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Chapter 13: Roles

Draco stayed crouched on the floor by the foot of his bed, and looked around him; the other beds were empty. His dorm mates were all enjoying a morning shower. Crabbe’s laughter echoed from the bathroom, followed by the snapping of a wet towel against someone’s bare buttocks.

Draco opened his trunk and reached inside.

As he pulled out his journal, his head began to throb, forcing him to drop it into his lap. He lowered his head and massaged his temples. The pain began the previous night, and it now came in intense waves that forced his eyes to water. The migraines were from a combination of stressors that now took over his life - one of which he would have to face that night.

When the pounding had finally subsided, he opened his eyes. Down in his lap, the pages of the journal were now opened to an entry he had made the night before.

5 January 1998

Everything went according to plan with Hermione. I said everything I had to say, and she seemed to believe me. She didn’t give me a definite answer when I left the library, but I know she’ll show up tomorrow night. I had a lot more I wanted to say, but I was already late for my meeting.

But before I could even reach the stairs to go down to the dungeons, I heard someone call my name. I turned around to find Terry walking out of the library. In the years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him step foot in there.

“I’m studying for a test,” Terry said, before I could even ask him. “Can you believe it? It’s our first week back to class, and they’re already giving us tests. But, my parents want me to do well in the class.”

I was about to tell him that I was in a hurry and didn’t have time for chitchat, when he asked, “Can I talk to you for a moment?”

“I’m meeting Professor Snape,” I said. “And I’m running late.”

“It’ll only take a minute.” He wanted me to follow him into another hall. And when we reached a small corridor, he said, “You know I have a lot a respect for you. We all do. But if you’re involved in a relationship with Granger, I think you better keep it to yourself because the other guys might take it the wrong way.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I saw you and Granger in the library,” he said. “And you looked like you were about to kiss her.” The expression on my face must have changed because then said, “I could really care less if you guys are a couple. You have to do whatever feels right for you. I just think the House will feel differently about it. You might lose some points in the eyes of some other people if they knew you’ve become attached to her. I know Blaise would love it if that happened because he wants to take over your spot. But I definitely wouldn’t want to see that.”

“She and I are not together,” I said. “In all the years that you’ve known me, have you ever seen me get hooked by one of these girls?”

Terry shook his head.

I put my arm around his shoulders and told him, “Everyone knows I stop talking to the girl once the school finds out. But with Granger, I wanted to see if I could continue the game and see how far I could take things. And since the school year is half over and I have exams coming up, I really don’t want to waste the time and energy to find a new girl. I’ve had too much fun with her to stop now.”

Terry stared up at me like he always does when I talk to him. “I’ve never seen anyone take it to this level,” he said. “But wouldn’t it just be simpler to get a Hufflepuff? They don’t take that much time and energy.”

“That’s the easy way out,” I said. “That’s something Blaise would do. But not me. A challenge is much more interesting. You appreciate something a lot more if you work hard to get it. And trust me, I’ve worked hard to get Granger.”

He didn’t say anything for awhile. But then, he began to smile. “No wonder you’ve gotten all the girls in school.” He looked down at his watch and said, “I have to go back. My tutor is waiting for me.”

“Hey,” I shouted to him, “let’s keep this conversation between us. I don’t want all of the others knowing my secrets.”

“I won’t say a word to anyone.”

And I know he won’t.

Draco smiled to himself as he wondered what could have possessed him to say such things to Terry. But he soon decided that that was what the other boy needed and wanted to hear. And if it caused Terry to respect him even more, then so be it.

But he suddenly stopped smiling when his gaze drifted to the parchment sitting on his bed. The letter was from his father, and in it, Mr. Malfoy requested that Draco return home during the Easter holidays. A party was to be thrown in his honor to acknowledge two significant events taking place in his life.

Draco knew that one of these events centered on his initiation as a Death Eater. It would be at this gala that his parents would be able to publicly announce to their friends that he was in training to take over his father’s position as Head of Council. After this public announcement, his meetings with the Dark Lord would begin, as well as his Loyalty Test - all of which would be facilitated by his father. And when all was completed, he would be fitted for his own set of red robes.

The second announcement would deal with Pansy. This, Draco was sure of. What was once a rumor circulating around the common room, filling Pansy’s friends with envy, would soon become reality. But Draco wasn’t surprised that things would unfold in this manner, after all, his parents’ coupling had occurred in the same fashion.

Of course, all of this would ruin his plans with Hermione. But that was something he would deal with at a later time.

After resting his head on his mattress for several minutes, Draco finally reached for his inkpot. As he twirled the quill between his fingers, he decided not to make another entry at that time; he was too tired to conjure up a cohesive thought. But as his mind drifted back to Easter and Pansy, he flipped through several pages of his journal until he reached an entry he had made about her.

3 January 1998 (Later that night)

The air felt crisp tonight. I even closed my eyes and let the breeze hit my face. This was the only time I was able to escape the disastrous evening Pansy had arranged for us. I had agreed to take a stroll with her in the gardens, but I didn’t know two other couples would be joining us.

Every time I tried to get a moment of peace, the boy who was dating Pansy’s fat friend would approach me and try to draw me into a conversation. “It’s too bad about the last Quidditch match,” he said. “We were so close. If only that Chaser hadn’t crashed into the pole. I hope he’s okay.”

I didn’t want to think about that match. It was already a humiliating defeat. And to Hufflepuff, of all houses.

“Do you know,” the skinny boy said again, “who’s going to replace him in the next game?”

