AUTHOR'S NAME:  Campy Capybara

AUTHOR'S EMAIL:  campy_capybara@yahoo.com

RATING:  G

TITLE:  Write On

SUMMARY:  Hermione joins a writing society – just who is her muse?

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Thanks to nc_kat and Wickedwitch for reading through.

DISCLAIMER:  This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Write On

*****

Her eyes flashed angrily.  "How dare you?" she bit off furiously

He said nothing as he approached her, drawn to her like moth to flames by her luminous warm brown eyes.

"How dare you… you… vile… you… you loathsome cockroach!"

He looked at her in askance, not believing her angry words for a second – not when he could see in her eyes a different passion altogether.  Still silent, he reached his hand out to cup her face, and she stepped back only to be trapped by the rough grey wall behind her.

Succumbing to the proximity of the powerful man in front of her, she tilted her face up, intending to push away the proud Lord with her words, but offering her lips in silent supplication instead.   He needed no second offer, as he possessed her then – his lips sealing hers in a promise; a promise of wanton wickedness, a promise of undiscovered delights.

"Oh, Lord Drake," she whimpered, when he finally released her from their breathless kiss.

"Hermia," he sighed, as he threaded his fingers through her wild cascade of dark chocolate hair.

*****

Hermione sighed, seeing in her mind's eye, the couple set in a midnight garden, finally resolving their differences that had taken the last twenty-four instalments of Misunderstanding, High-Flying Broomstick Manoeuvres, Banter, Wizard's Duel, Conflict, Hidden Longings and Romance.  She looked forward to the next chapter by Seeker, especially since the conflict regarding Hermia's parentage had yet to be resolved.

She had subscribed to a wizarding writing society, and she was avidly reading the entries that were included in Write On's latest publication.  Her own amateur novella, "Malécrit in Muggleland", about an arrogant pureblood wizard trapped in Muggle London, was well received, and the reviews she had garnered for the story had her floating on a cloud of euphoria for days.  Even Harry and Ron had commented on her excellent good mood last week, and had wondered what she was so happy about.

But could she tell them?  Could they understand her need to scribble out her ideas and stories on parchments?  Could they empathise with her escapism into a world peopled by the characters of her making, situations of her plotting and dialogues of her dreaming?

She doubted that Harry or Ron would understand – which was why she had never told the boys she had been subscribing to Write On for the past year.  As far as the boys knew, while they were soaring over the Quidditch pitch in training, Hermione was frantically scribbling one of her extra-credit essays for any one of the Professors at Hogwarts.

She had made sure that no one knew her secret life as a writer.  She had employed a plume de nom in her writing, which was a standard practice for the writers in Write On.  To her writing peers, she was 'Cantankerous Curls' or 'Curly' for short.

And one of her favourite writers, 'Seeker', had submitted her (or his, she supposed, as there were a few male writers in the society too) latest instalment to one of her favourite stories in the publication – "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil".

Since her joining the writing society, she had enjoyed crossing words with Seeker.  Seeker could be highly critical – certainly her first few chapters into her story about Malécrit's struggles with muggle appliances were ripped to shreds by her scathing review as unbelievable and implausible, and Hermione had had to rewrite entire chapters to correct it.  Still, Hermione was grateful to Seeker as her writing mentor, thinking it was better to have an honest critique of her writing than empty (though ego-boosting) praise.

Seeker's long, insightful review of "Muggleland" was always crouched in such wit that Hermione looked forward to her reviews as much as updates on her stories.  Since re-writing Muggleland's initial chapters, Hermione had corresponded with Seeker by way of Write On, and Seeker had both helped correct and comment greatly on Hermione's characterisation of her protagonist, Malécrit, especially in respect to how a pureblood would react to certain situations she had in mind.  If it were not for Seeker's help, her story would never have been what it was now.  It was not as if she could walk up to a pureblood wizard like Draco Malfoy, and interview him as research for her Malécrit character, now could she?

Seeker's insightful reviews extended to her prolific writing too.  Seeker had written many stories in a variety of styles – suspense, horror, comedy, adventure and romance.  Seeker's writing strength was in tales of adventure and action, and her first foray into a romance drama with "Midnight" was flavoured greatly with adventure and action – just not enough of the romantic kind.  Nonetheless, Hermione had enjoyed being taken out of her sometimes-staid Head Girl existence, and transported into "Midnight" – a world full of intrigue, of delicious tension between the hero, Lord Drake and Hermia, the heroine who was thrust unknowingly into the politics that Lord Drake was involved in.

