so happy?"

Hermione's smiled slowly retreated into a frown, as she mumbled, " way to ruin a good moment." She sighed heavily and turned her head back to face Harry. " I was merely thinking that, judging from the lack of dirt in the outline, it couldn't have been taken more then a few days ago, which means, someone was here. Which means, this Manor isn't as abandoned as we thought."

" You thinking whoever took the book, might come back?"

" It's a possibility. But we've been known to have been wrong before," she shrugged.

" Before? Hermione, every single plan we make, seems to somehow blow up in our faces, leaving all hell to break loose."

Hermione went to open her mouth to protest, when the sound of high-pitched scream ripped through the Manor.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hermione and Harry tore out of the library, out into the hallway, leaning over the railing looking down on the level below. From the right of them, Draco, Blaise, Ginny and Luna appeared, skidding to a halt, looking around for the owner of the scream.

Hermione let out a breath she didn't know she was holding at the sight of her mate in the same condition as she had left him. " You guys okay? Who screamed?"

The four shook their heads, but Blaise spoke up, " Not us, thought it might have been you, Hermione."

Hermione shook her head in answer.

" Couldn't have been Hermione. It was too girly to be her. Could have been Potter though." Draco laughed.

" Draco, I don't think now is the best...." Hermione began, however Harry cut her off.

" Oi, Malfoy, it wasn't me. And how would you know what I screamed like?" He yelled down, his mouth in a frown.

" Well, I don't rightly know, now do I Potter? However, if you've got some free time, perhaps later this evening, we could find out together, make you scream my name?" Draco laughed, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

" Why you, Sick. Disgusting. Perverted......" Harry began, however stopping short when all at once, the six teens grabbed at their individual coins as they heated up against their skin. Everyone broke out in a relieved sigh, while Draco and Blaise burst out laughing so hard, they both toppled over, holding their sides.

Looking down at her coin, Hermione shook her head and she read the neat writing of Pansy:

'Ignore the scream. Ron saw a spider!'
 
Draco and Blaise's laughter died down, as they helped one another off the ground. Wiping a tear from his eye, as Hermione and Harry descended the stairs to discuss what they had found in the library, Blaise chuckled to himself, " Bloody kid's a menace!"

~~~~~~~~~

The six descened the cellar steps and Pansy and Ron came into view. Pansy stood on the middle of a small room, hands on hips, looking quite bored, while Ron shifted beside her, his face beet red.

" How you doing Ron?" Harry asked, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

" Bloody spiders, I hate spiders," he mumbled.

" I'm sure they are more scared of you, then you are of them," Draco snickered, elbowing Blaise in the ribs, who was trying to conceal a laugh.

" I highly doubt it," Ron answered, his face going even redder then before.

Hermione came and stood beside Pansy, " so this is the cellar? Seems kinda small compared to the size of the other rooms in the Manor."

" Now that you mention it Granger, your right. It does seem quite small compared to other cellars I've seen in other Manors." Pansy agreed. " Also quite empty. There's no furniture, no junk, no nothing, how odd."

" Well Bellatrix wasn't known for her sanity now was she?" Ginny said, looking around the surroundings. All there was, was four stone walls and a dirty, cold stone floor.

" Okay, well I say, now that we've searched the entire place, we get the hell out of here, grab something to eat and find somewhere to sleep. I, for one, am starving and would love nothing more then a hot shower." Pansy suggested, to which everyone nodded and agreed. They began filing up the stairs, one by one, when Luna threw her hands up in the air in frustration,

" Really? I'm the only one who sees it?"

Everyone paused, and looked at her. She sighed, and walked towards one of the walls.

" The reason the cellar is smaller then the average Manor ones is because this isn't the entire cellar."

" Come again?" Ginny asked.

" Ugh," Luna spat, " see here?" She pointed to the floor, where foot imprints were almost faded away, " these just end here. Now unless there's an apparition point in this exact place, there's more to this cellar then meets the eye." She began running her hands along the wall.

Draco groaned, " Please don't tell me your seeing things that aren't there again Lovegood?"

" Ah ha!" She exclaimed, as her hand pushed a brick in, the wall shifting and opening, revealing a large, dark room.

" Luna, your brilliant." Hermione cheered, and rushed off the steps. Everyone followed Hermione into the room, Luna holding the wall. While everyone lit the tips of their wands and entered the room, she exclaimed to herself,

" Score one for the fuzzy one!"

" Sweet Merlin's ghost," Ron exclaimed while he took in the surroundings. Blood caked the floor, little splashes on the walls. Chains and other painful devices adoned the three walls. " What the bloody hell went on in here?"

" It's a torture room Weasley. Every Old Pureblooded family has one in their cellars. Mine and Blaise's Manors have one, as does Pansy's. Don't worry, they haven't been used in centuries. Your a Pureblood, how do you not know this?" Draco asked, shocked.

" My family doesn't have one. Unlike other Pureblood families, my family didn't believe in the torturing of innocents and Muggles." Ron sneered, and turned back around.

" Shame they let the old ways die," Draco mumbled. Ron spun around and stuck his tongue out at Draco, very childlike. " Cute, Weasley!"

" Doesn't seem to be anything of importance here." Hermione stated.

A cackle from behind had everyone spinning around. There stood Bellatrix, and behind her, about twelve other rogue Death Eaters.

" I wouldn't say that Mudblood. I seem to have found a few interesting things, wouldn't you agree?" Bella sneered, an evil glint in her eyes.




 
 
 


Chapter 17: This Is Far From Over
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" Seems luck is on my side. Hello Mudblood, we have some unfinished business you and I. I find myself owing you a killing curse," Bellatrix sneered, glaring at Hermione.

Hermione merely kept her gaze locked on Bellatrix as the eight teens formed a straight line in front of the Death Eaters, who were slowly beginning to circle. Bellatrix smirked and looked Hermione up and down.

" Now, please tell me, why would the eight of you, just happen to be trespassing in my home?"

No one answered. No one moved. Harry reached behind him slowly and grasped Hermione's hand, who grabbed Draco's, till everyone had a grip on one anothers hand. Harry started the chain of squeezes, and once it got back to him, everyone shouted at once "STUPEFY", aiming at the Death Eaters.

All hell broke loose fast. Blinding lights from the hexes and spells were lighting up the cellar, make it hard for anyone to see. The lights from the tips of wands, seconds before a spell was thrown was the only visible evidence of where someone stood. With the teens huddled together in a small, formed circle, made it easier not to cast upon each other. Throwing caution to the wind, the teens randomly fired on anything and everything that moved, while constantly throwing up Protego to sheild themselves.

Hermione felt Harry's grip loosen and she gasped loudly, turning around to find out why. As soon as she turned her head, she felt someone slam into her, crashing to the ground. Judging by the weight, it was a female, and from the yanking of the hair and scratching of the face, she wasn't wrong. Hermione reached around and grabbed a handful of the woman's hair and pulled back hard. She heard the woman yelp in pain and release her hold and Hermione scrambled to her feet. She quickly stunned the woman and moved back to where she thought the circle was. She crouched down low and lowered her wand, trying to regain some breath from rolling around on the floor with that crazy witch. She noticed the spells and hexes weren't coming as much and hoped it was her side that was winning.

" Bloody hell, that was my favourite shirt. You'll pay for that you bastard," she heard Pansy screech and stifled a giggle as Pansy shot three well aimed hexes at her attacker. She heard a loud scream and whoever the poor man was, was knocked unconscious.

Suddenly, " ENOUGH," was shouted and the room became quiet. The eight teens, breathing hard, looked around. In the far corner stood Bellatrix, wand raised, with four other Death Eaters. Harry smirked.

" Looks like your suddenly out numbered Bellatrix. How does it feel to be beaten by a group of kids who haven't graduated school yet?"

" Not nearly as good as being the one to kill you dear boy. However, good things come to those who wait. I'll have my revenge, when the time's right." Bellatrix said in a girly voice.

" How about we finish this right now?" Draco roared, rushing to the front of the group, his wand aimed directly at Bellatrix's heart.

" My dear nephew, how are you? How's Daddy Dearest?" She sneered, the evil glint in her eyes sparkling.

" Soon to be better once he's avenged," Draco shouted, but Hermione grabbed his arm and lowered it.

She whispered in his ear, " We need her to find the Horcrux."

" Hermione, this woman cursed my father, you can't except me to just let her walk away," he hissed, eyes still fixed on Bellatrix

" She's not walking away, by any means,"

" And I suppose a filthy Mudblood like yourself is going to stop me?" Bellatrix laughed.

Draco's eyes blackened and he growled out, " call her that one more time and I promise you Aunt Bella, I'll rip you to pieces."

Bellatrix tisked, " Shame you inherited your weakness for those inferior to you from your father. There's not a single trace of Black in you. I seem to be the only one living up to my mother's expectations. Well must be going, places to go, people to kill. See you soon Mudblood," and with that, she spun on her heel and apparated from the house. Several other pops followed and the Death Eaters vanished as well.

" Is everyone alright?" Ginny asked, wiping the sweat from her forehead.

Everyone replied with a tired yes, however Pansy just sighed as she surveyed the damage to her shirt. There was a sizziling burn mark across the shoulder of the shirt along with plenty of dirt smudges all over. She shook her head in defeat, " there's no way I'm ever going to be able to repair it, it's a goner."

" I say now is a good time as ever to get the bloody hell out of here," Ron said, grabbing Pansy's hand and began walking towards the steps.

" I agree, somewhere safe, where we can eat, get cleaned up and rest. We need to gather our wits before we begin our search again." Blaise exclaimed, following Ron. Ginny, Harry and Luna also began walking up the steps. Draco turned to Hermione, who was still frozen in place, her face twisted in serious thought.

" You coming or staying?" Draco joked, holding his hand out for her to take.

" Huh? Oh uh yeah, I'm coming." She answered, shaking her head and taking hold of his hand.

" Everything alright love?"

" Everythings fine Draco, I promise. Let's go catch up with the others," she leaned forward, placing a soft kiss on his lips, and walked up the stairs.

~~~~~~~~~~

" So where are we going now? We can't stay anywhere in Hogsmeade, to many people know who we are there." Blaise said, a hint of defeat in his voice, one Hermione didn't like.

" We've got to stay low, under the radar. Somewhere no one can find us. I know the place." Hermione answered, looking over at Harry who nodded in agreement. " Blaise with Ginny, Luna with Harry, Pansy with Ron and Draco with me. On three, Harry's house. One. Two. Three!" Four pops were heard as the group apparated away.

They landed outside the tall several story house Harry had inherited from Sirius after his death. The Order of the Phoenix used it as headquarters while the war against Voldemort was going on, and after the war, Harry had planned to make it his home, perhaps with Luna. Now here he was, looking up at it, wishing he was back at school.

" Nice place you have here Potter, but how can we be sure we can't be found?" Draco asked, taking a quick look at his surroundings when he walked through the front door.

" This house has been under the Infidelius curse since before we were born. Only those told by the secret keeper are able to find this house. It's now and will forever be, unplottable," Harry stated proudly, walking towards the kitchen, his stomach growling so loud, it was beginning to sound like Draco and Blaise in Veela mode.

" Brilliant Potter, now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I, for one, am in desperate need of a shower. I'd ask if you cared to join Potter, but seeing as my mate and your girlfriend are both present, I wouldn't want them getting jealous." Draco joked as he climbed the stairs, heading for the closest bathroom with a shower. Harry simply made a rude gesture behind him and walked into the kitchen.

Hermione only rolled her eyes and quickly flew up the stairs, trying to catch Draco to show him where their room was, so he wouldn't get lost. The house really was bigger then it seemed. If it could house nearly all of The Order, eight people could surely get turned around. It took her weeks not to get lost just heading to her room everynight!

" Draco? Draco? Where are you?" she hollered, hoping he hadn't gone too far.

" Ummmm, I'm not quite sure, to be honest. I seem to have misplaced myself," his voice trailed from one floor up.

Hermione laughed to herself and walked up the stairs, searching for him. She found him roaming the fifth floor hallway, opening doors, searching for a bathroom. She leaned against the wall, crossed her arms over her chest and giggled.

" Lost are we, Mr. Malfoy?"

" Why, the lovely Ms. Granger. Yes, it would seem I am a tad lost, would you happen to know where a bathroom may be?" Draco winked at her, and snickered a bit himself.

" One floor down, or up. The only rooms on this floor are the library, two studys and rooms usually used for storage."

" This floor? How many bloody floors are there?" Draco asked, shocked.

" Seven, your on the fifth."

" How the bloody hell did I get on the fifth floor? Wasn't I just on the main floor?"

" Yes, but this house is sort of like a maze. You go up one floor, and if your not careful, you'll end up going up five. It was a clever curse by Dumbledore, to confuse any intruders and allow the rest of us to escape. However it is a bit inconvienient. To this day, even I tend to get lost sometimes."

" But you do know how to get to a bathroom though right?" Draco asked, a bit afraid.

Hermione laughed, " yes, as a matter of fact, I have one attached to my room."

" Your room? You have your own room here?"

" Yes, I was given it when I joined The Order, and I kept it. After school, the three of us were planning on moving in here, until we had established stable jobs and were able to get our own places. Harry would stay here of course."

" Well, then get me to you room, or your gonna have a puddle of Draco Malfoy on your rug that I don't think your going to enjoy."

" This way," she laughed and showed him the basic route to get to their room. " Through that door, I'm just going to get out of these dirty clothes and into something more comfy." Draco nodded and headed for the bathroom. Hermione walked over to her dresser, where she kept a complete spare wardrobe. She stripped quickly, and reached for the closet door. Opening it, she grabbed a pair of comfy sweat pants and one of Harry's old t-shirts that was two sizes too big, and brought them back to the bed.

" Hermione, how do you work the shower? It won't turn on," Draco shouted from the bathroom.

" There's a knob in the middle of the faucets, pull it out and it'll work," she answered, reaching for her pants.

" Where? I can't find it," Draco huffed, annoyance raising in his voice.

Hermione huffed, grabbed a towel, wrapped it around her body and made her way to the bathroom. She knocked lightly, " You decent?" a reply of yes and she opened the door. She walked into the bathroom, which was clouded in steam. The little bugger had figured it out on his own! The door behind her suddenly slammed shut and she was grabbed around the waist and dragged into the shower, towel and all.

" Draco, your getting me all wet," Hermione squealed, as the shower soaked through her towel.

" All part of the plan love," he replied huskily, as he grabbed her by the nape of her neck and crashed his lips onto hers.

Instantly Hermione melted,the searing heat from his kiss suddenly made the room hotter, regardless of the steam that was occupying the room. She moaned quietly as his tongue darted out and flicked against hers softly, and she felt his hands release her neck and travel lower. Her skin broke out in goosebumps in his touchs wake, and the room began spinning, it really was much too hot! She brought her hands up and rested them against his bare chest.

" Oi," he shouted as she pushed him away, hard, up against the back wall and took a step back. He was about to begin protesting when he saw her eyes begin to slowly blacken over. She stared up at him through wet eyelashes, gave a sly wink and smirked, worthy of a Malfoy. She ran her hands up her body, causing Draco's gums to tingle, and ripped the sopping, wet towel off of her. She stood there in front of him, in all her naked glory, the water glistening off her skin, and he moaned loudly.

" Bloody hell woman, your really trying to kill me, aren't you?"

She shook her head innocently and answered, " I have no idea what your talking about," and she grinned. Draco could have sworn he saw just the tiniest tips of fangs, but he shrugged it off, reaching forward and placing his hands on either side of her head, blocking her in. Leaning down, kissing her sweet, enticing lips, he ran his hands along the soft, flat of her stomach, before reaching behind her, grabbing her underneath her thighs, and lifting her up against the smooth porcelin of the shower wall.

Hermione laughed as she wrapped her legs around his waist and arms around his neck. He began licking a small trail up her neck, sucking the water droplets off her skin, and she sighed. This was heaven, she could stay like this forever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" He better not be using all the hot water," Ginny huffed, " I, like the rest of the house, would like to shower sometime today too!"

Blaise focused for a minute and broke out into laughter, while grabbing Ginny around the waist and falling with her onto the bed. " I don't think you'll have anything to worry about Red, the two of them are being very conservative of the hot water."

Ginny scrunched up her nose in confusion, " what do you mean, the two of them?" Blaise raised a knowing eyebrow and she gagged," Oh for the love of Merlin, I use that shower!"

" I think you'll survive." Blaise sat up and pushed himself back and over, as he drapped one leg on either side of Ginny and using his right hand, brushed her red hair off her shoulder. He brought both his hands around her waist and buried his face in her neck, breathing deep. " So what should we do until the showers free? Exploding snap? Something to eat? I'm all yours."

She worried her bottom lips between her teeth, a habit she picked up from Hermione no doubt, as she gathered up her courage. She tilted her head to the side, allowing him better access and whispered, " mark me."

His head shot up, " WHAT?"

She sighed and spun around, " Blaise, we already went through this back at Hogwarts. I'm ready and willing to be marked, we're just waiting on you. I've wanted this for awhile now, why do you keep putting it off? Don't you want to mark me?"

" Of course I do Gin, you know that, and at the risk of sounding lame, I just didn't think it was the right time."

" And now?" She looked up into his eyes, her blue eyes round with worry, shiny from unshed tears, yet still glistening with such genuine, undeniable surety, he could no longer reject her.

" Is the perfect time," he softly replied, as he placed slow, heart-stopping kisses on her lips. He eyes blackened over immediatly and his gums tingled as his canines lowered, this wasn't going to take long. He'd been putting it off for so long, that his mind went blank and his body took over. He roughly grabbed the bottom of her shirt, and yanked it over her head, throwing it behind him. He grabbed the back of her head and tilted it to the side, licking a trail from the bottom of her neck, to her earlobe, nipping it lightly with his teeth. He began his decent back down her neck, when his body convulsed with a violent tremor when he reached the juncture between her neck and shoulder. He pulled back, and looked her deep in the eye. She nodded slightly, and he opened his mouth wide, giving her a view of the fangs one last time before he swiftly and roughly, bit down on her neck, piercing her skin.

Ginny howled in pain, Hermione had been right. Suddenly Blaise was yanked off her by some invisible force, and her body immediatly began heating up. Stars dancing infront of her eyes, dizzy with delirium from the fever, she looked to her side where Blaise was drifting off in slumber and whispered, " I love you."