I didn’t answer and just walked away. He’d been asking me that question all night, knowing full well that one of our reserve players will take the place of Chaser. Besides, he and several of his friends had tried out for the team, and they were all horrible.

Pansy grabbed my arm and pulled me back to the group. “I’m pretty sure Draco will try to put in a good word for you with Professor Snape,” she said to the skinny boy. She then flashed me one of her fake smiles and said, “Won’t you, Honey?”

She was doing a lot of that “Honey” and “Dear” stuff tonight. And she kept putting her arm around me and placing her hand in my back pocket. But that act ended when we headed back inside.

“Why did you have to act like that?” she asked. “You didn’t say one word to any of them.”

“I thought you did enough talking for the both of us.”

“You could have at least acted like a gentleman in front of my friends. And why didn’t you say anything when Gina’s boyfriend tried to start a conversation with you?”

“Because I’m not interested in what he has to say,” I responded. “You should be happy I even showed up tonight. I had better things to do than hang out with your dull friends.”

“Considering the misery you’ve put me though, the least you could have done was act like a pleasant person.”

I ignored her and tried to get to the castle doors a fast as possible. But she grabbed by robes. “You’ve made me the laughing stock of the whole school,” she said. “And now I have to explain to my friends why my boyfriend would want to be with an ugly cow like Granger when he’s got me by his side.”

“Do we have to go through this again?” I shouted. “Why do you have to bring it up every five minutes?”

“Because that’s the only thing everyone in school is talking about. I can’t believe you would do this to me. And just for the sake of bragging to your friends. Well, I hope you enjoyed it.”

I grabbed her arm and pulled her as close to me as possible. “Yeah, I did enjoy it,” I said. “I loved putting my hands all over her body. And you know where all of this took place? In the guesthouse. In your favorite bedroom. And you know what else? It was bloody fantastic. A lot better than you.”

She slapped me hard across the face. She then tried to scratch me, but I moved away. I ended up slipping on a pebble and falling on my arse. Pansy just stood there and started to laugh.

While I was getting up, I saw an owl circling above us. It landed on the ground next to me. I assumed the letter was from Professor Snape, since he was the only one who’s ever sent me a night post. But when I realized it was Hermione’s writing, I walked away from Pansy, so I could read in private.

“Why are you getting a letter at this time of the night?” asked Pansy. She was right behind me, trying to see what I was reading. “Is everything all right?”

She placed her hand on my back and whispered, “Does Professor Snape want you to go to his chambers? I know he’s been worried about the Quidditch team, but does he have to bother you every night?”

I didn’t say anything to her and shoved the letter in my pocket.

Pansy put her hands on her hips and asked, “Is it from her?”

“What if it is? Why would that bother you? It’s not like it’s the first time that this has ever happened. You never made this kinda fuss in the past.”

“This is different than all the other times,” she said. “I look in your face and I can tell there’s something more going on.”

I tried to ignore her, but she kept talking.

“My friend saw you looking through a jewelry catalog in the common room right before Christmas. She said you placed an order for a necklace. So, you can imagine how disappointed I was when a necklace didn’t arrive at my house during the break.”

“What do you care?” I asked. I lifted her left hand and looked down at the ring she promised never to wear in public. “You got what you wanted. So, what does it matter?”

“It matters because things are starting to resemble last year, when you were so consumed with that Ravenclaw girl. I had to find out about her from other people too—“

That’s when I lost it and screamed, “I thought I told you I never wanted to talk about that again. Why can’t you just bury it? That was ages ago.”

It was then that the other couples made their way to where we were. Pansy’s cheeks turned bright red when she saw the looks on their faces. I knew she wouldn’t say anything else to me. Not in front of her friends. She knew I could humiliate her in front of them.

But I didn’t waste my time with her. I walked back to the dorms by myself.

Draco stared down at the words he had written for several minutes. It was then that his mind became clear. Now that the minor pains and aches in his head had momentarily subsided, he was finally able to take a stance on the issues taking over his life. He took out a sheet of parchment from his trunk and began to compose a letter to his father. When he was finished, he folded the letter and placed it in the pocket of his robes.

He placed his head in his hands and closed his eyes. It was the right decision, he said to himself. Now that the matter was settled, he was able to find peace of mind; and having the quiet dorm all to himself added to his relaxation. But even that was short-lived.

The door creaked open and Pansy walked into the room. Draco quickly waved his wand over his journal, and the words on the pages disappeared. He then placed it back in the bottom of his trunk, before securing the lock. He cast a suspicious glance towards Pansy and asked, “What do you want?”

She didn’t say anything and took a seat on the floor next to him. She placed a hand on his leg and said, “I came to apologize for being so mean to you these past couple of days. I shouldn’t have treated you like that.”

Her hand moved to his face, and she began to brush the hair from his brow. “It’s just been frustrating for me to listen to everyone talk about Gra—“ She immediately stopped talking when she heard Draco make a noise. “Well, I shouldn’t have acted the way I did about everything.”

It was then that Draco knew his father had sent a letter to Pansy as well. But he kept this knowledge to himself, and allowed her to run her fingers up and down his neck. “No more theatrics?” he asked.

“No more,” she answered back.

Pansy wrapped her arms around him. Draco stared out into the sun soaked room while she placed kisses on his cheek and then his ear.

