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Draco bit into his apple, and reflected that if all the things that challenged him would give way as easily as the crisp flesh beneath the apple’s skin, his life would be considerably simpler. It was all very well for everyone to pretend that they were unflinching in their loyalty to a particular point of view, but at the end of the day, all that was required was the right kind of pressure and everything would cave in. 

 

Take Potter for example. Draco was perfectly sure that if he had approached that particular problem with a different attitude, rather than just going in with all of his Pureblood guns blazing, Harry would be sitting next to him at the Slytherin table, laughing at the Gryffindors and their pathetic morality. Unfortunately, some lessons took time to be learned and that was one battle that he had to concede was well and truly lost. He crunched into the apple again and let his eyes rove around the hall.

 

There were very few people in the hall that he was not scornful of. All of them were so involved with their trivial little lives and the precise moment that they were in, never thinking that by plotting and scheming, they would be able to ensure a much better future for themselves. So what if a few people got trampled on in the way? As long as you were alright in the end, surely that was what mattered? He sighed, and tossed the half-eaten apple onto his plate. It had served its purpose, so he could disregard it. If only people were apples. He looked at Crabbe, stuffing his maw with the bacon that was meant for the whole table. It was almost painful to watch. “Do you ever think you’ll eat enough Crabbe?” He asked, almost kindly. 

 

Crabbe looked at him briefly, shrugged and then turned back to his plate. Draco rolled his eyes to heaven and resumed looking across the room. Pansy swung herself into the seat next to him. “Hi.”

 

Draco nodded and slung his arm around the back of her chair, wondering if he could be bothered to kiss her. Before he could act on any impulse, she had already kissed his cheek and was buttering a slice of toast. He looked in the opposite direction, leaving his arm hanging across her back in his usual proprietary manner. Merlin forbid that anyone think he was actually interested in her. It was more about the image that he needed to provide than any genuine emotion on his part. That was the way that he had always been, and he was perfectly happy with his life the way it was.

 







Hermione looked at Ron in despair. “Honestly, if you just put your fork down between mouthfuls you wouldn’t eat half as quickly and you would look so much more civilised.”

 

“Hermione, you think my mum hasn’t tried to make him eat properly? You’re wasting your time!”  Ginny mimed smacking her brother across the back of the head and smiled at Hermione. 

 

Hermione rolled her eyes and dug her spoon deeper into her bowl. “I just think that everyone would be a lot happier if they didn’t have to listen to you eating as well as watching it.”

 

Ron smiled at her through a mouthful of food, and she couldn’t help laughing, although she instantly resumed lecturing him. “You are quite possibly the most repulsive eater that I have ever seen. Keep your mouth shit while you’re chewing. I swear Ron, I will make this more pleasant for everyone else, no matter how much of my time it takes!”

 

Standing up, she swung her satchel onto her shoulder and waved her goodbyes, her mind already focused on her class and what she would have to achieve. She was the first to arrive in the Charms classroom, relishing the brief moment of solitude before the other chattering students. Sitting down, she looked towards the teacher’s desk and saw a bowl of fruit proudly displayed. Raising her eyebrows, she wondered what they were going to be doing with it.

 

Flitwick watched his class file in and sit down, all of them casting interested glances at the fruit on his desk. Waving his wand, sending a trail of sparks fluttering through the air, he motioned for silence. As it descended across the room, the teacher smiled. “I’ve noticed your interest in the fruit on my desk. I assure you, we are going to be doing something very interesting with this.”

 

Hermione sat up slightly straighter in her seat, causing Draco to glance across at her in irritation. Yes, it was thrilling being in a Charms class (especially one that she got to share with him), but did the girl never cease her evangelical mission to learn everything? Shaking his head in contemptuous disdain, he turned his attention back to Flitwick, supposing that there was something he could learn from the old man. 

 

Flitwick could barely get the words out, he was so excited. “What we are about to attempt is extremely advanced magic! What we are going to do to this fruit is to cast a charm on it that is so powerful that anyone who eats it will feel the most indescribable sensation of…bliss! Once a person has taken a single bite, they will feel the strongest compulsion to continue eating – it is most useful for dinner parties!”

 

Hermione looked at the teacher with a feeling of slight alarm: he seemed far too thrilled by this idea. With her eyebrows furrowed, she watched as the Charms teacher drew in a deep breath and tried to calm himself. “One has to taste the fruit to truly understand the taste, and how divine it is.” He looked longingly at the fruit. “It is a difficult charm to perform, and will require cooperation between all of you. So I will be putting you into pairs.”

 

Hermione looked over her shoulder and smiled at Parvati. Draco looked around the class, wondering who he would deign to work with. Flitwick absentmindedly rattled off couples, and Hermione got consistently more nervous as every partner that she could have conceived working with was paired off with someone else. Soon, the only person left was… “And Miss Granger and Mr Malfoy, and that should sort everyone out. Now, if everyone takes a piece of fruit and returns to their desks.” He turned back to the board and watched as, with a flip of his wand, cursive began scrawling across the board. 