" I love you too," he whispered, wrapped his arms around her waist and both fell asleep quickly, shower forgotten.

~~~~~~~~~~

" What was that howling?" Ron asked, his eyes darting around the livingroom where he sat with Pansy, on the couch, her head in his lap on a pillow, while he gently stroked her hair.

" Suppose it was that dog Granger kept going on about at Draco's house," she shrugged, her eyelids heavy with sleep.

" There's no dog here Pans," Ron said, looking down at her oddly.

" You do have neighbors, maybe one of them owns one," she answered, " I'm gonna fall asleep right here if you keep playing with my hair," she mumbled sweetly, and he smiled lovingly down at her.

" That would wrong?" he asked, laughing slightly.

She laughed too and mumbled, " as long as I'm in your arms, everythings alright." She yawned and closed her eyes, sleep taking over. Ron yawned as well and leaned his head against the back of the couch, thinking that a nap didn't sound so bad. Whatever they had to do, could clearly wait until morning. He had the woman he loved, curled up around him, softly snoring. To hell with the world, he wasn't going anywhere tonight.


 


Chapter 18: Not What It Seems
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Morning came too quickly for the eight teens. Draco moaned and covered his eyes with the back of his hand. He rolled onto his side and glanced at his mate. He growled in mild jealousy. There she was, beautiful as ever, her hair cascading across the white pillow. Her full lips tilted up at the edges in a tiny smile, a clear sign she was having a good dream, and the sun shining on her stunning form having no effect on her sleeping what so ever. Draco envied her. A bomb could go off and she wouldn't even stir. Meanwhile, someone turns a light on in another room and he's sitting up in bed, wide awake. He also wasn't one of those people who could be woken up, see what's going on and fall back asleep. Once he was up, he was up. He growled one more time at Hermione and slowly climbed out of the bed. He padded his way to the washroom, and softly closed the door.

" Ahhh," he exclaimed as he glanced at his reflection in the mirror. He made a sour face and turned the water on, immediately began running his hands through his hair. After finishing his morning ritual, he dressed quickly, and with much difficulty and about twenty minutes later, he finally found his way to the kitchen. He inhaled a deep breath, the sweet aroma of coffee filling his nostrils, a smile finally gracing his face. He pushed the door opened and the smile fell from his face. There, sitting across the table, cup of coffee in front of him and The Daily Prophet open in his hands, sat Potter. Draco walked over to the coffee maker, poured himself a cup and leaned against the counter, taking a sip.

" Feel free to take a seat Malfoy, I don't bite," Harry said, not taking his eyes off the paper.

Draco sighed loudly, but walked over to the table, pulled his chair out and took a seat. He reached for the sports section Harry had taken out of the paper and began reading.

Harry dropped his paper and looked quizzically at Draco.

" What?" asked Draco, raising both eyebrows.

" Oh forgive me, I was expecting some perverted, disgusting remark from your mouth Malfoy. Silence isn't normally your style," Harry laughed, picking the paper back up.

" Too early Potter, however, remind me later and I'll make it up to you," Draco mumbled, taking another sip of his coffee.

" I'll make sure to do just that. Merlin knows, it's not a full day until you've been insulted or hit on by Draco Malfoy."

Draco placed the paper down and sighed loudly. " Potter, please tell me your not one of those perky, morning people, who perfer polite conversation, instead of sitting quietly.

" Nope, but being around Mrs. Weasley and Luna for years, it kind of happens. Though if you prefer to sit here without conversation, I'd be more then happy to oblige."

" Spectacular," Draco grumbled and went back to reading the sports section in peace. The quiet didn't last long, as the door burst open and in walked Luna accompanied by Hermione, Ginny and Pansy. All four walked over to the coffee maker, poured themselves a cup and joined the two boys at the table. They began talking adamantly about random things. School, clothes, gossip about other students. Harry peered over at Draco, whose face was scrunched up in frustration, and couldn't help but chuckle to himself. He heard Luna discussing something about a Potions project and couldn't help himself.

" Luna love, you should ask Draco about that potion, it just so happens to be Draco's favorite subject, and if I'm correct the top student, second only to Hermione. If anyone would know, it would be him."

Draco's head snapped up from the paper and he glared angrily at Harry, who only smiled innocently when Luna squealed in delight as she engaged Draco in the conversation.

While Harry sat back with his coffee in his hand, enjoying the looks Draco was sending his way when the girls weren't looking that promised revenge, the door was pushed open and in walked Blaise and Ron.

" Morning mate," yawned Ron as he took a spot beside Harry.

" Morning. Zabini, you look exhausted, didn't you get enough sleep last night?" Harry asked, to which both Blaise and Ginny looked nervously at each other before Blaise answered,

" Plenty, just got alot on my mind. Such as this Horcrux. How are we going to find out what it is, and if we ever do, how are we going to destroy it?"

Harry shrugged his shoulders, " no clue, but Ron, Hermione and I have been here before and we got through it. Just have patience, we'll figure it out."

" You mean Hermione will figure it out," Pansy laughed and Hermione snorted in her coffee.

" Ummmm, about that. I was thinking last night, and I think I might have figured something out."

Pansy smiled at the group, " see? Told ya!"

Ron beamed at her and turned towards Hermione, " what did you figure out Mione?"

Hermione bit her lower lip and answered, " well it was something she said yesterday, that had me thinking, and I think she may have helped us out. She said something about living up to her mother's expectations. That got me thinking. Bellatrix is so hell-bent on Pureblood standards, which had to have been ingrained in her by her mother. If she was to ever make a Horcrux, making it out of something close to her would be too obvious. Since she was close to her mother, why not make it something of her's?"

" That's brilliant love, but where would we begin looking for Aunt Bella's mother's things? While she might be my Aunt, there's nothing of her's at the Manor." Draco asked, rubbing his face with both hands in frustration.

Hermione looked around at her friends, all had a look of troubling thought on their faces. She sighed and decided to go about it another way.

" Okay, let's try it this way. Before she was married, what was Bellatrix's last name?"

" Black," answered Draco.

" And who do we know, that was a close friend to us, that she was related to?"

" Sirius," Harry said sadly, remembering his deceased Godfather.

" What was Sirius' last name?"

" Black," shouted Ron, a look of pride on his face, proud of himself for knowing the answer.

" And who's house are we currently living in?"

" Sirius Black's. Merlin's moldy knickers. The Black's owned this house. If there was anything left that was once owned by Bellatrix's mother, it would be here." Blaise yelled, standing up suddenly, bumping the table as he went and knocking over the coffee's. The rest of the teens jumped up and raced out of the kitchen.

" Where would they keep that kind of stuff?" Ginny asked, glancing at Hermione.

" Harry, when you took over residence of this house, where did you place all the junk?"

" Some are in the rooms on the fifth floor, some in the attic, and the rest in the basement."

And at that, then teens spilt up and raced to the rooms.

Harry, Luna and Blaise took the attic, but came up with nothing.

Ron and Pansy took the basement with nothing there.

Draco, Hermione and Ginny took the fifth floor, coming up empty handed. They all met again on the main floor hallway.

" I was sure we would find something, this being The Black House and all," Hermione wailed and slammed her fist against the wall. Almost immediately, the portrait of Mrs. Black woke up and began yelling about Mudblood's Half-Blood's and Blood Traitors being in her house. Harry and Ron rushed to cover the portrait while Ginny brought out her wand to cast a silencing spell when Hermione shouted.

" Bloody hell, why didn't I think of it before?"

Ginny put her wand away once she silenced the witch in the picture, " what Hermione?"

" It's been here all along!"

" Now love, while I do encourage your swearing, weren't you present when we all searched the house? There's nothing here." Draco said, placing an arm around her shoulders and bringing her close, inhaling her scent.

" Yes, you dunce, I was there. No need to patronize me, I'm not stupid. But we were thinking wrong. While it does have something to do with her mother, it's not a possesion." She exclaimed, shoving him away and placing her hands on her hips.

" Then what, pray tell, is it Granger?"

She pointed to the portrait with her forefinger. " It IS her mother!"

" WHAT?" Shouted the teens, all turning and looking at the picture that was currently covered by a black satin drape.

" Think about it. No matter what spells we throw at it, nothing destroys it. Fire doesn't burn it. My Bombarda spell won't blow it up, doesn't do anything to it, almost like it doesn't work."

" Tell that to my bedroom door," muttered Blaise under his breath.

" Like any other Horcrux, nothing harms it. That's why we haven't been able to remove it from the house Harry. Bellatrix made the picture of her mother her Horcrux." Hermione explained, clapping her hands in joy.

Pansy walked up to the portrait and looked at curiously, " while I may not like the crazy old bat, that's bloody brilliant. Who would ever suspect a picture to be a Horcrux?" she leaned forward and placed her hand on the picture. Suddenly she screamed loudly and ripped her hand off the portrait, the skin bubbling with blisters immediately.

She pointed at the picture with her unhurt hand, " that bitch burned me." Ron rushed to her side and whispered a healing spell that vanished the blisters.

" That just proved my point. Whenever anyone that touches a Horcrux, that's not it's creator, they are burnt." Hermione explained, looking closely at the picture.

" But what about the book shaped print we found at the Lestrange Manor? The portrait is bigger then the impression we saw," Harry asked.

" Yes, true, perhaps it was a personal journal or something she had written in, claiming the picture as her Horcrux. She may have taken it with her when she burned the library, so no one would find out. Seems we didn't need it in the first place, we found it on our own!" Exclaimed Hermione joyfully.

" Well, thanks for the head's up Granger," mumbled Pansy, still cradling her sore hand.

" Huh? Oh yeah, sure Pansy. Now, the only question remaining is, how do we destroy it?"

" What about a Basilisk fang? Dumbledore has a few in his office from when we cleaned up the Chamber of Secrets." Harry suggested, heading towards the floo.

Hermione shook her head, " I don't think it will work. Judging from how fast Pansy got hurt, we might need something a little stronger."

Harry nodded and again went over towards the floo. When his head was in the flames, talking to Dumbledore, the teens gathered around Hermione.

" What will we need Hermione? What's stronger then a fang from a Basilisk?" asked Ginny, worry etched clearly across her pretty face.

" The sword of Gryffindor!"

Silence broke out amongst the group. Harry removed his head from the floo and walked back over. " Dumbledore is going to retrieve the sword from his personal vault, he said he should arrive tomorrow morning with it and will be here just incase we require his assistance. So we have until tomorrow, what do you suppose we do till then?"

Draco who was itching for some fun, leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest, loudly suggested, " how about we all begin our day by congratulating Zabini for finally marking his mate?"

The group of teens are turned around and stared at a wide eyed Blaise and beet red Ginny. No one knew what to say until the silence was broken by Ron,

" WHAT?!?!?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

" Oh, come on Hermione, you can't still be mad at me." Draco whined as he tried again for the millionth time to sit beside Hermione and wrap his arm around her. Every time he did, she would shuffle down the couch, or move to a different chair. At one point she even left the room.

" Yes Draco, as a matter of fact I am. I can't believe you would just come out and say that out loud to everyone," she said, moving away and walking over to a different chair.

" Oh get off it, you could smell it as well, you knew she had been marked too."

" True, but it wasn't our secret to share. You also shouldn't have done it like you did either. You don't just shout that kind of secret out, that's something you do delicately."

" How much more delicate could I have been? No matter which way it was done, Weasel was going to fly off the handle and you know it. I was simply helping. Plus I was owing Blaise."

" Owing Blaise?" Hermione asked, her curiosity peeked.

" Something he did as a child, payback, I believe you Muggles call it! Anyways, it's done and over with. Now feel free to be mad at me till your little hearts content. I, however, am starving. I'm going to make myself something to eat. Join me if you like." Draco exclaimed, as he jumped off the couch and walked out of the library. Hermione merely sighed and followed after him, book in hand. They walked together in silence as they made their way to the kitchen. A sudden loud boom echoed through the large house, followed by shouting, caused both Hermione and Draco to break into sprints into the kitchen. They skidded to a halt at the scene before them.

The kitchen was blown up, the wood paneling on the cupboard doors singed black and the counter top was smoking. The kitchen table was turned on its side, wood splintered and holes blown halfway through it. Taking cover on its other side was Blaise, while Ron stood blasting spells across the kitchen, his face red and twisted up in anger. His wand aimed at the table, the tip glowed a light blue and Draco grabbed Hermione around the waist and toppled to the floor as another blast hit it's mark, causing wood splinters to fall around them. Beside Ron stood Ginny, hands on her hips and foot angrily tapping against the kitchen floor, unaffected by the blasts and wood being blown around. Harry and Luna protected by his body as they hunched in the furthest corner.

" Really Ron, you have no right. Now stop acting childish and let's discuss this as adults," Ginny shouted, and tried to pry his wand from his hands.

Ron turned his eyes away from the table for a second and exploded, " NO RIGHT? HE VIOLATED MY SISTER, THE BASTARD'S GONNA PAY WITH HIS LIFE!"

" Need I remind you, for the gazillionth time, Ronald Billius Weasley, that I am a grown woman, and I make my own decisions. Who I choose to sleep with is none of your concern. You don't see me trying to blow up Pansy, now do you?"

Ron's face immediately lost all color, but flared back up, " That's completely besides the point. I'm a man. And just what do you mean, ' who you sleep with'? Your sleeping with my sister?" he shouted and threw two more blasting spells at the table, causing a crack down the middle of it.

Blaise looked over at Draco, " Little help mate? Your best friend is being attacked, and your.... ARE YOU LAUGHING?"

" In my defense, this is quite hilarious Blaise. Consider this payback for when we were kids," Draco snickered.

" Prat," muttered Blaise and flinched as another spell made a loud boom, shaking the kitchen walls and rattling the dishes.

Hermione had had enough. She untangled herself from Draco and walked over to Ron, standing right infront of his wand, blocking the path. " That's it, I've had enough! Now, you want to throw another spell, go right ahead, but you'll be hitting me first." Her hands on her hips in determination, Ron sighed and lowered his wand. " Now I'm going to forget your sexist remark earlier about how it's perfectly acceptable for you to be sleeping with someone and not your sister merely because your a man, and remind you that she didn't say she was having, er, relations with Blaise, she was merely marked. You knew this was bound to happen, so grow up, and get this kitchen back in order. I don't want to see a single thing out of order, or so help me Merlin, I will floo your mother and have her come over and deal with you." And with a huff, Hermione walked over to Blaise, offered her hand to help him up and walked out of the Kitchen with Blaise and Draco following her.

" Hermione has a point. I'm flooing mother right now." Ginny exclaimed and began walking out of the kitchen, " she should know how her son has been behaving."

" Now wait just a minute Ginerva Weasley," Ron hollered, and grabbed her arm, only to shout in horror as he was, yet again, victim to Ginny's Bat Boogey Hex. She wretched her arm away from his grasp and continued her way into the livingroom, while Harry calmly tried to reverse the effects and Pansy and Luna went to follow Hermione and Blaise.

" I think Ron's in trouble," giggled Luna as she walked beside Pansy.

Pansy sighed, " when isn't he?"
 
 
 


Chapter 19: There's Always A Catch
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


The seven teens were all sitting in the living room, all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Dumbledore. Hermione, her nose in a book, Blaise and Ginny, reading a Quidditch magazine, Pansy and Luna, discussing the latest fashion, and Harry and Draco immersed in a serious game of Wizard's Chess. Every now and then you'd hear Draco chuckle and Harry grunt in frustration whenever Harry would make a bad move. Ron was upstairs in his room, napping off the effects of his mother's stinging hex, along with Ginny's Bat Boogey Hex. It had been quite a show. Ginny had floo'ed her mother and after retelling the events to Molly, she stepped through the fireplace, reached for her son's ear and dragged him into the kitchen. After an hour of yelling and threats of not living long enough the see his next birthday, Molly had then made Ron clean up the kitchen, without magic, then was sent off to his room. Molly had come over and spoken to Blaise, and after an extensive motherly searching for wounds, which had Blaise feeling less then comfortable, she hugged him tightly and welcomed him to the family. Harry had leaned in close and whispered that Molly was the least of his worries, it's Ginny's older brother's that were going to be hard to impress. Blaise merely smiled and said he had everything under control, a slight evil grin and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

After the delicious lunch Molly had made, the teens proceeded to the living room, which they were still in at the moment.

" When did Dumbledore say he was going to be here?" Pansy sighed, tossing aside her magazine.

" Dammit!" Harry shouted as once again Draco was victorious. He stood up from the table, having played enough, " I'm not entirely sure Pansy. He said he'd be here after lunch."

" But that could be anytime! I'm going crazy waiting. Why don't we just go to Hogwarts, get the sword ourselves? That would save us all loads of time, instead of sitting here, doing nothing?"

" If you were to do that, Miss Parkinson, I'm afraid you'd be wasting your time, seeing as I'm here and not at Hogwarts," Dumbledore chuckled.

Hermione jumped up from the couch, tossing her book aside. " Professor, we didn't see you floo in."

" You wouldn't have Miss Granger. I used the front door." He laughed, and fixed his moon shape glasses.

" Pardon my bluntness Professor, but I don't see the Sword of Gryffindor. Didn't you bring it?" asked Blaise, looking around the room for it.

" Ahh yes, the sword. Well there seems to have been a slight complication pertaining to the sword. It appears to have been taken, by whom, I have an inkling, but to where I don't know."

Harry's eyes bugged out of his head. " It was taken? How is that even possible? I thought it was safe in your office?"

" It was, however I didn't believe it to be safe anymore. Many people knew it was with me, so I had taken it to be hidden." Dumbledore explained, walking towards the chessboard Draco had set up.

" Who did you leave it with for safe keeping Professor? Maybe they might know what happened to it? We need that sword as soon as possible." Ginny asked, coming to stand next to Blaise, slipping her hand into his, squeezing tight. Blaise turned his head and smiled at her, squeezing back.

" Why Hagrid, of course," Dumbledore answered, scratching his chin as he moved a piece, starting a game with Draco.

" Hagrid? The Hogwarts grounds keeper? You trusted THAT oaf with the Sword of Gryffindor? Why in the world would you do such a thing?" Draco sputtered, moving his knight and staring in disbelief at the Headmaster.

" Mister Malfoy, I would trust Hagrid with my life," Dumbledore said, making another move.

" I would highly suggest changing that idea after he lost the sword," muttered Draco, looking at the board before moving a piece.

Hermione came and stood infront of the Headmaster, " so what do you suggest we do then Professor?"

" A visit to Hagrid seems like a good place to start, Miss Granger. I'm, however, going to return to Hogwarts to oversee the care of Lucius and the tracking of Bellatrix." Dumbledore suggested, while walking over the floo. He tossed a handful of floo powder, but before he steeped into the flames, he turned around and said with a huge grin on his face, " I do believe that's checkmate Mister Malfoy," and with a roaring flame, he vanished.

" Wait.... what?" Draco looked down at the board and stared at the broken pieces of what was once his king. " How did that senile old fool do that?" He asked, scratching his head in confusion.

" Beats me, but I must remember to ask him about that later," Harry laughed, then turned his head to Hermione, " off to Hagrid's then I suppose?"

She nodded her head, " off to Hagrid's."

~~~~~~~~~~

" Merlin, it smells like a dead Hippogriff's arse out here, how can the oaf stand it?" Draco complained, as he pulled up the collar of his T-shirt up over his nose, attempting to block as much of the smell as possible.

Hermione clucked her tongue in disapproval, " he lives out near the forest, and he also tends to the magical creatures. What did you expect it to smell like out here, roses? Chocolates?" The group chuckled as they followed her up the large three stairs to Hagrid's front door.

Draco merely squinted his eyes and shook his head as he grasped the collar of his shirt, which was still up around his nose, and holding it in place, he jogged to catch up.

Harry smiled happily as he rapped on the enormous door a couple of times. Nothing. He knocked again. Still nothing. He turned back to Hermione and Ron, who merely shrugged their shoulders. He frowned and knocked again and leaned his ear up against the door. He heard quiet shuffling, and wondered what was going on.

" Hagrid! It's Harry, Ron and Hermione. We've come to visit. It's important."

The shuffling became louder, when suddenly there was a loud click, and the door opened, Hagrid poking his large head out.

" 'Ello everyone. Happy to see ya, glad to see your all still in one piece, but I'm in no fit mood for entertaining company today. Perhaps another time. Goodnight," he said shakily and went to close the door when Draco stuck his foot in the way.

" Perhaps you don't know, or didn't hear, but this happens to be important. Now if you will, allow us entry inside, away from this blasted terrible smell." Draco gagged and pushed himself inside.

" Nice to see the impending doom lingering over your father hasn't changed you in the slightest Draco," Blaise laughed, taking a seat in a large chair, with Ginny sitting beside him.

" One of my better qualities, I assure you mate." He stopped for a minute, took a quick sniff and ripped his collar back up around his nose. " I swear, it's even worse in here. The hell with this, I'll be outside." He walked fast over to the front door, and swiftly made a quick exit.

" Now what's this all about, you guys? Why suddenly visit me? From what Professor Dumbledore has told me, you guys are busy with an important mission," Hagrid questioned, walking over to a window and peering out, looking around suspiciously.

" We are Hagrid, that's why we're here," Hermione answered, looking worriedly at Ron and Harry, then back to Hagrid.

" Hagrid, are you expecting some company?" Ron asked, raising an eyebrow at Hagrid's weird behaviour.

" Well no, not really."

" Are you in some sort of trouble?" Harry asked, his fingers brushing lightly against his wand in his back pocket.

" Suppose you could say that. But it's nothing to get your little selves involved with. Forget I said anything. Now, why is it you've come, and make it quick, I've got things to attend to."

" It's about the Sword of Gryffindor. Dumbledore said you had it, then it was taken. We need to know who took it and where." Ginny pleaded, her big blue eyes, wide with fake innocence, which she knew Hagrid couldn't refuse. Hermione had seen her use it a couple of times on him to escape detention when she was late for class a couple of times. Hagrid was too much of a softie for his own good.

Hagrid spun around quick. " Now why would you be needin that?"

" Can't say, I'm sorry Hagrid, but if it would make you feel better, we could get Professor Dumbledore here and he could vouch for us." Hermione said, walking over to the front door.

" No, no, no need for that. I believe ya, however, I can't tell ya where the sword is,"

" You have got to be kidding me!" Draco shouted from somewhere outside. Blaise snorted into his cup of tea Ginny had poured for him.

" Not that I don't want too, just that I have no clue where it is. It was taken from me, in the middle of the night. Alls I know is that the thieves took it into the forest."

Harry sighed, defeated. He really hated going into that forest. Ever since first year, when he served detention, he had his first encounter with Voldemort. He avoided the forest whenever he could, at all costs.

" However, I do know who took the sword. They never get involved with mortal problems, however they will do anything to stop the rise of another war and go to any lengths to keep it from happening. Another war would possibly deplete their food source. To go after the sword, you would have to venture into the forest, deep into the forest." Harry sighed and shivered. Luna rubbed his back soothingly.

" Who has the sword Hagrid?" Ron asked, Pansy coming up beside him, grasping his hand tight.

" The Vampires!"

