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   Hermione didn't sleep well that night. She kept tossing and turning unable to get comfortable, while thinking about all the things that Draco had said to her. Looking over at her night stand, the clock read an hour until breakfast. With a deep sigh, Hermione decided to give up on sleep, tossing the blankets off her the bed, she got up and headed for the bathroom.

   Hermione was so tired and lost in her thoughts that she never even saw the dark shadowing figure standing near the window closest to her bed, slink out of the room towards the flight of stairs. Yawning, Hermione headed straight into the bathrooms to do her usual morning routine, taking an extra-long and hot shower to help refresh her enough to get through her classes before heading down to the great hall for breakfast.

   The great hall was practically empty this early in the morning. In fact that only ones in the Great Hall was two Ravenclaw fifth years and a second year Hufflepuff. Hermione cross the Great Hall and went over to her usual spot at the Gryffindor table.

   Sitting down Hermione proceded to randomly pile food on her plate with not really noticing what she was putting on it, lost in her thoughts. She half-heartedly picked at her breakfast not really in the mood to eat. A sudden tap on her shoulder startled Hermione out of her thoughts and caused her to jump two feet in her seat. Turning around she saw that it was Harry.

  “You ok Mione? Ever since yesterday you have been off, and don’t think I haven’t noticed.

“I’m fine. Just a lot on my mind, exams you know?”

“Uh-huh, like I believe that.” He said sitting down next to her.

  She groaned inwardly. Harry was more observant than was good for him sometimes

  “No matter how hard you’re studying,” he pointed at her plate before continuing, “I have never seen you eat cereal on toast,” causing her to look down at her plate.

  She had indeed, embarrassingly enough, put cereal on her toast, as well as something that looked very much like scrambled eggs. She pushed her plate away having lost what little appetite she did have.

“So are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?” Harry asked.

  “Just, thinking about my parents, that’s all. They are still quite a bit angry at me for wiping their memories before sending them to Australia, where they would be safe, instead of letting them keep their memories.” She lied.

  Harry didn’t seem to believe her but didn’t call her out on the lie. Hermione never could lie very well, especially not to Harry.

  “You know you can always talk to Ron and me about anything that might be bothering you, right. Even Ron’s noticed you have been a bit dodgy since Thursday evening, when you came in late.”

“I know. I’m fine, really, I am just not feeling my best that’s all.”

“I see, then you should probably try to take it easy today. What are your plans for this nice Saturday? Please, don’t tell me you are going to the library.”

  She couldn’t help but smile. “I’m going to the library”

“I figured you would say that, you would probably live in the library if they would let you.” There was a small chuckle in his voice.

   “So? I like the library. Full of dusty tomes waiting to be read and explored. It’s our last year here anyway. There are a few sections I haven’t finished reading and others I have yet to explore. Besides I have that extra credit paper due Monday for Defense against the Dark arts, I told you that yesterday.”

  “Alright, alright calm down Mione. I have quidditch practice today anyway. You should come and watch, you could use the fresh air. You haven’t been outside since our Care of Magical Creatures class Wednesday morning.”

She smiled, kissed Harry on the cheek and got up to leave.

  “Ok Harry, I’ll do that. I could use the break anyway. Plus, I like watching Ron and you play. As long as you guys are the ones doing the flying and my feet stay firmly on the ground I am happy.”

  She left a smiling Harry, her barely touched food behind, and made her way to the library. When she got there Hermione went to her favorite secluded spot in the back corner. Sitting on the chair at the far corner of the table, the same one as she did every day and pulled out a quill, an ink bottle, and a piece of parchment. She needed to sort out her thoughts.

  Hermione dipped her quill into the ink and started to scratch out her thoughts on the parchment. By creating a T- chart, Hermione began listing the pro’s on one side and the Con's on the other side on whether or not she should help Malfoy.

Pros


1. I would be able to use my skills to help. I can find facts faster than anyone else in their school, also my defense magic could use some practice.