This perfect moment was interrupted when a freshly showered Crabbe walked into the dorm, fully naked. The towel that was supposed to cover his modesty was draped over his arm. He froze when his eyes met Pansy’s. She didn’t say a word as her gaze moved up and down his body. She then laughed.


Hermione’s hand shook slightly as she placed her report in her bag. An uncontrollable jitteriness coursed through her body. It had been the same during the night, when sleep came to her in thirty minutes intervals. Every time she closed her eyes, the meeting with Draco in the library would flash in her mind. She had spent much of the night staring blurry-eyed out of the window while analyzing Draco’s words.

The report still in her hand, she lifted it from the bag and gazed upon it. Not a word on that parchment had been altered since the day she had returned from Malfoy Manor. She could have added a paragraph or two about his character, but she would have done herself a disservice if she let her anger disrupt the flow of her essay.

She sat down on the edge of her bed and brought her finger to her temples. She stayed this way for several minutes. This helped to alleviate her stress, plus, it had the added bonus of allowing her to avoid Harry – who was downstairs waiting for her.

When Hermione finally made her way to the Great Hall, she found a seat across the table from Harry and Ron. They were not sitting in their usual spot in the middle of the long table, but close to the doors, away from most of their dorm mates. After giving her a quick smile, Ron returned to his conversation with Dean and Seamus about the card game –which would involve the exchange of money and not just candy - they were to have that night. It was because of this that they sat so far away from the teachers’ table.

But while the other boys chatted loudly around him, Harry sat quietly, with his eyes steady on Hermione. Before any words were exchanged, Hermione flashed a nervous gaze in Ron’s direction.

Reading her thoughts, Harry touched her hand and whispered, “I didn’t tell him.”

Hermione was then finally able to relax. It was not as though she was purposely being cruel by not involving Ron in her dilemma. But she and Harry both knew that Ron would not have handled the situation tactfully. And at the present, Hermione did not need anymore distractions in her life. So, she allowed her friend to remain in blissful ignorance, as he joked of all the money he would make that night from Seamus.

Harry, on the other hand, stared at Hermione during their entire meal. Although he did not utter a word, his face displayed the concern and worry that he felt for her. Hermione kept her gaze fixed on her plate.

But one person that she could not avoid looking at was Draco. She noticed that he, too, did not touch his food, as a full plate sat before him. Draco folded his hands and placed them under his chin. Hermione tried to catch his gaze, but his eyes never traveled beyond the Slytherin sitting across from him.

“I don’t want you to go tonight,” said Harry. He looked around to make sure that the other students at the table were preoccupied with their food or engaged in other conversations, before he leaned forward and said, “He’s going to continue using you. Look at all the girls at the Ravenclaw table who’ve been with him. Do they look happy to you?”

Hermione did not reply, nor did she turn her head to glance at the table behind her. She looked down at her plate and began to stab her sausages with her fork. And with that, all communication between them stopped. But Hermione could still feel Harry’s eyes on her.


The noise level in Professor Monroe’s Sociology class rose as the students began to chat loudly amongst themselves about their reports. Some even displayed their long roll of parchment proudly on their desk, so others could marvel at their work. Draco did neither of these things, as he sat quietly at the back of the room, pretending to listen to Crabbe’s crude jokes. From the corner of his eyes, he could see Hermione staring at him. But he was not the only one who noticed this.

“The girl can’t seem to get enough of you, “said Crabbe. He then proceeded to poke Draco’s arm with a plump finger.

“Hey, watch this,” Goyle said excitedly. He looked in Hermione’s direction and said loudly, “He doesn’t want you anymore. You’re used goods.” The other Slytherins began to laugh. A weak smile trickled onto Draco’s lips, before fading away.

Crabbe stopped laughing momentarily to exclaim, “I think we upset her, because she’s glaring at us.”

But before any of them could make any other gestures towards Hermione, Professor Monroe clapped her hands loudly together and said, “Let us begin. I’m looking forward to your reports. I’ve heard several of you talking positively about this experience. I hope some friendships were formed as a result of this.”

Yes, this project caused several new alliances to form, but a far larger number of rivalries now existed as well. Devon McCoy from Ravenclaw flashed a menacing glare towards Christina Bennett of Hufflepuff. McCoy did not appreciate Bennett’s assessment that he suffered from an inferiority complex, which caused him to “lash out irrationally at others.”

“I can’t wait to read the wonderful insight you guys have learned about one another,” the professor went on. “It should be very fascinating. I’m especially interested in those that ventured outside their own houses.” At that moment, her gaze drifted from Hermione to Draco. “So, at this time, please hand in your assignments.”

Millicent stayed seated at her desk, as she continued to work on her report. After crossing out several poorly written sentences, she threw her hands up in the air and said, “Screw it.” She hastily rolled up her report and proceeded to the front of the class. After dropping her report on the professor’s desk, she began to snicker when she caught sight of the neatly tied red ribbon that Justin Finch-Fletchley had wrapped around his roll of parchment.

“Hey Finch,” she called out. “Maybe you should just wear that ribbon in your hair.” Justin quickly handed over his report, before making a hasty retreat back to his chair. “I wonder what ‘wonderful insight’ your partner discovered about you,” Millicent continued. “Could it be that you like dic—“

“That’s enough, Ms. Bulstrode,” said Professor Monroe. “Go back to your seat.”

While the rest of his Slytherin colleagues trudged up to the front of the class – carrying parchment that was clearly under the required minimum and muttering about the pointlessness of the assignment – Draco remained seated. He glanced over at Hermione; she, too, had not yet turned in her report. But after the last of the students from the Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and Ravenclaw side of the room had returned to their seat, Hermione finally got up to submit her report. It was only after Hermione was seated again that Draco finally went to the front of the class.


