Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Pushing the door leading outside onto the grounds, Hermione felt like she could breath for the first time all night. She let the cold air fill her lungs revitalize her and helped her think a bit more clearly. She wiped the tears from her eyes and let out a huff, before walking as quickly away from Hogwarts as possible without running.
When she'd seen one Ronald Weasley plant his lips on one Lavender Brown in the Common Room after the Gryffindor Quidditch match, it was as if the world had dropped out from under her. The room was rowdy, everyone was cheering and drinking drinks that were against school rules, but Hermione had been too elated at the time to enforce the rules. She had been chatting with Harry, realizing that Ron's play was all from his confidence and not the Felix Felicis that Harry had, and the next minute she had to get out of there.
Harry was looking around the room so he didn't notice her slip out of the portrait hole and into the quiet hallway leaving the noisy party behind. The tears had come quickly, prickling in the backs of her eyes and then feeling like she couldn't swallow. At first she thought that she would go to the Room of Requirement, but she changed her mind, not wanting Harry to follow her. She knew he could probably find her no matter what, using the Marauder's Map, so she was determined to put as much space between her and Gryffindor Tower as possible. She'd felt so embarrassed hearing her sobs echo in the hallway.
She didn't even know why she was reacting so poorly to the scene. After all, it wasn't like she was in love with Ron or anything. Sure, she had a little bit of a crush on him, but it was mostly that people just seemed to put them together. They were expected. Ron and Hermione. And finally, she had thought he was finally seeing her as more than a friend, more than one of the guys. That maybe, she'd finally go on a proper date and have a good snog, her first real kiss. But all it took was him shoving his tongue in Lavender's mouth to remind her that she would always be Harry Potter's brainy friend - less woman and more book.
Would it ever get easier? Wouldn't anyone ever see her as more than just her superior intellect? As a woman who wanted to be romanced and swept off her feet, not asked for homework help? It seemed liked everyone else had had their turn, why shouldn't she? Ginny had so many boyfriends and Lavender and Parvati's giggling always let her know about the dates that they went on. Even Luna dated!
Maybe she had already peaked, in fourth year at the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum.
By the time she reached the Black Lake, she had calmed down a little and her tears had finally stopped, but she still felt miserable. She stayed, standing on the water's edge, staring at the dark emptiness and feeling sorry for herself, until she heard sounds of a struggle. It felt as if all the hair on her body was standing on edge. She pulled out her wand and gripped it tightly, edging closer to the noise, which was coming from a little grove of trees near the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Ever since the Department of Mysteries wherein she'd fought against real Death Eaters, she'd been on edge, feeling as though danger were just around the corner.
"Stop it!" The girl said, causing Hermione to hasten her steps. She crept silently along, hoping to help whoever it was that was in trouble. When she turned the corner, she saw Marcus Flint holding a slight blonde girl, with his hand down her top, grabbing her breast. She'd recognize that overgrown beast of a man by his dental hygiene any day. Daphne Greengrass was struggling fiercely, but wasn't a match for Flint's brute strength. "Marcus, let me go." She seethed insistently, unaware of Hermione's presence.
Hermione sent a stinging hex at him, which startled him, but he still didn't remove his hand's from Greengrass's wrists. "Flint, she asked her to let her go." She tried to speak confidently, letting her anger at seeing him mistreat a fellow woman steady her shaking hand.
Flint looked at her with a sneer on his face. "What's it to you mudblood?"
Hermione was whip crack quick with her next spell. "Incarcerous!" Ropes wound themselves around him tightly, causing him to fall over onto his side with a grunt. Hermione turned to face her classmate, who looked surprised, but relieved. "Would you like me to call for an auror?" Hermione asked.
Greengrass frowned a shook her head. "No, Flint was just leaving, weren't you?" She asked with a haughty tone. She appeared to be in control of the situation, thought she'd just been struggling to get away. The only evidence was her mussed hair, loose dress, and her rubbing a wrist.
Flint begrudgingly nodded. Hermione frowned, but released him from the spell, keeping her wand trained on him. He popped up and jogged away in the general direction of Hogsmeade, not sparing a second glance at either girl.
