*Chapter Photo by alishenciya-o.deviantart.com
It had begun. Draco had stayed in the Slytherin's commons for a tad bit more than thirty minutes. He took this time to contemplate and place out his strategy. First, he'd have to find common grounds with Granger and befriend her. But before doing so, he'd have to apologize to her about last night, despite how much that would hurt his inner pride. After befriending that mudblood, he wanted to hurry up with the kill. He'd decided that the shorter this pathetic charade went on the better. He didn't want to waste too much time and effort on this.
Draco went back to his dorm, entered, and stood in front of Hermione
S door. He raised his right hand and was about to knock, but suddenly stopped three inches before touching the door. Lowering his hand, he turned on his heel and walked the other way and into his room. He shut the door behind him, dropped on his bed, and just laid there. Too much had happened that day. He'd begin tomorrow and try his best not to seem like a damned fickle queer.
"Good morning," was the first thing Hermione heard as she woke up. Who's voice was that? Not even a quarter second later, she shot up into a sitting position. Malfoy!
"What in Merlin's name, Malfoy," yelped Hermione, glaring groggily at Draco. "Why are you in my bedroom! How'd you get passed the charms and spells that were used specifically to avoid this type of situation!"
Draco's eyes drawled onto hers. The legendary smug look planted on his face. His eyes shining in the light. "Your room repels and prevents any male humans from entering."
"So?" Hermione asked, confused.
"Not animals," replied Draco.
Hermione's eyes bulged. "You can do Animagus?" Animagus took years to perfect! When did Draco find the time, much less the interest, to perfect the practice?
"Jealous much? I can actually do something that you, yourself, have yet to master, Granger," said Draco. His eyes displayed his amusement. "It just boggles your mind, doesn't it?"
At first Hermione was slightly irritated by what Malfoy could do. Then she realized! Malfoy was in her room! Hers! Was she bloody ridiculous for being distracted by this conversation of Animagus?
Her features turned half-way hostile and her body tensed. "Get out off my bed, stand up, and get the hell out of my room, Malfoy," ordered Hermione.
Draco looked at her. It took him ten seconds before he complied, but he still didn't take his leave. Putting his hands in his pockets, he stood in front of her. "Granger, I'll have you know that I took the time and effort to figure out how to get past that blasted barrier outside this room. Least you could do is let me get to explaining why I'm here in the first place."
Hermione crossed her arms and sat there, glaring at Draco. He did, probably, spend a while trying to overcome that magical barrier protecting her privacy. But then again, there wasn't a perfectly good reason as to why he couldn't wait outside in the common. "Malfoy, go outside and maybe, just maybe, listen to you out there."
"Why can't we talk now," asked Draco.
"Malfoy, As you can see, I'm not quite presentable right now," replied Hermione with an assertive tone. She pointed to her hair, which was a complete mess. It looked horrible to her, but to Draco, the look didn't bother him. He rather liked it.
Draco's face brightened. His eyes scanned her and stopped, holding his gaze at her torso where her tank top hung low enough to give a nice view of her chest. "I quite fancy where we are and what you're wearing right now, Granger."
Hermione's face turned red. She turned around, grabbed the pillow behind her, and threw it at Draco. "Get out or I wont listen to you at all!" Hermione yelled.
Draco turned around and walked but he stopped at the door. "I'll give you fifteen minutes. After that, I'll come back here whether or not you're done preparing yourself."
' That grotty, stupid, ferret,' thought Hermione. Nevertheless, she quickly got up and took a quick shower before dressing up in her school uniform with the robes. Her hair was still a bit wet, but it didn't need much. It'd dry the way she's always been used to.
When Hermione left the comfort of her own room, Draco was standing in front of the dorm exit. Hermione took a look at her watch and saw that it was near the time for breakfast to be served. "Malfoy, I don't think there's time left to talk."
"What's the cause this time," asked Draco, his eyelids hanging low. He obviously wasn't pleased with having to wait fifteen minutes only to be thwarted at having his part of the agreement.
"-Can wait," said Draco, cutting in. He was agitated. He need to get through step one of his plan to proceed and that included clearing their grounds and start anew. Breakfast could wait. 'No, it would wait,' thought Draco. "I need to talk to you about last night first, Granger."
"Forget it, Malfoy. I don't want to talk about it. Besides, I should be down there in the Great Hall by now with Harry and Ron already." She tried to walk past Draco and to the door, but Draco suddenly threw his arm out and caught her wrist. "Malfoy," scowled Hermione in a verbal warning tone.
Draco kept his cool composure somehow. They had a stare down and Draco kept his grip. Both expected the other to back down, but both were stubborn.
"We can keep at this all you want, Granger," said Draco. "Either you give me the chance to say what I need to say or we stay here and leave your pathetic friends waiting."
Hermione pulled her hand back. She was only able to get free because Draco had lightened his grip. "Fine then. How about we talk as we go down. But make it quick. Wouldn't want your friends buggering you about talking and being within fifty feet of me now, would we?" She gave him a sarcastic look and pushed the portrait door out. "Fine or not? Let's go."
Draco mumbled, "Fine," and walked out first then waited until Hermione closed the portrait behind her, before starting to walk.
When they first started walking, neither said a word. Then it was Draco. "About last night…" He paused for effect. "I'm sorry. It was wrong, I know. It was just that-" He stopped talking. What was he going to say? Tell her that it was because he saw her getting all close to Weasley? No! She'd get the wrong idea. She'd conclude that he was jealous or something. He wasn't! Was he? He cleared his throat. "It was just that I was in a really crummy mood. That's all. I thought Pansy could make me feel better." He glanced at Hermione and saw that she was looking right back at him. "But she didn't."
