The Game of Love by queen_luna
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Chapter One: The Beginning Of It All
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WERE YOU TWO THINKING, SIGNING ME UP FOR SOME STUPID SHOW? I DON'T NEED TO PLAY THE GAME OF LOVE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!" --Hermione Granger
Chapter Two: A Day With Ginny
"Hermione was incredibly stressed out. She had forgotten all about the ball and the stupid show until now, two days before the scheduled masquerade was to take place. She needed a dress! She needed to fix her hair! She needed to find a bloody mask!"
Chapter Three: Hermione Arrives At The Ball
"A young man with white-blond hair lounged in a green dragon-skin chaise in his room--no, wing--in his family's manor, his arms behind his head. A silly grin was plastered on his face. Tonight the manor was going to be filled with fifty beautiful women, and he was free to pick and choose among them. No competition."
Chapter Four: The Masquerade
"A few gasps and a flurry of excited murmurs alerted Hermione to the arrival of the bachelor. From a distance, Hermione could make out the fact that he was tall, thin, and had very light blond hair. He looked rather handsome in his black tuxedo. She felt her heart speed up with excitement."
Chapter Five: A Walk Down Memory Lane
"Hermione ignored the crew shouting at her and shoved her way through the throng of weeping girls standing near the entrance, waiting for the rain to subside. She turned left and ran down the empty corridor, brushing away her tears angrily. Why was she crying? More importantly, what was he doing here? He had no right to be on the bachelor, no right to dance with her, after all that he had done."
Chapter Six: After The Storm
"Hermione awoke quite suddenly, snapping her eyes open to see a raven-haired man and two redheads staring at her anxiously. The light streaming in through the gauzy maroon curtains met her eyes and she closed them again, groaning and pulling a blanket up over her eyes. Apparently the rain had finally ceased, but the stormy skies would have better matched her current mood."
Chapter Seven: Apologies and Arguments
"Hermione thought her ears had stopped working. Or maybe she was hallucinating and simply imagining everything. Perhaps she was still asleep and dreaming."
Chapter Eight: Let The Game Begin
"'Ginny, are you absolutely positive you have your driver's license?' shouted Hermione over the sound of the red convertible's engine and the roaring wind. She was holding onto her seatbelt for dear life as Ginny merely laughed and accelerated, zooming along the quiet country road."
Chapter Nine: Malfoy Manor
"Hermione woke up just as the sun began its ascent in the sky. It took her a moment to realize that she wasn't lying in her own bed in her own flat. No, she was currently snuggled up under unfamiliar covers in a four-poster bed in a strange new room with two other people she barely knew."
Chapter Ten: Explanations and Invitations
"Whatever Hermione was lying on was as soft as heaven. The same fluffy softness was piled all around her. Through her shut eyelids she could sense a ray of light coaxing her to wake up. She felt as though she had been asleep for a very long time."
Chapter Eleven: The Quidditch Date: Part One
"At promptly twenty to ten 'o clock, Hermione donned the outfit Ginny had so kindly picked out for her, took one look in the mirror, and just nearly tore it off again."
Chapter Twelve: The Quidditch Date: Part Two
"'Come on,' said Draco, tugging Hermione to her feet. That was when they both realized they had been holding hands all this time. Hermione, feeling embarrassed and very confused at the same time, wrenched her hand away. Draco looked down with surprise, as though he didn't remember grabbing her hand in the first place. There was an awkward pause."
Chapter Thirteen: A Dozen Roses
"Before she knew it, the next rose ceremony was taking place. From twenty-five women the bachelor would choose exactly twelve to continue. A mere week ago, Hermione would have wanted more than anything to be allowed to go home and get back to her old, boring life. But now, as she stood in the foyer with the other twenty-four women, she realized she really wanted to stay."
Chapter Fourteen: A Happy Place
"Hermione sighed happily as she strolled through Disneyland's Main Street. She took in the colorful buildings, the shouts of excited children, the shrieks coming from the nearby roller coaster, the smell of popcorn and cotton candy, and the life-size Disney characters signing autographs here and there. If she closed her eyes, she could pretend she was seven again and didn't have to worry about things like the Game of Love."
Chapter Fifteen: Friends and Farewells
"Yes, she had enjoyed the last date with Draco. Sure, the bachelor had almost kissed her. But what about the eleven other girls? For all she knew, one of them may have already gotten the first kiss. And elimination--that is, another rose ceremony--was taking place tonight. Four girls were going home while eight stayed. Who knew what would happen?"
