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“I can not believe that Dumbledore just sat there and let us get late for class.” Ron said quickly as we all ran the halls of Hogwarts.

“That’s not the worst of it.” Hermione said to him, “You and I have a Potions exam to make up.”

“Bloody Hell! You’re right Hermione! Come on!” Ron practicly shouted, his eyes bugging out of his head as he grabbed her arm and pulled her off into another corridor.

“See you guys later!” Hermione called over her shoulder.

I looked at Harry and bit my lip, “What class do you have?”

“Care of Magical Creatures.”

I blinked at him, “For real? Me too.”

“Oh, well, that’s cool I guess.”

We exited the school and made our way across the grounds to Hagrid’s hut.

“Well, how nice of you two to join us.” Hagrid said with a cheerful smile as we approached the group.

“Sorry we’re late Hagrid, we were talking to Dumbledore.” Harry sighed, bending over and resting his hands on his knees.

Hagrid nodded and smiled, “It’s no problem ‘Arry, you and Miss Davidson are both excused.”

I smiled as I pulled my bag off of my shoulder and dropped it on the ground.

Hagrid surveyed the class and nodded his head, “Right now, if you’ll excuse me, I forgot the boxes inside.”

He nodded again and walked inside the hut. As soon as the door closed, the energy of the class changed completely.

Everyone threw their books on the ground and started talking about Christmas break, even though it was still 3 months away.

Harry had gone to talk with Padma and Parvarti Patil, leaving me all alone beside a tree.

I leaned against the trunk and crossed my arms , it was only September, but it was already quite chilly outside.

Just as I got a chill, I felt a warm arm wrap around my shoulders.

“Hey.”

I looked up to see Draco and smiled slightly, “Hey yourself.” I answered, not quite sure how to act with him.

“So, did you enjoy the show this morning?” he asked, his signature smirk playing on his lips.

“I did very much, I must say, I didn’t think Crabbe had it in him.”

Draco nodded, “He was going to chicken out, but I talked him out of it.”

“Oh yeah? How’d you do that?”

“I told him I’d stuff him in the Vanishing Cabinet if he backed down.”

I wrinkled my nose, “I thought that was broken.”

Draco leaned closer and smirked, “You know that, and I know that, but Crabbe is blissfully unaware of that.”

“All right then.” Hagrid started, coming out of his hut with a large box. “Follow me you lot!”

Draco picked up my bag and we followed Hagrid around the hut and towards the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

Hagrid sat the box down and turned to look at us, “All right now, I want you lot to pick partners and spread out, take a box with ya and separate the poisonous berries from the non poisonous ones, and then feed these "

Draco grabbed one of the smaller boxes from the large box and turned to smile at me, “Partners?

___________________________________________________________
“Heya Jace! How was your day?” Hermione asked, as I sat next to her in the library.

I shrugged again and opened my COMC book. “I just thought I’d get a head start on my weekend homework, that’s all.”

Hermione smiled as she started to laugh, “You wanted to get a head start on your homework? What’s up with that?”

I shrugged for a third time, but didn’t answer.

Hermione put her quill down and raised her eyebrow higher, “Isn’t the Quidditch game tomorrow?” she asked.

“Oh, it is, isn’t it?” I replied, trying to pretend that I hadn’t been thinking about it all day.

Hermione turned in her seat and locked her eyes on my head, “What’s going on with you?”

I looked up from my book and put on my best innocent face, “What do you mean?”

Hermione snorted a laugh and rolled her eyes, “Come on, I’m not that dense.”

I looked around the library to make sure that no one was close enough to listen, then took a deep breath.

“You know when I was ‘dating’ Malfoy this week, and his whole purpose for the dare was to make me fall in love with him?”

Hermione nodded, she looked as though she already knew what I was going to say and by holding her breath, she might change it.

“Well- I think, maybe I might-“

Hermione held up her hand, “Please don’t tell me I don’t think I can handle it.”

I looked at her for a good twenty minutes, before shaking my head and sighing. “Hermione, you are the only girl friend that I have, I can’t talk to Ron or Carter about this stuff , they will skin Malfoy alive! Please please be there for me.”

Hermione nodded and smiled, “I’m sorry Jace, I know you need me to listen, just please don’t say it out loud, it’s still a little weird. But you are my friend and I promise I will adjust.”

I smiled, “Thanks Mione, I’m glad you understand.”

She laughed and closed her Potions book, “So you- you well, you know.”

“Yeah, I think I do.”

“Well, what about all those years of hating him? Where did that go?”

I wasn’t really sure how to answer that question, it kind of baffled me as well.

“I’m not really sure, I think I just never saw the human side of him, you know, the side that can be loved.” I said using air quotes.

Hermione started to giggle and I nudged her arm, “What’s so funny?”

She shrugged as she put her books in her bag, “I don’t know, it’s just kind of weird. I never in a million years would have thought you would fall for Malfoy and I’m the smart one.”

“Neither did I quite honestly, it took me by major surprise.”

Hermione continued to giggle as she stood up, “Let’s get some food into you, I think you’ve gone mental.”

“Haha very funny Hermione, you're a comic genius.”

“It’s a gift.” She countered, pushing her hair off of her shoulder and pulling the strap of her bag up.

As we walked the hall, I thought how lucky I was to have Hermione.