Picking up her quill, Hermione tapped the feather against her lip, arranging her jumbled thoughts into some semblance of order and began writing:

Excellent chapter, as always, Seeker!  Although I felt the ending of that chapter was somewhat abrupt – a little more description about the action (Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!) wouldn't have hurt.  The use of 'wanton wickedness' is somewhat tinged with purple, don't you think?  But perhaps you have wanted that alliteration to carry with 'undiscovered delights'.

So what will your next chapter hold?  I'm so looking forward to it!  Hermia deserves to have her wicked ways with that daring, debonair, delightful, devious, delicious, Drake, doesn't she? (Look who's alliterating now… *winks*)  Besides, you haven't address the issue about her mysterious parentage yet.

Cantankerous Curls aka Curly

Sealing her parchment, she addressed the letter to Write On and hurried to the Owlery to have it posted.

~*~

*****

Malécrit could no longer lie to Heidi – not when the Dementor was about five metres away.  As a Muggle, Heidi could not see the dark, hooded creature, but she could sense the evil horror and oppression that the creature exuded, and even now, she could feel the goosebumps on her arms rising.

The Dementor was coming closer towards them.

"Mal?" Heidi whispered quietly, her usually warm and friendly eyes now wide in fear.  Instinctively she trusted this stranger to do something – anything – to overcome the ominous unseen threat that approached them.

The Dementor was now closer to the couple trapped in the alley.  Malécrit was certain that the same enemies that had trapped him in the Muggle world had sent this foul dark creature to ensure he was disposed of in strange world.

"Heidi," he tore his eyes away from the looming facelessness of the Dementor, and made a conscious decision.  "Heidi?  There's something I haven't told you about myself…" he trailed off, noting the stark paleness of Heidi's features.  He wasn't sure if Heidi was even listening to him anymore; she was staring where the Dementor was, trembling.  Instinctively, Malecrit grabbed his wand from the inner lining of his jacket with one hand and reached out for Heidi's cold hands with the other.  There was only one way he could save the two of them from the malevolent creature that seem to be taking great pleasure in their fear and taunting them with their own helplessness.

Pointing his wand at the approaching creature, he focussed on his happy memories, which were not many for the pureblood wizard, who had lived a rather lonely life before he was exiled here by his enemies.

Happy memories… happy memories…

Malécrit saw Heidi that first day she picked him up, half-dead and delusional by the lonely country roadside and took him, a veritable stranger into her house to nurse back to health.  She had looked like a brunette Angel when he had finally awaken a few days later in her guestroom and saw her hovering over his bed.  Her smile had sent a surge of healing power through him, purging the last of the Disorienting Potion from his mind.  Malécrit saw the next happy memory quickly following the first – this time, Heidi in the kindergarten with a curly tow-head girl looking up at him with a bright smile.  He had wished then that she would smile like that for him every day for the rest of his life.  The next happy memory was of Heidi crying in his arms because she was hurt by her sister's resentful words.  It was a happy memory for him because Heidi had shown her trust in confiding what was most painful to her to the stranger who lived with her, whom any muggle would have sent to a muggle version of St. Mungo's, since is was more than obvious that he had no prior knowledge of even how to operate a simple muggle appliance such as a light switch or a television set.

In all, his happy memories featured this muggle woman who brought him a magic that could not be replicated even in the magical world.

With all the memories in the forefront of his mind, and with an unexpected surge coming through Heidi's hand, which was held in his, Malécrit cried out, "Expecto Patronum!"

A dragon!

A blinding white Hungarian Vipertooth to be specific – not that Heidi would know it from a Chinese Dragonball, Malécrit thought grimly.

The dragon charged at the Dementor, who was too close to the couple to turn away.  The dark creature could only stand silent, when with a roar and a swipe of the Vipertooth's long lethal talons, the Dementor dissolved silently into the thin air.

For a moment, the only sound in the alley was that of Malécrit's panting, having exerted much to banish the Dementor.  Although the danger had just passed, Malécrit felt that this time, it was cutting too close.

"Mal?" Heidi's soft voice reminded him that he was still holding her hands with his left, and his wand extended into the alleyway with his right.  "Mal?  Are you… are you all right?"

"I'm a wizard, Heidi," he replied abruptly, still drawing strength from the muggle woman through their joined hands.

Heidi looked up into Malécrit's intense grey eyes, and saw a residual fear – one of rejection.  Hoping to lighten the mood somewhat, especially the sudden lightness that awashed the both of them from that inexplicable sense of dread, Heidi smiled softly and said, "I'd figured you were some sort of sorcerer when that dragon appeared, Mal."

"Oh," he blushed, awkward and not knowing what to say.

"Especially when that dragon appeared from out of that stick you're holding," her smile grew at his discomfort.

"My wand, Heidi," he smirked.

