I don't own HP. Wish I did, but I don't.

Interhouse Fest 2017: #10 Draco/Hermione. Hiding from each other doesn't work. Be as liberal with the prompt as you want.

oXoXoXo

"You can't be serious!" Draco exclaimed, looking at his mother in shock.

"Would I be anything but serious about this?" she asked coolly, raising one elegant eyebrow at him.

Draco immediately felt like squirming. Of course his mother was serious. She hadn't made a joke since his father had been sent to Azkaban the first time.

"But - but - It's Granger! I can't marry Granger!"

"Whyever not? You were perfectly fine with me choosing a spouse for you before now."

"Yes, but I assumed you were going to pick a pureblood! Not Hermione fucking Granger!"

His mother sniffed, "Draco, don't curse in front of your mother. And I did have a perfectly pure blooded bride selected for you, but with the Ministry's new bill I knew I had to change my plans. It's not like your father is around to stop such laws from occurring in the first place."

He gaped at his mother. "What bill?!"

She looked at him in surprise, "Why the Muggleborn Integration Program. Haven't you been reading about it in the paper? No. Obviously not. Well, about a year ago an unspeakable declared that all the turmoil of the last century was due to the class divides in our society. Primarily the ones dealing with blood. So it was decided - after a great deal of debate - that these class divides must be weakened."

"Ooookay….but why does this mean I have to marry Granger of all people?"

His mother took a delicate sip of her cordial. "That's what I'm getting to. Now hush." She gave him a look and he felt like squirming again. "Now, this law includes all sorts of things. Everything from workshops for muggle-born parents to mandatory muggle studies classes at Hogwarts. But, what is important to us is the raffle."

"The raffle?" he asked rather stupidly. Merlin he hated feeling stupid, but it was a common feeling around his mother. Even after twenty-five years she ran mental circles around him.

"Yes, the raffle. Willing half-blood and pureblood wizards and witches between the ages of seventeen and thirty are to put their names in. The names will be drawn at random and they'll be paired up with a muggle-born witch or wizard also between the ages of seventeen and thirty for a year. During that time they are supposed to see each other at least weekly and do magical and non-magical activities together. It is to, and I quote, 'Create a well-balanced and intermingled society so as to encourage peace and prosperity for all.' Now do you see why I changed my plans?"

He shook his head mutely, trying to process the information.

She sighed, "You really are your father's son, aren't you? Well, you shall be paired with Hermione Granger. Over the next year you will apologize for the past, befriend her, romance her, and then, when the year is up, you shall marry her. Understand?"

"But- if it's a raffle then…" he trailed off as he realized why she was so certain he was going to get Granger. "You rigged it. Why? Why do you want me to marry a muggle-born? I thought-"

"What? That I was a blood purist like your father? No, I am a classist. There is a difference you know. Not much of one in our current society, but I can see which way the wind blows. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and the rest of their little army are the future. All of them are moving down paths that will bring them more fame and riches. We may have vaults full of gold and an impeccable lineage, but in the future they will mean nothing. By the time of your grandchildren the world will have changed. They will be ashamed of you and me. Disgusted with your father. And if they are not ashamed and disgusted they shall be outcasts. To prevent that you WILL marry Hermione Granger and ensure that no descendant of ours is ashamed of their family name. Do you understand?"

Draco wanted to protest, but he'd never been able to stand against his mother. So he just nodded mutely, dreading the year to come.

oXoXoXo

His only consolation was that Granger looked as horrified as he felt when his name was paired with hers. Sadly it only lasted for a heartbeat before her expression turned to one of rage and she stormed towards him.

"Why did you put your name in the raffle!? We all know you couldn't give two shits about muggle-born integration!"

Her voice nearly bowled him over. Just like her slap had done over a decade before. He winced, but said the only he thought she might believe. "My mother did it. Something about mending fences and looking towards the future."

She glared, "But you don't feel that way. Do you?"

He shrugged, "Can a snake ever forget that it is nothing next to a lion in this new world?"

"Don't tell me you're falling back on our old school houses. We all left Hogwarts years ago."

"Can't really forget you're a snake when it's tattooed on your arm."

Her gaze slipped down to his left forearm. Luckily his dark mark was covered by his robes, but he knew she didn't need to see it to know what it looked like.

"Fine, snake," she spat out, "let's go get this week's magical activity over with. Then I don't want to hear a single hiss from you until next Tuesday. Got it? If I could survive torture at your house, well, I can survive fifty-two outings."

Draco winced at the reminder of what occurred during the war, but chose not to comment on it. He really liked breathing. Even if his life was really boring and useless.

"Alright. Did you have something planned for this first meeting? I didn't think we'd do anything today so have nothing planned."

She held out her arm, "Yes, grab on. We're going to see a movie. That doesn't require any interaction at all."

oXoXoXo

By the end of the first outing Draco knew he could never do what his mother wanted. There was no way he could marry Hermione Granger. Every word out of her mouth was infuriating. They'd murder each other at the reception.

True to her word watching a movie required no talking or interactions. Draco did find himself with a world of questions as to how a movie was made, but didn't want to ask them.

That required talking and there was no way in hell he was getting Granger to start lecturing.

