AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter or anything from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Well that was just frustrating. McGonagall didn’t say anything helpful. How in the hell would he get Hermione to fall in love with him? Girls constantly fell for him some practically throwing themselves at him. But Hermione was different, she was smart, she wouldn’t fall for his charms. Not that he ever had to use his charms to get women; they always flocked towards him because of his family name, good looks, wealth and many other nonsense reasons. That’s why he hasn’t gone out much especially with those women, they were too easy. He wanted more of a challenge…like…Hermione?
Getting Granger to fall for him would be the ultimate challenge, but how could he guarantee that he could fall for her as well? Because in this case it had to go both ways in order to break the spell.
He followed Hermione back into the living room. She seemed to be just as frustrated as he was. She walked over to the dining table where her laptop sat.
She looked at him, “You probably want to come over here because we need to discuss some things.”
He hopped up onto the table and sat next to the computer and waited for her to bring up the screen.
She let out a breath, “Okay, what did McGonagall tell you?”
CANT TELL, he typed out.
“Great,” she let out a frustrated sigh. “Did she tell you anything or give any hints as to how to break the spell?”
“And you can’t tell me what they are?”
“I wonder if she told you the same thing she told me, only told us both not to tell the other.” She muttered mainly to herself.
Great she didn’t know how to ask him what McGonagall told him without revealing what she knows that she couldn’t tell him…Damn why did all of this have to be so confusing and secretive.
“Okay well obviously I don’t know what she told you, but she did tell me that I can reveal what I know of how to break the spell although this part won’t break it completely, it will just allow you more time as a human or as yourself I should say. But I can only tell you if you guess and only if you guess correctly. Now I don’t now how many guesses you get so I would think really hard before you make your guess…Does that make sense?”
“Alright well last night you changed around 10:00pm so I guess you’ll probably change around the same time tonight, or earlier…I don’t know.” She got nervous just thinking about it; maybe she shouldn’t help him do good deeds because that would be more human time, which could only lead to more confusing moments between them.
“Um so I guess we just have to wait until then.”
He watched as she busied herself around her apartment, cleaning there, arranging something here. When her phone rang.
“Hi Hermione, listen I need a really big favor.”
“Of course Ginny, what’s up?”
“Can you watch Lily for a couple of hours tonight? I have a…appointment and Harry’s working and my parents are busy and can’t get out of it.”
“Sure thing no problem, bring her on over. Is everything ok?”
“Oh yeah, just a check up is all…”
“Is Malfoy there? I mean is he still a cat?”
“Yeah he is at the moment at least.”
“So he changed back last night then?”
“Yeah, listen just bring Lily over and I’ll get everything set up for her.”
“Okay…just so you know I want details later. We’ll be over in a few.”
She hung up and looked over at Draco on the sofa, “just so you know Ginny’s bringing her daughter Lily over because she needs a babysitter. So be nice, no scratching, and no biting. But I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to run away and hide from her. Crookshanks can’t stand her; I always have to put him away in the closet.”
She went about putting all her breakables up high so Lily couldn’t get to them, then went and got out some of her toys and coloring books that she always likes to play with when she comes over. She was doing some last minute clean up when she heard the pop from her kitchen.
“Hermione we’re here.” she heard Ginny call out.
“Crookies, where are you?” came a tiny voice.
And like that Crookshanks bolted to Hermione’s bedroom probably to hide. Hermione watched him hide trying to hold back a smile; Crookshanks was terrified of the little girl. She went to greet her guest.
“Hey Ginny, hi Lily.” She said as she bent down to give her favorite little girl a nice big squeeze.
“Aunt Mione!” The little girl squealed.
She was the cutest little three years old ever with little ginger pigtails on each side of her head and freckles across her face.
“Where’s Crookies?” she asked looking around.
“Crookshanks is taking a nap right now so I don’t think he’ll want to play tonight.”
The little girl stuck out her bottom lip pouting. When she spotted Draco on the sofa she let out a squeal of excitement.
