Disclaimer - I own nothing. It's my imagination.

Hermione groaned as the Roosters seem to have gathered around singing in a series of loud crows. She was sure that they woke her up earlier and earlier with each bright morning, stretching she jumped up from her bed, deciding not to feel any self pity today as to not anger her step-mother, Hermione looked around her basic barn of a room, yes, you read that right, her room was literally a barn. Things had spiralled since her father remarried the local harlot Posy. Posy was also a widow. In the beginning she seemed to like or at least tolerate Hermione. Even her step Daughters Pansy and Daphne seemed kind. On the day her Father died, he just didn't wake up. Suspiciously it was two weeks after her Father married Posy. Very quickly, Hermione was removed from her room and made to sleep in the barn and wait on her three new family members, with tedious chores. Shaking her hatred of them off, Hermione retrieved eggs from the hens, milk from the step and the post from the postman, as she walked to the Kitchen, Hermione noticed four letters very similar, one with her name on. Poaching the eggs, Hermione quickly opened hers, in the envelope was an invitation which read:

To whom, this may concern,

HRH Draco Malfoy is hosting a ball tonight on the evening of September 1st, from 7pm.

You as a suitor are invited, the theme is masquerade. We look forward to seeing you.

Yours Sincerely,

HRH's Lucius, Narcissa and Draco Malfoy.

'Oh my, I, Hermione Granger have been invited to somewhere, somewhere important' Hermione thought to herself, 'Oh, I can't let the other's know I have an invitation too, they will never permit my attendance.' Hermione finally agreed with herself that her invitation needed to stay in her room. Quickly running back before she burnt the eggs, Hermione was determined to arrive at that ball, she was determined to dance to her hearts content, under a mask and without anyone knowing she was there and still be back before midnight. Plating her sisters and Mother In-Law's breakfasts up, Hermione delivered them without a word, before she'd even made it to the bottom of the staircase, they were demanding her attention and help, 'Hermione brush my hair.' 'Hermione find my dress.' 'Hermione find my lost shoe.' 'Hermione iron my scarf.' 'Hermione' 'Hermione' 'Hermione' 'Hermione' 'HERMIONE'. Hermione was extremely grateful when at 6:30pm, they had taken their taxi to the ball, she was run off her feet all day and to be quite frank, the last thing she wanted was to make herself feel pretty... NO. She rarely left their land, she was going. She was going to dance. She was going to have a good time.

7pm on the dot. Hermione checked her watch. Taking a deep breath, she took one last look at her outfit. A white ball gown made from goose feathers, with silver shoes and a matching goose feather mask. Handing her invitation to the guard at the door, Hermione made her way inside. 'Wow' The ball room was huge, very Victorian-esque style decor. Hermione had spotted the hosts, they were sitting in chairs on a podium watching the ongoing of the ball, she also spotted the punch table, the best place to start. Making her way over, Hermione heard a lot of talk of Prince Draco, Hermione just smiled it off, did they really think these girls had a chance with him? Had they seen him? His looks were regularly compared to that of a god! Shaking her head she turned to find a young man, around her age also trying to escape the ladies gossip. Hermione felt pity for him.

"Here, you take this one." Hermione spoke as she handed her drink to the tall stranger.

"Oh, thank you, fair maiden." He bowed his head in thanks.

"Hermione, my name is Hermione."

"As in, Daughter of Menelaus and Helen?"

"Yes, you know your Greek mythology?"

"Some yes, my parents made me learn."

"Posh, private school?"

"More like, over protective parents not wanting me to leave their side. Would you please allow me a dance?" The stranger held out his hand.

Hermione grinned, she came here to dance, and dance she would.

"How are you enjoying yourself?" He looked down, asking as they twirled around.

"I'm having a really nice time."

"Have you seen the Prince?"

"No, I suppose he is busy dancing with a fair maiden."

"You care not to dance with the Prince?"

"If I am honoured enough, I would very much like to dance with Prince Draco, however, I am very happy to have just been invited." Hermione grinned at her dance partner.

"Tell me something about you Hermione, apart from how memorising, I am finding looking into your eyes right now."

Hermione bowed her head in embarrassment, nobody had ever paid her any attention before.

"I live at home with my Step-Mother and Step Sisters."

"What happened to your parents?"

"They have both passed on."

They stopped dancing at that moment, he didn't know what it was, he knew he wasn't leaving her. Ever.

"Are they nice?"

"They could be nicer. I cook and clean for my keep."

"In your parent's house?"

"Well, in Posy's house, she now owns the land since she married Father."

"Posy Parkinson?" He asked.

"Oh gosh, you know of her?" Hermione panicked, would this stranger who she felt like she had known forever land her in trouble?

"I know of everyone, It is my job to know who is where and doing what." He then took his mask off.

"Draco... I mean your Majesty." Hermione bowed low to the floor.

"You my dear, will never bow to anyone in your life again." Draco helped her up before placing a quick kiss on her lips; at the stroke of midnight.