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That New Girl ~Chapter 6: Halloween in Hogsmeade~
Halloween was upon the castle…which also meant that the first Hogsmeade weekend had finally arrived. Draco was thankful for this. He needed to get away from this bloody castle and away from…her. Good thing he had Pansy to keep Hermione off his mind. Ever since he had asked her out for that very reason, she had been doing a damn good job of it, though she was unaware. Pansy was always crooning over him and tending to his every need, acting like his house maid, just as a wife was supposed to. Draco sighed…his father had warned him to start the search for a life companion soon…he would be asked to marry after seventh year. It was a Malfoy tradition, of course. And this…companion…would have to fulfill all of Lucius’ requirements: a wealthy family, clean blood, and understanding of Malfoy morals, which in this case meant that Pansy Parkinson was bound to end up a Mrs. Malfoy. Her father had inherited a grotesquely large amount of money about five years ago, making the Parkinsons almost as rich as the Malfoys themselves, but not quite so. They were, of course, purebloods. And Mr. And Mrs. Parkinson were Death Eaters, though they had not yet been charged of any crimes, because they had only decided to join the Dark Lord and his forces. They had been forced, of course, but gave in nonetheless. Yes, Pansy was Lucius’ ideal daughter-in-law. It was sheer luck that she just happened to worship Draco. Damn, where was the girl, anyway? “Pansy, hurry the hell up! Everyone else has already left.” Three first-years sitting in the corner farthest Draco jumped at his sudden outburst, and when Draco scowled angrily at them, they began to hurridly gather their things. Draco smirked. He loved the influence he had on the little gits. About ten seconds after Draco had hollered, Pansy appeared at the top of the stairs that led to the girl’s dormitories. “Coming, Drakey! Sorry to keep you waiting!” Draco grunted in response. Pansy was grinning broadly nonetheless, making her pug nose even wider than it already was. Draco turned away in disgust. Being a rich, pureblooded Parkinson didn’t at all guarantee looks. The two of them walked down to the Entrance Hall to meet up with the rest of the students, Pansy chatting her arse off the whole way. Bloody hell, does she ever close that trap? When they arrived in Hogsmeade a while later, Pansy insisted that they go into the Three Broomsticks first for a butterbeer together, and Draco had no way of avoiding the situation, so he sat through about a half an hour of non-stop chatting. Oh, the things he would do for his father. For fear of his father more like it. Draco was immensely relieved when Pansy had finished her speech about Millicent’s hair, and there was a long enough pause for him to come up with a way of losing her presence. “Er, Pansy? I’ve just remembered…I’ve got to pick up a book for my Mum. It’s her birthday tomorrow, and-” “Oooh!” she interrupted. “I’ll come with you!” she started to get up. “No!” Draco blurted out. “I mean, she said she doesn’t want you to help me…she…er…wants to see how well I…er know her.” This was a complete lie, of course. Pansy’s brow was furrowed, but she seemed to believe him. “Okay Draco. I’ll be in Zonko’s…I have to check to see if there’s anything in there to trick Millicent into taking a shower…” Draco left the table without another word. He saw Pansy watching him from the window, still drinking her butterbeer, so he had no choice but to enter Borushio’s Books and Magazines. He entered the shop and made a B-line for the Quidditch section. He was in the middle of scanning the fourth row when he accidentally let his gaze wander past the books and through the shelves. Hermione. Damnit! He couldn’t leave, Pansy would still be watching. He’d have to stay in the shop…with her. It was a rather small shop…she’d see him sooner or later. Well, Draco thought, might as well make it sooner… He couldn’t resist the temptation to scare her as he walked around to the end of her row. She had her back turned to him, and was hunched over a book, reading intently. He crept up behind her, a mischievous grin on his face. It was Halloween, after all… “BOO!” Hermione jumped about a foot off the ground and whirled around to face Draco, who had collapsed against the shelf in a fit of laughter. “Damnit, Draco!” Hermione exclaimed, whacking him with her book after she caught her breath. He didn’t seem to care. He was still on the floor, shaking silently with laughter. “Why’d you have to go and do that, huh?” “I’m…SORRY!” he gasped, “It was…so…perfect…” Hermione had her hands on her hips and scowled down at him until his laughter subsided, and he stood up to face her. “Very funny Draco. Ha ha ha…” And with that, she turned around again to face the shelves, and put the book she was holding back, only to begin scanning the rows once more. “Yes, it was funny, wasn’t it?” “Yeah, if you take pleasure in frightening little girls in bookstores, I think it was down right hilarious.” “Oooh, touchy. Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Granger. What’re you looking for anyway?” “What do you care?” “I think I have a right to know.” “And why is that?” “Because I am the all-mighty Draco Malfoy, Slytherin Prince and heir to the Malfoy throne. All shall bow down to me.” “Bow down, eh?” “That’s right.” “You’re very full of yourself, you know that?” “Yes, I know that.” “Good. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of your intense arrogance level. Don’t want to overload, now, do you?” “No, I wouldn’t want that.” “Me neither.” “Glad that’s established.” “As am I.” “Good to hear it.” Draco loved this. He loved the friendly banter that they were able to toss back and forth to each other. Pansy never argued. Pansy never made fun. She just did as she was told, and nothing more. It got to be quite boring after a while. “So are you going to tell me what you’re looking for?” he asked after a while. Hermione looked straight up into Malfoy’s smirking face and sighed. “I’m looking for a Harper Lee novel, but they don’t seem to have it.” “Who the hell is Harper Lee?” “She’s the amazing author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve already read it of course, but my father’s another story, and it’s his birthday next week.” “I’ve never heard of her.” “Of course you haven’t. She’s a Muggle.” “Well then what are you doing reading it?” “God, Malfoy, you really are too thick to be healthy. Being a Muggle doesn’t automatically make you stupid, you know. Some of the greatest human beings to ever live were Muggles.” Draco snorted. “I’ll believe that when I see it.” “Well then, you should read that book. It’s astounding, really. It would do you some good.” “I’ll look into it, then.” “Good for you, Malfoy, good for you.” Hermione scanned the rows one last time. “Damn, I guess they don’t have it…” Draco took one look at the shelves and without missing a beat plucked a book off of the second row, and handed it to Hermione. “Christ, Draco! How come every time I’m around you, I can’t find the book I’m looking for, and then you make me look like a down-right git by plucking it from right under my nose?” Draco raised his eyebrows and turned one corner of his lips up, and deepened his voice. “Maybe you’re…distracted…by my ravishing good looks…” he said, putting a hand up to smooth his hair as he looked up towards the ceiling dramatically. It was Hermione’s turn to snort. “Distracted? By you? Pl-ease Malfoy. You sound exactly like Lockhart…” She pushed past him and made her way towards the counter. “Oh, come on Granger!” Malfoy said. “You know you can’t resist me. Hell, even I can’t resist me!” Hermione spun around. “You are so…ARROGANT!” she blurted. “Ah, well…” he said to her as she continued her journey to the back of the shop, “’tis one of my many talents.” Hermione ignored him and paid the cashier 2 galleons for the book. As she turned around with the store bag in her hand, she stopped when she was face-to-face with Draco. She smiled at him sweetly, but before Draco could comprehend this, she smile turned into a mischievous grin, and she swung the bag backwards, and brought it forwards until it collided with Draco’s stomach. He stood there stunned as she smiled at him again, and walked out the door. When she had left, Draco remembered what had just happened. “OW!” And with that, he exited the shop, leaving the cashier with a curious look on his face.
* * *
As soon as Hermione was out of the door, she giggled at herself. Man, she was good. And yet, she was uneasy. Draco had a peculiar knack of hitting the nail on the head. She could barely resist him. He was so suave and charming and…well, yes he was arrogant…but he was so…witty, was the word. And he was proving a very nice distraction from everything else, so to speak. But really, how had she not noticed how good looking he was before? “Teenage hormones…” she mumbled, before shaking her head and making her way down the road towards Hogwarts. She was very exhausted, being as she was up most of last night. Nevertheless, she still had much to ponder.

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