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Chapter 6

Prefect Meeting
4 weeks after the ‘Malfoy’ incident
4:15 p.m.

“Now, even though it is only the end of September starting tomorrow promptly at 8 p.m. will be the first official meeting held to take ideas and suggestions, along with jobs assigned for the Winter Ball,” said Hermoine, looking back down to her large pile of papers. “That’s it, you all may go to supper.”

“That went well, Granger,” said Draco Malfoy, standing up from his seat. “You nearly bore me to death and I was the one helping you prepare for this little ‘meeting’,” he said, making quotations in the air.

“Must you always be so negative, Malfoy. Prefect meetings are never interesting, simply because they only consist of either information that must be known or work that must be done. Speaking of work, have you given any thought to the theme of the Ball? Dumbledore did tell us that you and I must come up with a theme.” Hermoine stood up, stretching her back out. Ginny earlier that morning had straightened to hair, making it fall to the middle of her back in silky bunches. Never had Hermoine cared what she looked like, but maybe it was time for a change. It was her 7th year and last year; might as well leave an impression.

“No, but I was thinking for colors it could be a silver-green type theme.” Hermoine turned to look at him, trying not to laugh, but he wasn’t paying attention. Instead Draco Malfoy was starring at the door, that moments before the prefects had all exited out of. There stood Ronald Weasley, glaring at Draco and obviously trying to catch Hermoine attention. Which in Draco’s point of view Hermoine was trying extremely hard to avoid. “Why is Weasel-Bee starring at us?,” he asked, directing the question to Hermoine, but still looking at Ron. “ ‘Ey, blood-traitor, do you need something?”

Ron’s face became tight, a frown pulling down his cheeks. Why must Draco Malfoy be here? He needed to speak with Hermoine alone, and what does he find…Hermoine and Draco Malfoy having a pleasant conversation. Everyone could tell a small truce had settled among the two earlier that month, but Ron wouldn’t believe it. “Hermoine, can I talk with you,” he turned towards Malfoy, “alone.”

“Oh, I think the Side-Kick wants to go steady with you, Granger. Isn’t that the most precious thing you have ever seen?” His voice had turned high and Draco looked almost giddy, but that all changed as he looked back to Ron. “Granger and I are busy, Weasley, go bother someone else.”

“Shut your mouth, Malfoy, and let Hermoine talk.” Both Ron and Draco looked at Hermoine who looked uncomfortable with the situation at hand. “Well, Hermoine, tell the Ferret to go.” Hermoine opened and closed her mouth, thinking of something to say. Why was she talking so long, thought Ron, this shouldn’t be that hard.

“Malfoy, can I talk with Ron, please,” she said almost at the tone of a whisper. “I will finish discussing the Ball information with you later in the room, alright?”

“Whatever, Granger,” scowled Draco, pushing past Ron, knocking him into the wall. “Have fun.” With that Draco walked out of the room, leaving an angry Ron and a shocked Hermoine. Draco Malfoy had actually listened to her. Since, when did that ever happen?

“So, Hermoine, now that the Ferret is gone, I was wondering something,” Ron sat down on the chair in front of Hermoine, and fiddled with his hands nervously.

“He’s not all that bad, Ronald,” said Hermoine, looking back down at her papers. When Ron looked at her funny, she smiled making her comment into an instant joke. “So, Ron, what did you need because I really need to go write my Potion paper and I only have 4 inches done of it.”

“Hermoine, I wanted to know if you would-d-d-d…” Hermoine closed her eyes knowing what was coming; she had been avoiding this question for almost a month. Dodging it whenever it came up or making up schoolwork or Head duties that needed to be done. “I-I-I know we have been friends for-r-r a while now, but I think I might lo-.”

Slytherin Common Room
4:20 p.m.

“Stupid, Mudblood,” hissed Draco pacing back and forth in the common room. Why did Weasley have to come into the picture? Everything was going perfect in his little plan; Granger was starting to trust him and they had made some sort of minor peace. He had actually found out she’s not all that bad after you get around the whole book-worm, I-need-to-be-perfect-everyday-so-I-keep-my-perfect-little-image persona Granger gave out.

“Merlin, Malfoy, you pace back and forth any quicker in an hour you’ll be a foot in the ground,” said a voice from behind Draco. It was a voice he could recognize anywhere and one that, in a manly way, comforted him when he was stressed. “What do you want, Blaise, I’m trying to figure out how to take Weasley boy out of the damn picture.”

