Chapter I

~Unspoken Rivalry~

He was looking at her again.

Over at the other side of the Great Hall, his eyes laid rest to the girl seated between a pathetic excuse for a wizard and a Scarhead who was everyone's favorite. She tossed her head in laughter when Weasley said something, and Potter's shoulders shook with glee. The Golden Trio. The Grand Group. The Perfect Threesome. Draco Malfoy's mouth curved into a smirk. A mudblood. Nothing but a filthy mudblood. The same mudblood who made him rank only second best in the last six years of his life in Hogwarts, the same mudblood who dared touch his skin and slap him right across the face. The same mudblood, who, until now, was making his life a living hell. Why do you keep looking at her then, he asked himself.

But his question was abandoned and left unanswered. It wouldn't be too long before his gaze would be returned. He rested his elbows on the surface of the Slytherin table and kept staring at the mudblood, subconsciously memorizing every part of her.


After the laughter died out in the Gryffindor table, Hermione Granger exhaled deeply and looked down on her food. Her friends were still laughing about something. Her fingers wrapped around the fork and played with the mashed potatoes when it hit her. Someone was trying to burn into her soul, and she didn't need a clue who it was. Slowly, her eyes rolled to the Slytherin table where sure enough, Malfoy was looking straight back at her, brandish his infamous smirk.

It had been going on for quite sometime now. The silent little competition that they would share between themselves. When he realized that there was nothing anymore to make fun of the little mudblood, Malfoy had decided to keep his mouth shut and increased his taunts on her two friends instead. What he and Granger had was an unspoken rivalry. It was a fight to see who was the weak, and who was the powerful. They would stare into each other's eyes during their break on the school grounds, sometimes even during in class, but most of the time they would do it in the Great Hall.

He was gazing into her chocolate brown eyes that sparkled with knowledge while his gray orbs glistened with secrets. Hermione didn't want to give up and prolonged the stare. Draco's eyebrow arched as he leaned forward with more interest when Ron's voice suddenly broke it off between them.

"Hey, Hermione, you think you can come to our Quidditch practice tonight?"

Hermione blinked as she came crashing back to her part of the world, the Gryffindor world. The whole contest lasted three minutes. A new record; impressive.

"Well, I don't think I can," said Hermione. "You realize I still haven't done anything in Professor Binns' two-feet long assignment which is due next month! I don't wanna be left behind in our lessons."

Over at her left side, Harry reached out and squeezed her hand. "Oh come on, Hermione, what are you talking about? You're already advanced as it is! Besides, tonight's a Friday, and you haven't spent a lot of time with me and Ron anymore. We were beginning to think Malfoy was stealing you from us," he added with a grin.

"No!" Hermione's head sharply turned around to look at him. "What makes you think so?" she asked nervously.

"Relax Hermione, he was only kidding!" Ron exclaimed. "But he's right, you spend more time with him than you do with us. What with all those Head Boy and Head Girl duties, plus let's not forget you guys have been sharing the same dormitory for the past, two months already."

Harry nodded in agreement. Hermione looked from one boy to the other. "We might share a dormitory, but during all those times I was with him, I wasn't exactly with him." And she was telling the truth. They shared the same common room, but they would only sit down on their desks and study, never looking at each other. Never. Sometimes Hermione would wake up and find that Malfoy had already left, and had already gone to sleep when she would come back at late at night. Hermione would have given anything to get rid of that deafening silence that loomed in the Head Boy/Head Girl Dormitory. "I'd rather dance naked in the North Pole with the Santa's little elves before I spend an afternoon with him."

Ron laughed. "Point taken, Hermione." He cast a glance at his watch and jumped. "Well then, I guess we'd better get going. We're already late for the practice you called for, Mr. Gryffindor Quidditch Captain," he said to Harry.

"Right, right." Harry gulped down his rootbeer float to the last drop and swung his leg over the bench of the table. When he was out, he bent over to Hermione and kissed her forehead. "We've really missed you, you know," he whispered in her ear, and quickly left the Great Hall with Ron.

Hermione sat frozen, unable to understand the meaning of the kiss. Was he trying to tell me something? She bit her lip as her brows met in deep thought.


Draco was surprised as well. But it was more than that. Revulsion. A growing abhorrence to the Pothead who got everything he wanted. He didn't know where all his emotions came from nor the fact that his utter dislike for Potter could possible worsen. She's confused, he thought to himself. Now she's going to bite her lip... He smirked momentarily as his prediction came true. Now look at me, mudblood.

True enough, Hermione lifted her head from the battles that was going on inside her head and found Malfoy staring back at her. She knew for a fact that he had seen everything, and her eyes turned into a glare as his lips curved knowingly at her. Why can't you just leave me alone, Hermione thought wearily. Malfoy slowly rose to his feet and decided to leave the Great Hall, eyes fixed at her before he reached the great doors and was out of sight.

Hermione's eyes followed him all the way to the door. Don't even think about following him, she thought.

Too late. Her feet had already carried her swiftly outside the Great Hall. Too swiftly in fact that she almost tripped on a lose stone floor and cursed under her breath.

When she left, Lavender Brown leaned over to her friend, Parvati Patil and whispered in her ear. "Did you see?"

Parvati nodded. "Yeah. They've been looking at each other again."


Well that was it! A new story before I continue my epic Temple of the Dragon. What do you think of it? Did I pass, or did I suck? Please review!