Hermione turned to Greengrass, who was struggling with her dress, trying to cover up her bare breast. "Are you okay, Greengrass?" She tried not to gawk at her.
Daphne smiled. "Call me Daphne, I think you've seen enough of me to call me by my first name." She said with a crooked smile. "I'm fine. Thanks for the help, Granger."
Hermione offered her a weak smile. "It was no trouble Daphne, but please call me Hermione."
After Daphne had repaired her dress an awkward silence had settled over the pair. Hermione couldn't help but stare at the beautiful girl. She was wearing a really daring little black dress that Hermione wished she had the confidence to wear. Even if she had the confidence, Hermione was sure she didn't have the body for it.
Daphne was the girl in school that every boy drooled over, even Harry. She was slim, with impressive breasts, and long, pin straight blonde hair. Her makeup was always tastefully done and she usually wore red lipstick, making her perfect teeth seem whiter than anyone's. Hermione looked down at her own body. Her and Daphne couldn't be more opposite. She was just wearing jeans and a Gryffindor t-shirt. Hermione was slim, but with none of Daphne's soft curves, a splotchy red face from crying, and frizzy hair that wouldn't behave. She was painfully aware that people thought of her as some sexless being and she could practically feel her shoulders slumping in self consciousness.
When she looked back up at Daphne, the Slytherin was looking at her with a curious look in her toffee brown eyes. "What brings you out to the Hogwarts grounds this evening, Hermione?"
Hermione bit her lower lip, a nervous habit that left her lips chapped, trying to decide what to tell the other girl. "I, err - there was a celebration in Gryffindor Tower tonight, and I just wanted some fresh air."
"Really? Shouldn't you be cosying up to Weaslbee then?" Daphne asked. Hermione was unsuccessful in hiding her grimace. "Ahh, I see. Want to go to the Come and Go Room and talk about it?"
"Talk about what? I just told you, I wanted some air." Hermione tried to sound resolute, but her voice had cracked, and she felt tears in her eyes again.
"Bullshit, Granger. You've clearly been crying. Now, come on, let's go inside and you can tell Aunty Daph everything."
"I don't think I want to." Hermione responded quietly, although her heart was soaring. What would be better than to get her feelings off her chest? The only problem was that she and Daphne weren't friends - they were probably closer to enemies.
"Oh, you know Granger, I think I am starting to get overwrought emotionally about what Marcus did to me. I really think I need to be with someone right now." The blonde said, dramatically. "And you're a prefect. Perfect."
"Well, I guess..." Hermione responded trailing off. It was true that she was supposed to help out the other students, and she had been the one to ward off Flint, but...wouldn't Daphne be better served talking about it with someone in her own house? Parkinson or Davis perhaps? On second thought, Hermione couldn't imagine talking about her her feelings with Parkinson ever. That girl was a right shrew.
"Great!" Daphne cheered, tucking her arm into Hermione's. She led the girl back inside, and Hermione blindly followed, all the way to the top of the castle, until they were in front of the portrait of Barnabas the Barmy.
Soon, a door appeared and Daphne led her inside. It was cozy, deep greens and dark browns. There was a fireplace that was giving off cheery warm light and a pair of couches next to it. It was a really lovely, tasteful room. Hermione was impressed.
"How do you know about the Room of Requirement?" She asked the Slytherin, curious.
"Oh? Is that what the Gryffindors call it?" Daphne looked rather sweet with a surprised look on her face. "Practically all of Slytherin House knows about it, but we call it the Come and Go Room. The only thing is, most of my housemates don't know that you can get it to shift into whatever you'd like."
Daphne's devious grin made her incredibly uncomfortable. She realized now that she was sitting in a locked room with a Slytherin girl who she'd never spoken more than two sentences to before, and she was being nice. It was confusing to say the least, and it went against everything she knew about dealing with this particular house. She knew that there had to be some kind of ulterior motive.
"Alright, just let me slip into something a little more comfortable and then we can talk. Would you like come hot apple cider?" Daphne asked, before calling a house elf without waiting for Hermione's answer. "Muffet!"
"Yes, Missy Daphne?" The little elf was dressed in a little sugar sack tied at the waist with a bright pink ribbon.
"Two hot apple ciders please, with some caramel on the whipped cream, you know how I like?" Daphne asked the house elf sweetly.