Heidi's eyes lit up as she gingerly reached out for the 10-inch Elm wood, not knowing that her action was considered highly indecorous in the wizarding world Malécrit inhabited.  The once arrogant wizard would have no qualms hexing anyone – wizard or witch – for the audacity of touching his wand.  Nevertheless, the muggle woman's faux pas in handling the wizard's wand was easily forgotten by Malécrit in the light of their shared escape from the Dementor, and perhaps something more.  Malécrit watched amused, as Heidi examined his wand with great care and awe, for he knew that unlike most muggles, Heidi was partial to the wonders of magic, even if her understanding of true magic was tainted by her muggle folklore.

"Are you truly magical?" she asked in wonder, the entire episode of that oppressive feeling – that feeling of dread and horror, of death and dismay – long forgotten in her discovery of Malécrit's true identity.

Three months ago, he would have sneered at Heidi's question; he probably would have insulted her for asking that question.  But here he was, three months later, trusting Heidi with his wand, trusting her in a way he had never trusted another before, and knowing full well that despite her muggleness, she was more trustworthy than any witch or wizard of his acquaintance.  Living with Heidi had taught him that magic was not merely about power over nature; Heidi had magic of her own – a brand that was forceful in its truth and sincerity, one that lit up rooms with her smiles.

Was he magical?  The truth was after his recovery at Heidi's hands, he found his magical ability severely reduced; he could hardly even levitate a feather so weak was his power – he might as well have become a squib.  If it were not for his connection to Heidi, if it were not for her hand in his, he wasn't even sure if he could cast the Patronus to banish the Dementor.

Malécrit turned the light of his silver eyes on Heidi's browns, and answered honestly, "It seems like my magic surges only when you are near."

Malécrit's sincere sentiments cut too close to Heidi's feelings, so she ducked her head to hide her blush at his response.  Taking a calming breath, Heidi returned Malécrit's wand to him.  She then turned back to where the Dementor was in the alley and asked in a more serious tone, "What was that all about, Mal?"

Malécrit's eyes hardened.  "A Dementor.  One of the foulest dark creatures in the magical world," he added.  "And I'm sure that the wizard who trapped me here sent that creature to kill me."

"Kill you?" Heidi's eyes widened in horror.  "But why?"

"That is what I intend to find out."

*****

Curly,

This was your best chapter yet!  The suspense was palatable – almost as if you had met a Dementor in a muggle alleyway yourself.  I was half expecting Malécrit to botch up that Patronus; he had after all, botch up all the spells he had cast before this.  Excellent work in building up that bit of tension, by the way.

So now the cat's out of the bag about Malécrit's identity.  I'm amazed that Heidi didn't have much more of a reaction than calm acceptance regarding Malecrit's confession.  Then again, she did found him dressed in robes, uttering spells in their first weeks together; so the previous chapters would have softened her to accept that Malécrit was an unusual man with an unusual background.

Whilst you are using a more Malécrit-centred point of view, I'm enjoying your characterisation of Heidi a great deal.  She's very adaptive, brave and intelligent, and she reminds me of a person I know.  Your development of Malécrit (by the by, I just discovered what his name means – you're wicked! *grins*) is believable; his self-discovery regarding his prejudice against muggles unfolded logically and was well paced.  Frankly, I'm learning more about the muggle world than I ever did in Muggle Studies.  Either you are a muggleborn writer, Curly, or you have spent some time living with muggles or you have muggle friends.  Perhaps you just have very excellent research, and it shows in your story.

Finally, like Heidi, I too, am curious about what's going to happen next.  Will Malécrit ever return to the magical world?  Will he want to?  Will they discover who sent him to the muggle world in the first place?  What about Heidi?  What will happen to her?

In great anticipation,

Seeker

*****

Hermione grinned widely as she read Seeker's review of her story.  Frankly, Seeker won't know how close to the truth the meeting with the Dementor in the alley was for Harry.  Her imagination was fired when she remembered Harry's encounter with the Dementor two years ago, and she thought it the perfect scene to reveal Malécrit's magical ability.

'I wonder what would Seeker say if she knew my research was just to be the best friend of the Boy-Who-Live-Through-Too-Much-Scrapes-And-Excitement,' she mused.

Looking up, Hermione saw Ron with a tablespoon hanging off his nose.  Stifling her burgeoning laughter she saw that half the Gryffindor boys were also hanging their spoons off their noses.  Turning to Harry with raised brows, the Boy-Who-Lived just gave a longsuffering sigh.

"Don't ask."

"Wasn't about to," Hermione grinned at the exasperated look on her friend's face.

"What was that letter about?" Harry distracted her from the boys competing to hang their spoons off their noses longest without the use of magic.