“You got a new kitty! Can I play with her?”
“Actually it’s a boy, his name is Draco. Now Lily listen to me, Draco is a new kitty, he’s not used to people so he probably doesn’t want to play with you so you have to be extra, extra nice to Draco. And listen to what Aunt Mione tells you okay?” Ginny told her daughter.
“Okay mummy, but can I pet Draky?” Ginny looked at Draco on the sofa then back to daughter.
“Only if you be really, really gentle. He’s not the nicest kitty in the world.”
Draco just glared at her resisting the urge to stick out his tongue at her, but made no move to bolt out of the room. He looked at Hermione who silently mouthed ‘be nice’ to him. He watched in horror as the little girl with chubby hands and sticky fingers reached towards him to pet him. And of course her idea of gentle was way different from his. He could feel his skin being peeled back with every stroke she took. He’d be lucky if he still had hair on his body by the time she was done with him.
“Pretty, pretty kitty. That’s what you are Draky. You’re my favorite kitty in the entire world.”
Now he knew why Crookshanks bolted as soon as he discovered the little monster was in the apartment. He wanted to badly to run away but he was afraid if he did she would just chase after him. So he just sat there miserably as she petted him. Maybe her attention would be drawn else where in a bit. Kids were known for short attention spans right? Then he could at least get away and hop up onto his safe haven up on top of the bookcase.
“Poor Draco I almost feel sorry for him. If he can survive a night with Lily then he can survive anything I think.” Ginny said quietly to Hermione.
“Ha ha I take it you haven’t told her about the new little family you took up yet?”
“No of course not, that’s why we put them in the barn out back, and she won’t know of them until they get nice and healthy first.”
“How are they doing by the way?”
“Good, they are so cute. The mother still doesn’t trust either of us very well but at least she’s eating everything we give her. And they all are starting to fatten up a bit which is good.”
“Good I’m sure Draco will be glad to hear that.”
“No! Honey what did I say? Pet him gently.” Ginny told Lily when she noticed she was this close to yanking his fur out. “You might want to watch her closely with him.” She told Hermione.
“I told him before you came over that no matter what he wasn’t allowed to scratch or hurt her in anyway.”
“Well I wouldn’t blame him if he did; she can be a little terror when she wants to be. Well I should be heading off to my appointment. I should be back in a few hours, do you mind feeding her dinner?”
“Absolutely, no problem, I just went to the store today so I have plenty. Is everything okay? Your not sick or anything? Do you want me to check you out? I still have some of my healer equipment and supplies here.”
“No, no I’m fine, it’s nothing serious. It’s just I think maybe I’m…”
“Shh…ha ha I don’t know yet but…maybe?” Ginny said with a tiny smile.
“Oh Ginny that’s awesome, I’m so happy for you. Is it a surprise? Or were you and Harry trying to have another baby?”
“No we weren’t trying, but we haven’t really been trying to prevent it either. But don’t congratulate me yet, it could just nothing. I’m still not 100 percent sure yet, that’s why I’m going to get it check out.”
“Does Harry know?”
“No, I haven’t said anything to him yet. I don’t want to get his hopes up in case it’s a false alarm.”
“Well regardless I’m so happy for you. You have everything a wonderful husband, a happy marriage, a beautiful little girl and a possible baby on the way. It will be a shock if I don’t become an old maid in the next couple of years. Ha it’s bad enough that I’m probably already qualified to be known as the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’.”
“Oh Hermione don’t say that, you’re smart and gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want you and besides maybe your luck will change soon.” Ginny said as she made a not so subtle glance over at Draco and then back at her.
Hermione noticed the hint. “Yeah right, that will never happen. Not now, not ever.”
“Uh huh, we’ll see.” Ginny said with a wink. “Well I should get going, call me if anything happens.” She walked over to Lily. “Lily I’m leaving, give me a kiss and remember to listen to what Hermione tells you.”