2. He had asked for my help.

The fact that he had even asked for her help, a muggleborn, meant that he was in serious need.

3. It affects more than one person. It affects me because this council probably knows I know by now and if I don’t help It will put me and my friends in danger.

I want to help people. Plus, I haven’t been able to test my magical abilities in a while, At least outside of class. How will I get good at Defense if I don’t put it to use.?

4. This would be great learning opportunity to find out more information about vampires.

Especially since I am planning on going into the law field after graduating Hogwarts, the more I learn about other creatures now the easier it will be for me to help and judge all wisely and fairly.

5. It would be a great test on how well I can handle things.

I know I work well under pressure, since I’ve done it before. However, this situation will not only test my defensive abilities against more than just your ordinary creatures, wizards, and witches, but it will also test me on how well I can work under the pressure of working with someone I find so distasteful.

6. Possibly learn new kinds of magic.

As much as I love to learn from books, there’s much that still needs to be discovered and I know that can only be done through firsthand experience. Vampires have the oldest form of magic, though they can’t usually use wand magic.

7. Learn the ways of another kind of creature.

Well this goes with a great opportunity to learn more about vampires. She scratched that one out.

8. This could help me in the future.

Great for future reference.

9. Oddly Enough I want to help.

Even though Malfoy has done nothing but make the last eight years of my life a living hell, I still want to help him. Maybe I feel like I owe him for trying to protect us from his aunt finding out whom we were, or maybe it is something else? I really just don’t know. I guess the only way I am going to find out is if I agree to help Malfoy.

Cons


1. He is Malfoy.

I hate him, he hates me. It’s always been like that, it will always be like that.

2. He’s a git.

He is the most insufferable male I know and the only one that can truly get under my skin. The only guy I wouldn’t have minded if he disappeared all of a sudden.

3. He has a terrible attitude.

His attitude is absolutely horrid! I don’t know how long I would be able to deal with his attitude before wanting to kill him. Would I even survive long enough to get to wherever this tournament is taking place at?

4. We'd kill each other.

This is a proven fact. Whenever Malfoy and me are  in the same room sparks tend to fly. I wouldn’t give us five minutes before we are at each other’s throats.

5. He's put me through hell for years.

Yet he saved me twice.

6. I'd be stuck with him.

I would be going against every rule in my book concerning Malfoy. This option also goes with the fact that I hate him, he is a terrible person with a bad attitude, and that we’d kill each other if we were together for more than 5 minutes.

7. I hate him.

This sums everything negative up.

Hermione surveyed her list thinking. By this time it was noon.

  She weighed her options going over everything that had happened the last two days starting with last Thursday when Draco first approached her in the Astronomy tower. She had gone there to get some fresh air and to think. Lately she had been feeling weird around her best friend. Every time Harry was near her she felt…giddy, if that made any since. Then malfoy had stormed in ruining her peaceful thinking area by freaking her out.

  She remembered the fear she felt when his fangs had grazed her neck, though she noted to herself that he had been quite gentle. He could have hurt her if he wanted to, but he hadn’t, and she wondered why.

  Looking down at her chart it was obvious that the positives far outweighed the negatives. Plus, her curiosity was getting the better of her. She could learn to get over the cons. She would help, but Malfoy would have to do something in return. She would figure out what when she next spoke to him.

   She started putting everything in her bags, her mind still going over every little detail as she walked out of the library and made her way to the Owlery. Once at the Owlery she quickly scratched out her reply to Malfoy.

Dear Malfoy

I have thought about it and I have decided that I will accept your invitation. Send an owl with where you would like to meet and when.

Sincerely,

Hermione Granger

  She kept it short and to the point. Folding up the letter, she called down one of the school owls, attaching the letter to its leg, giving it a small treat before sending the owl on its way off the balcony.