At around seven that evening, Hermione found herself sitting on the steps leading up to the girls’ dorms. She’d been sitting there for nearly an hour, garnering looks of annoyances from those that tried to squeeze past her. And just when she was mustering up the courage to head towards the portrait hole, she looked up and saw Harry and Ron walk into the room.

Ron was carrying a box containing packets of vinegar flavored crisps, while Harry struggled to hold onto a large jug of pumpkin juice. The boys placed these items on top of the table that now stood in the middle of the room. After unloading his burden, Harry took a seat next to her.

“I guess you’re not going to stay for the card game,” he said. When Hermione didn’t respond, Harry asked, “Why are you giving him the benefit of the doubt? You know he’s going to continue to lie to you.”

“I know you’re worried about me,” said Hermione, “but this isn’t your problem.”

“Of course it’s my problem. It’s been my problem ever since you started doing this study thing with him. And after what you told me last night, how can you expect me to suddenly stop caring?” He tried to touch her face, but Hermione moved away from him. “He showed no remorse, you know. When Ron and I met up with him in the hall, he didn’t seem the least bit sorry about what he’d put you through. And now, you’re going to give him the luxury of brainwashing you some more? What’s wrong with you Hermione?”

“Can you please not yell at me right now? I already have enough on my mind.”

“Maybe we should involve Ron in this conversation,” said Harry. “That way, you can learn the true meaning of yelling.”

It was then that Hermione finally looked Harry in the face. “Don’t. You know what he’s like.” Hermione’s gaze then darted to Ron, who was berating a small boy that had tried to steal some crisps from the box.

“Yes, I know what he’s like. But maybe that’s what you need at the moment. You need someone like him to bring you back to your senses. Because God knows you’re not listening to me.”

“I am listening to—“

“No, you’re not, “said Harry. “Because if you were, you wouldn’t even consider seeing him tonight. You’d stay here with us.” He then pulled her robes out of her hands and tossed them into a nearby chair. “Please Hermione. Don’t do this. Malfoy doesn’t deserve this kind of decency. You should just leave him to rot in that room.”


7 October 1997

Brandon seems to be the hero of the House. He told the dorm about an escapade he had with Parvati in the bathroom. He leads all of us in the Gryffindor department.

I haven’t thought about Parvati in a long time. I almost had her. That would have made me the first in my class to have a Gryffindor. Too bad her sister talked her out of it.

Brandon said Parvati wouldn’t have sex with him. But when I was talking to her, she offered me more than just her hand. I still catch her looking at me in class.

I think I still have the letters she used to write me. I could always show them to the other guys as proof that I got her long before Brandon did. But what’s the point, if there’s no real truth behind it?

She’s Brandon’s conquest now.

9 October 1997

Hermione Granger. She got me. I can still see her smirking at me from the Gryffindor table. She talked to Monroe, and now I have to continue with this project. And of course Father will do nothing to get me out of it. He says he has other matters to deal with. Crabbe says I shouldn’t show up and should just let her wait for me all night in the library. That was a temping idea.

Blaise was sitting across the table from me and he kept asking Brandon for more details about his encounter with Parvati. He wanted to know exactly what Parvati’s naked body looked like, especially her breasts. All of the first and second year boys came into our section of the table. They were easily impressed by Brandon’s bathroom encounter, too.

Sharing a brief moment with someone is not as impressive as working for months to gain the trust and love of someone who despises you. What I went through with Mandy was impressive. And I was certainly rewarded with more than just one night in a bath tub with her.

Granger was glaring at me during the whole meal. That was the same look Mandy used to give me in class, before everything started. She reminds me of the old Mandy. She carries herself in the same confident manner that Mandy used to. They even look alike. The same curly hair, same high and mighty attitude. But it only took me a couple of weeks to rid Mandy of that.

Granger would probably take the same amount of time. Maybe longer, since she’s friends with Potter and Weasley. I don’t think she would respond the same way to my romantic gestures like Mandy did. After a couple of weeks, yes. But not right away. With her, things would have to go more slowly.

Crabbe asked me again if I was going. I think I will.

10 October 1997

Good old Madam Pince. She hasn’t changed her habits in five years. When I got to the library, she was in the Arts section sorting out the books. I lingered by the Sports section for several minutes, until she went to the back of the room to yell at some first years who were acting up. I walked up to the front desk and reached behind her “Things to do” tray. And as usual, the key to the Check-out registry was still behind there.

I unlocked the right hand drawer of the cabinet and took out the list containing all of the students’ names. When I tapped my wand on Granger’s name, a long sheet of parchment unrolled itself in my hands. Her list of check outs was longer than Mandy’s.

In the past week, she had checked out several books on gender inequality. I noticed that she had also put in a request for the school to purchase a book by a Muggle woman named Davinia McCloud. Pince likes to do things on the cheap, so I doubt that’s ever going to happen. I’ve seen McCloud’s oldest son at the Ministry a couple of times. He gets funny when people ask him about his mother. I guess he doesn’t like to admit he’s a half-blood. He gave me his card that last time. I think I still have it. There was another book on Granger’s request list, a book of poetry by yet another Muggle. I think I might have to get this one from Charles.

