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Chapter 3

Gryffindor Girl’s Room

“Why are you complaining, Hermione,” asked Jean, a 6th year Gryffindor, pulling her long hair into a ponytail. “I mean I would die if Draco Malfoy wanted me to meet him in the Room of Requirements at night.”

Hermione frowned looking at the three girls in front of him. Jean is easily fooled, but Ginny and Luna as well. What possibly could they see in him? “You must be joking! He is the most insufferable git I have ever had the misfortune to meet. A Slytherin!”

“Hermione, Malfoy might be everything you have said and more, but Quidditch has done the kid good. You must have seen the changes?” Ginny sat beside Hermione waiting for an answer patiently, running a brush through her hair.

“The gel is gone,” Luna said dreamily, looking out the window at the rain. “Now, if he was to go out in the rain the raindrops would drip from his head not stick to it.” Ginny, Jean, and Hermione looked at Luna funny. No one could quite put something like Luna could and no one knew that better then the three girls who had just heard what she said.

“Yes, well, right,” Ginny, said breaking the silence. “The gel is gone, but when I said changes I was more thinking the ‘physical’ ones. Such as the muscles that run down his arms, his stomach, his back…” Suddenly Ginny fell back into the bed in a fit of giggles.

“I heard from a girl, who heard from her friend, who heard from a Slytherin that Draco Malfoy has a six pack that goes way below the belt.” Hermione looked at Jean, trying extremely hard to stay calm. Only Jean, only she, could say that and make it make the least bit of sense.

“I am surprised at you three. Ginny you practically have Harry asking you to be his girlfriend, Jean what about Dean Thomas…hmm…? Malfoy is a arrogant bastard who follows Voldermont,” all three girls flinched, “and you guys are rambling on and on about his muscles. What about that mark on his arm that we all know he has, huh?” Hermione didn’t know where it came from, but she suddenly was furious at them.
This had never happened before when they all spoke of Draco Malfoy. It was a known fact through the girl lines that he was one of, if not the most, handsome 7th year. Along with that grand title came the one of Slytherin Sex God, which Hermione personally thought categorized him better simply because he had slept with almost girl in their year…and 6th…and 5th to think of it.

“We are sorry, Hermione, we didn’t mean to get you angry,” whispered Ginny lowering her eyes. Obviously after Hermione’s rant she felt guilty at the truth of what she said. Harry was about to ask her out, but how wrong was it just to talk about another guy? Apparently in Hermione’s eyes it was wrong, not because of simply talking about a guy, but talking about a certain Draco Malfoy.

“It’s fine, I need to go though. Stupid Malfoy,” she mumbled as she ran out of the bedroom and into the common room. Her hair was pulled into a bun of the top of her head, small strands of curly hair falling around her face. If any girl wanted a look that was simple, and yet grabbed attention, it was how Hermione did her hair. No make up could be seen on her face, she basically didn’t believe that anyone needed to cake their face to look beautiful.

On her way to the portrait Hermione can in view of Harry and Ron, both sitting on the coach trying to do homework and not noticing she was there. When Ron looked up to see a retreating Hermione walking towards the portrait he jumped up, almost knocking down the table in front of him. “Hermione, may I have a word-d-d.”

“Ronald, please, I have to meet our favorite ferret to do a potions project. Can it wait?” Ron’s face fell and it wasn’t unnoticed by Hermione, but at the moment she just couldn’t deal with that. He was her best friend, a brother to her, and yet deep down she knew what his question would be.

“Yeah, I mean, sure, that’s fine…I will just talk to you later.” His voice hadn’t cracked, but he did look defeated. The couch croaked as he melted back down and took his books on his lap again. “If Malfoy tries anything you just tell Harry or me.”

Hermione laughed, pushing back a strand of hair. “I know, don’t worry I can take care of myself against big, bad, Draco Malfoy.” With the end of the conversation she flew out of the portrait heading towards the Room of Requirement. There were only so many excuses that could save her from the inescapable ‘talk’.

Back in the common room Harry sat dead quiet looking over at his crushed best friend sitting beside him. “Mate, you ok? She had to do school work, I’m sure she wasn’t trying to avoid you.”

Ron glanced over at Harry and lowered his eyes. “Harry, she went to meet Malfoy and couldn’t spare a few seconds to speak with me? Don’t tell me she wasn’t avoiding me. I’m not as stupid as everyone thinks.” After one last look at Harry Ron stood up, leaving his book on the couch, and walked up into his bedroom slamming the room behind him.

Room of Requirements
8:15 p.m.