" Bloody hell," Draco shouted once again, while Blaise dropped his cup and Hermione's eyes bulged out of their sockets.

~~~~~

It was quiet. Too quiet for Hermione's liking. Where were the Centaurs? The other creatures that called The Forbidden Forest home? She squeezed Draco's hand tighter in fear, looking around quickly, hoping her new Veela senses would help out, yet it was too dark, and nothing was making a sound. That was never a good sign.

Draco looked down at his throbbing hand in Hermione's vice-grip, and back up to her face. He could hear her heart hammering away in her chest, and it caused a lump to appear in his throat. He cleared his throat as innocently as possible, her erratic heartbeat making him relive New Years Eve all over again. Sweaty, naked, sexy images of Hermione, writhing and crying out his name springing to mind, making his blood boil and venture south.

' Well if this isn't the worst place to be thinking about those things. Might be wise to stay focused. I can get back to those thoughts later, at home, in private,' he mused to himself, quietly chuckling to himself.

" You know, once. Just one bloody time, I wish our little escapades didn't have us gallivanting all over hell and high water, with no knowledge of where, what or who we're looking for, and instead someone drew us a bloody map with strict-to-the-point, step by step instructions to get us from beginning to end with little to no danger, pain, or possible death. Just once!" Ron sighed as he flung his right leg over a fallen tree stump, brought his other leg over and slid to the ground.

" Now where would the fun be in that? Now shut up Weasley before you get most of us killed!" Draco whispered angrily, glaring at the red head.

" What do you mean by ' most of us' Malfoy?"

" He means those without Veela traits. Those without the super hearing, eyesight and speed. We're not talking about duelling Death Eaters here Weasley, we're talking about Vampires."

" And that means....?"

" It means beings who are faster, stronger, and can't be killed by a simple killing curse. If you can't see, hear them coming, or are without strength to at least fight them off long enough to escape, you'll be dead in mere seconds. They're not exactly known for calmly sitting down and discussing matters over tea and coming to an agreement Ron, they will slit your throat and drink you dry before you can scream. Now quiet everyone." Hermione huffed and turned her head back around searching her surroundings.

Ron sighed quietly to himself and took a step. His foot landed on a stray branch causing it to snap loudly, echoing through the dark recess of the forest.

" Son of a bitch,"

Suddenly, many whooshs were heard all around the teens, and they knew they were screwed. Hermione motioned to the rest of group to throw down their wands in surrender and kneel on the ground. It was a sing of both defeat and respect. She hoped that by doing so and by sheer luck, they may have caught the Vampire coven on a good day and might just leave with their lives.

" In all my years, I've never known food to come walking so willingly into my forest. Like a lamb to the slaughter, I must say, I am greatly pleased," the silkiness of the male voice floated from the trees and seemed to surround Hermione, caress her. She felt her pulse quicken in both fear and anticipation.

" And never has there ever been dessert brought either," the male laughed, and stepped from the blackness. Hermione's breath caught in her throat. He was glorious, like a dark angel. He was pale, yet his skin looked soft to the touch, though Hermione knew it was tougher then diamonds. His eyes a neon blue, electric, piercing your very soul, hypnotic. He had black hair, cut short and shinning. He stood nearly a foot taller then Hermione, and glanced down at her, smiling widely, showing the pearly whites of his fangs.

" Such beauty, so young, seems such a waste to kill." He lightly dragged his knuckles down her left cheek, the chill from his cold skin leaving goose bumps in their wake. He leaned down close and whispered in her ear, " Do you want to die?"

Hermione, with her head bowed, sneered. Her felt her eyes become dark, her fangs growing, and growled low in her chest, " Do you?"

She suddenly lounged, jumping quick from her place on the ground, landing on the vampire's chest, knocking him on his back. Draco, Blaise and Ginny each took the other three vampire's. Draco had his by the throat, growling loudly while holding her high in the air. Ginny had the other vampire woman on her stomach, face in the dirt with her foot placed firmly on the vampire's back. Blaise had his arm wrapped tightly around the vampire man neck, pressing the vampire's back flush against his stomach, while both were on their knee's.

" What the bloody hell just happened?" shouted Ron, who, to his human eye only saw blurs of colors.

Luna leaned in, her eyes still trained on the scene before them and whispered, " I think we won?"

" Huh," was his only response.

Hermione growled at the Vampire, baring her fangs threateningly. The Vampire furrowed his brow in question and leaned his head forward,

" Kin?"

" Not bloody likely," snorted Blaise.

" If I let you up, you will not run, or I promise you, this night shall be your last." Hermione compromised, to which the Vampire nodded. She slowly climbed off and the Vampire got to his feet quick, brushing off the dirt and fixing his clothes.

" Allow me to introduce myself. I, am Vincent, leader of the clan in these parts. If you don't mind me asking, if you are not kin, what are you?"

The woman who Draco had been holding, now made her way in a circle around him seductively, leaning in close, inhaling deep. " Veela, master, and this one smells delicious. Wouldn't mind some time playing with him, he is quite handsome," she purred, to which Draco grinned at Hermione, who merely rolled her eyes.

" Wait till he opens his mouth," Ginny said snidely. Draco turned and stuck out his tongue at her, she only smiled in response.

The Vampire Leader turned his nose up in disgust, " Veela, pfft, disgusting creatures,"

" Pardon me?" Blaise huffed, hurt. " You, one who lives off of living human blood, walks in darkness and is physically dead, have the nerve to call us disgusting? Give your head a shake mate!"

Vincent chuckled darkly, " Perhaps disgusting was the wrong word. Imitators, pretenders, was more the word I was looking for. You look like us, have the same abilities as us, yet aren't quite us. Your smell is different, all wrong," he replied, shaking his head.

" Just because we don't smell like rotting corpses, doesn't mean we smell horrible," Ginny lashed out.

The Vampire woman by her side nudged her with her elbow jokingly, " but that's the best part, my dear."

Vincent waved his hand in the dismissively, " I think the real question here is, why would eight young ones, four of which human, and..," he licked his lips hungrily, " ripe, wonder so deep into this forest, are you not aware of the dangers that lurk within it?"

" Oi! You keep your fangs to yourself. We are not on the menu. We are not your dinner, you leech!" Pansy stated, her hands on her hips.

" Yes Vincent, we are aware, we are students here. We have come looking for something, something I heard you have, and we'd like it back. It's important." Hermione asked politely.

" And this thing your looking for would be.....?"

" Merlin, this is getting old quick! Look we're here for the Sword of Gryffindor. We know you stole it from Hagrid and we want it back. If you don't comply, I won't refrain from stopping Draco from ripping your throat out as I'm sure he wants to do," Harry yelled, seemingly pissed off at the Vampire's stalling.

Vincent chuckled darkly, " Watch your tongue Chosen One, I'm not one of your disciples. Yes I'm aware of who you are Harry Potter, and you had better realize who your talking to. I will have your jugular laying on the ground and drinking happily from your throat before you could blink if I so wish, and you won't always have your Veela bodyguards around to protect you." he growled at Harry, who paled visibly.

He turned back around to Hermione, who was staring at Vincent with an eyebrow raised, " Now little Veela, I am a coven leader, I will not be talked down to by a mortal, but forgive my behaviour. I am aware of what you seek, and you would be correct, we did take it, and we do have it. Come, back to our home, I will have someone retrieve it for you while we dine, well you eight will. I will not take no for an answer." Vincent turned around and began walking into the forest, the other three Vampire's following suit.

Draco came and stood beside Hermione, " Great, I'm starving. What do you think Vampire's serve for dinner?"

Hermione snorted, " if that raven haired harlot woman had her way, it would be you!" she replied and began following the Vampire's into the forest.

" Why Miss Granger, I do belive I detect a hint of jealously!" Blaise chuckled, while Ginny jabbed him in the side with her elbow, giving him a smile.

" Oooo, how lovely, dinner with Vampire's. My father is never going to believe this," Luna cheered, clapping her hands and ran after the girls.

Ron, Pansy and Harry hung back.

" Seriously Potter, I question your mental state. That girl's a loon.I love her, but a loon!" Pansy joked.

" Yeah, but she's my loon!" Harry grinned at her, and the three began walking, trying to keep up with the rest!

~~~~

" Alright, how in the bloody hell has a Manor existed in The Forbidden Forest, and in all our years of being here, has no one ever stumbled upon it?" Ron shouted, his eyes bulging out of his head.

" Dumbledore knows we are here." Vincent answered. The eight teens gaped at the Vampire. " What? Oh don't look so surprised, we made a deal. We leave the students and staff alone, no killing of mortals and we can live here and hunt animals in peace."

" You think he would have mentioned it at some point that there were Vampire's in here," Ron mumbled.

" You are my welcomed guests. While you stay here, I promise, no harm will come to you. Now come, you must been hungry and tired. There are plenty of spare rooms for you to sleep in, stay as long as you like," Vincent offered, waving his hand and the grand door opened. He walked inside and was immediately joined by another Vampire male. He talked quietly, the others unable to hear, requesting the other to fetch the sword, Hermione guessed, while the teens followed Vincent further into the Manor, turning left and entering the dining room. A long oak wooden table, which looked to seat about twenty people, welcomed the teens who each took a seat and with a clap of his hand, Vincent had food appear. The smell reaching the teens noses, making their stomachs grumble, it had been awhile since they ate a decent meal.

" Please, help yourselves, enjoy!" Vincent announced.

The eight teens looked at each other, and began devouring everything in sight, manners not included. They didn't need to be told twice!

Hermione swallowed what was in her mouth and glanced at Vincent, who was sitting at the head of the table, his hands clasped in front of him, a gentle smile gracing his face. " Aren't you going to join us Vincent?"

" Little Veela, I don't eat the same as you. We Vampires don't require nourishment from food any longer." Vincent smiled warmly at Hermione.

Hermione bowed her head in embarrassment. She could feel the heat from her blush creeping up her neck ad cheeks. How could she have forgotten? Brightest witch of her age, indeed!

" Then why do you have all this wonderful, delicious food, if you no longer need it?" Pansy asked, wiping her mouth.

" For our guests, of course. It's not just Vampire's who grace this Manor, Miss."

" You have guests that are mortal?"

" How do you think we get our supply of fresh, warm blood?"

Blaise stared questioningly at Vincent, " How, if I may, do you get your supply?"

Vincent glared hard at the insolent Veela, " if your suggesting that we lure them in with promises of good food and warm beds, then kill them and drain them dry, your sadly mistaken. All who enter here are willing donors, and leave with more then their lives. Some with money, some with our blessing, whatever they please. They deserve it after giving us such a gift. Now, I need to hunt before the sun arises, I must take my leave. You are welcome to anything in this Manor." He was interrupted by the Vampire male who was there when they first arrived. He leaned close to Vincent and whispered. Vincent shook his head in understanding and smiled at the group.

" Seems your stay here won't be long after all. The sword will be here in a few hours. I suggest you take that time to freshen up and rest. While your Veela smell is over powering, your are starting to smell like one of us," Vincent laughed and retreated out of the room. The teens just stared at each other in disbelief, while Ron leaned forward and sniffed himself. He recoiled quickly, clearing his throat.

After the teens had eaten, they made their way to the grand staircase and took it to the top. Draco, holding Hermione's hand turned to the group, " We'll each go two per room, guarantee our odds of safety. We'll meet back here in two hours, sound good?" he asked everyone, to which they agreed and spilt up in groups of two.

Ginny grabbed Blaise's hand and led him into the first empty room they found, and flopped on the plush bed, tired. She leaned up on the elbows and glanced at Blaise, who was busy transfiguring some new clothes for them.

" I believe I'm going to take a long, long hot bath," she exclaimed and stood up, walking towards the adjoining bathroom. She grabbed the sides of her shirt and yanked it up over her head, and heard Blaise's intake of breath. She looked back, over her shoulder and said, " And I don't see me doing it alone. We haven't got much time my love, so I suggest you hurry in here." With a wink, she disappeared behind the bathroom door. Blaise stood there, mouth agape. His mate was one little minx when she wanted to be. He smiled, and rushed to hurry with his clothes as he ran to the bathroom, nearly tripping over his own feet.

~~~~

Two hours later, the eight teens were standing in the grand foyer, all bathed, dressed and tummies full. All the men had a goofy grin, the women glowing and Vincent smiled to himself. He had heard the screams outside in the forest, blast his heightened hearing.

" I hope your stay here was to your liking. I hope this won't be the last I'll be seeing of you." Vincent asked, tilting his head to the side.

Hermione stepped forward, Draco beside her. " I hope not, but Vincent, where is the sword?"

" It's being brought up at this moment... ahh here it is!" He exclaimed, reaching forward as the male Vampire handed him the sword. He held it up, the jewels embedded in the hilt gleaming in the light. " This is quite a magnificent piece of equipment, you do know what your doing, don't you? She will come at you, she will be ruthless, you will be alone in this little Veela," he frowned at Hermione as she took the sword from him and slid it into her bag, which held her indetectable extendable charm.

" Are you claiming to be on her side Vincent? That I shall meet you once again, under different circumstances, ending in one's death?" She asked, a little sad to be losing a friend.

" Let's just say, I find myself and my coven having a change of heart as of late. However you see if, you have my respects. Maybe we shall see each other again, little Veela, and you shall where my loyalties lie! Until then, my friends, I bid you farewell, the sun is rising, I must depart. Good luck," and with that he shook each boys hand, and kissed each girls hand, and departed up the stairs.

Draco turned to the group, " Grimmauld Place then?"

Harry came up, shaking his head, " We should go to Hogwarts. Check on your father and meet with Dumbledore."

Draco nodded his head. If he was being honest with himself, he was worried about his father, his mother also. He wanted to see him again. " Alright, Hogwarts it is, but we shouldn't stay long, we still have a Horcrux to destroy and to find the whereabouts of Bellatrix."

" Off we go," Hermione chanted, laughing and headed out of the door, followed by her friends. They walked for sometime in the woods, the sun gleaming through the canopy tops. After about an hour, they stopped, all exhausted.

" Did anyone think to ask Vincent which way to go, or are we lost in the forest?" asked Pansy.

The teens just tried to look everywhere but her in embarrassment.


 


Chapter 20: A Long Night
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It was well after dinner when the eight teens exited the Forbidden Forest. They were wiping dirt off their clothes and pulling dead leaves and twigs from their hair as they trudged up the hill on school grounds, heading for Hogwarts.

" I can't wait to sleep in my own bed. Every muscle in my body is screaming," Pansy groaned as she pressed her knuckles in her back and leaned forward.

" Amen to that Pans, I'm gonna take the longest bath in the prefects washroom in history, take a walk through the library, and sleep for two days." Hermione grinned as she pushed open the doors and walked into the school, relishing in the feeling of the warm magic the castle made, washing over her.

" That sounds like an amazing idea Mione, would you mind some company?" asked Ginny, the other two girls behind the redhead looking at Hermione with puppy dog eyes.

Hermione laughed, " of course not, let's go," and with that, the four girls sprinted in the direction of the prefects washroom, looking back and waving at the boys.

The four boys just stood there bewildered. Their went their plans for the evening with their women. Draco inhaled deeply, the scent of his mate disappearing quickly. He sighed greatly and shook his head. If the girls wanted a night alone, they would have it. However, it wouldn't be a lonely night, not if he had his way.

" Since we seem to have been left, I say we do what the women are doing," Draco said, an evil glint in his eye and a smirk slowly creeping on his face.

Harry got a disgusted look on his face and whipped his head around to face Draco, " a bath in the prefects washroom? No offence Malfoy, we're friends, but we aren't that close."

" No, Potter, as a matter of fact, I wasn't talking about a bath in the prefects washroom. I was thinking more along the lines of firewhiskey, taking a long fly around the pitch and maybe some Quidditch." Draco leaned in close to Harry and huskily whispered in his ear, " However, seeing as that's where your mind is at, we could always ditch the other two and have our own private dip in the tub together," Harry pushed him away roughly, " I can see it now, candle lit room, a hot bath drawn with rose petals floating on the top, romantic music softly playing in the background...." Draco trailed off.

" Keep dreaming Malfoy, it's never gonna happen. Now let's head outside, I've been dying to get in the air." Harry retorted, and began walking down towards the changerooms where the boys kept their Quidditch gear. Ron and Blaise following behind him, laughing out loud. Draco hung back for a minute before shouting,

" Potter, don't be like that sweetheart. I know we haven't had the time recently to spend any quality time, but that doesn't mean we can't start making up for it now!" Draco put on a fake hurt face and jogged to catch up with the others.

~~~~~

Dumbledore was pacing in his study, Snape, a tumbler of firewhiskey in his hand, watched curiously from his seat in a comfy chair by the Headmaster's desk. The fool had been at this for well over an hour and didn't show any signs of stopping any time soon.

" Albus, would you please quit that incessant pacing, your making me dizzy," Snape complained, taking a huge glup of the burning liquid.

" I believe that's the firewhiskey Severus, my pacing hardly has anything to do with your innebriation." Dumbledore sighed, but stilled none the less. " How can you drink at a time like this?"

Snape snorted, " a time like this seems better then ever, don't you think?"

A sudden banging caused both the men to jump, as Narcissa angrily stormed into the office, her eyes lit with a fire neither had seen since her school days at Hogwarts with a certain male Veela currently residing in the hospital wing. She stomped up to the desk and furiously threw a book down ontop of it.

" Why didn't you tell me?" she roared.

Dumbledore took a quick look at the book and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose between his half-moon spectacles. This was the last thing he needed, perhaps Severus was right to indulge in firewhiskey, and right now it seemed like a damn good idea, if only he could remember where he put his goblet. He began his search for it while Severus tried defusing the time bomb which was Narcissa Malfoy.

" Now Cissa," he began, only to be hexed back into his chair, his tumbler crashing to the floor, spilling his precious firewhiskey.

Her wand was aimed right at his jugular, her eyes flashing with feroscity, " don't you ' now Cissa' me Severus. My husband, my mate lies near death in the hospital wing, my child and other's children are Merlin knows where, doing Merlin knows what, and when I retreat to the library for some peace and quiet, low and behold I happen to come across this little bit of information. Wasn't anyone going to tell me, or was it all supposed to be a big surprise when the time came to destroy the Horcrux?" She was wildly flinging her arms in the air, raving like a mad lunatic.

Severus had had about enough, " Now see here woman, you will desist at this very moment, and that's final, or Merlin help me....." he never got to finish his sentence. His eyes went wide with sobering wonderment when Narcissa whipped her wand around and stunned his mouth shut, her eyes narrowing meancingly.

" I hear the words ' that's final' ever leave your mouth again Severus, they truly will be. Now back to my question, was anyone going to tell me?"

Dumbledore didn't know what to say. Yes he had known, but he was trying to figure out a way, any way, to avoid it happening. Normally, one could destroy a Horcrux, shattering it if you will, with a stronger weapon, rendering it 'dead'. However, with the certain curse Bellatrix used when making it and placing the same one on Lucius made things a tad difficult. The balance of life wouldn't be equal. She took a life to make the Horcrux, spilt her soul. If they were to ever cure Lucius, Bellatrix would need to die, no loss there, except she forfeit her life for the Horcrux, she no longer had a soul. To save Lucius, the fates would demand a soul. A life for a life so to speak. The wielder of the sword would fall. The one to destroy the Horcrux would die.

" I'm deeply sorry Narcissa. I'm trying everything I know to not have it happen. I figured if I kept it to myself, I could find a way around it without having to worry anyone." Dumbledore explained quietly, his eyes falling to the ground, the twinkle no longer there, instead it was replaced with guilt.

Narcissa was beyond caring, " and it never occurred to you, that instead of returning here, the children will go to Grimmauld Place and destroy it first before returning here, one less then before?"

Dumbledore reddened at the thought, no that never did cross his mind. Merlin, where was that goblet?

Narcissa sighed, and rubbed her hands over her face, stopping at her temples and giving them a light massage. " So we need to figure out something. What about a potion? Severus, you claim you can put a stopper in death, isn't there something you can do?"

Severus mumbled and pointed at his mouth, which was still spelled shut. Narcissa shook her head and lifted the spell.

" I don't think it would help here Cissa," he said, slowly, carefully choosing his words. " Potions won't help us now. I say we take a Death Eater from Azkaban, have him or her destroy the Horcrux and be done with it. Let's not kid ourselves here, no one will lose any sleep over one less Death Eater in the world, I know I won't," Severus mumbled as he bent over to retrieve his fallen tumbler, frowning at the now empty container.

" You would trade the life of one for another? Bloody hell Severus, are you drunk?" Narcissa asked, shocked at such a statement.

" Was working on it till you showed up," he said, under his breath. " Not like their innocent Cissa. One good deed does not cleanse a man of a lifetime of wickedness and cruelty."

Narcissa scoffed, " no, but it seems enough to condemn him. I don't agree with exchanging lives. We are ill equipped to pass judgement. We aren't so innocent ourselves, if you happen to remember correctly Severus."

" What about that dunderhead Weasley? They have a whole slew of them. I don't think they would miss one. They procreate like rabbits." Severus laughed.

Narcissa's mouth dropped open, her eyes wide, " surely you don't mean that. I can't believe you would even suggest such a thing. What the hell is wrong with you?"

" Was just a thought." Severus replied, the corners of his mouth turned up in a wicked smirk, " relax Cissa, Lucius would have thought it was funny. Of course I don't mean it. Even if I did, it's not like anyone would be game for it."

" Of all the mind numbingly, stupid, idiotic ideas Severus..." Dumbledore drowned out the mentally draining argument between Severus and Narcissa. If he didn't find that goblet soon, he would go out of his mind.

~~~~~

Bellatrix had never known fear. Even with her time locked up in Azkaban, she never feared a thing. Death was coming, weither it be from a curse, a Dementor's Kiss or old age, she knew she wouldn't live forever. Azkaban took every good memory from you, every happy thought, everything good in your life till all that was left was hollow, emptiness. You lived out your worst fears daily and fall asleep on the stone cold floor, the screams and wails of other inmates your lullaby to lull you to sleep. Even with all that, she never feared for a moment. That was true, up till now. She had made that Horcrux before her incarceration, it was the reason she never feared death, for she knew she would return. She had always been a 'plan for the future' type of person. Now those little brats were out to ruin her perfect plan.

She shook her head, how could a group of teenagers get the best of a dangerously skilled group of Death Eaters? It couldn't happen, it wouldn't happen, she'd see to that.

Someone cleared their throat behind her, " excuse me, Mrs.LeStrange. You called for me?"

She turned on her heels, now facing the new leader of the werewolves face to face. " Ah yes, Devin. I believe your time has come. Take your pack of werewolves, storm the castle of Hogwarts. By the end of the night, your pack will know the taste of human flesh. Go now, leave none alive." She cackled as Devin spun around and all but ran out of the room, a evil smile dancing upon his lips.

Finally it was his turn!

~~~~~~

The eight teens met for dinner in The Great Hall after the boys had played a few games of Quidditch and the girls had a relaxing bath in the prefects bathroom.

The meal was exquisite, almost as good as the one they shared with Vincent and his coven of Vampires in the Forbidden Forest. The teens were over indulging themselves when the doors flew open and in walked Dumbledore, followed by Snape and Narcissa. Draco and Blaise jumped to their feet when they caught sight of her and ran to her side.

" Mother, what are you doing here?" Draco asked, searching her over, making sure she was alright.

She shooed his hands away, rather forcefully, " yes Draco, I'm fine, please stop pawing me!"

Draco stepped back as if he had been slapped in the face, coming to stand beside Blaise who wore a shocked expression on his face. He had never in his life, heard his Godmother be so short with her children before. Although, if something had happened to his mate, he assumed he would be in the same shape, if not worse, then she was right now.

" Please, won't you join us for supper, I've been told it's a feast fit for a king." Dumbledore exclaimed as he motioned for the teens to join him at the Professor's table. All had gathered around the table, the teens feeling like something was off. The adults weren't acting like themselves, espicially Snape, who wasn't wearing his frown. Everyone sat down, except for Draco.

" I'm sorry to decline your invitation Headmaster, but I'm going to go visit with my Father. Enjoy your meal," and with that, he spun on his heel and raced from the room, using his Veela speed.

Hermione sighed quietly to herself as she tucked in for the remander of the meal. Her heart hurt for her mate, she couldn't even begin to understand how he was feeling. What indescribable pain it must be, to see one's parent near death in the hospital knowing there wasn't a thing you could do to help. Sure they had the sword, and they knew what the Horcrux was, but here they were, indulging in food and fun while Lucius withered away in the Hospital Wing.

Blaise squeezed her hand under the table, " Under normal circumstances, I'd say leave him be, but perhaps this is one of those times, he may need you most," he whispered.

" What, no smart-arsed comment Blaise?" Hermione smirked, as she excused herself from the table.

Blaise chuckled, " nah, I'm saving my wicked tongue for later on tonight with my mate. She seems to benefit more from it then you do anyways, " he replied, to which Ginny's eyes went wide and Ron choked on his pumpkin juice, Pansy rightly clapping him on the back.

" Here Hermione, I'll join you for a bit of a walk. I'm knackered anyways, so I'm heading to Gryffindor Tower." Harry said, coming to stand beside her. She smiled up at him, grateful for his company.

" Goodnight everyone, see you in the morning," Harry said and waved goodbye to everyone, before turning and following Hermione out of the doors.

She stopped suddenly and sniffed the air. He was close, why was he close? Wasn't he heading to see his father? She turned and gave Harry a quizzical look before a loud boom resounded through the halls. She tilted her head to the side a bit, listening closely, before grabbing Harry's hand and rushing towards the smell of her mate. They rushed down the corridor, and came to a halt, when they saw Draco standing there, panting hard, his eyes blackened over, covered in dust and plaster. The remnants of a statue lay in rubble around his feet, a clear victim of his anger.