Her list contained mostly academic books, but there were a few odd check-outs thrown in. There was one book she took out two weeks ago called The Smart Witch’s Burden. I knew there would be something like that hiding in her records. And she had once checked out Quidditch: An Everyday Guide, only to return it the next day. She replaced that book with The ABCs of Quidditch and So, You Know Nothing About Quidditch.

I copied down her records and tapped my wand on her name again. I was able to place everything back in the file before Pince walked back to the front of the room. She gave me a hard look when she passed me. “You’re not going to give me a hard time tonight are you?” she asked.

“No ma’am.”

When I got back from the library, I walked up the stairs to the dorms and knocked on the door where some of the fifth year boys were asleep. “I need to speak to Charles,” I said when a small dark haired boy answered. After a moment, Charles came to the door. Before I could say anything, he reached out his hand. In his palm was a galleon.

“That’s all the money I have,” he said. “I’m sorry I couldn’t pay Crabbe his money earlier, but my parents haven’t been sending me much.”

“I’m not here for that. I need you to do something for me. And if you do it, you won’t have to pay Crabbe ever again.” When he nodded, I said, “You know that catalog you were looking at the other day? Well, I need it.”

“But they’re just full of Muggle books,” he said.

“I’m aware of that.” When he kept staring at me, I said, “I need it for a class assignment. There are some books in there I need to order.”

He disappeared into the room and came back carrying the catalog. When he handed it to me, I told him, “I’ll mark off the books that I want, but I’ll need you to order them for me in your name. I’ll give you the money. And when the books come in, I want you to wrap them in plain parchment and owl them to me. You’ll get the catalog back tomorrow morning. Meet me in the common room at six. No one will be up at that time.”

When I walked back to my own dorm, he was still standing by the door staring at me.

11 October 1997

Charles came through for me today. I met with him this morning to give him back his catalog and by dinnertime, my books were delivered to me. The wrapping was plain, like I had requested. Everyone just assumed I was getting another package of chocolates from my mother.

Crabbe was pretty angry when I told him Charles was now off-limits. “Why are you protecting that kid?” he asked. “Did he tell you some sob story about his parents having money troubles? If he did, he’s lying. His family’s rich.”

“That’s none of your business. All you need to know is you can’t go after him for money anymore, or anyone else is his dorm, for that matter.”

“God dammit.” He slammed his fist down on the table and caused his pumpkin juice to spill into his porridge. “What am I going to do for money, now?”

“Why don’t you just ask your parents for it?” I asked.

“I already tried,” he said. “They’re saving it to remodel the house. I’m much more important than that bloody house.”

I know his parents are strapped for money, but it has nothing to do with any remodeling or renovation projects. Mr. Crabbe came over to the manor right before school started and begged Father to give him a loan. I overheard him graveling and pleading with Father through the office door. It seems as though Mr. Crabbe made some bad investments with his money. I was tempted to tell Crabbe the truth, but I didn’t say anything about it.

“Whatever you do,” I said, “make sure it doesn’t involve Charles and his dorm mates or I’ll kill you myself.”

12 October 1997

Potter and Weasley. I had to spend most of my night staring at them in the library and listening to their idiotic responses to the easiest test questions. This wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my evening, but Granger had insisted I join them during their session. Towards the end, even she got frustrated with them and began to yell.

I was sitting closest to Weasley, and after he failed to answer a question, I mumbled, “Idiot,” under my breath. He heard me. He got mad and threatened to jam his foot in my mouth if I didn’t shut up. Granger snapped at him and told him to be quiet. When Weasley complained that I was saying things to him, Granger said she didn’t hear me say a word.

Potter didn’t say anything to me during the session, but he glared at me, like I had just stolen something from him. I ignored him and kept my attention on Granger. She kept looking back at me. But she always made it look like it was an accident, as if she was turning her head and her eyes just happened to meet mine.

After Potter and Weasley stormed off, she suggested that we study together for Binns’ exam. That session should be interesting.

14 October 1997

Professor Snape and I met tonight. “You’re late,” he said when I walked into the classroom.

“I’m sorry, sir.” I grabbed a chair from the corner of the room and dragged it next to his desk. He didn’t start talking right away and just stared at me. “I’m sorry,” I said again.

“If I have to go through the trouble of mentoring you, then you have to show up on time. I don’t know what’s going on with you but you’re slipping this term. You’re preoccupied with something and it’s affecting everything you do. I can definitely see a difference in the work you turn in. During the last class, the potion you brewed was a bit off.”

“But it couldn’t have been—“

“Don’t interrupt me,” he said. “The potion, if you had done it correctly, was supposed to turn a bright, green color.” He pulled a small glass bottle from his pocket and held it close to my face. “Please tell me what color this is.”

“A murky green?”

“A swamp green. I’m going to have to mark you down for this.” He placed the bottle on the table. “And I’m not happy with your choice of classes for this year as well. You know how I feel about that gender nonsense you’re taking.”

“It fulfills a school requirement,” I said.

“So do a lot of other classes.” He grabbed the bottle from his desk and threw it into the bin. “I also hear that the Quidditch practices have been disastrous.”

“We’ve only had two of them,” I said. “And is it my fault that none of the other players are any good?”

“Yes, it is. As the Captain, you’re responsible for picking the team. And if they are all bad, then it’s your fault—“

“But everyone who tried out was bad. It’s not like I was picking from a great crop of players. You saw them yourself. Some of them didn’t even know how to ride a broom. Who the hell tries out for Quidditch when they don’t even know how to ride?”