Hermione was gawking. Not only was the house elf well dressed, it was well treated. To top it off, Daphne had somehow gotten a personal house elf into Hogwarts. To further her confusion, Daphne waved her wand over her body to transfigure her dress. Before she knew it, the slinky black dress was transformed into a full length green, plaid, flannel nightgown that looked like it would better suit Professor McGonagall. Hermione couldn't contain her giggles. "Daphne, you don't seriously wear that to bed do you?"
"Of course! Its freezing in the dungeons!" Daphne said. She took a sip of the hot cider that the house elf had dropped off before dropping down on one of the couches. "Now, tell me what's the matter."
Hermione sat daintily on the same couch. "Well, I am only here because you said you were upset because of Flint. So maybe you should go first. What were you doing with him anyway? He is so ugly and you are...so pretty." Hermione said, trying not to sound dejected.
"It's true that Marcus isn't much to look at. But he plays on a professional Quidditch team, and he has a lot of money because of it." Daphne told her honestly.
Hermione tried not to gap at her. She was absolutely shocked. Daphne was a gold digger? "So, you are just with him because of his money?"
"Let's get one thing clear. I am not with Marcus. We have gone on some dates, but I have gone on dates with lots of other guys." Hermione was even more surprised to hear this. Daphne wasn't just with one guy? Hermione had never even considered that someone could have more than one boyfriend and not be cheating. "After marriage contracts were outlawed in 1976, pureblooded girls like me have needed to figure out some other way to ensure a good future. I don't really care about what they look like...as long as they can take care of me."
"But, don't you want to love the person you marry?"
Daphne shrugged. "It would be nice, but it isn't my first priority."
Hermione couldn't imagine marrying someone she didn't love, but she supposed it must be practical to Daphne. She wondered if the girl did like anyone as just a person. She was pulled from her musings, when Daphne asked her, "Alright, now why are you upset?"
Hermione bit her lip. Should she tell Daphne? She had no idea why the girl was being so nice to her. They'd barely ever talked to each other before, and some of the other girls in Slytherin were pretty nasty to her. What if Daphne went back to her Common Room and told everyone? In the end, Hermione couldn't hold her feelings in any longer. "Well, I had thought that Ronald and I...that he might see me more than a friend. But tonight, he well...he snogged Lavender Brown in front of everyone."
"Really? But she's so clingy!" Daphne asked, with more righteous than Hermione thought was appropriate considering Daphne had just told her she wasn't interested in love. "So, you want Weasley as a boyfriend then?"
Again, Hermione sighed. "Well, not exactly. It wasn't Ronald specifically...I just thought that someone, anyone was finally seeing me as a woman, not Harry Potter's encyclopedia." She felt tears prickle in her eyes again, and her voice cracked. She was so embarrassed telling a girl who could have anyone she wanted this. "I just long to have someone interested in me, someone be attracted to me."
"Oh, is that all?" Daphne asked, with a haughty note of surprise in her voice. "I can help you with that."
"What?" Hermione asked, utterly shocked at Daphne's response. She felt like she'd slipped into some other reality. "Why are you being so nice to me? Did you forget? I'm a mudblood." She said with a dark sadness in her voice.
"Don't use that word, it isn't ladylike." Daphne scolded, in a tone Hermione imagined she'd learned from her mother. "I don't know...I know Pansy is really awful to you, but she is just jealous because Draco pays more attention to you, even if it's just obsessing over how you are better than him. I've always admired you, Hermione. We've just never really spoken before, and I find that I quite like you. You are a lot smarter than Tracey, after all." Daphne told her with a smile. "And you helped me, so I will help you."
Hermione sat there, kind of numb. Malfoy obsessed over her? Daphne liked her? Wanted to help her. "I don't know what to say."
"Then don't say anything at all. If you need help getting a little male attention, I can help you." Daphne cocked her head to stare at Hermione. "You have a nice body, and your face is actually quite pretty, once you get past that hair."
Hermione instantly patted her hands on her hair, trying not to be embarrassed. "I don't know, Daphne, I don't look like you. You can dress me up, but I think I will just end up looking desperate."