 

Hermione sent one panicked look in Draco’s direction and ran straight up to Flitwick. “Professor, I really have quite a strong aversion to working with Malfoy. Would it be possible for me to…”

 

“Work on your own?” Flitwick watched as Hermione nodded enthusiastically. “No, Miss Granger.”

 

“But Professor, I…”

 

“Miss Granger, this charm is very complex, more so than I feel you are capable of dealing with, regardless of how good a witch you are. I have partnered you with Mr Malfoy for good reason: you are both advanced spell-casters and you will progress well together.”

 

Flitwick turned around to see Draco standing in front of him. He jumped slightly and tried to recover himself; “Ah, Mr Malfoy, here to select your fruit with Miss Granger no doubt.”

 

“No,” Draco stated proudly. “I have come to request a change in my partner. I refuse to work with Miss Granger.”

 

Flitwick looked from one to the other in despair. “The pair of you need to remember that I am the teacher and therefore in charge! I have paired you, and my decision stands!”

 

He bustled away, leaving Draco and Hermione staring at each other in horror. Hermione rolled her eyes and glared at the blackboard. “I could work this charm on my own. I certainly don’t need you.”

 

Draco stared coldly at her. “This situation is, I can assure you, even less to my liking than it is to yours.”

 

“You ought to consider yourself lucky, I’m far cleverer than you!”

 

“In your dreams maybe, Granger. I know precisely how you think this is going to work: you think you’re going to do the perfect spell, get all of Flitwick’s praise, and then I’m going to suddenly been in some form of debt to you and be so much friendlier to you!” His voice sneered at her, raising every hair on the back of her neck in angry disagreement.

 

“How have you managed to progress from me thinking that I’m cleverer than you to me desperately wanting to be your friend? You’re clearly more delusional than I had thought.”

 

Draco glared at her and snatched up an apple from the bowl. “Whatever Granger. Let’s just get this over with.”

 

“I don’t want to do it with an apple.” Hermione crossed her arms. She had no special hatred against apples, but there was no way she was going to do anything that he wanted that simply. He could fight for it, if he wanted the apple that badly. 

 

“For Merlin’s sake Granger, grow up. It’s just an apple.” He gave her a disdainful look. “Can we not just do it with this piece of fruit?”

 

“Miss Granger, why are the pair of you not working yet?” Flitwick called from across the room.

 

Hermione opened her mouth to protest but found that the words would not come. Sullenly, she followed Draco back to a desk and sat down as he placed the apple in front of them. 

 

Draco raised his wand and Hermione immediately smacked it down. “We’re meant to be working as a team. That means we cast the spell together.”

 

“Ever the teacher’s pet. You know, I could cast this spell in seconds and we could be done with this farce.”

 

“You think you’re so superior, and you know, you really aren’t!” Hermione whispered angrily, conscious of the need to attract yet more attention from Flitwick.

 

“Need I point to my Pureblood status yet again?” He hissed back at her and raised his wand again.

 

Incensed by his hackneyed reference to her parentage, Hermione pulled out her wand and the pair of them shouted the spell at the same time, sending sparks flashing off the desk, temporarily blinding them in a cloud of passionately red smoke. As the crimson tendrils cleared, a pair of furious brown eyes and a pair of cold grey eyes looked down towards the desk to see their previously plain green apple gleaming a glossy scarlet under the classroom lights. In unison, they turned to each other in anger: “What have you done?”

 

Flitwick was racing across the classroom as fast as his short legs could take him, irritably waving the remaining smoke out of his way. “What is the meaning of this?”

 

Hermione held up the apple and glared at her partner. “He’s ruined the spell, conceited idiot that he is!”

 

“Me! If you had just let me cast the spell, none of that would have happened!”

 

Flitwick waved his wand and sent a crescendo of sparkling ashes across the room. “I will have no more of this! You did not perform the spell correctly and you failed to work as a team! So both of you fail this assignment!”

 

“But Professor…”

 

“No more Miss Granger! A fail!”

 

“Professor, there’s nothing wrong with the apple, it was just Granger meddling.” To prove his point, Draco picked up the apple and bit into it, swallowing quickly in his haste to prove that there was nothing wrong. He presented the apple to the teacher for his inspection, but the teacher just shook his head.

“You aren’t hurrying to eat the rest of it. Therefore the charm did not work.”

 

“Oh, for Merlin’s sake. I hope you’re happy, you idiot.” Hermione snatched the apple from Draco’s limp hand. “If you’d just let me do the spell, none of this would have happened.” Absentmindedly, she twirled the apple around and bit from the opposite side that Draco had.

 

As soon as the bite that she had taken slid into her throat, the apple in her head flashed an even brighter red. Hermione looked at it, and then up at Draco, who had seen the blaze coming from her hands. “What did you do now Granger?”

 

“Nothing. Get away from me, ferret boy.”

 

“Mature.”