Professor Snape got to his feet. I thought he was going to start yelling again, but he didn’t. He began to put on his robes. “I think this session is over.” As he walked to the door, he turned around and said, “And you obviously can’t be too ashamed of the team if you’re willing to invite outsiders to the practice.”

I didn’t say anything to him in response and looked away.

“For your sake,” he said, “I hope I don’t hear anymore stories about Granger being at another practice.”

When I got back to the dorm, most of the other students were asleep. The ones that were still up were crammed at the table nearest the fireplace, while they tried to finish their class assignments. I opened the door to my dorm and saw that Goyle was the only one in the room. But he was on his way out, probably to help Crabbe steal more food from the kitchens. I didn’t ask. As he passed me, he stopped and asked, “Are you all right? Your face looks a little red or something.”

I lean against the doorway. “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just feeling a lot of pressure.”

“Pressure? You mean, in your stomach? From gas?”

“No, not from gas,” I said. “Nevermind. Just go and leave me alone.”

I lay on my bed and pulled the covers over my head. I could still hear him standing by the door, breathing heavy. But he finally left after a couple of minutes.

15 October 1997

Douglas McCloud was very happy to get my note. It’s amazing how a simple question could propel him to write a response that was so long. It took forever to read his letter. He spent most of it talking about how he admires my family and what a respectable wizard my father is. He wanted to know if I would arrange a meeting between Father and himself. It was at the very end of the letter that he finally answered my question. He agreed to send me a copy of his mother’s book. He asked if I wanted his mother to autograph it. I told him no. An autograph would have been too much. Granger would have gotten suspicious.

Twenty minutes after I owled my response to him, the book was delivered. I was able to send it to Granger right before breakfast.

I wasn’t rewarded for my efforts like I thought. Granger didn’t even acknowledgement me when she got it. It didn’t even matter that the book was a first edition. She simply tossed it in her bag and went back to her conversation with Potter.

But I caught her staring at me during Potions. She was trying to be discreet about it, but I could clearly see her looking my way. And she kept peeking at the book during the end of class.

16 October 1997

I had a study session with her tonight. It ran longer than I had expected. She mentioned the date of the Wiccan Wars. “I don’t know why I got that wrong,” she said. “It was on the tip of my tongue. My head was just spinning at the moment.”

I didn’t say anything and let her believe what she wanted.

She was wearing that perfume again. The same one that made me sick on our first meeting. But it smelled lighter this evening, less sweet and pungent. While she talked, I just stared at her face. She has very full lips. A few strands of hair got stuck to her lips. I kept staring at the spot during most of the session.

I got back at the dorm well past two in the morning. Everyone else was sleeping. I would have gone to bed as well, but my mind kept drifting back to her. Every time I closed my eyes, I would see her face.

I reached for the top drawer of my nightstand and pulled out the yearbook from sixth year. And there on page eighty-five was a black and white picture of her staring back at me. A look of disgust was on her face.

I left the book opened across my chest and reached underneath the covers. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine a smile on her face. But mostly, I thought of her moistened lips and what they would feel like against my skin.

It was working for a moment, until I opened my eyes and saw the glare her portrait was giving me. She then turned her back to me. I stopped. And just as I closed the book, I heard a noise coming from under my bed. I pulled out my wand and asked, “Who’s there?”

Nobody said anything for a long time, until I heard a loud thud, followed by an “Ow.” Finally, Crabbe crawled out from under my bed, rubbing the top of his head. His mouth was covered in chocolate.

“It’s just me, Malfoy. I was having some of your candy. I didn’t think you’d mind.”

I shoved the yearbook under my pillow before he could see it. “How long have you been under there?”

“Not long.” He bit off the head of the chocolate frog in his hand, and laughed as the legs began to twitch. “What are you doing back so late? You have someone new?” He then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

I didn’t say anything and watched him chew with his mouth open. A piece of nougat flew out of his mouth and landed on his shirt.

”You’re making me sick,” I said. “Just take the rest of the candy and go.” For the rest of the night, I could hear him chewing loudly in his bed.

23 October 1997

I shouldn’t have done that tonight, but I did. I kissed her. It happened in the halls of the fifth floor. She seemed a little panicked about our project and suddenly wanted to back out of it. I convinced her to continue. And while she was talking, I kissed her.

She ended up hitting the back of her head on the wall because she was trying to get away from me. I think she cut herself. She didn’t kiss me back the first time, but she seemed a little more relaxed the second time around. I felt her mouth open and I could have sworn she wrapped her arms around my waist. There was something there. So, I guess it was a good move after all.

I’ll see how she acts towards me tomorrow.

24 October 1997

Nothing today. But I kinda knew she would act this way. She didn’t even stare at me like she used to. She was writing down something on some parchment throughout breakfast. She might have been working on her report. But sometimes I would catch her looking down, but her hand wouldn’t be moving. I thought maybe she might look at me then, but she never did.

26 October 1997

Quidditch practice went a lot smoother tonight, but the other players are still not grasping the strategies. They had trouble flying in formation and some of them acted like I was speaking in a different language when I gave them directions. But overall, they showed some improvement.

Blaise walked into the changing room after practice like he was a member of the team. He’s done that a couple of times in the past. He sat down on the bench and started to whisper some things to Evan.

“You have to change the way you fly into the opposition’s zone,” I heard him say. “You’re the best player in here, so you know the other team’s players will be going for you.”

“Do you mind not filling my players with your bull?” I said.