Hermione began to lift her wand, about to repair the old antique when Draco growled loudly, making her stop dead in her tracks.

" Don't you dare Granger. I'll bring this entire castle to ruin, if you so much as repair an inch of that blasted statue," he threatened, his fangs glistening dangerously.

" We're going to get her Malfoy, I promise you, she will pay for her crimes." Harry said, coming to stand beside Draco, both staring out the window.

" No Potter, she won't. I won't see her brought before the Wizenagamot, charged then put away in Azkaban. Not this time."

" But Malfoy, she needs..."

" NO!" Draco roared, " she will pay, that I agree with you on. However it'll be by my hands. I will see her suffer. She'll beg for death before I'm through. I'm going to rip her apart with my bare hands. And don't even begin with the tirade of the damnation of my soul Granger, it's my father, MY BLOODY FATHER! I could care less about it if it meant saving his life."

" I just don't see..." Hermione began.

" That's just it, you don't see. If it was your father, you'd understand, but it's not. Give it a rest Granger, I'm beyond caring. I'm going to watch her die, and I'm going to be the one to do it. I'm going to fucking kill her," he turned on his heel and stormed away.

Hermione's eyes began to water, she could feel his pain, his hurt and it was killing her inside. The Gryffindor in her was fighting an inner battle. She wanted to run after him, but knew he needed to be alone. She couldn't see someone murdered in cold blood, but knew Bellatrix had it coming. She was literally a rollercoaster of emotions but didn't want to have a breakdown in the middle of a Hogwarts corridor. She sniffed quietly and turned to Harry, who had a sadden look on his face