 

“If I’m so immature then why aren’t you moving away from me?” She looked at him defiantly.

 

Draco opened his mouth to respond sharply, to tell her that she was clearly insane because he was no closer to her than he ever got: he was always anxious to keep his distance from a filthy Mudblood! But then he noticed that he was close enough to see the way that small lines were appearing as her eyebrows furrowed closer in fury at the way that he wasn’t keeping away from her. In disgust at himself, he stepped away from her.

 

As he did so, Hermione felt an unknown compulsion: a desire to step closer to Draco Malfoy. Without thinking, she let her feet move her, the single step bringing her into closer proximity with her enemy than she thought she had ever been. 

 

“Granger, back off.” He spat, in a dull, warning tone.

 

“I am,” she barked back, trying to gain some modicum of control.

 

As soon as she moved away, moving several steps now, trying to avoid the bizarre turn of events that threatened to engulf her, Draco stood still, tensing ever muscle in his body, anticipating the odd movement that would bring him closer to the girl he couldn’t stand.

 

Nothing happened.

 

Slowly, he relaxed his muscles, watched warily by Hermione. Both of them knew that something odd was happening now.

 

Finally, his muscles were loose. As soon as he allowed himself to think that everything was back to normal, he had to yank his body straight back into its tension-filled pose: every part of his body apart from his brain was telling him to get as close to Granger as he possibly could. As he stood there, unwilling to give in to the urge, he saw exactly the same strain in Hermione’s eyes: she was exerting the same pressure on her body as he was on his.

 

Suddenly, they understood, and both their eyes fell on the apple. In harmony, their voices rang out across the classroom. “PROFESSOR!”

 

Flitwick turned around and stared at his two errant students.

 

“The apple…”

 

“It’s doing something…”

 

“We want to move closer…”

 

“To each other! Do something…”

 

“Please! I can’t be close to Granger!”

 

Flitwick flapped his arms angrily for silence. The whole class watched as he examined the apple and listened to how his students had pronounced the spell. Crossing his arms, poking gingerly at the apple and watching as both students clutched onto desks to give themselves the strength to stay apart. “Neither of you pronounced it correctly.”

 

Hermione’s spine stiffened angrily, ready to protest but her teacher was already continuing. “I can only conclude that you have managed to pervert the course of the spell…”

 

“Pervert is the right word. This is Granger.”

 

“Silence Mr Malfoy! The spell, rather than creating a compulsion to finish eating the fruit seems to have created a compulsion to get as close to the other spell caster as possible. Unfortunately, I cannot be sure. None of my students have ever been such imbeciles as to argue whilst performing such complicated charms.”

 

Hermione’s cheeks flushed bright red. “Professor, we’re so sorry. What can we do?”

 

“I don’t know Miss Granger.”

 

Draco’s eyes fell on the apple. Willing himself not to throw himself closer to Granger, he edged closer to the desk between us, and snatched up the apple and flung it to the floor. Its soft flesh smashed on the tile floor and he relaxed his body, thinking that the impulse to be closer to Granger would be gone. Immediately, his body propelled him through the air, until Hermione was standing at his shoulder, looking at him with revulsion. “What kind of a solution is that?”

 

For in front of their very eyes, the shattered apple was repairing itself and floating through the air, not resting until it sat on the table, replete in its lustrous perfection. The only flaws were the teeth marks left in it from their respective bites. 

 

Hermione and Draco, their shoulders pressed together, looked coldly at each other, the panic beginning to show. “What do we do now?”

 

“I can offer no advice.” Flitwick looked from one to the other. “I suggest waiting for the charm to break, as it inevitably must.”

 

“But how long will that take?”

 

“Mr Malfoy, as I already explained, I do not know what charm you have managed to create here! I think you should just consider yourselves grateful that the charm does not induce stronger inclinations!”

 

Hermione’s cheeks flushed even redder and Draco looked at her in contempt. “Granger, stay away from me.”

 

“You’re the one whose shoulder is pressed against mine…I’ll repeat your words to me: back off.” The venom with which she spoke enabled Draco to pull back enough to carry on walking away. “Malfoy, keep away from me, otherwise I will curse you into next week! I swear, this latest attempt to ruin my life will not work!”

 

“You think I did this on purpose?” He shouted, but with an immense effort, she was already walking away from him, refusing to look back because of the temptation that it might have engendered. “Dream on Granger; you should consider yourself lucky to have me drawn to you!”

 

But his protests were falling on the cold stone walls, rather than her ears, and he couldn’t help feeling that he was the idiot in all of this. How was he meant to deal with a bodily attraction to a girl he hated?

 

AN: Hey everyone, welcome to another Dramione! I’m sorry it took me a little while to get this one up, I was worried it was slightly too similar to Unseen and Unexpected, but then I figured I did all the heavy stuff with Seven Deadly Sins and Back To Temptation, so why not do a bit more fluff? So I really hope you enjoy this story, and please please please review, because they make me so happy! Petitesorciere xxx

 

 

 

 

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