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A shaft of light fell through the window, lengthening across the carpeted floor until it grew up the side of the ornate wooden-framed bed and shone upon the person laying huddled beneath the deep red blanket. Hermione's eyelids fluttered open, her pupils dilating painfully so that she clenched them shut again. The sleepy girl groaned softly, her arms coming from beneath the heavy cover to stretch above her head. She sighed gently as she felt the delicious stretching of her tired muscles.

Her hand fumbled for her wand on the bedside table blindly, and she realized something wasn't right. At night when she went to bed, she always, always put her wand on the nightstand within easy reach; a little caution learned from during the war. Hermione sat up in bed and blinked rapidly to clear her blurry vision, ignoring the protesting of her sluggish body. Her head whipped from side to side frantically as she took in her unfamiliar surroundings. She was frantic with panic until her sense and logic kicked in.

Within seconds she calmed, her brain sealing most of the previous day's events into her head in the right order again. Tossing the covers back, she admired the new room that accompanied her heightened student status. The girl slid off the high bed, brown eyes flicking around the room and alighting upon the heap of robes that lay in the middle of her floor. Quickly, she picked them up and reached into the pockets. Her hand groped blindly through several pockets before her fingers finally grasped something other than fabric. "Ah-ha!" she exclaimed triumphantly as she removed her wand.

"Tiempo," the witch murmured with a flick of her wand, taking note of the time the ghost clock advertised. Her brown pools widened and she let out a high-pitched shriek as she realized the lateness of the hour. "Oh NO!" The Gryffindor female began flying around the room, grabbing parchment and quills, and tossing books into her bag. The whole time she was berating herself audibly, much to the amusement of the blonde-haired wizard who stood watching from her now-open door.

Draco chuckled out loud, unable to suppress it any longer. Hermione's head snapped up as she heard the out-of-place sound, and her eyes, already wide with anxiety, grew even wider as she took in the sight of the male standing at her door. The chocolate colored orbs started at the bottom on his pale, narrow bare feet, and worked their way up his leanly muscled legs --clothed in black silk pajama pants-- and his tapered hips. They continued their journey, slowly ascending his flat, toned stomach and smoothly muscled chest, his semi-broad shoulders, and his pale elegant neck.

When she finally met his eyes, the gray of them was full of humor and that in and of itself was a huge shock. The girl's eyes were wide as saucers. Draco stood still under her scrutiny, a smile tugging at his sensuous lips, but instead of letting it come out, a signature smirk came to his face in its place.

"See something you like, Granger?" he drawled out with an entertained tinge to his voice. The young woman clamped her gaping mouth shut and sent him a glare, snapping at him in return.

"Shut-up, will you, Malfoy? What do you want, and why aren't you in classes already? It's hideously late." She resumed her mad dashing about like a mad woman, trying to hide the red of her cheeks and embarassment at being caught acting so rudely. She'd been blatantly staring at the man, likely as not drooling! Her thoughts were interrupted again by Malfoy's voice.

"Oh, I just heard a scream and thought I might see what the bloody hell was going on, and to make sure a murder wasn't taking place in my new quarters. I'm not gone to classes because there are no classes today. Earth to Granger?" He explained sarcastically.

Hermione, who had just picked up her heavy N.E.W.T.'s Potion textbook, let it fall from her hand to the floor with a loud thump.

"Oh. That's right," she said, flustered,"It's Saturday. And it's a Hogsmeade weekend." One small hand ran through the length of her chestnut locks as she began replacing the items she'd tossed into her bookbag.

"Well, it's a tad too late for Hogsmeade this time. The group left an hour ago and McGonagall said that this year they won't be allowing stragglers." Draco informed her matter-of-factly, a yawn spreading his mouth wide. The older male propped a bare shoulder on the doorframe, a smug grin crossing his lips.

"So I guess that means you're stuck with me."

Hermione started to reply, then she realized what was happening here. She, the female portion of the infamous Gryffindor Trio, was holding a civil conversation, with Malfoy, Slytherin Prince and arch nemesis of the Golden Trio. Said nemesis just also happened to be decidedly indecent. A retort rose to her lips in response as she thought about this strange turn of events.

"I most certainly am NOT stuck with you, I'm sure Harry and Ron stayed here looking for me when I didn't show up in time to leave with them. I'll just find them and spend the day with them." She turned and tossed the remaining things from her bag onto the dresser, wrinkling her nose in self-disgust as she realized she was still wearing the same clothes she'd had on yesterday. Since Voldemort had been defeated, she never wore a set of clothes for more than one day at a time. The last battle in which he'd fallen had lasted for upwards of two days, and for that long, she'd been in the same clothes and covered in soot and gore from the numerous wounding charms being used. It had totally disgusted her, and even now she gave a tremor of repulsion, and had to fight the urge to tear her garments from her body.

"Well, all I know is that last time I saw your two blokes," as he continued his voice became colored with disdain and contempt, "Potter had his tongue down the Weasley girl's throat, and Weaselbee was groping Brown's arse. Quite openly, and disgustingly, might I add."

The girl he'd come to call the Gryffindor princess glanced up at him, and just as quickly looked away. But not so quickly that he didn't see the hurt that welled in her coffee-colored eyes at his statement.

"Oh," she said quietly. "Well, then, I'll work on getting-- wait. Why am I talking to you? Why are you being so...civil to me?" Her query was sudden and unexpected, because she was eager and searching for something to get her mind off her neglectful friends.

The boy shrugged one shoulder and turned to go back to his own room, but Hermione saw it coming; quickly, she ran to him and grabbed his arm. Her small hand didn't even begin to circle his bicep, but it stopped him in his tracks as effectively as any Leg-Locker Jinx would have. He could feel the shape of her hand like a brand against his skin. Her hand was soft and smooth, and for a moment he reveled in her touch.

He shook himself out of it mentally and looked down at her hand, then over his shoulder at her face, gray-clouded orbs locking with hers. "Why? Would you rather I treat you the way I have for the past six years?" The intensity in the moment that passed then crackled like electricity between the two teenagers. When Hermione spoke finally, it was hard for him to tear himself back into reality.

"I don't know. Yes. Yes, I would rather it be the same! At least then something wouldn't change!" She ended on a belligerant note, wanting to fight with someone to relieve her anger, resentment, and confusion, and Malfoy was the perfect candidate. She hated him anyway. Didn't she?

But the Slytherin did nothing, except continue look at her searchingly, his gaze seeming to see everything she wanted to hide. "Sorry, then, princess, because I like being this way a lot more than I liked being a sodding prick all the time."

The girl looked at him with a raised brow, looking uncannily familiar with the expression on her face. Her hand still remained where she'd placed it. His own larger palm came up and covered hers, fingers closing gently around the appendage. Hermione licked her lips unconciously, her heart thumping in her chest quickly all of a sudden.

That heart skipped a few beats as he turned around slowly, still holding her hand tightly. He moved even closer to the witch, so close that his breath feathered hotly over her cheek, and her eyelids lowered to where they almost were closed. Her lips parted slightly as she waited for the touch of his mouth on hers.

Draco looked at her face posed so sensually, and it was all he could not to kiss her, but he just whispered, "At least, not to you, princess. Something's different about you."

With that, he released her hand and stepped away, padding down the hallway to his own room. In his wake he left a very confused and dazed witch. The whole exchange had taken at the most five minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.

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