A friend who listens even though she doesn’t like the circumstances.

We found Fred, George, and Carter sitting at the Gryffindor table and sat with them.

“Ew!” I joked, “What is the Ravie doing at our table?”

Carter laughed as he loosened his blue and white tie, “Aw Jace! You blew my cover. Now I will have to be relocated with the witness protection program.”

“Well, make sure that they give you a cute face this time, this one- “ I started, taking his face in my hands, “Will never get a girl.”

“Well, are you in for a surprise. Guess who has a date for the Quidditch game tomorrow?”

I stroked my chin and started to think, “Um, Michael Jackson?”

Carter laughed as Hermione looked at me blankly, “Um no, me.”

“Really? Who is it?”

“Lyndsae.”

“Congratulations!” I squealed, pulling him into a hug.

The table grew quiet and I tried to think of something to say, “Boy, am I glad this week is over.”

Carter put an arm around my shoulders and smiled, “Me too. I knew that you wouldn’t fall for that rat Malfoy.”

I let myself glance at Hermione before faking a laugh. “You don’t have to worry about that, I’ve got it under control.”

Hermione cleared her throat and quickly changed the subject. “So, she started, reaching for a piece of garlic bread and glancing at my brother and the twins, “Which of you boys set off the dung bombs in Snape’s office?”
___________________________________________________________
“What’s wrong with you Jace? You were really quiet last night.” Carter asked, sliding my arms around my shoulders as we walked to the Quidditch pitch.

My blood froze, should I tell him about my bet with Malfoy?

No no, of course not. It’s not as if Slytherin actually has a chance of winning today anyway.

I mean, with Ron, Fred, George, and Harry on my side, how can I lose?

“Um, yeah, well, it’s been a long week.” Was all I said.

Hermione looked up at the sky with a smile, “Today ‘s a wonderful day for Quidditch.”She said happily.

I nudged her arm, “Not to mention Gryffindor and our beloved Ronald’s first game.”

Hermione’s cheeks went red and she smiled, “Yes, well, that too.”

Carter laughed as he looked down at Hermione’s scarlet face, “Hermione, you’re actually blushing?” He asked, quite astonished.

Hermione shook her head, “N- no! I’m not blushing!” she protested fervently.

But my brother was too distracted by the perky blond running up to him, that he completely forgot about Hermione’s embarrassment.

Lyndsae smiled as she broke her jog and and fell into step beside my brother, who didn’t even flinch as he slid his arm expertly around her shoulders.

I looked at Hemione and raised an eyebrow. She laughed and took my arm, “Come on, let’s get some front row seats.” She said, pulling me up to the wooden stairs and falling into seats in the middle of the front row.

“Remind me again why we had to get here almost forty five minutes early?” I asked her, pulling my hair out of it’s messy bun and letting it fall around my shoulders.

Hermione smiled like the love sick school girl that she was and looked across the field where the Gryffindor team had just started their warm ups. “No reason.”

“Uh huh.” I said, noticing the look on her face as Ron flew up to us.

After Ron got yelled at for his shameless flirting, Hermione and I watched the team continue with their warm ups as the stands begin to fill.

Ten minutes before the game was to start, Carter and Lyndsae fell into seats next to us as they laughed.

“Did I miss something?” I asked, leaning forward.

“Um, no Jace, Lyns was just telling me about her brother.”

Lyndsae leaned over my brother and smiled at me, “He is a squib, mum and dad are so ashamed.”

“I see.” I said politely, smiling a bit before turning away and rolling my eyes.

Oh yeah. That girl was a keeper.

Hermione grabbed my arm and gave me a painful squeeze. “The game is starting!” She squealed in my ear.

“Thanks for the update.” I teased, shaking my head to make all of the noise go away.

How funny was it that that love could have such an affect on people? Hermione was never the starry eyed, day dreamer, she was always the plain girl with a good head on his shoulders but now, Ron’s recent proclamation of love for her made her giggle like a first year.

And what did it do for me? It made me agree to ridiculous dares and bets that could jeopardize my entire future.

I turned my attention, or what was left of it, back to the Quidditch game just as the Slytherin team flew out onto the pitch.

“We have a last minute change people, I’ve just been told that Mitchell Fergison has taken ill and will not be able to play in the game today.” Lee Jordan said into the microphone.

“Therefore, the position of seeker will be filled by Draco Malfoy.”

My jaw dropped and I turned to look at Hermione, “I thought Malfoy couldn’t play Quidditch after that incident with Buckbeak?” I practically shouted at her, my eyes bugging out of my head, and a vein in my forehead pulsing, I must have looked beautiful.

Hermione laughed, “Come on Jace, maybe it was just a typo, you don’t really know that Malfoy is playing.”

Just as she said that, the Slytherin team flew onto and around the pitch, as Draco came past, he winked at me and nodded.

Hermione looked at me as her jaw dropped, “I don’t believe it! That bugger! He’s probably poisoned Fergison so that he could be sure that he would play.” She shouted indignantly.

I looked over at Carter, who luckily hadn’t noticed any of the exchange, and back at the pitch as Draco and Harry sent each other death glares, each waiting to wrap their fingers around the Golden Snitch.

As I sat there, gripping the ledge, I felt as though I were that Snitch and whoever caught it would get to keep me forever.

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