" I'm sorry Harry, I just can't right now," she whispered and ran quickly up to the Heads dorm.

~~~~

A few hours had past and Draco had figured he had destroyed enough of the Forbidden Forest for one night. He had gotten out alot of his anger, drained himself to the point of exhaustion. He yawned loudly and headedback inside. Trudging up the long staircases up towards the Head dorms, he was grateful it was late at night and everyone was in bed. He didn't know how he would be able to deal if the students were up and crowding the corridors. He couldn't be held responsible for his actions if they were. He arrived at the portrait, and after whispering the password, he dragged himself inside and sighed deeply, glad to be home. Almost immediately, Hermione's scent surrounded him, and he smiled, only to frown just as quickly. He remembered how he had acted earlier and the things he said. He knew he was wrong and the Slytherin in him was fighting to keep his pride. However the Veela was stronger, and the guilt washed over him like a tidal wave.

He listened closely, and heard her movements. She was still awake. He rushed up the stairs and stopped at her door. It was open a bit, and peering through, he could see her, kneeling beside her bed, her head down and resting on her hands which were clasped together. He was about to open the door further when she suddenly lifted her head and he took a sharp intake of breath. Her face was wet with tears, she was crying. He placed his hand on his heart. It hurt him deeply that she was crying, and he knew it was because of him.

" If anyone is listening, then you know I don't do this often," she cried softly.

Draco, leaned closer, listening harder. She was praying, of that much he knew, but he never figured her for a believer, she was to logical.

" But I don't know what else to do. I was ready to give up once, and Draco came into my life. Please don't let that light that shines on his face go out. I couldn't bear the darkness that would follow it." She cried even harder, her head falling back on the bed, her body shaking with cries. Draco felt a tear slowly slide down the side of his face, and he didn't bother to wipe it away. He placed his hand on the door frame. He felt like a monster. He heard the clock in the livingroom chimed midnight, followed by screams, loud and many, echoing throughout the castle. He ran to the window, and looked out. All he could see were dozens of werewolves, dashing quickly across the grounds. Hogwarts was being invaded. Of all bloody nights.

" I can not catch a break," he mumbled, as he whipped out his wand, hollered for his other roommates, and dashed out the portrait. It was looking to be a long night.


Chapter 21: Big Bad Wolf
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               “WHAT NOW?” roared Pansy, as she came to a quick halt in front of the Head’s dorm.

                “Werewolves, they’re here.” Draco answered, monotone, causing Harry to tilt his head towards Draco, a questioning look on his face. “Not now Potter, later, perhaps, but not now!”

                Harry shrugged it off, and turned to look out the window. “How many are there?”

                Scanning the grounds, Blaise replied, “looks like eight, maybe ten? That doesn’t seem right.”

                “It’s not, this isn’t an attack or war. There isn’t enough of them.” Said Draco. Off in the distance, he could hear Dumbledore and Snape heading their way.

                “Nice to see you kids are alright. I see you have figured out what is happening outside?” Dumbledore smiled, a curious gleam in his eyes.

                “Hard not too, what with all the screaming. Why do they always scream?” Snape mumbled, rubbing his temples. Damn this hangover, he didn’t have enough time to take his potion before Dumbledore appeared beside his bed and was blasting him out of it.

                “What would you have us do Headmaster? They must be stopped,” Hermione asked, pulling her wand from its holder.

                “Professor McGonagall could benefit from your help I believe. You can find her by the Grand Entrance. Professor Snape will accompany you down there.”

                “I will?”

                “You will,” Dumbledore replied, chuckling a little to himself as Snape mumbled under his breath but began leading the kids downstairs. Quickly he cleared his throat and touched Draco’s shoulder as he walked by, “a moment Mr. Malfoy, if I may?”

                “Of course Headmaster, but what of the werewolves? Don’t they need me as well?” Draco asked, nervously glancing towards his mate’s disappearing back, feeling an overwhelming need to protect her, but at the same time the feeling of nervousness was starting to creep in. Why would the Headmaster want a word with him? Now?

                “Mr. Malfoy, beautiful night, isn’t it?”

                “Excuse me Professor, I would really love to believe you did not prevent me from entering the fight and keeping me from protecting my mate to discuss the weather?” Draco breathed, surprised that his Headmaster would do such a thing.

                Dumbledore laughed, a deep rumble protruding from his belly, surprising Draco.  “On the contrary Mr. Malfoy, I came to talk about your father.”

                Draco paled immediately. “What happened to my Father? Headmaster, please, what happened?”

                Dumbledore lifted his hand to silence the young Veela, “nothing yet, Mr. Malfoy, however, I couldn’t help but notice you saw what the other’s didn’t. How many werewolves did you see?”

                Draco thought for a moment, “umm, eight, maybe ten? But I fail to see what you’re getting at Headmaster.”

                “Eight? Ten? Hardly seems enough for an efficient attack, don’t you think?”

                “I agree, those numbers seem more along the lines of a distraction for something else if you ask me.” Draco said, thinking deeply.

                “A distraction? What do you mean Mr. Malfoy?”

                “Send a few in to start a fight, taking all the attention off of the one person who needs to get in, get out and not be seen or interrupted......” he trailed off. Dumbledore watched in amazement as the wheels began turning in Draco’s head.

                “Merlin, my father! This is a distraction to get to my Father.” Draco shouted as he figured out the ruse.

                “Precisely, I believe if you hurry you may still yet rescue him, but remember Mr. Malfoy, proceed with caution, not everything is as it seems. Now I must take my leave, seems some of the younger students require my attention. Good luck Mr. Malfoy” and with that Dumbledore strode off, waving his wand around furiously sending up wards and charms around the school.


                Draco took off with a shot, he was worried, for sure, and he just hoped he made it to his father in time before it was too late.


                “Ginny look out!” Hermione yelled as she sent a curse hurling towards a werewolf who had pounced at Ginny. The redhead beamed back and took off towards the next one.

                “My my, what have we here?” Hermione heard a low voice. She spun around to find herself face to well chest with a monstrous man, who’s breath assaulted her senses, making her nauseous. He smiled a cruel smile, his lips ruby red, glistening from blood, which she hoped was some poor animal and not a student. He took another deep breath in and exhaled slowly, “Veela...no wait...Mate! So you are what all this is about aren’t ya? Took me away from a good meal ya did, no worries though, I will feast on your bones and call it a night!” He chuckled and swiped his big paw of a hand at Hermione’s shirt.

                Her Veela senses reacted and she jumped back quickly, out of his reach, “I’d be careful if I were you, I don’t go down so easily. What, with my small bones and all, you may choke, and we can’t be having that, now can we?” She cracked smartly and raised her wand up, “Stupify!” Her spell shot out and hit the werewolf in the center of the chest. He made no noise, but crumpled quite nicely in a heap.

                “Hermione, hurry!” shouted Ron and she spun on her heel and bolted towards the redhead.

                She came to a halt, breathing a bit heavy. She scanned the grounds quickly, watching as the werewolves retreated backwards towards the woods. They weren’t leaving, just recovering themselves, regrouping, they weren’t the dumb animals she thought they were that’s for sure.

                “What’s the matter Ron?”

                “What are they doing?” he asked, his arm stretched out, wand at the ready but shakily.               

                Hermione placed a hand on his wrist and softly pushed down, feeling his arm fall to his side. “I’m not entirely sure Ron,” she answered, a frown coming to her face.

                “We surprised them with their own surprise. They are regrouping and forming a new plan, seems like,” answered Pansy, coming up beside Ron and entwining her fingers with his. He smiled softly down at her, squeezed her hand and turned back towards Hermione, “wait, where’s Harry...and Blaise...and Ginny? Merlin GINNY...GINNY, my mother is going to kill me if these wolves don’t do it first” he began panicking. He started shouting Ginny’s name loudly.

                “Knock it off Ronald, I’m fine. We all are.” Ginny shook her head at her brother.

                “Forgive a brother for caring about the well-being and health of his own sister,” Ron huffed

                “Oh don’t give me that ‘Big brother’ bullocks. You weren’t worried about me, you were only worried about your own bloody skin. You were scared Mum would skin you alive than you were about my death and you know it Ronald Billius Weasley!” She retorted, folding her arms across her chest.

                “Listen here Ginerva, I will worry in my own way, and you worry in yours alright?”

                “Oh, and how’s that Ronald? Enlighten us please,”

                “I will eat, and you will bitch, it’s quite simple really!”

                The group erupted in laughter, grabbing their sides and leaning on each other as the tears rolled down their cheeks.

                “Oh Merlin, wait.... where’s Potter and Lovegood? Has anyone seen them?” Pansy asked.

                Hermione looked around quickly, her eyes failing to find her friends. “I’m not sure, I don’t see them,”

                Blaise took a sharp intake of breath,” Oh no. Merlin, no no no, this can’t be happening.” He ran off, leaving the group questioning.

                “What was that about?” Ron asked.

                Both Hermione and Ginny focused hard and watched as Blaise’s silhouette slowed down and he knelt down. “Oh no,”

                “What? What the bloody hell is going on? We don’t have Veela sight Mione, you have to tell us,” Pansy exclaimed, hands on her hips.

                Hermione shook her head and buried her face in Ginny’s shoulder. Ginny placed an arm around her and whispered, “it’s a body, Blaise found a body!”

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                Draco shuffled behind a statue. He wasn’t getting to his Father as quickly as he normally would this way, but better safe than sorry. He just hoped he reached him in time. He scanned the hallway ahead of him and not seeing anything made a mad dash for the hospital doors. He flung them open furiously as a figure stopped suddenly at his father’s bedside.

                Draco’s eyes darkened and his fangs slid down his chin. He growled deeply in his chest and he began panting heavily. “Get...away...from...my....father...you...bastard!”

                The figure straightened up and turned to face Draco. “As you wish young Malfoy,”

                “Who the hell are you? And what is your business with my Father?” Draco questioned, slowly reaching for his wand.

                “Who I am isn’t important, my name is not relevant, my business with your father however now that’s an interesting story.” The figure sneered, walking around the bed slowly.

                Draco stared into the man’s eyes. They were a dark brown, with a devilish glint in them, almost animalistic. His senses caught a whiff from the man. “Werewolf, and I suppose that’s your pack outside?”

                The figure clapped, “well done young Malfoy, you’re not half as dumb as you look. Yes that would be my pack outside, keeping your friends occupied while you and I have a nice little chat.”

                Draco sneered, “I’m only going to ask one more time, who are you and what is your business with my Father?” His wand fully out, and his hand just itching to Avada this creature.

                “The name is Devin, if you must know. And I’m here on behalf of your Aunt. She heard your father was here in this sad condition, and wished for me to make his passing quick and painless although I can’t lie, I wasn’t going to make it painless or quick. He is going to suffer.” Devin laughed.

                “You so much as touch my Father, and I swear to you, I will beat you to death with my own two hands.” Draco roared, his temper flaring.

                “Tisk tisk, young Malfoy, where are your manners?”

                “Why don’t you come and find out?”

                “Gladly.”

                Devin jumped high, landing on Draco, the two rolling around on the floor. Devin swiped at Draco’s hand, the wand scattering across the floor. Draco growled, placing his knees under Devin’s stomach and pushed as hard as he could. Devin yelled in surprise as he flew back, he landed on his knees hard, the shock running through his entire body. The young heir was strong, but he had years on the child.

                Devin sneered, “You’re quite strong, young Veela, however, I tire of this.” He growled and lunged at Draco, swiping his massive claws across his chest.

                Draco staggered back in shock. His shirt felt warm as blood stained the front where Devin’s claws had made contact. Four huge gashes, from the top of his right shoulder down to the left side of his belly, began throbbing. Draco winced as he pressed his hand into the wound, hoping to stop the bleeding. He was heeling, but not fast enough. Suddenly Devin’s strong right hand came from the side, making contact with the left side of his face, knocking him to the ground. Draco felt his eye swell and he tried to regain some focus from the punch. His head began to feel light and fuzzy, the lights began to blend together, as he fought to get back on his feet. He started to place his hands on the ground to push up when Devin suddenly placed a huge boot on his chest and pressed down.

                “Get away from him, now!” a voice growled from the shadows. Devin looked up in surprise expecting to see the Veela’s mate, only to see one pissed off Harry Potter. He smiled, Bellatrix said to get the mate, but The Boy Who Lived, Golden Boy, Savior of the Wizarding World, now that he just couldn’t pass up.

                “Potter,” Devin said, lifting his foot off of Draco’s chest. “It’s such an honor to meet you, my name is Devin,” and with that the werewolf bowed.

                “I personally don’t give a damn who you are, but I’m going to give you one last chance, back away from Draco, take your filthy pack, leave Hogwarts and never come back,” Harry sneered, his wand raising to point Devin square in the chest.

                Devin laughed, “My word Potter, between you and the Veela over there, I’m beginning to think manners have skipped a generation. But I digress, tell me Potter, have you ever taken a life? Felt its soul fade into nothingness as their eyes went blank? You ready to have that way on your mind day in and day out?” Devin held both arms out straight, daring Harry to cast. “If you’re ready Potter, you have one shot, but I warn you, aim well because if you miss, by Merlin I will have you by your jugular, and be putting an end to The Boy Who Lived once and for all.”

                Harry’s wand arm began to shake nervously, yes he had taken a life, but in self-defense only. He was never the one to shoot first, never taken an innocent life. Not to say this mutt was innocent by any means. Harry’s eyes darted back and forth between the werewolf and Malfoy.

                Draco rolled over on his stomach, his steel grey eyes locking with Potter’s green ones. He saw Potter silently begging him to help him out, and he knew why. Draco knew taking a life was a difficult thing, usually ripping a human’s soul in half, however Draco had given his to Hermione, and she called the shots. This one is yours Potter!

                “So what’s it going to be Mr. Potter? My life........” Devin growled low and sneered menacingly, “Or yours?”

                “Aveda Kadavra,” a shiny green jet of light hit Devin square in the chest. His body crumpled in a heap by Harry’s feet. The look of shock quickly spread across his face as his eyes darted towards Draco.

                Draco wasn’t the one who fired the shot. He was clearly just as surprised as Harry was.

                Snape rushed past quickly, his black cape billowing around behind him as he came to kneel beside the lifeless body of Devin. “My soul was lost long ago, I will not see you two go down the same road. Besides I would never hear the end of it from Narcissa if I let anything happen to your father or worse you. Now go, I will look after your father, go tend to the others, I’m sure Weasley has nearly gotten himself blown up by now.”

                “Are you okay Malfoy?” Harry asked, placing an arm underneath Draco’s arm and helping him to his feet.

                Draco looked over at Harry, a goofy smile on his face, and answered, “My hero,” breathlessly.


                Harry sighed and shook his head, “Yeah your fine, let’s go”


 

                                “Oh, Draco, where were you? I felt terrible pain and couldn’t find you anywhere, are you okay? Should I send for Madame Pumfrey? Let me have a look at you,”

                Draco laughed, while holding his side in pain, “yes love, I’m fine, be even better with a kiss....” Draco leaned in and placed his lips against Hermione, reveling in the sweetness of it. His Veela hummed with happiness.

                “You can thank Potter love, after all he did save my life.” Draco beamed at Harry who blushed with embarrassment.

                “Um, actually it was Snape who saved both of us. Three if you count Draco’s father.” Harry shrugged, smiling at Ron, who rightly clapped him on the back for job well done.

                “Potter, if you ever put your life in danger like that again I’ll....I’ll.....,” Hermione sighed, tears welling up in her eyes, “I’d go crazy if I ever lost you.” She gave him a tight hug, Harry squeezing back

                “I know Granger, I know.” Harry pulled her back, and wiped a tear from her eye. He searched the grounds, “speaking of someone who should be giving me a hard time, where’s Luna?”

                “Potter, there’s something you should know. Luna’s been in an accident, and it’s not good” Blaise replied softly, coming up behind the group, covered in Luna’s blood.


Chapter 22: Convenient
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Silence. No one uttered a single word, no one even breathed. The sight of Blaise covered in Luna’s blood would be etched in the teen’s minds for the rest of their lives. Blaise’s hands were shaking terribly and the tears began welling up in his eyes, his damn emotions overtaking him. He didn’t know what to do, should he speak? No, he didn’t have the right words. Wash up? That might make him seem uncaring. Stay here, not moving? Everyone else seemed to be doing the same, perhaps it was best. However standing still wasn’t enough for him, every single cell in his body just wanted him to fall on his knees and scream at the top of his lungs, but he was never one for the dramatics. He had to do something.


            He turned his head towards Harry, “Potter...I....” Harry raised his hand to quiet him.

            “What happened?” he whispered, his voice quivering, out of sadness or anger, Blaise wasn’t sure.

            “She was attacked. I wasn’t there Potter, I’m not sure how it happened, but I was the one to find her, I did everything I could...”

            “Clearly not enough. Where were you? I’m aware she isn’t your mate, but does she not render your protection? She would have done it for you had you been in trouble” Harry hissed through his teeth, his eyes blazing at Blaise.

            “Harry!” Hermione exclaimed, shocked.

            “Harry mate, you’re bang out of order.” Ron said, placing his hand on Harry’s shoulder.

            Harry shrugged it off violently, “Am I? I could ask you the same question, you know. However I will ask a different one, how would you feel if it was Pansy, huh? You would be just as pissed off as I am, even more, given your history of tantrums.”

            “That’s enough Potter,” Draco wheezed, wincing as he stood up, with the help of Hermione. “This wasn’t Blaise’s fault, hell it’s no one’s fault. If anyone is to blame it would be that bastard Devin. We are never going to win if we are attacking one another.”

            “Draco’s right Harry,” Hermione agreed, helping Draco lean against the wall.

            “In your eyes Hermione, he usually is. My rose colored glasses however are removed and I’m finally seeing this group for what is it. Those that aren’t Veela are expendable. Forgive me if I don’t jump to agree with that sentiment. Where is she Zabini?”

                Blaise sighed, “Hospital wing, but I must warn you Potter...”

                “Save it, I’ve heard enough from you, from all of you.” Harry spun on his heel and hurried down the corridor towards the Hospital.

                “Now just wait one moment Potter,” Pansy exclaimed.

                “Save your breath Pans, when he’s this upset, there’s just no getting through to him. Best to just let this one ride out, he will come to his senses soon enough.” Ron said, shaking his head.

                “But, I had such a good rant saved up for a time like this.” Pansy let out a heavy sigh. “I suppose your right, we should probably head back and help out the others still on the grounds.” She looked around at everyone and began walking towards the front doors when everyone nodded.

                “You guys go, I have somewhere to be.” Blaise turned towards Ginny, “don’t worry, I will be fine. It won’t take long. I will meet you for dinner. Save me a plate.” He kissed Ginny quickly on the lips and rushed off.

                “Where do you suppose he’s off too?” Ginny asked, worried for her mate.

                Draco breathed a soft sigh, “If I think I know him half as well as I do, it’s best we leave him. He’s better at this then we are anyways. Let’s go, I heard food and my stomach won’t stop rumbling.”

                Ron frowned, “story of my life.”


                The group chuckled, and began making their way to the grounds.



 

                Harry sat beside the bedside of Luna, holding her delicate hand in his. She was black and blue all over, white as a ghost. He couldn’t stand to see another in this situation. First Lucius, then Hermione, and now Luna? This was too much.

                Harry spun around when he heard someone clear their throat behind him. He saw Blaise standing in the doorway, his eyes asking for entrance. He scoffed and turned back around, his hand caressing Luna’s face.

                “Potter, please.”

                “No Blaise, I said I didn’t want to hear what you had to say and I meant it. Now go away.”

                “’fraid I can’t do that mate. You are going to hear what I have to say whether you like or not. You don’t get to accuse a person of such things and storm off, especially me.” Blaise grabbed a chair, and carried it over to place it on the other side of Luna’s bed. He sat down, putting his hands in his lap, folding them together. “Now I have no idea where you got this ludacris idea that Luna is not one of us, but that ends now. She has been a part of this group since day one, and the fact that you have the audacity to accuse me of not caring about her is absurd. I care Potter, perhaps more than anyone in this group. Yes, I do love my mate and would protect her with my life, but the same goes for every single one of you. I am probably the most empathetic person here.”

                Harry took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing he said, “Blaise I know, okay? I know, and I’m sorry for what I said, now can we please stop, I don’t think this is the time or the place.” He gestured towards Luna, and turned his attention back to her.

                Blaise shook his head, “No Potter, this is as good a time as ever. You are so quick to throw blame around, but Potter, what about your blame?”

                “My what?”

                “Your blame. You pointed a finger at almost every single one of us about protecting Luna, but where were you Potter? Don’t you think the one person who should have been there for her was you, yet you weren’t.”

                “You can’t be serious Blaise, you know where I was. I was with Malfoy, saving his sorry arse.” Harry exclaimed, his eyes as big as saucers from disbelief.

                “I thought Snape saved the both of you?”

                “Well, yeah he did, in the end, but if I hadn’t stepped in when I did, Malfoy would have been dead.”

                Blaise quirked an eyebrow in question, “and it was your role to play protector because...?”

                “Who else would have?” Harry shouted angrily,

                “Well Hermione for one, she would have felt his pain, like she did, and raised the alarm. However, I seem to remember Dumbledore sending Draco down here by himself. Now the man might be getting old and senile, but I highly doubt he would have allowed Draco to walk right into his own death. However you want to try and twist it to benefit your story, you know full well this wasn’t your place to be Potter, you should have been out there with us on the grounds protecting the rest of the students.”

                Harry huffed and sat back down. Blaise was right, always having to be the savior. He had lived the role for so long, it was just habit now. This was something he would have to work on later, but now Luna deserved all his attention.

                “Your right Blaise, and I truly am sorry mate, I was out of line.” Harry held his hand out over Luna. Blaise reached across and shook it.

                “Remember Potter, I’m not the only one that apology should be used on,” Blaise suggested.

                “Your right Blaise, as soon as I’m done here, I will talk to the rest of the group.” Harry looked around, “where is Madame Pomfrey? She should have been back by now.”

                “Has there been any news on Luna? Is she going to be okay?”

                “She didn’t say anything. Waved her wand over Luna for a while, whispered some spells and took off quickly. Needless to say, I’m worried.”

                At that exact moment, the Hospital wing doors swung open and in rushed Madame Pomfrey. “Move, move, it’s a good thing she was brought to me right away, this is going to be a rough night for this little angel, but by tomorrow she should be fine.” She poured some silvery-purple substance down Luna’s throat, and smiled slightly. “That should just about do it. Now Potter, she is to take this once a month to stop the changing, however she may be a little more agitated than usual around that time, it’s all normal. Cravings are normal too, however if there is any pain, you come straight back to see me, do you understand?”   

                “Not really, what’s happened to her?”

                Blaise chuckled slightly, “she’s saying our Luna here is now a werewolf, Potter.”

                “A WHAT?”

                “A werewolf, you know like Professor Lupin.”

                Harry made an unintelligent noise and waved his hand with his eyes squeezed shut, “I heard what you said Blaise, I’m not deaf.”

                Blaise snorted sarcastically.

                “What do you mean she’s a werewolf now?”

                Madame Pomfrey shook her head. “She was attacked by a werewolf Mr. Potter, and bitten. He passed on the gene to her. Most humans don’t survive the bite, but she’s a tough witch. She’s going to be just fine. Honestly Mr. Potter, how you passed your second year NEWTS is beyond me.” She rolled her eyes and continued on to the next student, who by the looks of it, was suffering from a horrible potions mix up.

                “Merlin, a werewolf, how terrible.” Harry exclaimed, as he sat back down his hand on his forehead.

                Blaise came over and placed his hand on Harry’s shoulder, “She’ll be alright Potter, and in fact she might actually enjoy it. She’s already curious about all mythical creatures, imagine how excited she’ll be knowing she’s one of them now.”

                Harry looked back up at Blaise and smiled.

                “Mr. Potter, Mr. Zabini, if you don’t mind, my patients need their sleep, unless you need me, I must ask you to leave immediately.” Madame Pomfrey ushered them outside and closed the Hospital doors behind her.

                “She’s right, let’s go meet up with everyone else, I can always see Luna later when she wakes up. I hear Bellatrix is trying to start a war out there,” Harry chuckled and began walking with Blaise to the Grand Entrance.

                Blaise slowed suddenly, thinking deeply, a weird look spreading across his face, “Quite right Potter, though I wouldn’t call it a war exactly.”

                Harry looked over at him as they started walking faster, “why is that?”

                “Cause that suggests that both sides stand an equal chance of winning,”

                Both boys bellowed loudly with laughter as they reached the doors, opened them, and walked out into the rain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                “She needs to be stopped. We have the sword, we know where the painting is, why aren’t we over there destroying it and saving my father?” Draco ranted, waving his hands wildly in the air, his hair wet and stuck to his forehead. He ran his fingers through it, spiking it up.

                “This isn’t something we should walk into lightly Malfoy, you know this. They have retreated for now, let’s just do the same and come up with a game plan,” Ron yelled, his voice lessened by the pounding of the rain.

                “What if it was your father Weasley? How would you feel?” Draco hollered, bunching his fists in rage.

                Hermione shook her head in disbelief. This wasn’t the time for arguing, they really needed a plan. The werewolves wouldn’t be pushed back for long. Coming up over the hill, she saw Blaise and Harry approaching. “Look, its Harry and Blaise,” she shouted.

                The two boys stopped fighting long enough to look over at the people coming towards them. Draco smiled at Blaise who shook his head in disbelief, hearing the disagreement between Draco and Weasley.

                “Harry, how’s Luna doing? Is she going to be okay?” Ginny asked Harry, whose eyes wouldn’t meet her own.

                “Um...yeah...yeah she’s going to be fine.” Harry waved off her questions, shifting nervously. “What’s happening here?”

                Draco turned his head towards Harry, he was dodging Ginny’s questions, but he choose to ignore it. Whatever was bothering Potter could wait.

                Pansy shook her head, “We aren’t exactly sure, they pulled back to the forest, waiting. For what, we don’t know.”

                “For the full moon.” Blaise answered.

                The group turned around and looked at him.

                “Come again mate?” Ron asked, his eyebrows quirked in confusion.

                “Werewolves are at their most powerful when the moon is full. Which is in three days’ time. We should retreat into the castle. We are going to catch a cold out here in this rain.” Hermione exclaimed, turning and running back towards the castle.

                The group followed her, Blaise and Draco bringing up the rear. Draco grabbed Blaise’s arm and held him back, not wanting the girls to hear, hopefully the rain would drown them out. He waited till all of them had entered the castle before dragging Blaise behind a castle wall.

                “Couldn’t we have done this inside Draco? I’m soaking wet here,” Blaise cried, shaking the water out of his hair, only to be drenched again.

                “Then I guess you can’t get any wetter huh? What’s going on with Lovegood? Is everything okay?” Draco asked, wiping the rain from his eyes.

                “Well, as good as can be, I suppose. She was bitten mate, she contracted the gene.”

                Draco moaned, “Oh no, a werewolf? Are you sure?”

                Blaise nodded, “Yeah, Madame Pomfrey confirmed it. She’s a wolf, but nothing we can’t handle. With yours and Hermione’s potion skills, she will have the best wolfsbane in the country. What’s all the worry for anyway?”

                Draco sighed, “Well she will make an interesting werewolf, that’s for sure. I’m worried about Potter though. Did he seem a little off to you?”

                “I talked to him Draco, he’s fine mate.”

                “You sure?”


                Blaise smiled, “positive, now let’s get inside, my skin is pruning.”



 