Chapter Sixteen: Snow Day: Part One
"Hermione glared at him. Inside, though, her heart was pounding in her chest. She couldn't even begin to think of a way to respond his question. Snow had started fall again, very lightly, distracting her. An icy cold wind blew, and she shivered, wrapping her coat a little more tightly around her. He was still waiting for her answer."
Chapter Seventeen: Snow Day: Part Two
"The coldness of the air surrounding them, the sound of the wind rushing around them, and the entire world seemed to disappear as soon as her lips met his. She may have initiated the kiss, but soon, after a moment of shock, he took over, pressing his lips firmly to hers. She felt like her mind had been wiped blank. She couldn't think rationally anymore."
Chapter Eighteen: Falling Hard and Fast
"'Why are you so chipper zis morning?' said Georgina irritably, watching Hermione as they all sat down at the table for breakfast. As usual, the house-elves had laid out a grand buffet for the girls to indulge in.
Chapter Nineteen: Those Innermost Feelings
"For the next two days, that was all Hermione could think about. These two days were taken up with spending time in her room, writing letters to her parents and friends and reading sentimental romance novels. The bachelor was busy taking the second group of girls out on a date, so she hadn't been able to see him since their rendezvous in the garden. That didn't stop her from thinking about him around the clock. She could not believe it at first, but she was in love with him too."
Chapter Twenty: Group Date
"Hermione was not happy. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was the middle of summer and much too hot and humid outside, but no. Monsieur Beaumont thought it would be just grand to send the bachelor and his four dates out to survey London from the scorching hot top of a double-decker bus."
Chapter 21: Various Visitations
"'Mum…' Hermione was quickly losing patience.
Chapter 22: The Love Boat
"Hermione smiled at him and then took the hand of the waiting bachelor. They were standing on a pier. Cobalt blue waves rolled in the distance, under a darkening gray sky. Some would say that the view was gloomy, but Hermione thought it was gorgeous."
Chapter 23: Dreams and Drama
"Hermione was having a very pleasant dream. She dreamed she was on a ship, sailing across the seas to a faraway land where a fairy tale castle awaited her. And in that castle was a prince…
Chapter 24: Devious Deeds
"Maddi fluffed up her blonde hair and gazed at her reflection admiringly. Her skin was tanned and glowing, her blue eyes were sparkling, and her lips were freshly glossed in pink. The bachelor’s mother just had to approve of her. She would be the perfect daughter-in-law, the perfect woman for Narcissa Malfoy’s son. He just didn’t know it yet."
Chapter 25: Revelation and Reconciliation
"Hermione groaned as she struggled to open her eyes. Every inch of her was hurting, especially her head. Completely disoriented, she tried to figure out where she was and how exactly she had gotten there. She sat up slowly, rubbing her arms. It seemed that she had fallen into a rosebush and the prickly thorns had scratched every inch of skin that was exposed."
Chapter 26: Deliberations and Decisions
"Hermione was sitting at the breakfast table with four other girls, listening to Monsieur Beaumont drone on and on about yesterday’s events. Every detail made her cringe inwardly as she remembered how she had been impersonated by not one but two vengeful women, and how she had been Stunned from behind and left to her own devices in a prickly rosebush."
Chapter 27: Meet the Parents: Part One
"'I really should have seen this coming,' Hermione muttered to herself as she threw open the doors of her wardrobe and began pulling out every article of clothing within her reach. 'I mean, it was bound to happen, right? I should’ve known that one day Draco will have to meet my parents. Honestly. Why didn’t I see this coming?' When her arms were full of clothes, she backed away from the wardrobe and tossed everything into an open, empty suitcase."
Chapter 28: Meet the Parents: Part Two
"Hermione leaned against Draco, drinking in his presence. Outside her window, the sun was just beginning to set, casting a warm glow over everything in her room. Smiling, she tilted her face upwards to meet his, and just as he was bending down for a kiss…her mother came barging into her room."
Chapter 29: Rendezvous
"After rereading the same line over and over again, Hermione sighed and tossed the book to the other end of bed and lay down, staring at the ceiling. Visions of her and Draco danced in her mind's eye. She was reliving a particularly happy moment that had taken place in the kitchen when she buried her face into a nearby pillow with a muffled groan, wondering if she had gone insane or if this was love. She evidently couldn't stop thinking about him."
"Hermione Granger walked into her office holding a large stack of files and collapsed into her desk chair. Her feet ached from walking around in heels all day and her eyes were burning from staying up the previous night looking up background information for the case she was currently working on. She had been working nonstop for the past few months, trying to make up for her lengthy hiatus. She spent most days running on a large supply of coffee. She barely had time to relax and read. And yet, she couldn’t have been happier."
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