“Okay, bye mummy.”
When Ginny left Hermione turned the TV to something child appropriate and something that will entertain Lily for a while.
“Can you take my hair down, it’s hurting my head.”
“Sure sweetie just let me get my brush.”
She went and got her brush then went back to where Lily was on her sofa. She pulled Lily into her lap which caused her to let go of Draco. Draco choose that moment to retreat to the far end of the sofa. She chuckled to herself at that. She started taking down her hair down first undoing the ribbons she had in her hair and laying them on the coffee table. Then she brushed out the tangles and smoothing out her hair. Hermione remembered when her mother used to brush her hair when she was a kid, and with hair as curly as her hair was it was a nightmare and she hated it every time. But Lily loved it she always giggled or hummed to herself as she got her hair brushed.
“There you go, all shiny and smooth.”
“Can I brush Draky’s hair?” Draco jerked his head towards them; Hermione could see the fear in his eyes.
“Um no I don’t think he’ll like that very much.”
“But doesn’t he want his hair to be shiny and smooth too?”
“No I think he likes his hair the way it is.”
“Mm okay.” Lily said pouting.
“Why don’t you draw me a pretty picture instead?”
Lily perked up, “okay I’ll make you the prettiest picture ever!”
“Okay you do that, I’m going to make us some dinner.”
Hermione went about making her childhood favorite, macaroni and cheese for her and Lily to eat. She also put a batch of brownies in the oven for desert. When she came back out to the living room to get Lily she was not expecting what she saw. There was Draco on the sofa covered head to toe in pink ribbons. She tried to conceal her smile but failed.
“Well it looks like you’ve been busy.”
“Doesn’t Draky look pretty? I did it myself.” Lily said quite proud of what she did.
“Yes, he looks…interesting.”
“No Aunt Mione, you have to tell him he looks pretty otherwise you’ll hurt his feelings.”
She tried to swallow a laugh that she desperately wanted to let out. She had a strong feeling that his pride’s hurt more then his feelings would be.
“Yes Draco you look quite pretty.” She said chuckling.
“Like a princess!” Lily added giggling.
She shook her head smiling, “Come one Lily dinner’s ready.”
“Wait do you want to see the picture I drew for you?”
“Sure let’s see it.”
She handed her the picture. She wasn’t expecting much from a three year old, but she was excited nonetheless. What she saw was a stick figure with wild hair and some kind of animal? It was hard to tell. Then she drew a big pink misshapen heart like shape in between the two stick figures.
“It’s beautiful Lily who are these people?”
“That’s you,” she said pointing to the figure with wild hair…figures, she thought. “And that’s Draky.” Pointing to the animal-like figure, “and your getting married because your in love and then your going to live happily ever after and have lots and lots and lots of babies and kitties.” Lily giggled.
Hermione was speechless, what was she suppose to say to that? “Well it’s beautiful; I’ll hang it up in the kitchen. Come on lets go eat.”
She picked Lily up and avoided looking at Draco as she walked to the dining table. She didn’t want to get into explaining to Lily that humans and cats can’t get married let alone have babies together. Of course Draco wasn’t an ordinary cat, but Lily didn’t know that. Kids and they’re crazy imaginations.
She glanced over as Draco got down from the sofa. He was having trouble walking because Lily put ribbons around each foot just above the ankle and he kept tripping on the loose ends of them. He even had a ribbon tied to the tip of his tail. And Lily still didn’t quite know how to tie a bow so mainly they were all tied in knots. She watched as he carefully took every step trying to avoid stepping on the ribbons which didn’t help because he tripped anyway, it must be hard to go from having two legs to four.
“Do you want a brownie?” she asked Lily who nodded enthusiastically. “Okay you stay there and finish your macaroni and I’ll go get you one.” She said as she went to the kitchen picking up Draco on her way there.
That way she could help him get the ribbons off without Lily seeing. She set him on the counter and went about untying the knots quickly. When she was all done she couldn’t resist retying a pink ribbon around his neck with a nice big bow.