He acted as though I was talking to someone else, but he eventually looked up at me. “I’m sorry. I was just trying to be helpful. Since some of your ideas aren’t working, I thought he could benefit from my expertise.”

“I’m well aware of everyone’s abilities, so I don’t need your help.”

Everyone stopped getting dressed and turned around to look at us.

“You do need my help,” Blaise said. “Because you judgment seems to be lacking lately. First, you invite Granger to a practice, now you—“

“I knew you were the one who told Professor Snape about that.”

He got up from his seat and walked towards me. “Why shouldn’t I inform him? As Captain, you weren’t doing a very good job of protecting the team. For all we know, Granger could have been jotting down notes to take back to Potter. We all know that you’re stuck doing some project with her, but that doesn’t mean you have to jeopardized the integrity of the—“

I punched him in the mouth. It hurt like crazy and my knuckles started to bleed, but it was worth it. I stood over him, ready to hit him again, but Terry pulled me away. “Draco, don’t,” he said. “That’s your catching hand.”

Blaise didn’t say anything to me as he walked out of the room with his hand over his mouth.

29 October 1997

I was lying in my bed tonight, looking through some of the books that Charles had sent me this morning. I had meant to give them to Hermione, but since she’s still staying away from me, I have to keep them. I flipped through one book that was filled with poems. Most of them were about regret and sorrow. One of them caught my eye. I took out my quill and started to write it down.

Blaise was busy writing something on his bed as well. He kept changing the color of his ink from red to black, which made it look as though he was writing a ransom letter. He looked over at me a couple of times. He probably wanted me to ask him what he was doing. But I ignored him and started working on my letter to Hermione.

When I was getting ready to go to sleep, Blaise walked up to me and sat on the edge of my bed. The cut on his upper lip was still present. “I’ve been doing some tasks for the Lord,” he said. Before I could say anything, he blurted, “Don’t look so surprised. Yours is not the only family that He trusts. In fact, He plans to spend the summer at our home.”

I knew of no such plans. I’m not sure where He’ll be next summer, but I’m certain it won’t be at Blaise’s run-down manor.

“And I wouldn’t be surprised if I get chosen because of this,” he said.

I wanted to give him several words of warning when it came to dealing the Lord, but since he looked so satisfied with himself, I decided not to. He’ll learn, eventually. He went back to his bed and closed the curtains around him.

30 October 1997

She certainly made my blood boil tonight. She’d finally agreed to meet with me, but when she showed up, she gave me a hard time. She then went out of her way to suggest that my relationship with Mandy was meaningless. That’s when I told her to get out of the room. I surprised myself too when I heard the words come out of my mouth. But at that moment, I didn’t want anything to do with her.

But she found me in the hall and apologized. I don’t even remember if she did it properly, but she seemed really sorry though. She made it up to me with a kiss. It was more than a kiss, actually. We stayed in the hallway beside that statue of Gorr for about ten minutes. It wasn’t as passionate as I would have liked, but she must have been nervous. She kept her mouth closed during most of it.

I was able to run my hands up and down her body. And from what I could feel, she seemed really fit. But she did tense up a bit when I touched her bum.

“Why don’t we go back to the room,” I said. “Someone might walk by and catch us here.” She didn’t say anything for awhile, and I couldn’t read the expression on her face because her hand was covering it. But she nodded. While we were walking back to the room, she kept some distance between us.

When we were back in the room, she stood in front of the mirror, fixing her hair. I walked up behind her and touched her arm. She nearly jumped. “I’m actually kind of tired,” she said. “I think I’m gonna go back to the dorms. I’ve been getting back late these past couple of nights, and I don’t want the Fat Lady to be mad at me. But I’ll see you later.”

I didn’t go back to the dungeons right away. I could still smell her on my robes, and I know Pansy would have noticed if I came back smelling like perfume. I went down to the laundry room and knocked on the door. The house-elves were not happy that I was there, but they did what they were told. They made me wait outside while they cleaned my robes.

3 November 1997

“What’s with the womanizing?” That’s the question she finally asked me today. I was wondering how long it would take for her to get to it. I know it’s been on her mind since the beginning.

“You’ve said that you were just searching for the right girl.” She then made a face like she wanted to roll her eyes. “But do you have to date every girl in the school?”

“Can’t I have some fun while I search?” I said. “Because it’s all about pleasure and fun. Nothing more, nothing less.” If looks could kill, I would have burst into flames at that moment. “But, why are you judging me when your friend does the same thing? I’ve seen Weasley sneaking around on more than one occasion.”

She ignored my comment and went on to her next question. “Do you do it to show off to your peers? Because if you ask me, it seems as though you and the other boys in your house have a little competition going on.”

“Have you ever heard me boasting to my friends, or seen me pointing to different girls in the hall and say, ‘I’ve been with her?’”

“No. But I’ve listened to the way you guys talk about girls in Potions. You guys are always comparing notes, and trying to figure out who got further. You all talk so loudly, I’m surprised Professor Snape doesn’t say anything about—Maybe he’s the one that’s created this whole macho culture in your house.”

She pulled out a roll of parchment from her bag and jotted something down. She was sitting pretty close to me on the floor, so I reached over and touched her leg. She didn’t jump like last time, but she froze. “Hermione,” I said, “You’re making too big a deal out of this. It’s not like I’m sleeping around with everyone. It’s only a bit of snogging.”

When I withdrew my hand, she seemed to relax a bit more. She then went back to her writing. I know our conversation will end up in her report somewhere.