On their second outing he took her to a dueling tournament. No interaction was required.

During the third through thirteenth outings they visited museums. Typically they'd enter together and then never say another word until it was time to leave. He found it rather amusing when he spotted a magical silver shield in a muggle museum on medieval warfare. His family owned one just like it, though it spent most of its time as a serving platter.

For their fourteenth outing he took her to a magical spa. They were booked as a couple, which made Granger raise her eyebrows in disbelief. But he had planned it perfectly. They were no more than a few feet from each other the entire time, but they never had to speak.

Still, he couldn't help but notice that Granger had gorgeous legs. Not that it made up for her acerbic tongue.

They went back to museums after the spa, which was probably a good thing. He didn't think he could stand discovering if her body made up for her evil mind.

On their twenty-seventh outing she took him to a place she called a nail salon. He wanted to curse the muggle woman that told him his cuticles were in terrible shape. When he managed to resist the urge and just grunt instead he found the most delightful sound in the world.

Giggling.

Sweet, musical giggling coming from a mouth that usually formed insults.

He glared at Granger. "What's so funny?" he demanded, trying to copy the same tone his father had used on him so many times.

She only giggled more.

He glared for a moment. His eyes taking in the way her brown hair bounced merrily around her beau-

He cut his thoughts short.

No.

No way did he think anything about Granger was beautiful. He may have been unable to get out of the raffle, but he was not marrying this little know-it-all.

He sniffed and turned away from Granger. Watching instead as the muggle tidying up his so not terrible cuticles.

They went to a quidditch game for the twenty-eighth outing. Granger glared at him when he told her where they were going. He smirked back, knowing she only watched quidditch for her friends.

He didn't even want to think of why he knew that.

Her revenge was in the form of a massage parlor on their twenty-ninth outing. He practically screamed as the masseuse pounded his back into puddy.

After that they went back to museums for about ten outings.

That was until the forty-fourth outing. He took her to his hair salon and ordered them to give her a 'cut that didn't make her look like an unwashed pygmy puff.'

He'd honestly thought she was going to claw his eyes out after that.

Instead she got her revenge on their forty-fifth outing. He screamed the entire time he raced down the mountain with flimsy little wooden boards strapped to his feet.

On the forty-sixth outing he took her on a tour of all the nastiest shops on Diagon Alley. She got the last laugh when she saved them from a hungry vampire just after sundown.

For the forty-seventh outing she took him to do something called 'bowling'. He sprained his wrist and got his ass handed to him. He never thought hitting pins with a ball was so difficult.

Their outings quickly escalated until, for the fifty-second he decided to do something she'd never expect. Something he had never expected either.

He took her to dinner.

"Alright, Malfoy. What's the catch?" she asked after the Maître D' had walked away.

He raised one eyebrow at her, enjoying her discomfort. "Does there have to be a catch? Can't we just have a pleasant dinner to celebrate this year of outings being over?"

She eyes him as she picked up the menu, but didn't say another word.

He didn't bother to look at the menu. He always ordered the same thing here and he would much prefer to study Granger.

It was funny. He'd thought he'd be glad the year was over, but for some reason he wasn't. Had he really enjoyed all of their outings? No. He couldn't have. He quite remembered being miserable for many of them. And he knew he wasn't looking forward to telling his mother he had 'failed'. Not that he really had failed. After all, how could he fail if he had never tried?

Seeking a distraction his eyes moved over Granger. She looked gorgeous in an elegant midnight blue cocktail dress with her hair arranged neatly in some sort of twist.

He frowned at that.

Since when was Granger's hair ever neat? On the outing after the hair salon she'd shown up with her hair as unruly as it had ever been.

"Your hair is neat," Draco said rather stupidly.

Granger looked up from her menu. "Why shouldn't it be?"

"Your hair is never neat."

She flushed, "So?"

They'd spent an entire year being forced to interact and not once during that time had she ever tried to look her best for him. Why now?

"So you never make an effort with me. Why now?"

Her flush deepened and something clicked.

"You're trying to make me want you. Why? Want to get one last swipe in against the little snake?"

She set the menu down and quickly shook her head, "No. Quite the opposite."

"Opposite?" He echoed rather stupidly.

She nodded, "Yes, you see. I've realized something over the past year."

"What's that," he asked quietly.

"I realized I had never really known you. Just like you had never really known me. All we knew each other by was the labels that society put on us. Slytherin. Gryffindor."

"Pureblood. Muggleborn."

"Villain. Hero."

"Lion. Snake."

"Snob. Know-it-all."

"You're not a know-it-all." He said quietly, her words sinking into him.

Her lips quirked upward in a smile. "I'm as much of a know-it-all as you are a snob." She gave the restaurant around them a pointed look.

He flushed. He'd meant to make her suspect a trap with the restaurant. To have her on edge all night in such an elegant place.

She'd seen right through it.

He stood up and held out his hand. "Want to go somewhere else and discuss the possibility of our outings continuing? As something a bit more...special?"

She smiled brilliantly and his breath caught as she slipped her hand into his, "I think that would be a very good idea."

As they left he had to give his mother credit. Even without trying he'd somehow fulfilled her plan.