“There now you’re just as pretty as a princess again.” She cooed and he growled at her in response. “Okay, okay I couldn’t resist.” She said as she untied the bow.
While in the kitchen she quickly fixed him his dinner then went back to Lily with her brownie.
“Yummy I love your brownies Aunt Mione.” Lily said with a mouthful of chocolate.
How is it that little kids no matter what they ate they always managed to make a mess of it and usually got covered from head to toe in whatever they ate? She shook her head and managed to brush it off most of Lily’s clothing, but went back into the kitchen to get a wet rag to wipe her hands and mouth with. When she walked in the kitchen she caught Draco single handedly feeding Crookshanks part of his dinner. He looked up at her guiltily knowing he’d been caught. She was about to tell him off again about feeding Crookshanks but she guessed that would be part of his good deeds and shouldn’t interfere with it, even if it wasn’t good for Crookshanks.
“I know you mean well and it’s hard to resist his sad looks but it’s really not good for him so try to just say no next time.” She told Draco. “And no more begging.” She looked down at Crookshanks.
Just then Lily walked in. “I have to go potty.” She looked at Hermione then spotted Crookshanks who backed up into the far corner of the kitchen. “Crookies! There you are.” She started towards him but he hissed at her and ran past her as fast as he could. “Fine I don’t like you anymore anyway because Draky’s my new favorite bestest kitty friend ever!”
“Now Lily be nicer to Crookshanks, you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Come on I’ll take you to the bathroom then we can watch a movie together how does that sound?”
“Yah, can we watch Beauty and the Beast again?”
Draco debated whether or not he should hide in the kitchen till the kid left. But he didn’t want it to look like he was scared of her. He just didn’t want to be decorated up like a Christmas tree again. And the little nickname Lily gave him would be really annoying if she wasn’t so cute. Even if she was the spawn of Potter and Weaslette. He might as well join them otherwise Hermione might think he’s chickening out about hanging out with a three year old. He walked in and they were both on the sofa watching some cartoon on the TV. He tried to sneak past Lily so he could sit on the opposite side of Hermione. But Lily was too quick.
“Look Draky’s here, he wants to watch too. Can he watch too?” she asked Hermione.
“Sure he can.”
Thankfully Lily wasn’t very strong otherwise she would probably be breaking his rips right now she was squeezing him so tightly.
“We’re watching Beauty and the Beast, it’s my favorite movie in the whole world and it’s Aunt Mione’s favorite too. Right Aunt Mione?”
“I think Aunt Mione should be Belle and you Draky can be the Beast. Then you two will fall in love and live happily ever after.”
He noticed Hermione blush when she said that and went back to avoiding making eye contact with him. Man this little girl was determined that they would end up together, did Hermione lack a love life so badly that even Potter’s three year old daughter was trying to play matchmaker? Of course that some she was trying to match her up with would be him and he was currently a cat, but she didn’t know he was anything other then that.
“Yeh, it’s starting! Draky, you need to watch this, it’s the bestest movie ever.” She hugged him to her chest tightly.
“Lily hold him gently, not to tight. Just let him sit in your lap so he can be comfortable okay?”
“Okay.” She eased her grip on him slightly but didn’t let him go like she was told to do.
The movie started it’s intro, he had no idea what they were watching and could really care less. He glanced at Hermione who was half watching and half reading. She probably knew this movie by heart if Lily made her watch it every time she came over. He didn’t realize that he was staring at her, which he’s been doing a lot of late. Not necessarily trying to get her attention but just watching her. Watching her read again.
He got pulled away when he heard the narrator talking about a curse that this beast character was under. Apparently he was once a human but since he was unkind and selfish he got turned into a monster by an enchantress. And in order for him to break the spell he had to prove that he had kindness in his heart and that he had to find his true love and earn her love in return. Otherwise he would remain a beast until the end of time.