                The next morning, Hermione met Pansy outside of the hospital wing. They were planning on seeing Luna. Hermione had just returned from the kitchen’s, she brought with her chicken soup, knowing full well Luna would be amazed at the story of how Muggle’s think there’s healing powers in chicken broth. Besides, Hermione had spent a lot of time in this particular place in the school, second only to the library, with her own injuries along with Harry and Ron’s, she knew they didn’t serve the best food here. Hearing Pansy round the corner, she smiled when she saw her face.

                “It’s too early to be out of bed Granger, I highly doubt Lovegood is even awake either,” Pansy yawned, stretching her arms above her head.

                “Pansy, it’s eight in the morning,”

                “I stand by my statement.”

                Hermione pushed open the doors, chuckling at Pansy. She heard the uproar before she saw it. She came around the hanging white sheet where Luna’s bed was, to find Madame Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall standing before the empty bed.

                Pansy came rushing to the side at once, “what’s going on?” she asked, looking at Luna’s bed, “Where did she go?”

                “Precisely what I would like to know Ms. Parkinson, Ms. Granger. Would either of you know where Ms. Lovegood might have wandered off to?” McGonagall asked, her eyes squinting over the brim of her square glasses at the girls.

                “No Professor, we are just as shocked as you are. We were coming to visit her this morning.” Hermione replied, looking around the area.

                “She was here last night right before I closed up for the night Minerva, and when I came in this morning, she was gone. It was like she vanished.” Pomfrey exclaimed, she was bustling around, helping the other student’s while talking with McGonagall.

                McGonagall raised her hand in silence, “it’s all right Poppy, we will search the castle for her. She will be found.”

                “We should find Harry, he will want to know, and maybe he knows where she is.” Hermione whispered to Pansy. She nodded in agreement, and both girls began to slowly back away towards the doors.

                “Minerva, do you think it possible? I mean, it was a partial full moon last night..... You don’t think she..?” Madame Pomfrey trailed off, her voice quivering and low, trying not to be heard.

                The girls stopped dead in their tracks. Hermione stifled a cry and Pansy covered her mouth with her hand. She spun around, grabbed Granger around the shoulders and pushed her out the doors.

                “Come on Granger, we have to find the others. Think Granger, where would they be?”

                Hermione couldn’t think of anything else except what the medi-witch had said. Did Luna really transform last night? She could be anywhere right now, maybe lost in the Forbidden Forest, or laying somewhere, cold and alone.

                Pansy reached forward and slapped Hermione lightly across the face. “Hermione! Snap out of it, where would the boys be?”

                “Um... the pitch? Possibly the pitch, I...I...I’m not entirely sure”

                Pansy shrugged, “Better than nothing, let’s go.” The girls took off like a shot, sprinting all the way to the Quidditch pitch.

                Not everyone was there, only Blaise and Ginny were flying up high, tossing the quaffle together.

                “Blaise! Ginny! Come down here, we have an issue.” Pansy shouted, covering her eyes from the sun.

                “An issue eh? Must be Wednesday!” Blaise joked, flying down towards the girls. He landed gracefully, propping his broom up and leaning on the handle, his arms folded.

                “It’s Luna, we went to go visit her this morning, and she wasn’t there,” Pansy cried, her voice giving away her emotion.

                “She got released? Bit early, but I’m no medi-witch, so what do I know?” Blaise asked.

                “No you git, she left! They have no idea where she is, but there’s a possibility she changed last night, we heard them talking about it ourselves. We have to find her,” Pansy shuddered at Hermione’s words. She had learned about werewolves in third year, and apparently the changing was a horrid affair, extremely painful, which is why most usually opt out for the wolfsbane potion to stop the transformation.

                Ginny paled visibly, and Blaise shuddered. Where could she have gone?

                “Where’s Potter?” Blaise asked, picking up his broom and starting towards the castle.

                Hermione shrugged, “haven’t seen him since dinner last night. We need to check the castle first, I’m hoping she didn’t leave the grounds, we will never be able to find her then.”

                “Hermione, find Draco, we are going to need him as well if we are going to have any luck finding Luna. He knows the woods better than anyone.” Blaise exclaimed to which Hermione nodded.

                The four teens ran into the castle, each splitting up. Blaise and Ginny to change, Pansy to grab her wand, and Hermione to find Draco. She ran up to their common room, but he was nowhere to be found. She shot out and down to the Great Hall, it was still breakfast after all, but still nothing. She stumbled her way up towards their Headmaster’s office and knocked softly on his door.

                “Enter!” came the soft reply.

                Hermione shuffled in, looking up at Dumbledore, who sat behind his desk and Fawkes singing softly to his right. “Sorry to disturb you Headmaster, but I can’t seem to find Draco, I was wondering if you had seen him or knew where he was.”

                Dumbledore chuckled softly, “yes Ms. Granger, he has just left via floo to escort his mother back home for the day. Poor woman has spent most of her time in the hospital wing.”

                Hermione sighed deeply and Dumbledore leaned over his desk, peering at her through his half-moon spectacles, “is there something you wish to tell me Ms. Granger?”

                 “No Headmaster, there isn’t. Thank you Headmaster, but I have to be going,”

                “By all means Ms. Granger.” He stood up and walked towards the large window. “Seems a good day for a stroll through the forest, don’t you agree?”

                Hermione didn’t need to be told twice. Without hesitation, she turned and bolted out the door, leaving Dumbledore softly chuckling to himself while stroking Fawkes for a song well sung.

                She ran full speed towards the front entrance and slammed into Harry, who was walking out of the Great Hall.

                “Ow Hermione, what’s the rush?”

                “Didn’t you hear? Luna is missing from the hospital wing, we have to go find her, come on!”

                Harry frowned, and ran after Hermione, who was speeding across the grounds. He wished she would slow down, not everyone had Veela speed. They made their way to the edge of the forest and slowed down, coming to a stop beside Blaise and Ginny.

                “Ready?” Hermione asked, looking at Blaise.

                He merely shook his head, “no need, she’s right there!”

                The group looked in awe as they watched Luna, her clothes ripped and dirty, stumble out of the forest, followed by an unknown male. He saw the group of teens and immediately turned around and ran into the forest. Hermione sniffed the air and knew at once he was a werewolf as well.

                “Luna, Merlin, we were so worried about you. What happened, where were you?” Ginny shouted and ran to engulf her friend in a hug. The rest of the group followed, yet Harry stayed back.

                Luna sighed deeply, clearly tired. “I heard the call of them last night. I had to go. I didn’t mean to frighten anyone, I was hoping to be back before dawn, but time slips away when you change I suppose,” she shrugged. She peered over at Harry, who was looking at the ground intently, kicking at the grass.

                “Hello Harry,” she whispered, her brows turned down with worry.

                Harry merely nodded in reply, his mouth in a tight line with anger.

                “What where you doing in there, and who was that guy that was with you?” Blaise asked, to which Harry’s head snapped up,

                “Yes Luna, who was that guy?” Harry repeated, his words hot with sarcasm and anger.

                “They called to me. I couldn’t deny it, I had to go. They wanted me to join them in the forest. I didn’t know what I was doing until it was too late, I swear. I made it halfway to the forest before I started changing. It was excruciating. It felt like I was tearing off my own skin when Mataeus found me. He gave me the wolfsbane potion which stopped the changing, and carried me into the woods to his pack. I woke a few minutes later, surrounded by strange people, but they didn’t feel like strangers, I felt I knew them somehow.”

                Harry snorted and Luna tried to hide the pang of hurt on her face as she continued, “He helped me up and walked me over to the pack and introduced me. We began talking, and he informed me Devin, their previous leader was dead. He told me they did not wish to attack the school any longer, they were only doing as they were commanded by their leader. I was grateful for the things he did for me, and told him they wouldn’t be attacked if they left the grounds and he offered me a place within his pack.”

                Hermione listened quietly, “what did you say?”

                “I told him he would have his answer by the full moon,” Luna answered, looking towards Harry, watching as his face reddened with white hot fury. Draco suddenly appeared, stopping beside Hermione, wrapping his arm around her waist. He sniffed the air, “Lovegood, why in the blazes do you smell like wet dog?” he asked, to which Hermione elbowed him in the ribs, shaking her head.

                “But that’s in two day’s time,” Ginny squeaked, not believing her friend might be leaving them soon.

                “I know, it’s not a long time, but after the full moon I may not see them again. So I gave him until the end of tonight.” Luna answered, her eyes darting back and forth between the group and Harry, wishing he would say something. She should have wished for something else.

                “Bugger this!” Harry shouted, throwing his hands in the air. He turned on his heel and ran, his wand in the air as he called for his firebolt broom.

                “Potter wait, where are you going? What the hell did I miss?” Draco called out, his face screwed up in a dumbfounded look.

                “Piss off Malfoy!” Harry hollered loudly as he hopped on his broom and flew out of sight. Luna fell to the ground crying, Ginny ran over to her, cradling the little wolf in her arms.


                Draco huffed, “well, that was uncalled for!” He kept his Veela eyes trained on Potter as he zoomed through the skies towards Hogsmeade.



 

                They didn’t see Harry for the rest of the day, the teens were a bit worried but figured he just needed some time to digest everything that had happened. Evening had come to Hogwarts, and the teens tucked into the Great Hall for dinner, when finally Harry made an appearance, he sat by the edge of the table, not really wanting to be part of the group. Draco, however, had different plans for Harry.

                “No need to apologize Potter, for your hurtful words this morning, ours is a love that doesn’t need apologies.” Draco joked, to which Blaise and Ron laughed, while the girls sighed and shook their heads. All but Luna and Harry found this funny.

                “Not in the mood Malfoy, leave me be.” Harry mumbled, cutting into his slice of roast and putting butter on his potatoes.

                “How are you Harry?” Hermione asked, her eyes filled with worry.

                Harry sighed deeply and loudly, “I wish people would stop asking me that,” he exclaimed.

                All the teens jumped in their seats as Luna slammed her fork down on the table and stood up,” And I wish you would ask me just once Harry Potter!” She screamed at him, her face turning a bright shade of red.

                “And just what do you mean by that?” Harry retorted, his own voice raising a few decibels.

                “I mean, what is your issue with me? You have kept quite the distance from me since my accident, have barely spoken two words to me unless you’re out for blood. You won’t even look my way unless you have to, now what is the problem?” Luna yelled, tears forming in her eyes, and the rest of the group tried to look anywhere but at the bickering couple.

                “You, Luna, that’s my problem. I don’t know if I can deal with you being a werewolf. It’s not normal.”

                Luna’s eyes widened in shock, like she had just been slapped in the face.

                “That’s what this is really about isn’t it? You can’t handle the fact that I’m stronger then you!”

                “It’s a hard pill to swallow, yeah, but that’s not it.”

                “Then what? What else do you want from me Harry? I’ve given you everything that I have, I’ve given you my heart, my body and soul.” Luna cried, tears falling freely now.

                “You say that, but I don’t feel it, I just don’t feel it.”

                “Well whose fault is that? Because I’m telling you, this is it. This is me, this is the package now, and if it’s so deficient that you can’t handle it, then we really, really have a problem.” Luna cried, as she wiped the back of her hand across her cheek.

                The table was silent, except for Ron, who was staring wide-eyed at the couple but still chewing on his food. Hermione’s mouth was wide open in disbelief, wasn’t Harry going to say something?

                “I’m leaving Harry,” Luna said flatly, to which Harry’s head snapped up, “I’m leaving to join the pack tonight,” and she stepped away from the table, she began walking up the aisle, but stopping to say quietly, “unless you give me a reason to stay, I’m leaving,” and she strode out of the Great Hall.

                No one moved, no one blinked, no one dared. Harry sat stock still, no emotion on his face. Hermione had had enough. She slapped Harry smartly on the shoulder.

                “Are you daft, go after her Harry, tell her to stay!”

                “Why should I? I’m done Hermione.”

                Ron scratched his head, “You don’t really mean that, do you mate?”

                “I said I was done, weren’t you listening? PAY ATTENTION!” Harry screamed, and left the Great Hall.

                “What the hell is his problem? I thought you said you had this under control Blaise?” Draco asked, glancing over at his best friend, whose eyes were low and sad.


                He looked up, his violet eyes shining bright with tears in them. “I honestly thought I had mate, I truly did,” he answered quietly.



 

                It was well after midnight when Draco strode into the library. He knew Potter would be here, it’s where he used to go to be alone before he had Hermione. He sniffed the air and wondered into the far back left corner to find Potter sitting in a chair, leaning back on two legs, his feet propped up against the edge of the table, looking out the window at the Great Lake.

                “Fancy meeting you here Potter,” Draco joked, but Harry ignored him, so he walked up even closer.

              “Take this for example, you don’t want to deal so you’re hiding? Not very Savior like.”

              “Go away Draco, you have no idea what’s going on”

              “No? Good, so you and Luna aren’t imploding? Doesn’t take a genius, but what I don’t understand is how you didn’t see it coming.”

              “What? Who told you?”

              “No one told me, it was right in front my face. The girl would do anything for you.”

              “The girl went and got herself bit by a werewolf. She lied to me, she ran around behind my back and could have gotten herself killed. And now she tells me she’s leaving, for some pack of mangy dogs unless I convince her not too. Now tell me you understand, because I sure as hell don’t.”

               “You gonna let her go?”

               “It’s not my decision to make.”

               “Of course it is Potter.”

               “Well it’s not fair!”

               “Who cares if it’s fair? In about twenty minutes, Luna is going to disappear, maybe forever, unless you do something to stop her.”

               “What am I supposed to do? Beg her to stay?”

               “Why wouldn’t you?”

               “I don’t even know who she is anymore, I thought she was......dependable.”

               “Dependable? What is she, an owl?”

               “Ugh, you know what I mean.”

               “Yeah, I think you mean convenient. I think you took it for granted that she was going to show up whenever you wanted her to and take off if you didn’t.”

               “That’s rich, look who has Hermione following him around like a lovesick puppy.”

               “Merlin, this isn’t the same thing and you know it Potter.”

                “Is she more than a convenience? Because that would be a surprise.”

               Draco sighed, “Look, if you don’t want to hear what I have to say, I’ll shut up right now and...”

               Harry interrupted, “good cause I don’t.” Harry stood up and starting walking towards the front of the library.

              Draco ran back in front of him, stopping him, “I lied. See what I think, you got burned with she-weasel, and Luna shows up.”

              “I know the story Malfoy”

              “But you missed the point. You shut down Potter, and you’ve been treating Lovegood like the rebound girl, when she’s the one that comes along once in a lifetime. She’s never held back with you, she’s risked everything, and you’re about to let her leave because you don’t like ultimatums? If she’s not the girl, if what she needs from you just isn’t there, let her go. Break her heart and make it a clean break. But if you really think you can love this girl, I’m talking scary, messy, no emotions barred need, if you’re ready for that, think about what you’re about to lose.

              Draco could see tears welling up in Harry’s eyes, as he thought to himself. He could see the wheels turning, his eyes growing big suddenly when the realization hit him in the face. He looked up at Draco, worried, “Malfoy...”


               “Run!”



 

                Harry shot across the grounds, looking everywhere for Luna, it was dark out and the tip of his wand wasn’t giving enough light.

                “LUNA!” he shouted, he hoped he reached her in time. He slowed down a bit and looked around, he caught her tiny silhouette on the border of the Forbidden Forest. He bolted towards her. He stopped in front of her, grabbing her roughly and pulling her into his arms, squeezing her tightly.

                “I’ve got to say something, because I don’t think I’ve made it clear. I’m in love with you, powerfully, painfully in love. The things you do, the way you think, the way you move. I get excited every time I’m about to see you. You make me feel like I’ve never felt before in my life, like a man. I just thought you might want to know.” Harry exclaimed, pushing her out, holding her at arm’s length, staring into her eyes.

                “Oh Harry,” she cried, tears escaping the corners of her eyes.

                “Don’t go Luna, it would kill me if you left.”

                “I won’t Harry, I will never leave you!” She sniffed and he bent over and brushed her lips with his.

                “I love you Luna Lovegood,” he whispered against her lips.


                “I love you Harry Potter,” she replied, wrapping her arms around his neck, bringing him in for a heart-pounding kiss.



 

                A low growl emitted from Mataeus’ chest as he watched the little wolf embrace the Chosen One. He supposed he got his answer, she wasn’t joining the pack anytime soon, and Mataeus sighed. Oh well, he would have to find others to build back up the pack that Devin had ruined. He began descending back into the woods. As he was nearing the clearing where his pack was, he heard the quiet pop of someone Apparating behind him. He turned around and growled low at the sight of the crazy witch who had begun this war.

                “Get away from me, we are done with you and your pathetic scheme’s to kill Harry Potter. We want no part of this insane plan. We are done, do you hear? With Devin’s death, the pact is over, and we are free to leave.” Mataeus said low and menacingly.

                Bellatrix laughed her high-pitch laugh, and twirled her wand in her hand. “That’s adorable. You actually think you have a choice in this matter.” Her laughter died down quickly, her eyes flashing with anger, “CRUCIO!” she screamed, Mataeus falling to the ground in pain, writhing under the curse. “You filthy half-breed, thinking you could give orders to your superiors.”

                She lifted the curse long enough to bend down and look at the wolf, her head tilted to the side. “You are through, when I say your through. You will leave the grounds for now, but I’m beginning to question your ability to lead this pack Mataeus.”

                Mataeus coughed, and tried to stand, his legs giving out from under him, “you will not harm my pack witch. They aren’t your toys to play with.”


                She cackled once again, “Aren’t they though? I think they deserve someone a little more qualified then you to be pack leader.” She sighed, her eyes dulling over, “I grow tired of this Mataeus, consider this your resignation....CRUCIO!


Chapter 23: Death Wish Part 1
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                Sunday came way too soon, as Draco stretched in his bed and roll out, heading down to the common room, yawning and scratching his head. He was never a morning person, but it gave him plenty of time to spend with his Father in the hospital wing before the days traffic rolled in of student’s who had come across a bad hex or jinx, or had a potion brew the wrong way. Draco felt sorry for Madame Pomfrey some days, that poor medi-witch never had a day off. He swore, he would scream if he saw Longbottom, the witless wonder, grace the hospital with his ever annoying presence one more time all because Snape had yelled at him and he dropped his cauldron again. One time however, it wasn’t Neville, he had actually managed to spill his all over another student, turning them into one gigantic blister with feathers. Bloody kid was a menace, he should be locked up for his own safety, Draco thought, shaking his head. He strolled around to the couch and sat down, putting on his shoes, and tucking his wand up his sleeve in its holder when Blaise rounded the corner.

                “Good morning,” Blaise yawned, stretching.

                Draco growled, “What’s so good about it?”

                Blaise sighed, he knew Draco wasn’t a morning person, “well, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping....”

                “My father is still in a coma,” Draco cut Blaise off, finishing the sentence.

                Blaise brought his eyes down in embarrassment. How could he forget? His own godfather still lay near death in the hospital, and here he was talking about birds. How could he be so heartless? He could only imagine what Draco must be going through. “Are you heading down to see him?”

                Draco nodded, standing up, “Yeah, I usually see him in the early mornings, give me some private time with him without prying eyes watching.”

                “Mind if I tag along?” Blaise asked. He went whenever he could, time wasn’t an issue to Blaise, and he didn’t mind if there were other students around, he was proud of his godfather.

                “Not at all. Let’s go, Longbottom is due to arrive by nine, only good thing about him, he’s always on time when it comes to him being sent to the hospital.”

                Both boys left the dorm and made their way up to the clock tower, which was also the hospital wing. Draco led the way down the row of beds and pulled aside the curtain to reveal his father, motionless on the bed. They had put up curtains all around his bed, made it into a sort of private room, so to speak. Apparently, the sight of Death Eater Lucius, laying in the hospital wing, was a bit too much for the students. There was a rumor that he was faking it, that he was really lying in wait, wanting to catch everyone off guard and attack, to finish them all off one by one. Draco chuckled a bit at that one, poor old Lucius would have a stroke if he knew what they were saying. Blaise hoped that some form of that rumor were true, he would have his godfather back, alive and well.

                “Morning Father, Blaise is here with me.” Draco said to the father quietly, taking the seat on Lucius’ right, Blaise took the left.

                “Hello godfather. Madame Pomfrey been taking care of you?”

                From somewhere off to the right of the boys came a scoff and a sarcastic reply, “You know I have been Mr. Zabini, are you beginning to question my abilities?” Madame Pomfrey asked lightly, coming over and waving her wand over Lucius. From spending so much time here, Blaise had begun a bit of a friendship with the medi-witch. She wasn’t too stuffy once you got to know her, she just took her job seriously.

                She frowned a bit, “Sorry, still no change. Suppose that’s not the worst thing, in this case, well I better see to getting Mr. Longbottom’s cot ready, he’s quite punctual these days.” And off she walked towards the next set of beds.

                “I can’t keep doing this Blaise, something must be done.”

                Blaise looked over at his best friend in question.

                “I can’t keep coming here every morning, knowing nothing has changed. Can’t watch another tear fall from Mother’s eyes. Can’t sit here and do nothing anymore.” Draco spat angrily, staring over at his Father’s face.

                “What do you purpose we do mate?”

                “Finish what we started, we could go and grab the sword from Dumbledore’s office, go to Potter’s place, destroy the damned thing and be back by lunch, if we leave now,” Draco replied, smiling a bit.

                “And what of Granger? We won’t last a minute without her and the rest and you know it! If we are going to do this, we have to do this properly. Let’s go gather the forces and meet by Dumbledore’s office after breakfast.”

                Draco agreed, they needed Hermione, neither had any idea on how to destroy a Horcrux, and neither were exceptionally book smart, well not like her anyways. He sighed in defeat, and got up from his Father’s side. “We will be back Father, and I swear, we will be closer to ending this.”

                “Goodbye Godfather,” Blaise said, patting Lucius’ hand and walking out with Draco. “Care to grab a bit of food before we get the others?”


                “No, you go on a head, I need something first. I will meet you guys by Dumbledore’s office in a minute.” And with that, Draco took off, heading down the staircase, heading Merlin knows where.




 

                Twenty minutes later, seven teens stood in front of the grand golden Gryffin staircase, waiting for Draco to arrive, when he rounded the corner, smiling.

                “Hello my adoring fans, nice to see you could join me!” he grinned down at Hermione, who merely smiled and shook her head. “Especially you Potter, you handsome devil you!”

                “Shove it Malfoy,” Harry replied, rolling his eyes.

                “Anywhere you please Potter, but I digress this isn’t the place, later perhaps,” he winked at Harry, “shall we?”

                Hermione walked up to the humongous Gryffin and turned around to Draco, “You sure you want to do this now, we aren’t nearly as prepared as we should be.”

                “No time like the present Granger. Don’t worry love, if you get scared and find yourself in need of protecting, I’ll be right here for you.” He smirked devilishly, a wicked glint in his eye.

                She scoffed, “hardly, ACID POPS!”

                The staircase began unraveling, and the teens hopped on the stairs as they rose towards the front door of Dumbledore’s office. They stopped in their tracks at the sound of arguing.

                “This isn’t some wild goose chase Severus, they know where the Horcrux is. It’s just a matter of time before Draco gets tired of waiting, and goes out and tries to destroy it himself.”

                Draco pressed his ear to the door, and turned to the rest of the group, “That’s my mother, what’s she doing here?”

                Blaise came up beside him and pressed his ear to the door as well.

                “I hardly think Draco is that stupid Narcissa, now please sit down before you wear a hole in the floor.” Snape’s voice clearly booming out.

                “Then you don’t know my son very well.” Draco leaned his head off the door, a hurt expression on his face. Everyone had to hide their mouths with their hands to keep from bursting out laughing.

                Pansy whispered, “She’s not wrong Draco,”

                “Shut it Pansy,” Draco snipped, and put his ear back on the door.

                “Are they even aware of the dangers yet Albus?”

                “I’m afraid not. With everything going on, I’ve been preoccupied as of late and haven’t had the time to speak to the children.” Dumbledore replied, his head resting on his right fist, as he sat in his large chair behind his desk.

                “What dangers Albus?” McGonagall asked, her expression turning worried as she turned and looked at Dumbledore.

                “What’s she doing there?” asked Draco.

                “Trust me Draco, if there’s one person you want in your corner when all hell breaks loose, it’s Professor McGonagall. She’s the best, aside from Dumbledore.” Harry laughed.

                “This isn’t just a regular Horcrux, Minerva, it can’t be destroyed like Potter did to all of Voldemort’s last year. I’m afraid we are in quite the situation.” Dumbledore sighed, and for the first time, the teens thought he sounded defeated.

                “What do you mean Albus?”

                “He means, Bellatrix must die to save Lucius, this much we knew, but in order to destroy the Horcrux, the destroyer would die as well, the fate’s would demand a life for a life to make the balance even again.” Snape replied, shuffling over and planting himself down in one of the armchairs. He was tired, he wasn’t getting much sleep, up all night trying to find some way to keep the children alive, while trying his best to stay positive, it really was a daunting task.

                “Has anyone told the children?”

                “Not yet, I’m afraid,” Snape answered, rubbing his face with his hands.

                Minerva was stunned shocked. “So what are we supposed to do, offer one of us, or worse, one of the children up as bait? They are children Albus, surely you disagree.”

                “What do you suppose we do then Minerva?”

                “Go out in force and capture Bellatrix. Bring her back, have her reverse the curse, and then lock her up!”

                “And what of the laws we would be breaking?”

                “The devil with the rules, and since when did you ever agree with and follow wizarding laws?”

                Albus sighed deeply, he knew she was right, he never was one for the rules, but this matter was delicate. There was more than one life on the line here, not just his as it usually was. He couldn’t agree to this.

                “You can’t be serious Albus, stop this madness immediately.”

                “I’m sorry Minerva, but this is out of my hands now, there must be another way.”

                The teens pulled back and gasped. Ginny looked over at Draco, his eyes blackened over with rage. “Draco, calm down, we will find another way. We figured out the Horcrux, we can figure this one out as well.”

                Draco shook his head. He chuckled darkly, “Bloody well figures, we get one step closer and knocked back three. We were so close, then this happened. What else? Someone going to die?”

                Luna raised her hand, “I think I’m within my rights to say, that we’ve come close to dying enough as we can, and personally, I’m sick of it.”

                “That’s not what I meant Luna, I’m sorry.” Draco replied, softening his tone.

                Luna held up her hand to silence him, and Draco furrowed his brows. “I’m apologizing here Lovegood, don’t be rude.”

                “Shhhh Malfoy, I hear something. Mataeus is calling, I must go.”

                “Then you won’t go alone, they may know where Bellatrix is.”

                The teens ran from the office, down the stairs and out the Grand Doors, towards the Forest, following Luna. She broke into a dead run as she reached the boundaries and leapt over a log. She turned left, then right, then another left, deeper still, till they came across a body, sitting up against a tree stump, holding his stomach and coughing blood.

                Luna rushed forward, “Mataeus, what happened?” she was checking him over. His face had plenty of cuts and bruises all over it, his breathing was labored and his heartbeat faint.

                “Ahhhh, Lovely Luna, here to save me.” He slumped forward, clearly passed out form pain. How long had he been there? What happened?

                “Potter, patronus to Dumbledore, tell him we need help immediately,” Blaise yelled and came beside Luna, helping her lift Mataeus up.

                Harry wasted no time, “EXPECTO PATRONUM!” A silver stag appeared in front of the teens and Harry whispered to it, “Go to Dumbledore, we need help in the forest, GO!”