“I should of known the ferret wouldn’t show,” said Hermione to herself, pacing the Room of Requirements. The walls turned a deep red, and a small gold chair appeared in the middle of the room. A fire could be seen starting and suddenly Hermione felt relaxed.
So, much was going on in her life and it was only the first of classes. Mostly, her thoughts drifted to Ron…wonderful, terrific, brotherly, Ronald Weasley. He had liked her for so long, and even now she couldn’t return those feelings. It wasn’t like she didn’t want too, it would be wonderful if Ron and her got together (everyone had been expecting it for years), but Hermione just couldn’t bring herself to do it. Why? Well, that was the million-dollar question…why couldn’t she bring herself to like him? “What am I going to do,” moaned Hermione, shaking her hair. “I can’t avoid his question forever.”

“Actually you could. All you would have to do is leave and never come back; I promise I’ll tell Saint Potter and Weasel-Bee that you were gone for good.” Hermione’s head snapped around towards the entrance and was met with a smirking, laughing, Slytherin. Draco Malfoy ran his fingers through his hair and walked towards her. “Speechless, Mudblood?”

“Never,” she hissed, as she stood the chair beneath her disappeared. Suddenly a table containing all the ingredients needed for the potion appeared, along with a pot and goggles. “Ready to work, Malfoy?”

“Avoiding the question, hmm? Not very Gryffindor of you, now is it?” Draco Malfoy moved to the table and began cutting up ingredients, taking quick glances at the book in front of him.
Hermione wanted to keep her eyes on her work, but it seemed her eyes went where they wanted; without her consent. What was it that Ginny, Jean, and Luna saw in him? Her eyes ran over his blonde locks, taking in that not one piece was out of place. Next, came his figure the one she had seen so clearly just hours before hand, soaked to the bone in the potion. Sure, she admitted, Draco Malfoy was not without muscles, but nothing too spectacular. Lastly, her stubborn eyes fell on his concentrated ice gray eyes; eyes that Hermione couldn’t help but think saw one too many deaths in their lifetime. Draco Malfoy hadn’t noticed her stares so Hermione took his chance to look down quickly at his arm, searching for any detection of the Dark Mark.

“Looking for something in particular, Granger,” scowled Draco, peeking up from his work at her bewildered face. “Do you not think I saw you starring at me the last few minutes? Please,” he huffed, shaking his head.

“I wasn’t starring at you, Malfoy, don’t give yourself so much credit.” Once again her eyes betrayed her and Hermione took a quick glance at his arm again, not seeing anything because of his shirt.

“Mudblood, have you taken a special interest in my left arm?” Slowly he rolled up the sleeve, revealing something that even surprised Hermione Granger…clear skin. There was nothing on Draco’s arm, nothing except his almost completely white skin. Draco couldn’t help but smirk at Granger’s completely baffled expression. “Not what you were expecting?”

“I-I-I, well, what I mean to say is just that…well…I thought that you, it’s just that,” she closed her mouth, taking a deep breath, trying to gain her composure again. “Why don’t you have the mark,” Hermione asked. Sure she had been blunt, but with how she had made a full of herself just moment before, this was her only option.

Draco snorted, a smirk playing on his lips. “There is a lot you don’t know about me, Granger. Most people make themselves believe something so strongly, that when that image, that idea of something is crushed…well sometimes it’s just better that people are left to their own ignorance.”

Hermione couldn’t help it; she truly believed her mouth was hanging up at the statement he had made. Never would she think Draco Malfoy could be so…so…even she couldn’t come up with a word. One thing she did know though was that she, Hermione Granger, was ashamed. It was always a possibility that he was a follower and didn’t have the mark, but from the look on his face she could tell she had made a mistake. There was more to Draco Malfoy then what meets the eye. “You’re right,” she said, forcing the words out. Malfoy’s eyes widened at her response, confusion sparkled in them. “It wasn’t right of me to think that. Just because you are constantly putting down people around you doesn’t mean you are a Deatheater. I’m sorry.”

If someone was to tell Draco Malfoy earlier that morning that he would be standing in the Room of Requirements with Hermione Granger, with her apologizing to him; he would of thought them nuts. Yet, here he was starring at Granger, his mouth open in surprise, practically falling over. Never had she apologized to him. Gathering his bearing, he plastered his trademark to his face, and straightened up. “You know nothing, Mudblood, and still you think you know everything. You’re pathetic in every matter of speaking.” With that he turned back to the potion, only making a grunt to signal to Hermione to start cutting up something.

Lowering her eyes she trudged to the table and started cutting, making sure to go slowly and not cut herself. As Malfoy moved his head, his hair shifted, making his tiny scar visible to her eye. “Malfoy, how did you get that scar,” she asked conversationally.

“Shut up, Granger,” he responded tiredly, “just cut so we can get this done.” Hermione nodded, looking back down to the ingredients, but not without one last glance at him.

Ok, so maybe he is somewhat handsome, she thought, in his own way

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