"Is that all?" Hermione asked.
"Depends." Draco walked in front of Hermione, cut her off and turned around. "Will you forgive me for that, Granger?"
Hermione looked up to Draco's eyes. "Yes. But next time you decide to…invite one of you lady friends over, do your moments in your room."
"Don't worry," replied Draco. "There won't be anymore of that happening in our dorm," said Draco, emphasizing the word 'our.'
"Right," said Hermione, not believing what he just said.
They walked the rest of the way without talking. When they reached the Great Hall, they separated. Draco picked a seat at an angle where it had a perfect view of Hermione.
'Hell,' thought Draco as he saw Weasley weaseling his way closer to Hermione. He was awfully close to Granger. Draco decided he didn't like it.
"Pincer!" Draco whispered. After the flick of his wand, he watched as Ron abruptly started flinching and looked behind him to see if he could catch who ever was hexing him. He never did. After Draco had his fill of amusement, he whispered, "Finite ," and stopped Ron's torment.
Afterward, when Draco finished breakfast, he knew he had potions next with Slughorn. He also knew that Hermione would be there because he had taken the time to look at her schedule that morning when he was in her room.
He watched Hermione until she and her little friends left before he went to potions to get a better chance at sitting with Hermione. If he went too early, he'd be eluded. But if he went a little later, say about ten seconds behind her, then he was positive he'd get to sit next to her.
When he entered the classroom, he saw that as "luck" would have it, Hermione had chosen to sit at a desk with an empty seat beside her. Draco wasted no time in taking over the empty space.
Hermione turned her head to him. "What're you doing," she asked. "There's plenty of empty spaces around you. Go sit with those Slytherins who you call your friends."
Draco turned back to take a look around the room. He saw that there was indeed other spaces open. There was one by Goyle and another by Blaise. He looked past Hermione and saw another chair empty, but it was next to Longbottom. He shook his head. "No. Blaise can sit next to Pansy. He's probably saving it for her. I don't want to sit next to long-faced Longbottom and Goyle's too much of an accident-prone kind of guy. I don't want this pretty face of mine deformed by some sort of accident," said Draco, touching his face, appearing to be horrified of the idea.
Hermione scoffed and said, "Malfoy, you do know how awfully vain you sound right now, right?"
He smiled. Was it genuine? Maybe. "Granger, I already kn-" He was cut off when Slughorn entered, began to speak and hushed the entire class.
"Class! Welcome, I say to you. Welcome," said Slughorn chuckling. "It's good to see all your faces again!" He pointed at Harry. "Ah, Mr. Potter! Lovely to see you in my class once more this year! " To this, Harry lowered his eyes due to his embarrassment."
"Half-blood, Potter, center of attention again," mumbled Draco under his breath. "That's just brilliant."
"Shush," whispered Hermione to Draco.
Draco rolled his eyes and grumbled. Slughorn spoke again. "Now, class, we're going to make the polyjuice potion today. If made perfectly, you will be able to turn into someone else in this classroom!"
The Gryffindors all groaned, including Hermione, while the Slytherins snickered. They would most likely just cause trouble considering they'd be taking the form of someone else who's not them! But of course, Slughorn never thought of this. Naïve was he at times.
"Now, everyone rip out a tiny piece of paper and write your name on it. Pip pip," said Slughorn, clapping his hands twice.
After everyone did so, the pieces of paper all levitated and made their way to the front. Slughorn twirled his wand two times and for a moment the objects held still in the air before going down the aisles once more, but this time, returning to different people. Slughorn then explained. "The name on the paper you've been randomly given will be the name of the person you'll be transfiguring into. You are not to ask for a lock of their hair until I give you permission to do so! Now, good luck to you all!"
Groans, giggles and sighs of relief were heard as people took a look at who they got.
"Yeah! Harry, I got you," exclaimed Seamus.
"That's great." replied Harry with a force smile. He obviously wasn't comfortable with anyone transforming into him.
Other outbursts were made.
"I have Katie Bell. Just great. Turning into a Gryffindor."
"Ha ha! I've got Neville Longbottom. You hear that, Neville? This is just rich."
"Yes! I'm not one of those unfortunates who have to turn into a goody Gryffindor."
Draco looked at his paper and looked closely at what it said; Ron Weasley. Draco's eyes widened, his facial expression sour. ' I have Weasley,' screamed Draco, mentally. ' Just blood grand! I have that stupid arse to-." He stopped. Then he realized it. For the bet, this was his chance! He needed to ruin the relationship between Hermione and Ron, even if just slightly.
The plan became clear. Make that polyjuice potion perfect and when he got permission to get Ron's hair, he'd take a few extra for later on in his plans. Then he'd kiss some random girl off the halls, as Ron, and making sure that Hermione would see.
Draco's smug smirk lived a short life. 'Wait,' he thought. ' What if she confronts him about it and he denies it wasn't him and actually proves that true?' Draco was clueless with what to do if this were to happen until a light bulb came on. He'd moderate Weasley's memory, of course! Tweak it a bit so that he'll have false memories and actually think that he kissed whomever. Making him believe that he didn't really like Granger also didn't sound like a bad idea to Draco.
He chuckled over his own cleverness. Hermione turned to him and said, " Are you alright?"
Draco threw her his over-confident infamous look. "Never been better, Granger."