Daphne shook her head. "Trust me on this Hermione. Come with me to Hogsmeade next weekend, and we will get you fitted for a proper bra and tailor your uniform. Nothing too dramatic, just a little here and there."
Hermione was aghast. "I don't need a new bra!"
"Yes you do." Daphne snorted. "When was the last time you were properly fitted?"
Biting her lip, Hermione blushed when she answered. "Well...I guess it's been a while. After second year."
Daphne looked at her incredulously, with an I-told-you-so look on her face. "See, oh, Granger, you are so lucky you found me. But first, we need to do something about that hair...it will be so wavy and beautiful when we are finished...it's just too frizzy right now. Don't worry, I have a potion for that."
"A potion? I don't know...I had to use a whole bottle of Sleekeazy's before the Yule Ball in Fourth Year."
"It's a potion of my own creation. I use it every day." Daphne replied, pulling her fingers through her long blonde locks. "Just don't tell Astoria. I've never given her my secret." Daphne had a smirk on her face. It was true, Astoria's hair wasn't the pin straight hair that Daphne had. It always looked a little bit...unpolished, although it certainly seemed like she tried. The Greengrass sisters couldn't be more different either. Astoria had dark brown hair and big blue eyes. She was prim and proper and definitely didn't have the rebellious streak that Daphne had. "She is always trying to be a perfect little pureblood. It's annoying."
"I won't tell her. But no offense, Daphne, you aren't really...known for your potions prowess." Hermione tried to respond as delicately as possible. How Daphne had made it into NEWT potions was beyong her and Hermione was surprised that she'd even taken a potions OWL. In class, Daphne was never really focused, and she usually showed up a bit late. Not that Professor Snape would ever take points away.
"It's true, I don't really care for traditional potions, so I never put effort into that class. But I am rather good with beauty potions. Trust me, Hermione."
Hermione thought about it for a moment. Did she trust Daphne? Should she trust Daphne? She was really going out on a limb that this wasn't some terrible prank thought up by Pansy Parkinson. Then she remembered the sadness of feeling unwanted. "I'll take it."
"Great! Just put it on after you shower and before you dry your hair." Daphne cheered before handing Hermione a vial with a pink potion in it that the house elf had brought. "You are so confident in your abilities and intelligence. We just need to help you find a little confidence in your looks and then you will have guys lining up to take you out. If you listen to me, I guarantee you we will get you a date before next Hogsmeade."
Hermione smiled, excited at the prospect. It had been two years since any male had paid her any attention as a woman. She hoped maybe love could blossom, for her this time.
Daphne yawned. "Alright, Hermione, I'm going to bed. I had a big night tonight. Let me know how you like the potion and we will make plans for later this week." She stood up, and not bothering to transfigure her pajamas back into her dress, she sauntered down to the Slytherin dorms.
Hermione shook her head and couldn't stop the smile that formed on her face. If anything, she was excited to have made a new friend. And the possibilities of having a boyfriend...it made her giddy inside.
Half way back to the dorm, she met Harry, who looked her over with a concerned face. "Hermione! I've been looking for you everywhere. Are you okay?"
"Oh course, Harry, why wouldn't I be?" She responded, surprised.
"Well, I just thought that with the whole...Lavender thing, you might be upset?" Harry asked slowly, confused by her nonchalance.
"Why would that upset me? No, I just fancied some fresh air." Hermione told him serenely. She didn't care who Ron dated or snogged in front of everyone. "Now, let's get back to the common room. It's almost curfew."
A/N: Alright, this is my new Dramione story. I know it's a bit overdone to do a make over Hermione story, but I hope that it will be a little more subtle-Slytherin. Hermione isn't going to turn into a dummy, so don't worry! I don't have it all written yet, but I have it planned out - should be about nine chapters, and I hope to update it every Wednesday. If you are looking for something else to read in the meantime, I'd love for you to check out my Sirmione called Back to the Future.
This is loosely based on the Tata Young song Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy which was my working title, but it seemed a little silly. I guess Daphne is kind of the embodiment of the song, or maybe the song Primadonna by Marina and the Diamonds.
I would love to know what you thought of the first chapter! Please let me know in the reviews or feel free to PM me your thoughts and be on the lookout for chapter two next week!