5 November 1997

We talked all night again. It’s funny how a question such as “What was it like growing up in that big manor?” could result in a three hour conversation about my childhood. After mentioning my weekly etiquette lessons and monthly Phoenix Scout meetings, she said, “Phoenix Scouts? You don’t seem the type.”

“Well, it was a little against my will,” I said. “But I guess my mother wanted a well rounded child.”

“What was it like?” she asked.

“Horrible. Especially the camping trips. We had to sleep on the ground, and we couldn’t use any magic. On the first day, they made us rub two sticks together. We didn’t even know what that was supposed to do.”

After she stopped laughing, she didn’t say anything for awhile and just continued to stare up at me. She placed her hand on my arm. “Tell me more about you as a small boy.”

“Nothing special ever happened when I was little. Just the usual Quidditch practices and of course magic lessons with my tutor.”

“Magic lessons?” she asked. “But you were underage.”

“I know. But he never taught me any real magic. All he tried to do was help me focus my powers a little better. Because when I was little, I was a bit headstrong. And when I didn’t get what I wanted, I used to make my mother’s vases explode. She lost a lot of vases that one year she wouldn’t get me the broom I wanted.”

I kept looking down at her every few minutes to check if she was still paying attention. She was. She never once looked away or tried to interject her own opinions or thoughts. She let out a loud yawn while I was talking. When I asked if she wanted to go back to the dorms, she said, “No.”

“We could always spend the night in here,” I said. “I have an alarm on my watch that goes off at six in the morning. We could sneak back in our dorms tomorrow, and no one will ever know.” When she made a face, I said, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to fondle you in your sleep.”

She laughed, but I know that’s what she was thinking I’d do.

I went on to talk about my first flying lesson, when I noticed that her eyes were starting to close. I stopped talking, and watched her sleep.

9 November 1997

Hermione and I had our first encounter in that room tonight. It was on the same spot on the floor where we always sat. She began things by touching my face. “You have an eyelash on your cheek,” she said. After she had removed the eyelash, I grabbed her hand. She didn’t pull away. I didn’t kiss her immediately, and started things off by running my fingers through her hair. She closed her eyes.

“Open your eyes,” I said. I wanted to see the look on her face when I did the next thing. I placed both of my hands on her thighs. I felt her muscles tighten, but she didn’t move away. I moved my hands up her legs, but stopped before I got very far. I gave her a kiss on the lips. She kissed me back.

12 November 1997

We were in the room again tonight. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but we found ourselves lying on the floor side by side. She had taken off her shoes and was now beginning to rub her toes against my leg. I sat up on one elbow and looked down at her.

“Are you a virgin?” I asked.

She stopped rubbing my leg and stared at me for a long while. “What kind of question is that?” She then looked away. I couldn’t see her face, but I’m sure she was blushing. “I’m not answering that,” she said.

“I’ll take that as a yes. Wow, no wonder Krum was playing so badly when you two were together. He was probably frustrated from all that unreleased sexual energy.” She then hit me hard on the arm. But it didn’t hurt. “Why don’t girls ever answer that question?” I asked.

“Because we’ll be judge no matter what answer we give. I mean, wouldn’t you think differently about a girl if you knew she had been with half the school?”

“I guess,” I said. “But I’ve never had that problem. Most of the girls I’ve been with had been virgins and the other one…well, I already knew about her past.”

“That pretty much answers my question about whether or not you’re a virgin.” She looked down at her hands for awhile and then asked, “How many girls have you slept with?”

“Not many.” I didn’t want to say anything about it, but when she kept staring at me, I said, “Three. I’ve only slept with three girls. And I’m sure you can guess who one of them is.”

“Did the other two go to our school as well?”

“Just one other girl,” I said. “But that’s a discussion for a different day.”

She rolled her robes into a tight ball and placed it under her head. She stared up at the ceiling. “What about the third girl? How did you meet her?”

“She wasn’t exactly a girl,” I said. “She was three years older than me. She used to work as my mother’s personal assistant. But this was over three years ago. And yes, I was fourteen when I lost my virginity. I can see you doing the math in your head. I was fourteen and she was seventeen. I guess it was inevitable since we lived in the same house. But it wasn’t anything special. It only took place during that summer. It would have been longer if my mother hadn’t fired her. I guess she felt a need to protect me. Plus other people in the house were starting to take an interest—“ I stopped myself before I finished. “Now that I’ve shared so much with you, can you do me the honor of answering my question?”

“Yes,” said Hermione. “Yes, I am a virgin.” She only half looked at me when she said that.

We didn’t talk for awhile after that. We just listened to the rain. After a couple of minutes, she was lying with her head against my chest. I took hold of her hand and moved her up towards me. I kissed her. In the process, I rolled on top of her. When she gave out a little noise, I asked if she was all right.

“Yes,” she said. “I just wasn’t prepared to have you on me like this.”

“I can get off if you think I’m too heavy.”

“No, you’re okay.”

I repositioned myself so that I wasn’t lying directly on top of her. When she finally looked comfortable, I kissed her again. Halfway through it, I must have pressed myself down hard against her, because she gasped. That’s when she pushed me away.

“I can feel…I can feel you,” she said. “Rubbing up against me.”

I smiled at her. “Does that bother you?”

“No. But I don’t want you to think that I’m going to sleep with you.”

“I wasn’t thinking that,” I said. She eventually kissed me again after a couple of minutes. But I didn’t lie on top of her again.

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