“Oh, does, Malfoy have some competition on his quest to seduce the Mudblood Granger?” Blaise sat down on the couch, tossing his legs on the side of him. When Draco needed to confine in someone about his task he turned to the only person he could truly trust…Blaise. What Draco wasn’t expecting was the whole half hour Blaise laughed his ass off after finding out what Draco’s mission was.

“No, most definitely not, Granger has no feeling for the blood-traitor, but she is loyal to him. Blaise you and I need to figure out a way to break ties between Granger and Weasley, maybe even the whole Golden Trio.” As Draco stopped pacing, a smile broke out on his face.

Blaise cringed at the sinister meaning behind it and smirked up towards him. “What do you have in mind, my friend? Anything I can help with? You know how much I love to screw up peoples lives, it’s just so damn amusing.”

“Actually, Blaise, I have an extremely important job for you…a job that I think you’ll enjoy doing…” he paused, scratching his chin and chuckling, “no, take that back, I know you’ll love this job.” Slowly, Draco sat down on the couch with Blaise and started tell him his plan…

Head Room
12:00 a.m.

The light of the candle beside Draco Malfoy lit the paper in front of him as he wrote down his Divination homework, holding his pen tightly in between his fingers due to annoyance. There was one major flaw in his plan and there was no way he could work it out. The more Draco thought of it the more his irritation grew.

“Merlin,” he growled, leaning back in his chair, running his finger through his hair. Unbuttoning the first few buttons on his shirt, un-tucking it as he did; Malfoy rose stretching from the chair. The bones in his back cracked the more he moved around, showing the obvious signs of stress he was feeling.

“Are you all right, Malfoy,” asked a worried voice from above him.
As his eyes traveled up they came to fall on one extremely tired, tattered, Hermoine. That wasn’t the only thing his eyes fell on though, the window behind her made her silhouette easily seen through her flimsy nightgown she had on. Every curve of her legs, up to her stomach, reaching the tip of her chin could be seen and Draco had to drag his eyes to her face as he spoke.

“Yes, Granger, I’m fine just couldn’t sleep so I decided to come here and work on some homework,” he answered, watching her come down the stairs. It was like his own eyes weren’t under his control; they moved at their own will. Never would he look at the lines of her neck, watching them run down her garment, or notice that Hermoine’s hair had a small tint of red in it as it fell around her face. God, he was definitely exhausted. “What about you, huh? You look like a dragon just attacked you, something happen?”

Never had Draco expected Granger to actually look hurt, let alone feel bad for making her feel hurt. “I don’t think my business is any of yours, Malfoy. Just because you put your big nose into other peoples business don’t mean you can do that in mine!” At the end of her rant Hermoine was already right next to the couch, with her arms crossed and her eyes distracted.

That feeling of unknown emotion Malfoy had felt just moments before for Granger vanished into thin air, replaced with an intense hatred. He had wanted to snap at her, oh how he wanted to just scream and insult, but the voice of his father entered his mind. Merlin, Draco definitely wanted to tell him good news at his meeting tomorrow night with him. He had been so happy, well happy was a word to describe it, when Draco had said Hermoine and him had come to a truce. “Granger,” Draco said, walking towards the couch, but looking down at the floor, “I’ve learned that when people push you away is when they need you the most.” After that inspiration comment Draco would definitely need to wash his mouth out with soup.

Hermoine couldn’t remember a time when her head had snapped so quickly to look at something. Did that really happen? There was no way Draco Malfoy could have been nice to her…sure they have a truce, but niceness was only part of the deal when doing their duties. “I’m sorry,” she said slowly, sitting down on the couch. Putting her face in her hands Hermoine started taking deep breathes, all of this was just too much for her. The couch cushion next to her sank in under the weight of something.

Draco Malfoy sat down next to her on the couch, trying to figure out what to do next. Him being nice wasn’t something that came easy; even when he was nice he needed to insult someone. “So, what did Scarhead and Stupid do this time?” Hermoine flinched and even in the darkness of the night Draco could see she was extremely uncomfortable. “Wow, they really messed up.”

“Malfoy, stop, please…” Hermoine looked away from him and took a breath. “Ronald told me he loved me.” The words hung in the air the moment Hermoine said them out loud; she had been avoiding it for so long…

Draco shook his head in surprise; he wasn’t expecting that, “and…?”