Well hell that sounded way too familiar. Could it be that simple, prove he had kindness in his heart. Could that be the missing piece to this puzzle? He glanced at Hermione who was now staring at him. Did she notice the similarities in the story as well? He made eye contact with her, but she didn’t pull away, then suddenly looking unsure she shook her head mainly to herself and turned away focusing back on the movie rather then him. Did she figure out the missing piece in her puzzle, about the true love part? If so she didn’t say anything. She didn’t so much as look at him during the entire movie which happened to have lots of singing in it and everything a song came on Lily felt it was her duty to sing along to every word and completely out of tune. It was bizarrely charming and annoying.
A little more then half way through the movie, Lily fell asleep but she still clung to him like he was her favorite stuff animal. He didn’t want to move for fear he would wake her up, since he would have to wiggle his way out of her arms. And besides he wanted to find out what happened at the end. But of course like Lily said the two characters fell in love despite their differences which broke the spell and they lived happily ever after.
Hermione turned off the movie then looked over obviously noticing for the first time that Lily fell asleep a while back and she still clung to Draco.
“Sorry.” She said quietly to Draco as she gently pried her little arms from Draco’s body.
When that was done he hopped off immediately knowing something was changing. Perfect timing he thought as he bolted towards the kitchen. Hermione must have not noticed what was happening for she let out a small squeak when he peeked his head out of the kitchen door, but she managed to keep her voice low so she wouldn’t wake Lily up.
“Can you get my clothes for me?” he said staying inside the kitchen and just peeking out the kitchen door.
“Um sure, stay in there and don’t come out yet, not until you get your clothes on, just don’t come out.” She said blushing again.
“Duh I not stupid.” He said with a wink.
She ignored it and quickly went to fetch his clothes. She thrust them through the doorway not coming in or looking in and waited for him to get changed.
“Can I come out now?”
“Yeah just be quiet. I’m going to move her to my bedroom to sleep until Ginny gets back.” She went over to the sleeping Lily and bent down to pick her up.
“Here let me do that, you just tell me where to put her.” He said as he reached over and took the sleeping girl into his arms.
He figured if it was acts of kindness that was going to help get him out of this mess then he might as well start and any little thing counted.
“Okay just try not to wake her up, I don’t want to have to explain to her who you are.”
He carried her easily and headed towards her bedroom. That was something you don’t see everyday she thought. She always thought it was charming to see a grown man handle a child with such sweet care like putting a child to bed. And it was alarmingly charming to see a man such as Draco Malfoy helping put a sleeping child to bed. She wondered what he would be like as a father, would he be like his father cruel and self centered? Or would he be the kind of father who took time to tuck a child into bed? She shook her head trying to clear her thoughts and followed him to the bedroom.
“Just put her on top of the covers.” She said to him as she watched him gently laid her down making sure her head was comfortably on the pillow then he took the throw blanket she had at the end of her bed and pulled it over and tucked her in.
She didn’t realize she was probably smiling like a love sick school girl, “What?” he asked looking at her now.
“Nothing.” She said as she wiped the grin off her face.
“When’s mummy coming back?” a sleeping voice said from behind Draco.
Hermione swiftly moved so she could see Lily. “She’ll be here in a little but, go back to sleep sweetie.” She said re-tucking her back in.
“Okay goodnight Mione.”
“Good nite Lily.” She said as she bent down and placed a kiss on her forehead.
He turned around quickly to face her. Was she talking to him the human him? Or just saying that because she thought he as a cat was somewhere within the room?
“See I told you he would turn into a handsome prince” she said mainly to Hermione who just stared at him not knowing what to say to that.
Breaking her stare she looked down at Lily. “Yes he did, go back to sleep now okay.”
“Your still my favorite kitty anyway Draky.”
He let out a small laugh. “Thanks kiddo” he reached and ruffled her hair. “Sleep well.”
And with that they both left the bedroom.
“How did she know who you were?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Kids have a big imagination.”
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