                The stag took off with great speed and in a few minutes, there were five small pops. Albus, along with Snape, McGonagall, Narcissa and Madame Pomfrey appeared and rushed towards the kids.

                “What happened?” Madame Pomfrey asked, waving her wand, with Snape beside her whispering incantations.

                “We don’t know, he passed out before he could say,” Ron answered, “Is he going to be okay?”

                “He will be fine Mr. Weasley, now move, I must get him to the hospital wing. You know Albus, with the way this year is shaping up to be, I may need a bigger wing.”


                Albus smiled at her fondly, “finally an answer I can give gladly!”




 

                Mataeus awoke later in the day, shifting slightly at the sight of the teens looking down on him. “You seem to have caught me indisposed I’m afraid, I apologize for my currant state. Where are my manners, allow me to introduce myself. I am Mataeus, leader of the wolf pack in these parts.” He sat up, cringing at the pain in his side.

                “I’m Pansy,” Pansy replied, helping to shift his pillows, allowing him more comfort. “This is Ron, Blaise, Ginny, Draco, Hermione, you already know Luna,” at her name, Mataeus smiled handsomely, “and this is...”

                Mataeus held up his hand, “no need for introductions Miss. Everyone knows the famous Harry Potter. He released us from The Dark Lord’s grasp. We werewolves were servants, nothing but toys for his sick, cruel game. We are forever grateful Mr. Potter, your name is legendary around our parts.”

                Harry shifted awkwardly on his feet, his eyes glancing around anywhere but on Mataeus. He still wasn’t used to being famous. Eight years of it, and it was still weird.

                “What happened Mataeus?” Luna asked softly, coming to stand beside Harry, entwining her fingers in his.

                Mataeus looked down and their conjoined hands and frowned slightly, “Bellatrix happened. She did this when I refused her and her plans for my pack to attack the school. I dare say, without me there, the pack is vulnerable. She will use them, twist their minds. Nothing more than mere puppets in her sick, twisted mind we werewolves are.” He spat angrily, has he sank lower in the bed.

                “Do you know where she is now?” Draco asked, wanting so badly to find his deranged aunt and give her what she had coming.

                “Malfoy!” Mataeus spoke his name with venom. “How dare you come in here as if we are friends after you sided with the Dark Lord? Leave my presence now, before I begin to feel better.”

                Draco’s chest puffed up, “And just who the hell do you think you are, tossing demands my way like some low life servant? You forget your place my good man, we helped save you,” he growled viciously.

                Mataeus snickered, “You think I needed saving boy? We werewolves heal quickly, I would have been fine on my own.” Mataeus threw the blankets off him, and stood up painfully. “As the name Potter is famous through our world, so is the name Malfoy. However yours brings nothing but fear and hatred.”

                “As so it should, our name has commanded respect through centuries, though I doubt you would know anything about that,” Draco said, his head held high.

                Mataeus laughed deeply, his chest rumbling, “Respect? Your line is nothing but cruelty and abomination.”

                “Abomination? Your barking mad, you are. You are nothing but a mangy mutt who needs to be put out of his misery. Please allow me.” Draco yelled, raising his wand.

                “Clearly, you are no better than the rest of your retched line Malfoy, I said leave, NOW!” Mataeus shouted, waking the other students in their beds. Draco squinted his eyes and stormed out, Hermione hot on his heels.

                “I apologize for my rudeness, which was not what I wanted to happen. The name Malfoy isn’t a good name within the werewolf ranks.” Mataeus said, his eyes lowering, and he sat back down on his bed.

                “It doesn’t sit well with a lot of wizarding families either, however, that particular Malfoy isn’t like his ancestors. Believe what you will, but he is different.” Blaise responded, trying to defuse the tension.

                “Because he’s Veela, he thinks he’s different? You heard how he spoke to me, how low he believes me to be.” Mataeus sighed, picking up his shirt and putting in back on, with great difficulty.

                “He grows on you, trust me!” Harry mumbled, shaking his head.

                “He’s not exactly known for thinking before speaking. We’ve had years to figure that out. He’s controlled by his emotions, some good, some bad, but his hearts in the right place, give him time and he will prove you wrong about your beliefs of him. He’s on our side. He wants nothing but to find Bellatrix and end her reign of terror.” Harry continued.

                Mataeus sighed, “If the rest of you don’t mind, I would like to have a word with Mr. Potter alone?”

                Harry nodded his head to the rest, Luna stood on her tiptoes and went to kiss Harry, to which he turned his head and she got his cheek. She sighed, and Mataeus gave no sign that he noticed this. When the rest had left, he stood up again, a bit less shaky and began walking towards the opposite end of the hospital, walking out onto the balcony, leaning over the railing.

                “Mr. Potter, I will trust what you say, whether he is different has yet to be seen, but if you place your trust in him, so does he have mine. I’m afraid I withheld information back there, due to my anger. I know where she is staying for the time being, there’s a small cabin, hidden deep within the forest, far from the school. She should be there, if she hasn’t left already.”

                “Brilliant, thank you Mataeus, what will you do now, your pack...”

                “I suppose I will try and find them, take them away from here, to a better life, away from the hate and scrutiny. I hear Ireland is beautiful this time of year.” Mataeus laughed.

                “You won’t stay and help us fight? I thought you wanted Bellatrix dead just as much as the rest of us? We could really use your help.”

                “My kind has done enough fighting to last a life time, I don’t want to see anymore hurt or dead because of my selfish wants.”

                “Wants?” Harry asked, not really understanding.

                Mataeus turned and stared at Harry directly in his eyes, “Luna is a wonderful being Potter, exceptionally unique. I found her during her turning, did she tell you that?” Harry nodded, looking down at the ground sheepishly, “I knew from the moment I saw her, she was beautiful. Wolves don’t date and wait to fall in love, they feel it almost instantly, and with her, I knew.” Harry’s head snapped up immediately, his eyes angry.

                “Come again?”

                Mataeus laughed again, this time a bit less happily, “don’t worry Potter, through her breaths, she kept whispering your name, over and over again, like a chant. She’s not mine Potter, I know this, so you needn’t worry, I won’t try and take her. She turned me down once, that’s all I need. While she spent the night with the pack, we began talking. Now whether it be from tiredness or just her usual way, she was forthcoming about your relationship.”

                Harry quirked an eyebrow at this.

                “Once word got around she knew the great Harry Potter, well, you can imagine the questions that began to fly from the pack. However, one odd little fact didn’t sit well with me. She spoke of your distance as of late. Believe me when I say Potter, you aren’t the first.”

                “First sir? What do you mean?”

                “You really think you’re the only one who has dated a human who has contracted the gene? Many of us were human in the pack, very few are born with it anymore I dare say. I had someone once upon a time Potter. Oh did I love her, Maggie was her name, she was perfection personified, if I do say so myself. However, like all good things, it came to an end. I’m quite well aware it’s hard. Hard to be with someone who’s powers exceed your own, and not in the same way. How do you think she’s felt, living in the shadows of the Chosen One? It isn’t easy, never having the sunlight shine upon your face every now and then.”

                Harry let out the breath he was holding, “it’s a little hard, I admit. She used to need me, now, well, I’m not as important to her as I once was. It’s rough but I’m handling it.”

                “Potter, for all your fame, you’re really not that bright are you? That magnificent creature would lay down her life for you if you so ask. Relinquishing one’s emotions to that degree, well, I dare say that makes one pretty vulnerable, quite in need of someone. This past week Potter, I’ve envied you, so much it chokes me, and sometimes I think I got the better deal. To be that close to her and not have her, be all alone even when you’re holding her, feel her, feel her beneath you. Surrounding you, her scent.” Mataeus paused for a second, thinking, “No, you got the better deal.”

                “I’m the lucky guy, yeah.” Harry replied saddened. “I’m trying my best, I just hope it is good enough for her. I don’t want to lose her, she means everything to me.”

                “Believe me Potter, keep doing your best and it will be enough for her. All she asks is that you try and not keep her at arm’s length. Let her in on everything, keep nothing from each other, wolves aren’t about secrecy, and I think you’ll make it.” Mataeus smiled.

                “Thanks Mataeus, I hope you and your pack find everything you’re looking for.” Harry held his hand out, and Mataeus shook it gratefully.

                “Only thanks to you Potter, is this even possible. If you should ever need anything, do not hesitate to reach out to me. If Luna has any issues with her changing, or questions, tell her she knows how to get in touch. Until we meet again Potter, farewell.” Mataeus vanished, Apparating away quickly, wasting little time going to find his pack.


                Harry waved to nothing but air and sky, “Goodbye...friend.”




 

                “Draco, wait up! He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t know you,” Hermione hollered, trying to keep up with his great strides.

                Draco whipped around and yelled, “I don’t want to hear Hermione, now leave me alone!” He turned back around and continued walking.

                “You don’t mean it, I know you don’t,” although her Veela instinct inside told her he just might. “Please Draco, where are you going? DRACO, STOP AND TALK TO ME DAMN IT!”

                Draco paused mid step. He knew his mate was angry, but his Veela was far angrier.

                “What Hermione? What in Merlin’s name do you think you have to say to me that will make things better? Huh? You got some great lines to throw my way about how I’ve changed? How I’ve stepped out of my families shadow and became the man I am today? Or perhaps how your love has changed me, how ours will overcome the obstacles? If that’s all you’ve got Granger, save that nonsense for someone else. I don’t care, nor do I want to hear it.”

                Hermione gasped, she felt a strong pang in her heart, his hatred flowed through her like fire, burning her inside. She raised her palm to her heart and pushed, trying to ebb the pain. It didn’t work.

                Draco waved his hands in the air as the rest of the group caught up with them, “I’m tired of you always thinking you know best Granger. Well guess what Princess, you don’t always know what’s best. You may be smart, and brilliant, but you’ve never been as wrong about me as you are now. I’m a Malfoy, and it’s high time I began acting like one.”

                “Malfoy, what the bloody hell is wrong with you, can’t you see Hermione’s in pain?” Ron shouted, bending down to Hermione’s side and wrapping his arms around her, while she gulped for air in his shoulder.

                “Oh King Weasel, always there to rescue poor Granger, if I didn’t know any better, I would say you still have feelings for my mate. Watch out Pansy, this one’s a heart breaker.” Draco smirked.

                “That’s uncalled for Draco, why are you doing this?” Pansy cried, her eyes welling up with tears. She knew he didn’t love Granger, but it still wasn’t nice to hear.

                “Just doing what I should have done a long time ago. I’ve changed for everyone, and it’s not doing one damn bit of difference. Everyone wants to see the monster, oh they will see it. I’ll give them all quite a show.”

                Blaise growled and lunged at Draco, who side stepped the attack. “I really don’t care to do this with you my old friend. You’ve been the only true friend my entire life, I don’t wish to harm you.”

                “Then stop this Draco, Hermione can’t take much more. What in the blazes has got your wand in a knot?” Ginny yelled, coming in front of Blaise to keep him from trying anything stupid.

                “Ahh Red, shockingly, I’ve grown to like your ‘in your face’ attitude. What’s my problem you ask? While we’ve been staying here in the castle doing nothing to help my father, he stays up in the hospital, wasting away to nothing while my mother cries herself to sleep every night. No one has done a damn thing to help. We found the Horcrux, and the bloody sword, so why hasn’t anyone done anything? Well no longer, I’m going to do something about it right now. Anyone coming with me, had better come now.”

                “You can’t be serious Malfoy, after everything you just did, everything you’re doing, you still expect us to follow you? You haven’t got a plan.” Ron spat, still trying to calm Hermione down with Pansy on her other side, helping.

                “Oh I think killing her is a pretty good one.”

                Ginny grunted in frustration and Draco turned to face her. Of all the friends he’s ever had in his life, she’s the only one who never held anything back from him, no matter what the cost. He appreciated her for it, but now was not the time for formalities.

                “Yes weaselette?”

                “That’s one Draco, everyone gets one, but say that name again and we won’t have to wait for Hermione, I’ll hurt you myself. We both know I can.” Draco nodded in agreement, Ginny wasn’t one to mess with either. “You can’t kill her Draco, she can’t die remember? The Horcrux? She doesn’t have a death wish.”

                Draco turned around and started walking again, towards Dumbledore’s office. “Hasn’t got a death wish? Bitch won’t need one!”

                “But she will beat you Draco, she’s too strong right now!” Ginny said running up beside him, trying her best to keep up with him.

                “I’ve got a shiny sharp sword in Dumbledore’s office that will prove you wrong,” he grunted, as he pushed her aside gently.

                “You’ll end up getting your arse whipped up and down Hogsmeade till she gets bored and finally decides to kill you!” Ginny pleaded with him, trying to make him see reason.


                Draco whispered the password and stood on the steps, waiting to be taken up. He looked at Ginny and replied, “Yeah, the whipping might hurt like hell for a few hours, but she’ll be dead just a little longer.” He winked at her as he was raised out of her sight.




 

                “Harry, we have to stop him, we have to do something!” Luna cried, running into Harry’s arms, turning her face into his shoulder, shuddering violently.

                “Stop who? What’s going on here?” He looked at the carnage the stood before him. Ron sat on the floor with Hermione cradled in his lap, who looked like she was about to die, while Pansy kneeled behind her, rubbing her back and whispering soothing words into her ear while Ron rocked back and forth. Blaise was in Veela form, panting heavily, leaning up against the wall, trying and failing to compose himself, while Ginny stood, hands on her hips staring threateningly down the corridor at something Harry couldn’t see apparently. There was only one person missing, he came to the conclusion himself.

                “The war path of Malfoy huh?” Harry asked and Ginny spun around and glared angrily at him.

                “Your damn right, Malfoy! He’s gone to do something stupid Harry, we have to stop him.” Ginny pleaded with Harry, coming over to Blaise, rubbing his back soothingly. His eyes began clearing up, his claws retreating and fangs disappearing back inside his gums.

                “I’ll kill him, if he doesn’t get himself killed, I’ll kill him.” Blaise panted, leaning over and taking huge gulps of air.

                “What do you purpose we do?”

                “He’s gone for the sword Harry, he’s heading up to Dumbledore’s office right now!”

                Harry stopped for a second, then started chuckling. First it started out low, a soft chuckle only he could hear, but it began building up quickly, ending in Harry bursting out laughing, tears forming in his eyes.

                “I hardly think this is the proper time for laughing Potter, we have a serious issue on our hands.”

                Harry, in between laughs, shook his head and replied, “No, we really don’t. If Dumbledore put the sword back, we really don’t. Clearly Draco hasn’t read Hogwarts, A History in a while or else he would have remembered, only a true Gryffindor can attain the sword of Godric Gryffindor, and last I checked, Malfoy was no Gryffindor. He’s a Slytherin, through and through. However I do think we should make our way up there, he may try and do something else foolish, and get us all killed. Come on, up you get Hermione, let’s go get Draco!”


                Pansy and Ron helped Hermione to her feet, and ushered her towards the statue, waiting for it to descend, so they could ring Malfoy’s neck themselves.




 

                Where was the blasted sword? The old fool wouldn’t have put it anywhere else, his office was the safest place in Hogwarts, aside from his presence. Draco looked around every square inch of his office, in every drawer, under every chair, in every portrait, yet no sword was to be found. Did he place a charm on it? Draco shook his head, wouldn’t matter anyways, there were so many charms in this office, figuring out which one it could be would take him months if not a year and he wasn’t sure his father had that long! Swearing out loud, he grabbed the first thing he could find and threw it at the opposite end of the office. It shattered against the wall in a hundred pieces and Draco watched in fascination as the pieces slowly started to wiggle, and suddenly it began to reassemble itself. Draco bent down and picked it up, turning it over slowly in his hand. He gasped as he realized he was gazing down into a moving picture frame. The three men laughed about something then turned towards Draco and waved, beaming smiles grazing their faces. There was Dumbledore, albeit a slightly younger version of him, Snape, still looking a greasy as ever, and his father, in his Chaser uniform, holding the Quidditch Cup in his hands. Draco paused for a moment, a tear welling up in his eye. He bought to wipe it away, he reveled in the feeling of it as it slid down his cheek, coming to a stop right under his chin for a moment, before splashing to the ground. He choked back a sob, his father looked so happy, so.....alive. He wiped the streak from his face and hurled the picture one more time, not intending to pick it up. A deathly chuckle from the darkened corner had Draco whirling around, wand at the ready.

                “Vincent? What in Merlin’s name are you doing here?” Draco asked, his heart in his throat.

                Vincent raised an eyebrow in question. “The same could be asked of you young Veela.”

                “None of your concern Vampire,” Draco sneered, “Dumbledore ask you to come?”

                Vincent nodded his head once, “Why else would I be here?” Draco lowered his wand and ran his hand through his blonde hair. Vincent tilted his head to the side, taking in Draco’s appearance, “You look like a man fixing to do a bad thing, young Veela.”

                Draco groaned in annoyance, this Vampire was getting on his last nerve. “I’m looking for the Sword of Gryffindor, if you must know.”

                Vincent’s handsome face screwed up in confusion. “Did you have a recent fall and hit your head Veela? We gave it to you not too long ago. Don’t tell me you misplaced it already. I knew it was wrong to trust ones so young. Speaking of which, where would that delicious mate of yours be? I do so miss ‘conversing’ with her, so to speak.” Vincent’s eyes darkened over and the tips of his fangs poked out from beneath his crooked smile.

                Draco’s head whipped around, and he raised his wand once more, “Hermione is mine, and you will do well to remember that,” Draco sighed again and lowered his wand, “however, her whereabouts aren’t clear right now.”

                Vincent’s eyebrows shot up in disbelief, “you do not know where your mate is Veela, trouble in paradise perhaps?”

                “Doesn’t matter anyways. After I’m done, she will be free to have a choice again.”

                “Oh?” Vincent asked.

                The door swung open violently, flying off its hinges. There stood Hermione, her wand pointed, eyes blackened over and her fangs bared viciously. “The hell is your problem Malfoy?”

                “Granger, now is not the time.” Draco replied, “I’m busy and ARGHHHHHHH!” He never got to finish the sentence. Hermione had flicked her wand and was now dangling Draco by his ankle high in the air.

                “Why are you in such a hurry to go and off yourself Malfoy? Do we mean so little to you?” Blaise asked, his eyes wide with sadness. Draco tilted his head over at him, Blaise never used his last name unless he was really upset or angry.

                “Do I mean so little to you?” Hermione whispered, finally calming down. She lowered Draco to the ground and removed the curse off of him. He found his footing and came to her side, grabbing both her hands in his. He stared deep in to her brown eyes and placed his forehead on hers. He breathed in her scent, and relaxed.

                “No love, you mean the world to me, and you know that, but I have to save my father.”

                “And what happens when you die Draco? How will I ever manage without you?”

                Draco chuckled, “you will finally be able to have your choice back, you’re my best friend Hermione and I want nothing but you to be happy in this life and the next.”

                Vincent moaned in disgust, teens in love really were the worst.

                “Did we say something to upset your delicate Vampire demeanor Vincent?” Draco asked, a smirk evident on his face.

                “You’re not friends. You’ll never be friends. Love isn’t brains children, its blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. Now you listen to me. I’ve been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. And done things I prefer you didn’t. Don’t exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. It’s my instinct and I follow my blood, which doesn’t always rush in the direction of my brain.” He smiled handsomely at Hermione, who blushed deeply and Draco growled quietly.

                “Ugh, what is it with you Vampires and blood?” Ron said, paling visibly. In his years of being best friends with Harry and Hermione, he had seen his fair share of blood. He really had enough of it.

                “Cause it always has to be blood,” Vincent answered, narrowing his eyes at Ron, who went even whiter.

                “We aren’t discussing dinner right now.” Draco sneered, and Vincent rolled his eyes.

                “Blood is life, young Veela. Why do you think we eat it? It’s what keeps you going, makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead. Of course it’s blood.” Vincent answered and the teens understood instantly. He continued, “So I’ve made a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years of figuring out this thing called life and there’s only one thing I’ve ever been sure of.”

                Hermione moved closer to Vincent, looking at him with questions swimming in those big brown eyes of hers. “What’s that Vincent?”

                “Death is final. You don’t get another chance at it little one. Don’t be so quick to throw it away.”

                Pansy chewed her lip, she couldn’t hold it in anymore. “But what about you? You died and now living again, and forever I might add. That’s a bit hypocritical don’t you think?”

                “If you call this living, then you really have no idea what it means to live. Now why are you trying so hard to kill yourself Veela? If you wanted to die so badly, you should have sought me out. I would be glad to help,” Vincent smiled, his fangs gleaming in the lamplight. He ran his tongue over them and looked at Hermione, “I would be most willing to comfort your mate with your untimely death. Catch her tears as they fall as they say.”

                Hermione blushed deeper, her hands flying to her face, “oh my,” she giggled and Draco looked over at her. He raised his eyebrows at her and she fixed herself right away, “oh shut it,” she said and walked to the other end of the room.

                “Now while this has all been enlightening, how are we going to help my father?” Draco hollered, raising his hands in frustration.

                “That’s why I was summoned here young Veela. Your Headmaster wanted to speak with me in private. I believe I hear him coming.”

                Dumbledore walked into his office, staring at his door, laying on the ground. “Hmm, I seem to have remembered that being attached earlier this morning. Must have gotten tired again, old door, well back on you go.” He waved his wand in the air and his door snapped on with a loud bang. “That was fun.” He smiled at the teens and looked over at Vincent, “Ahhh, my dear old friend, I see you got my Owl.”

                Vincent nodded and bowed low at Dumbledore, “Indeed I did Albus, but we seem to have attracted an audience.”

                Dumbledore smiled, a twinkle in his blue eyes, “yes, it seems we have. I regret that I must ask you to wait outside, I have pressing matters I need to discuss with Vincent here. Now please, if you will, out, out!” He ushered all the teens out, not seeing the bushy haired Gryffindor huddled in the corner.

                “Why have you asked me here Albus? Surely you know I gave them the sword.”

                Dumbledore held up his hand to silence the worried Vampire, “Yes Vincent, I have it. That’s the issue really. Seems we have an exuberant Veela who wishes to avenge his father without thinking of the consequences.”

                Vincent took a seat in front of Dumbledore’s desk while the Headmaster sat behind his grand desk. He snorted in an undistinguished way, unbecoming of a Vampire of his stature. “He doesn’t realize what he has Dumbledore. Family and friends who love him, a beautiful mate one finds once in a lifetime, a heartbeat, a pulse. He’s nothing more than a spoiled brat.”

                “Yes, that does seem to be the general consensus, doesn’t it?” Dumbledore chuckled.

                “You have no idea,” came the hushed replied from the darkened corner.

                “Ms. Granger, what are you doing here?”

                “I never left Headmaster,” she answered, slowly walking forward.

                “Cheeky Veela,” Vincent mumbled, an evil glint in his eye. “I have half a mind to bend you over my knee little one.”

                Hermione came up beside Dumbledore and stood, placing her hand on his arm. “I believe I may have found an answer to our problem. However I may need Vincent’s assistance”

                “Your wish is my command little one. What you need of me, you need only ask.” Vincent stood and bowed at Hermione. She smiled back.

                “I don’t want the other’s knowing, but I will need Harry on this one though. He’s the only one who knows how to kill these things.”

                Dumbledore smiled, “Of course Ms. Granger, is there anything I can do to help?”


                “Yeah, explain it to Harry for me? I don’t relish another row with him so soon.” Hermione chucked, while Dumbledore nodded, a smile lightly playing on his lips.




 

                “Ahhh Luna, could you hand me that bag over there? Hermione put an undetectable extended charm on it.” Harry asked Luna, getting everything ready. He had just come from Dumbledore’s office. He didn’t want to leave the safety of the school so soon, but if Dumbledore asked him, it must be important.

                “Sure Harry, but where are you going again?”

                “Back to Grimmauld Place. Believe me, I don’t want to go, I would much rather stay here, spending the nights in the dorm with you in my arms by the fire, but Dumbledore said it was important and so I must go. He wouldn’t send me without a reason.”

                Luna sighed and helped place a few items of clothing in the bag. “You said Hermione was going with you?”

                “Yeah, well I’m not known for my brains, and I guess I’m going to need her, but well, when do we not?” Harry laughed as he grabbed Luna around the waist and pulled her into his arms.

                Luna squealed in delight, and wrapped her arms around his neck, “well she is the brightest witch of our age. Quite brilliant really. I believe we have everything you need Harry, what time are you leaving?”

                Harry smirked at her, “not for an hour or so, now what could we do to pass the time?” He brought his lips down on hers and shivered when he heard her moan in pleasure. He pushed her back, his lips never leaving hers, towards the edge of his bed and laid her down upon the red blanket.

                Luna brought her legs up and wrapped them around Harry waist, using her new strength she flipped them around so she was straddling his waist. She looked down at him and smiled, “You are wearing far too much clothing Harry James Potter, let’s do something about that.”

                He looked up, and laughed as she started undoing his belt, “My wolf,” he whispered.


                “My Savior.”




 

                “Where is Harry? Wasn’t he supposed to meet us here at nine?” Hermione asked Vincent, while she paced the floor and Vincent leaned against the stone wall. His arms folded across his chest, and his legs crossed at the ankle. He watched the little Veela pace in wonder. Humans felt such odd emotions in the worst of times. He leaned his head against the cold wall and closed his eyes, he should have fed before agreeing to join them, he was becoming quite tired.

                Suddenly, Harry turned the corner and joined the rest of them. “Sorry I’m a bit late, had to finish a couple things before we left, ready?” He asked Hermione, nodding in Vincent’s direction, who nodded back weakly.

                Hermione could smell Luna all over him and gave him a knowing glance, to which Harry reddened. “Yeah right, we just have to grab a few things from Snape, then we can go. Come on, we have to go to his office.”

                The three walked down to the Potion Master’s classroom and walked in. They walked down the aisle towards his door that led to his office. Harry looked around, and asked, “Where is Snape?”

                “Dunno, probably somewhere with Dumbledore, quite convenient, wouldn’t you say?” Hermione opened the door and waited till everyone was in before closing the door behind them. “Stay here and watch the door for anyone to come in, I just need to get a few things.” She started grabbing a lot of bottles and tossing them into the bag that carried all their clothing, books, the sword of Gryffindor and some food. He assumed they were potions incase anything happened. Harry smiled fondly at the witch before him, she was always prepared.

                “You have a love for the little one don’t you?” Vincent whispered quietly, he too was watching her.

                “She’s my best friend, how could I not?”

                “You would die for her?”

                Harry shrugged, “seems only fair, she would do the same for me. What’s with the trail all of a sudden?”

                Vincent shook his head, “no reason Potter, just trying to take my mind off my stomach. Seems I was much hungrier than I anticipated earlier.”

                Harry turned his head slowly, his eyes big with concern, “You didn’t feed? Are you going to be okay? Are we in danger Vincent?”

                “Hardly Potter, however we may need to stop soon.”

                Hermione finished, and walked over to the two boys. She took in their appearance. Harry was looking at Vincent in horror and Vincent was looking rather dead, or, more then he usually did.

                “Everything alright boys?”

                “Seems Vincent here forgot to feed, think Snape has any Blood Replenishing potions lying about?” Harry asked, looking around the room.

                “I took them all, we may need them. But no fear, I made a stop earlier while you were otherwise, occupied Harry. Here Vincent, I thought you may need this.” She pulled out a bag of blood and tossed it at him. He caught it and looked at her with surprise. “I stopped by St. Mungo’s and grabbed it for you, thought it might come handy. Guess I was right.”