“And,” Hermoine said, turning towards him, “I don’t love him! I don’t! See, I admit it! I do not love Ronald Weasley like that, at all. Not now, not ever will I love Ronald Weasley more then a friend. When I did he liked Lavender and lost his chance, so be it!” Throwing her hands up in the air in defeat Hermoine sunk back down into the couch, a frown covered her face, but not one tear fell from her eyes. From what Draco knew girls were supposed to cry, not yell. Then again when did Hermoine Granger ever follow the rules created by society?

“Granger, Weasley is a bloody idiot everyone knows it. So, you turned him down; what’s the worst that could happen?” Malfoy leaned back in the couch, looking at Hermoine with one eye as she leaned back, with her arms crossed around her.

“There’s no point to any of this, Malfoy. Life is just a random lottery of stupid tragedy and close escapes. So, like everyone else I take pleasure in small things. You know, the smell of rain before it even comes, when you laugh so hard you snort, when your little sister comes into your room at different hours of the night to tell you about her bad dream.” Curiously, Malfoy watched as Granger closed her eyes and leaned her head back on the couch. “Everything gets more complicated as you grow up, but that’s what friends are for. Now, Ron won’t even talk to me…what sort of friend is that? So, I don’t love him like that, but only as a brother. I love him regardless, right?”

How the hell was he suppose to answer that? “Granger,” he said, moving so he was sitting directly in front of her. “You are rambling.” Well, that wasn’t what he thought he was going to say, maybe something that consisted of ‘shut up’, or ‘big deal’, but ‘you are rambling’ wasn’t on the game plan. “The first thing you need to do is chill out.”

Hermoine rose her head from the couch and looked at him suspiciously, “Malfoy, why are you being so nice?” When he didn’t answer Hermoine turned her whole body towards him and asked the same question, but got no response.

Instead, Malfoy’s eyes had drifted towards her lips, which had turned red when she licked them. His father wanted progress and by Merlin Draco would give him progress. “Granger, shut up.” Now, that sounded more like him, but suddenly his body shifted closer to hers and he ran his thumb over her bottom lip.
Hermoine was so taken aback she didn’t say a word as Draco leaned forward and crashed his lips on hers. The impact nearly pushed her back into the couch, but Malfoy’s hand behind her neck secured her balance. He was so warm, Draco Malfoy wasn’t suppose to feel warm he was suppose to feel cold, evil…not so good. Sighing softly into his lips Hermoine pulled him closer to her body, trying to gain control. No, control was something Malfoy’s didn’t give up and Draco proved that when he bite her lower lip demanding entrance into her mouth. He should have remembered Granger wasn’t like everyone else, because suddenly Draco was pushed backwards off the couch.

“Bloody hell, Granger, what the hell was that?,” he hissed, standing up and looking down at an angry and flustered Hermoine.

“What was that? What do you think you are doing, you arrogant, sinister, ferret!” Hermoine hadn’t called him ferret in almost a month and now she does…well that’s just fabulous. She ran the back of her hand across her mouth, frowning in disgust. “I can’t believe you kissed me you, you…you…” Her finger was pointed in his face, but Draco only smirked back at her.

“Did I take your breath away, Granger?” Draco stepped towards her, but immediately Hermoine jumped back holding her hands in front of her.

“You knew I was upset, that I wasn’t thinking. Never would I have let you if I was in the right stat of mind!” Hermoine turned sharply on her heals and started towards the spiral staircase.

“You’re just angry because you enjoyed it, and personally I wouldn’t blame you,” he said, running a hand through his hair arrogantly. “I mean you are female, even if you are a muggleborn.”

Hermoine’s temper rose to the tip and finally exploded and with each approaching step her eyes became more furious. Draco stood there with his arms crossed unmoving. So, Hermoine raised her hand and slapped him square on his cheek, making Draco’s hand shoot to it. The look on his face was priceless and cheered Hermoine’s mood even just a little. “I am so unbelievably angry at you, I am hardly breathe! I don’t know who I was kidding imagining that you could be nice!”

Draco flinched as his fingers ran over his cheek and no words came from his mouth. Hermoine took that as his response and sped up the stairs and into the Gryffindor common room, slamming the door behind her. He had watched her every movement and when the door was shut with no sight of Hermoine any longer Draco turned and sat on the couch. Absently he touched his lips, but pulled back when he realized what he was doing.

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