   To be truthful she wasn't looking forward to being Malfoy's companion during the tournament. It made her uneasy to think about the fact that she'd be alone with Malfoy and a bunch of vampires for an unseen amount of time. Especially since most of the vampires will probably be Newborns. On the way back down the Owlery steps heading towards the common room, she bumped into someone.

“Sorry.” She apologized quickly looking up.

It was Harry. She wasn’t surprised.

“I thought you were supposed to be at practice?

   "Hello Hermione. Practice isn’t for another hour. I thought you were going to be in the library?" He said catching her by her arms so that she wouldn't fall.

   The familiar warmth of being near Harry went through her and sent butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

"What are you doing up here?" he asked.

  "I was at the library, I uh, couldn’t get my parents out of my mind so I would send them a letter, you know too apologize again. I also decided to send them some more of that sugarless candy floss that they like so much," she lied quickly.

   She hated to lie to Harry, but she knew that if she told him what was really going on he would end up telling Ron, and together they would never let her go, especially not when it involved her being alone with their worst Enemy.

"Oh ok," he grinned believing her lie easily.

  "I was just looking for you actually. I wanted to ask if you can help Ron and me after practice with our Transfiguration homework, because you know we just aren’t getting it.” He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.


"Sure, I don't mind helping,” she replied with a smile.

   It was true she really didn't mind, she welcomed a distraction from what she was about to do. She didn't want to leave her best friends. Hermione didn’t even know when she would see them again, and so she decided that she would grab what little time she could with them.

“Shall we head down to practice then?” He asked holding out his hand, which she took gratefully.

   Harry and Hermione had barely made two steps onto the field, when they heard Ginny’s voice shouting at Seamus. Harry shrugged and ran over to the fiery hot tempered red head and Seamus in hopes of diffusing the situation before things could get worse. While Hermione proceed up to the stands to watch catching sight of Seamus’ girlfriend, Pavarti.

 “What did he do this time?” Hermione asked Pavarti sitting down next to her. 

 “He lined her training robes with some form of powder from the twin’s joke shop that apparently makes boils appear.” Pavarti managed to say between fits of giggles.

   They watched as it took Harry twenty minutes of arguing with Ginny and Seamus, and the occasional spell flying in order for him to get the situation under control. At one point Hermione had to duck down quickly to avoid being hit by one of Ginny’s bat boggie hexes.

   The Practice itself was good. It proved to be just the distraction that Hermione had needed. She had been proud to see that Ron was getting even better at his keeping skills, and Seamus was becoming one hell of a chaser. She was soon lost in the hype, and even cheered with the other girls; who had split up into two teams to support their relative friends or boyfriends, mini teams.

   Practice ended just as the sun had started to set. As a group Hermione, Harry, and Ron headed inside for a quick dinner, and then they headed to the common room to work on their Transfiguration homework.

  It took Hermione most of the night to help the boys catch up with, not only their Transfiguration, but also Charms, Potions and History of Magic. The whole time she kept looking out the window hoping to get Malfoy's reply, but no owl came. Now that she thought about it, she hadn’t seen Malfoy at dinner. She knew this because she had kept checking over at the Slytherin table for glimpses of his blonde head. 

   With a sigh Hermione stood up from the table that she had been sitting at for the last 4 hours, and stretched. The boys having gone to bed a half an hour ago leaving Hermione at the table supposedly finishing a Potions essay, but really she was waiting for an owl to arrive with a reply from Malfoy. However, it was obvious that she wouldn’t be getting a reply tonight, so she tiredly went up the girl’s stair case using the wall to keep her balance.

   Pulling back the curtains around her bed to lay down, Hermione found that she couldn’t, because Malfoy was already lying across her bed with one arm behind his head reading her letter.

Three thoughts went through her mind at that moment.

One: What was Malfoy doing lying on her bed?

Two: How did he, a boy and a Slytherin boy at that, get into the girls dormitories?   

Three: Why was he in her room anyway, when he could have just owled her.



  
 

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