                Vincent turned around, ripped the bag open with his teeth and sucked greedily from the bag. Harry backed away, a little disgusted, but more for wanting to give the man his own space while he fed. They waited until he turned back around, looking more like himself then before. His hair now shiny, his eyes gleaming, and a slight pink tinge across his cheeks. He sighed deeply, and threw the bag back towards Hermione, who vanished it with her wand. “Thank you little one, you truly are an extraordinary being.”


                “Always the tone of surprise,” she laughed, and cleared her throat, “Yes well, let’s get going, before everyone figures out what we are doing and tries to stop us.” Blushing, she turned around and threw some floo powder into the fireplace. The three stepped into the flames and shouted Grimmauld Place, and with a bright flash of green they disappeared.




 

They walked out of the fireplace at Harry’s home, dusting off their clothes. Harry sighed in comfort as he took in his surroundings of his home. He couldn’t wait till he was finished school so he could spend a lot of time taking apart this place and redecorating it. It was rather bleak and dark, not quite how he liked it, but other things were more important. He hoped to bring Luna here once they were done, and perhaps one day filling the house with children’s laughter. He smiled at the thought and followed Hermione into the kitchen.

“Excuse me Mr. Potter, I seem to have a bit of an issue here.” Vincent shouted from the living room. Harry rushed back and looked at the Vampire, still standing in the fireplace. Harry raised his eyebrows in confusion and Vincent groaned in annoyance. “I can’t enter a home without being invited Potter.”

Harry blushed in embarrassment, “oh yes, forgot about that. Come in Vincent.”

Vincent elegantly walked out and took off his cloak. He laid it upon the couch and followed Harry into the kitchen. He watched as Harry walked around the large table and came beside Hermione, who was taking some things out of the bag, searching for something.

“So how does that work exactly Vincent? Do I always have to invite you in every time? Or can you now come and go as you please? What of other Vampires?”

“The invite is mine and mine alone, no other Vampire can enter your home without invitation by a person who resides in the house. An invite only includes the certain Vampire who the person is speaking of. Yes I can come and go as I please, however if you are not comfortable with that, a ward can be put back in place to keep me out. I can assure you Potter, I will never grace your house without explicit instruction, you have my word.”

“You aren’t so bad to have around Vincent. Keep your fangs to yourself and you are welcome anytime you want.” Harry smiled at the Vampire and looked back at Hermione.

“Finally, there it is,” she said and pulled out the large sword out of the bag, the red rubles gleaming in the light. She placed it on the table and looked at Harry. “You have more knowledge about these things than anyone Harry, what do we do now?”

“We must strike the portrait with the sword, and only the sword. Be careful though, it may try to lure you in, say or conjure things to twist your mind. Fight it and stab it with the sword and that should kill it.” Harry suggested. That’s all he had ever done and it seemed to work every time. Should be the same with this as well.


Suddenly, from down the long corridor, they heard a loud, shrill cackle which sent an icy chill down the spines of the two teens. “What do we have here?”


Chapter 24: Death Wish Part 2
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


                Draco shook suddenly, and his skin broke out in goosebumps. He was sitting in the Head dorms, in front of the fireplace, with Blaise in the other armchair, sitting sideways, his legs dangling over the edge. They were doing some reading, seeing as how they had missed a few classes, they were trying to catch up. He let out a shaky breath and rubbed his arms, trying to get warm.

                Blaise looked over at him oddly, “cold mate? Don’t see how, the fire is roaring.”

                Draco sighed, “There’s not much I hate about being a Veela, a chunk has come in handy, but I don’t think I will ever get used to feeling everything she does. She must be outside with Red.”

                Blaise shook his head, “nah, Ginny is with Luna in the library, studying.”

                Draco uttered, “Huh, possibly Quidditch Pitch then, watching Potter or Weasley flying around.”

                “Pansy and Ron are in Hogsmeade, apparently a date was more important than studying.” He chuckled and shook his head, looking back down at his Arithmacy book.

                Suddenly, their portrait swung open and in walked Ginny followed by Luna. “Hey guys, we need help with our potions project, would you mind answering a couple questions?” The girls came around and each sat on either side of Draco. He was very grateful Luna took her smell into account and started wearing perfume. The scent of a werewolf, although mild, was not the most pleasant of smells to Veelas.

                “Couldn’t get Potter to help you Luna?”

                “I would have asked him, Malfoy, but he’s not here.”

                “What do you mean, not here? Where else would he be?” Blaise laughed, and bent over the parchment, looking at the girls essays.

                “He’s gone, with Hermione and that lovely Vampire we met. Professor Dumbledore sent them somewhere, but he said they would be back by morning, I’m assuming this is for Vincent’s case though.” She shrugged and was listening to Ginny explaining the issue they were having.

                Blaise dropped his quill and turned quickly over at Draco

                His eyes were wide open, starring off into space. He seemed to be so shocked that he was rendered immobile.

                “Luna, explain that again please?” Blaise spoke softly, never taking his gaze off of Draco.

                “I don’t know more than that, I’m afraid. Harry told me Dumbledore had asked him, Hermione and the handsome Vampire to take a little night trip to Grimmauld Place. Why? I don’t know. He did say they would be back before the sun rises, but wouldn’t say more. Why would we have to use unicorn hair? Isn’t it illegal in potions?” Luna asked, trying to get back on track with her potions essay.

                Blaise shook his head, still watching Draco, watching every single emotion wash over his friend’s face, before he saw the last one, anger, lingering, just a tad longer than the rest. “It is Lovegood, that’s why it’s confusing you two. Instead of using unicorn hair, find another substitute.” Blaise answered her question, however, she seemed to be the only one paying any attention.

                Ginny’s mouth hung open, her quill falling to the table top with a quiet plop. “You didn’t think this was important enough to tell the rest of us?”

                Luna looked up from her paper and looked at the rest of the group, her eyebrows coming together in confusing, “no, not really. I trust Dumbledore, he wouldn’t have sent them into danger........would he?”             

                “How can he know danger won’t find them? Potter can find danger in a bathtub. He’s a magnet for it.” Blaise and Ginny stood up together and began running around the dorm, grabbing clothes and robes, getting ready to leave right away.

                Draco still hadn’t moved, hadn’t even breathed. Blaise was walking slowly towards his back, and placing a hand on his shoulder. He felt Draco exhale, and breathed a sigh of relief.

                Draco began stirring, stood up and roared, “WHAT?”


                Time to go!




 

                “How did you find this place?” Harry asked, raising his wand. He snuck a look at Hermione who also had her wand raised while shifting around the other side of the table. Vincent was backing himself quietly into a dark corner, disappearing completely.

                “This is my house, you filthy Half Blood.” She gasped, shocked that one so low would dare speak to her.

                “It’s Harry’s, not yours.” Hermione replied, her eyes glancing around, hearing noises coming from the inside of the house.

                “Don’t speak to me in the tone, you disgusting creature.” She shot a curse at Hermione, who quickly deflected it. It crashed into the ceiling, breaking pieces off and smashing onto the ground.

                “Harry,” Hermione whispered, Harry looked over at her quickly. She nodded her head towards the upstairs and he quickly caught on. He heard it too, the footsteps slowly walking upstairs, but on which floor he had no clue, and perhaps they didn’t either.

                Bellatrix laughed, “You didn’t think I would come alone did you?”

                “Your intelligence knows no bounds,” Harry spat and walked closer to her. He stopped though as he watched about twelve people saunter down the steps and come to stand behind Bellatrix. They held no wands, or none that he could see, yet their presence alone made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.

                “They are werewolves Harry.” Hermione said, as if reading his mind.

                “Hmmm, yes they are, and they have quite an appetite for young blood. I feel this time, you are the ones in over your heads. Get them.” Bellatrix hollered, yet no one moved. They seemed to be fighting an inner war over attacking two helpless teens. “What are you waiting for, I said get them, unless you want to end up like your previous leader, NOW!” She screamed and the dozen wolves began to descend upon the teens.

                Suddenly a loud hiss was heard, and he saw Vincent was at the front door. The wolves turned around growling in surprise.

                “Potter, invite them in!” Behind Vincent stood his covenant, and the entire one it seemed.

                “Come in,” he squeaked, and the war broke out fast, Vampires and Werewolves attacking each other, Harry shooting spell after spell at a rather large looking male, while Bellatrix and Hermione watched in horror.

                Vincent bared his fangs menacingly at a younger wolf and lounged. He clawed at the wolf, his nails slashed across the wolf’s upper arm, and he jumped on his back, clawing and slashing away. The younger wolf hollered in pain, turning to the left and right quickly, trying to throw the older Vampire off his back. Hermione gasped in fear as he was thrown off and whipped up against the wall. He slumped down in pain as the wolf came up in front of him. He grabbed a jagged piece of wood and quickly jammed it into Vincent’s chest making Vincent’s eyes bulge out.

                “NO!” Hermione screamed as she watched Vincent topple over to the side like a sack of potatoes.

                Bellatrix laughed, and turned her head back towards Hermione. She raised her wand as Hermione did the same and both shouted out a spell at the same time,

                “Avada Kedavra!”

                “Expelliamus!”

                A bright light of green and red met in the middle, both battling for dominance over the other. Bellatrix was swishing her wand quickly to the right and left, trying to break the connection, but Hermione held on strong. Sweat starting forming on both witch’s brows as their stamina began to weaken. Hermione added her second hand to her wand as she felt her power growing faint, she was only hoping the other witch was getting weaker as well. Suddenly, the connection was broken, both hands fell to their sides as both witch was breathing heavily. Bellatrix wasn’t giving up soon and again started another battle which Hermione met her with the same strength. They both knew this couldn’t last forever and again the connection was broken. Hermione took this time to run and dive behind a chair, skidding across glass, slicing up her outer thigh. The pain ran up her spine as she hissed in pain, “Bollocks,” she whispered a quick healing spell. Bellatrix was coming around and Hermione climbed to her feet again and dodged a spell thrown at her, she threw a couple back as Bellatrix blocked one and side stepped the other. They were weaving in and around other people, while trying to hit the other one.

                “Hermione, move!” Harry yelled, but Bellatrix was too fast for him. She shot a stunner at him and he was sent flying through the air, across the room, and slammed into the opposite wall, falling down unconscious. He had a huge gash on the side of his head, which began bleeding.

                “Harry, get up! Please get up,” Hermione shouted as she blocked another curse from Bellatrix. He wasn’t moving and Hermione’s heart was pounding in her ears. She stepped backwards and her foot caught on the edge on the couch and she fell, her wand slipping from her hand and sliding a few feet out of reach. She quickly rolled over on to her stomach and stretched her arm out, trying to reach it. Bellatrix saw this and ran forward, stepping down hard on Hermione outstretched hand.

                Hermione screamed, and tried to bring her arm back, but Bellatrix wasn’t letting up. She reached down and grabbed Hermione’s wand and pointed it towards her as well.

                “This time, I will make sure you stay dead, Mudblood.” She raised down wands, when she suddenly fell forward, the wands falling from her hands, which she brought up to her chest and looked up scared. Hermione watched, and wasted little time in gathering her wand, screaming “Incarcerous” tying up the Death Eater. Bellatrix was fighting for breath and turned her head to the left. Hermione followed her gaze to look at Vincent. Hermione’s heart skipped a beat in happiness at the sight of him alive. He was panting, as he let go of the sword, which now was sticking out of the portrait, which was now fully black and dead. He had done it, he killed the Horcrux.

                “Vincent,” Hermione whispered and fell forward. Vincent rushed to her side and held her gently in his lap, looking over at Bellatrix, who was glaring at the couple, but unable to move. “I thought you were dead,” she continued, her breath coming out in gasps.

                Vincent chuckled low as he brushed some hair from her forehead, “What can I say, young wolves just don’t have the accuracy as their elders. He missed the heart, but only just. Still hurt like hell though,” he joked.

                The battle slowly died down, the Vampires coming to form a line in front of Vincent and surrounding the wolves, keeping a close eye on both Hermione and Harry. Each side began crouching down, ready to begin again.

                “ENOUGH!” A voice suddenly roared, and Mataeus’ big form appeared in Harry’s doorway. The wolves immediately backed down, and knelt in fear. The leader walked in and surveyed the damage. He had only just gotten the hurried message from Luna, and rushed out. He arrived when the fighting stopped. He glanced over at Hermione, who was shakily getting to her feet with the help of a Vampire, who he could only guess, and hope, was a friend. He looked over to the other side of the room, and growled low when he saw the unmoving body of Harry. He ran and fell to his knees beside the boy, who was bleeding steadily from his head.

                He turned towards his pack and growled, “Do you have any idea who they are?” The pack didn’t respond, and he rolled Harry over and raised the hair on his forehead to reveal his famous scar. “You attacked Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger,” he waved his hand towards Hermione who had now ran into the kitchen to grab her bag.

                The pack didn’t move, their heads still bowed, until one woman spoke up.

                “We didn’t want to. We didn’t want to attack the boy, boy but we had no choice.” She whimpered, and started to tremble.

                Vincent snorted, as his coven came and stood behind him, looking beautiful as ever. Hermione noticed the red head who had been making eyes at Draco looking at her. Hermione nodded her head in thanks, the slender woman’s mouth turned up in one corner, a sly smile and winked, then turned her head back around. “You had a choice, you could have denied her.”

                “And sign our death warrants? Not all of us are immortal you know.” a wolf in the back mumbled.

                Mataeus raised a hand. “We are a peaceful pack. We do not follow the orders of any witch or wizard. I’m ashamed of all of you. I apologize for the actions of the pack. It won’t happen again. Come, we must leave now. You’ve done enough damage.” He shook his head in shame as the wolves left one by one by Apparating away, until only Mataeus was left. He came over to Hermione’s side, who was now healing Harry’s wound and feeding him a potion for pain. “Is there anything I can do?”

                “No Mataeus, I think we are fine now. Thank you.”

                Harry shifted as he sat up, a little fuzzy. Mataeus reached for his hand and shook it, “I’m so sorry Mr. Potter, no harm should have ever come to you. Let me make it clear now, none will ever come again.”

                Harry laughed lightly as Hermione helped him to his feet. He swayed a bit, but waved off Hermione’s arms. “I’ve looked worse Mataeus, believe me. Thank you friend.”

                “Until we meet again, my friend” Mataeus apparated away with a loud pop.

                Harry looked around at his ruined living room, “what the bloody hell happened?”

                “We did it Harry, Vincent destroyed the portrait.” Harry’s eyes shot up to Vincent, who only shrugged in reply.

                The red head began whispering in Vincent’s ear, who chuckled and nodded his head. The Vampires began filing out of the house into the night. Hermione’s brows creased, “Where are they going?”

                “The fight took a lot out of my coven. They need to feed, and your bleeding little one. On my orders, they do not attack, however I cannot deny them food, so they are off to heal and will meet me back at the castle. I say we get this one back to the school, and ourselves.”

                Hermione looked down to her thigh and saw the deep red stain growing bigger on her jeans. She looked back up. “Thanks Vincent, I appreciate not being a meal just yet.”

                “If anyone were to have that privilege, it would be mine and mine alone little one,” he winked and grinned at her. Harry poked her in the side with his elbow and raised his eyebrows in humor at her, she only scoffed and bent over to pile everything back in her bag. Vincent bent and grabbed Bellatrix up with one hand and placed her over his shoulder, kicking and squirming.

                “Potter, if you don’t mind, this is rather annoying.” Vincent said, motioning to Bellatrix with his other hand. Harry nodded in agreement and pointed his wand at her, “petrificus totalus!”

                “Thanks ever so much,” and he stepped into the fireplace, followed by Harry and Hermione.

                “Merlin, look at my house. It’s destroyed,” Harry said, taking in the sight of his surroundings.

                “I’m sorry Harry,” Hermione said and placed a comforting hand on Harry’s shoulder.


                “I’d say it’s an improvement. Mortals have such terrible taste in upholstery.” Vincent replied, making the teen’s chuckle. Hermione threw the powder into the fireplace and in a flash of green, they were gone.




 

                Harry ran out, followed by Hermione who fell into her stomach, while Vincent walked out regally, Bellatrix still on his shoulder, frozen in place, but glaring evilly at his back. They were back at Hogwarts, in Dumbledore’s office it seems. Harry leaned over and helped Hermione up, chuckling softly.

                “Oh, shut it Harry. You know I’ve never been able to work these things properly.”

                “Little more practice, I think you will be fine.”

                Vincent cleared his throat, “we seem to have company.”

                Harry and Hermione looked around to find three surprised teens, three shocked teachers, one annoyed parent, and one pissed off Veela, tied to a chair, a gag in his mouth. The sight was quite unnerving to say the least.

                “Where were you guys? What happened?” Ginny asked, her hand squeezing Blaise’s, who looked relieved.

                Narcissa came over and inspected the two teens, stopping when she saw the blood running down the jeans of Hermione. “Severus, she needs help.” She began waving her wand, healing the wound and cleaning in.

                “There’s no need Cissa, I can always go see Madame Pomfrey. Also, professor Snape, you are out of Blood replenishing potions I’m afraid.” Snape raised an eyebrow at the young witch, but settled for rolling his eyes in annoyance.

                “Nonsense, this is Mother’s work. There’s nothing she can do, that a mother can’t, my child. Mr. Potter, let me see that head.”

                Hermione shuffled to the side quickly, not one to be fawned over, but she knew Harry loved it. Not having a mother growing up, he yearned for motherly affection, which he got plenty of from Mrs. Weasley, but he would gladly take it from anyone else when she wasn’t available.

                Narcissa planted a light kiss on his forehead and whispered in his ear, “Thank you again Mr. Potter. You saved my son’s life once by risking your own, now you do the same for my husband. I will never be able to repay you.”

                Harry blushed the darkest Hermione had ever seen, while he just stammered a couple words and walked over to Luna’s side.

                Hermione looked over at Draco, who was tied to a chair by a fair share of ropes, with a gag in his mouth. He was staring deathly over at Dumbledore, who was beaming over his half-mooned spectacles at the returning party. “What happened here?”

                Blaise laughed slightly and Draco’s eyes shot over to him as well. “He wouldn’t listen. Professor Dumbledore told him he couldn’t leave, that you would come back, but it took the four of them,” he gestured to the adults, “to tie him down. The gag was my idea.”

                “He nearly got through the ropes but Ginny froze him to the chair,” Luna sang sweetly, smiling at the red head who beamed back.

                “Well we are back now, I’m sure you can let him go.” Hermione waved her wand and the roped fell off. He reached up and ripped off the gag and sped over to her side. He forcefully grabbed her hair and retched her head backwards so she was looking up at him. He violently crashed his lips down on hers, putting all his anger and rage into the kiss. She accepted his kiss and wrapped her arms around his neck. He released her hair and began running his hands up and down her back and arms. The sound of someone clearing their throat behind them finally forced them apart.

                “Merlin Granger, you ever do that again, I shall accept my death and kill you myself,” he smiled into her eyes and she melted, her Veela purring with desire. How long had it been since she had him?

                “While I hate to interrupt this disgusting display of affection, what shall I do with her?” Vincent said, tossing Bellatrix to the ground with a large thump. She glared daggers at the handsome Vampire but turned her attention towards the group.

                Narcissa walked up and bent down towards her sister, “How did you ever manage to capture her? Even the best Auror’s couldn’t do it.”

                “My fair lady, it was not me who did it. It was your son’s mate who did her in, rather exceptional that one.”

                “What?” Narcissa whipped her head around to look at Hermione, who was looking down at her shoes, kicking an imaginary piece of dirt.

                “I couldn’t have done it without Vincent, of course. He, after all, destroyed the Horcrux.”

                “Bloody Hell! You did what? How did you manage it? You’re still alive!” Draco said, his eyes widening.

                “Good eye, young Veela. And still as eloquent as ever I see. I’m already dead, I have no soul. I couldn’t be harmed. Your mate came to me, asked me to help. Who am I to turn down the request of one so beautiful, so innocent?” Draco squinted his eyes at the Vampire, but softened when he realized he was only trying to get a rise out of him.

                “I wouldn’t be alive if he hadn’t,” Hermione smiled at him, to which Vincent bowed low.

                “I wish to speak to my sister, if that’s alright?” Narcissa asked, glancing sadly at Dumbledore.

                “Of course, Mrs. Malfoy, Ms. Granger, if you will?”

                Hermione flicked her wand, only allowing Bellatrix to use of her mouth.

                “Don’t bother Cissy, I have nothing to say to you. You deserve them, you all deserve each other and your disgusting filthiness. I will kill each and every one of mmph,” she found herself gagged again by Hermione, who couldn’t stand to see the look of hurt on Narcissa’s face anymore.

                Narcissa shook her head, “what happened to you Bella? To make you hate so much? To make you fall so far? I can no longer help you, dear sister. Your actions will have consequences, and you will be judged for your crimes.” She whispered and a single tear fell down her cheek. She stood up and walked back to the side of her son, who wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Blaise joined on the other side and held his godmother while she silently wept.

                “I apologize for my rudeness but I must depart, the sun will be rising soon and I must tend to my coven before dawn. I will see you again.” Vincent said, his eyes darting to the window.

                “Thank you so much Vincent, I owe you one.” Hermione came up to him and extended her hand. He grasped it gently and placed a light kiss on the top, “you owe me nothing little one.”

                Draco held out his hand, “I suppose I should thank you as well. For everything.”

                Vincent stared at his hand for a second, then reached out and gripped it, yanking hard and pulling the Veela into him, and whispered low so no one could hear him, “You take care of her. If I hear for one second you caused tears to fall from those eyes, I will come and take her from you and have myself a real good day, do I make myself clear?” he pushed Draco back, who had both eyebrows raised in shock, “However, you are quite welcome young Veela. I hope to see you venture back for a visit soon.” He strode over to the window and opened it. He climbed out onto the ledge and leaped, falling to the ground and landing gracefully. He glanced back up at the window and sped off into the woods, glad to be going home.

                “What did he say Draco?” Ginny asked, still looking towards the window.

                “Nothing important, but I think he might be growing on me,” Draco smirked but turned it into a smile when he turned back towards Hermione, “I also think he might have a tad bit of Slytherin in him,” and Hermione laughed.

                “What’s to be done with her Albus?” McGonagall asked, pointing her wand at Bellatrix, who was still laying on the ground, her eyes now closed, trying to block out the traitors.


                “We should move her to the hospital wing immediately. I believe it’s time to wake someone who has slept long enough, don’t you agree Minerva? Severus, will you bring her please? I’m going ahead to see if Poppy can clear out the wing for us.”




 

                The teens were walking towards the hospital wing, after leaving the Head Dorms and Gryffindor tower so Hermione and Harry could change, they were laughing as they walked towards the Great Hall but stopped when they heard Pansy’s annoyed voice from around the corner.

                “Honestly Ron, I have no clue why we were called to Dumbledore’s office. You’ve spent more time in there than anyone I know, except Potter, perhaps it was you who did something and I’m just going there to be a witness to your expulsion.”

                Draco stopped the group and placed a finger on his lips to quiet them, he wanted to surprise them.

                “I haven’t done anything Pansy, I swear. You don’t think it’s because we were at the Leaky Cauldron do you?” he asked, worry clear in his voice.

                “I hardly think it was because of that.”

                “But we rented a room Pans, we had, err... relations. You think he knows?”

                “Any louder and the whole school will know,” the rest of the group had to bite their lips to keep from laughing. “And it’s called sex Ronald, better get used to saying the word if you plan on having any again. But no, I don’t think it would be that, most of the school would be in his office if that was the case. Let’s just get this over with.”

                The couple rounded the corner, hands entwined and stopped in front of the group. Draco stood at the front, his arms crossed over his chest.

                “Relations Weasley? Is that what they are calling it these days?” Draco laughed, looking back at the others, who were all red in the face from holding in their laughter. It exploded all at once and everyone joined in.

                “Nothing delicate about you huh Draco?” Harry said between gulps of air, holding his sides from laughing to hard.

                “Care to find out Potter? I’ve got a few minutes to spare if you are up for it.” Draco wiggled his eyebrows at Harry who immediately stopped laughing.


                He made a rather rude gesture with his finger and began walking again towards the hospital wing. The other’s followed, while Ginny and Hermione filled Pansy and Ron in on what had happened.




 

                Every one piled into the Hospital wing and stopped when they came to a bound Bellatrix on a chair, a gag in her mouth, and the adults standing around the bed of Lucius.

                Dumbledore turned towards Bellatrix, and held out her wand. “Now Bella, I ask you to undo the curse you placed on Lucius, please.”

                The gag slid down her face, “would love to Albus, but I don’t feel like it right now.”

                Severus gripped his wand tighter and jabbed it into her neck, right on her pulse. “We can always send for the guards of Azkaban Albus, and wait it out till she dies,” Bellatrix’s eyes widened in fear, “I hear they’ve been looking for you. I’m too understand there will be no hearing, the sentence is death. I’ve heard the kiss can be quite excruciating to watch, but I will do my best. If you do not, or I see anything other than the counter curse come from your lips, I will make sure they carry out your sentence painfully slow, and you know I can do it too. You will be begging for the end before I’m through with you. Either way, he’s waking up, whether it be by your hand or your death, it’s really up to you Bellatrix. Now, what’s your decision, and make it quick, I only have so much patience.” Snape demanded, digging his wand in deeper, causing her to whimper in pain.

                “Either way I’m dead, so what does it matter?” Bellatrix spat.

                “Perhaps I can be persuaded to strip you of all magic, alter your memories and have you live out the rest of your life as a Muggle, Bellatrix, which will be sworn by a wizards oath from everyone in this room that no one will ever mention your whereabouts, unless you prefer death, then by all means, Minerva send an owl...” Dumbledore never got to finish his sentence.

                “No, no, I will take your offer, so long as you swear I will be safe from Azkaban.”

                “I swear, you will never grace Azkaban ever again,” Dumbledore answered, and she nodded her head. All the adults wands were trained on her, especially Snape’s, as Dumbledore waved his hand and the ropes fell from her body. The teens watched in fear as she walked oddly towards Lucius’ sleeping form and leaned over him. She pointed her wand at his head and whispered an incantation no one had ever heard before and stood back up.

                “He should be awake by morning, now our agreement Albus?”

                Dumbledore waved his hands again, and again she found herself bound to the chair. She shrieked in anger, “we had a deal Albus,” suddenly a gag appeared around her mouth and she turned her head towards Snape.

                “You insolent witch. How dare you question his integrity after what he offered you? You deserve no better than death and still you have the nerve.”

                Dumbledore silenced Snape with a glare. “You have my word Bellatrix, after we see if you kept yours. Now if you please Severus, I believe the room of requirement will be a good place to keep her for the night.”

                Snape nodded and floated Bellatrix out of the Hospital wing, with McGonagall following on his heels.

                “Get some sleep, we will meet back here tomorrow morning.” Dumbledore instructed the students who started walking out of the Hospital.

                Draco stopped, “Headmaster, if you don’t mind, I would like to stay with my mother and wait for my father to wake up.”

                Hermione leaned up and whispered in his ear, “but how can I take advantage of you in front of your mother Draco? I had plans for us. I wanted to be screaming your name in various positions before the night was through.”

                Albus turned back around from speaking with Narcissa, “well, I suppose since your mother doesn’t mind, you could...”


                Draco interrupted him sharply, “you know what? Never mind, I’m good.” He grabbed Hermione’s hand and started dragging her out of the hospital. “Come along Granger, it’s getting late, time for bed!”


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