"Oh, just something I've been working on," she hedged.

"Not SPEW, I hope?" Harry teased.

"Nooo," she drew her disagreement out thoughtfully with an enigmatic smile, "just some other project up my sleeve."

Curious, but allowing her the privacy, Harry changed the subject.  "Don't look now, but I think our Headmaster's just joined the competition."

Amused, Hermione joined the rest of the Great Hall staring at their irreverent Headmaster hanging his tablespoon off his nose, much to the dismay of the other more serious Professors at the Head Table.

Hermione shook her head.  It never failed to amaze her to see her sometimes very wise and serious Headmaster behaving in such a juvenile manner.  Perhaps Professor Dumbledore's method was to get his enemies to underestimate him.  Either that, or Professor Dumbledore just enjoy shocking the people who know him.

Turning back to Harry, Hermione excused herself from the breakfast.  "I'm heading to the library before Potions, Harry.  I need to do some revision before today's test on fluxweed.  See you in class later."

~*~

It was just her bad luck!  Draco Malfoy was seated in the Potions section of the library, reading from the very book she had wanted to review before the test.

Well, since she was here, she might as well do some writing while waiting for Malfoy to finish the book she needed.

Hermione sat down a few tables away from the Slytherin, out of his line of sight.  Taking out a fresh blank parchment, she chewed her quill wondering how to begin the next chapter to her story.

Where should she begin?  With Heidi's perspective?  Or with Malécrit?  Hmm… Perhaps she should return to the wizarding world with the dark wizard, Dunmore.  Then again, her most of her reviewers wanted more action between Malécrit and Heidi – should she spend more time on that?  But would that drag the overall feel and pace of her story?

It was a difficult decision to make, especially when writing a story in progress.

Staring hard at her parchment, she wished that Write On had a section for writers who had some form of writer's block – maybe a 'Blank Parchment' column just to help her jump start her writing, or help it move along.

She sighed.  Well, perhaps she should write to Seeker to ask for her help again.

Just as she was completing her letter to her writing friend, she noticed that Malfoy had left the library and returned the book she wanted back to the shelf.  Quickly, before someone else beat her to it, she managed to retrieve the book and read through the section on fluxweed to reinforce the main points she had studied the night before.

Feeling much better for getting her review done, Hermione returned the book to its place on the shelf.  She turned back to gather her things when she suddenly noticed a thin magazine that was under the seat previously occupied by Malfoy.

Giving in to her Gryffindor trait of curiosity, she picked up the publication and saw to her surprise, that it was a copy of the Write On magazine!  And what's this?  Malfoy had scribbled some very interesting comments in the margins of each story he'd read.

Hermione was very tempted to read through what the Slytherin had to say about the stories therein, and what he felt about her story, in particular, but Potions was in five minutes and unless she was able to Apparate within the castle, she would have to face the wrath of Professor Snape for tardiness if she didn't hurry.

Expelling a sigh, she ran out of the library.  She knew that once the fluxweed test was over, saying that it would be highly entertaining to read the ferret's comments would be an understatement indeed.

~*~

Outdoors, sitting under the willow's shade by the lake, Hermione chuckled softly at what Malfoy had written to Barely Breathing regarding a particularly poorly worded passage.

…what made this story particularly excruciating to read is your constant use of the word 'as if!'.  As if Marcus would suddenly develop a 'Valley Girl' accent and use 'As if!'  Well, AS IF!

'Well said, Malfoy!' she thought, amused.

She had been wondering what Malfoy's pen-name was since she found his copy of Write On.  She was 'Cantankerous Curls' to the readers, but the Directors on the society would know her real name from her subscription.  Hermione was fairly sure that 'Golden Prince' was Malfoy's pen-name – the writer had a straightforward writing style, and he (unlike the more androgynous pen-names of some writers, 'Prince' was too masculine to be a female's pseudonym) wrote mainly about an rich pureblood protagonist who machinated his way through King Henry's court to gain power.  Not only would the writer of "Dark Dealings" fit Malfoy's profile, she noticed that the story was unmarked by the comments Malfoy had written to the other stories.

Anxiously, she looked at the next story – "Malécrit in Muggleland: Chapter 18".  Muggleland was her baby, and whilst Hermione was very defensive of her story, she knew that Malfoy would never associate 'Cantankerous Curls' with herself; so she was genuinely curious as to what the pureblood Slytherin had to say.

In the margins where she described the confrontation with the Dementor, Malfoy had written, "good build up of tension".  Further down, he had written, "could have sworn he'd botch up the spell – good reference to previous chapters".  At the end of the story, in the space before the next story, he had written, "Best chapter yet.  Could there be more emotion from Heidi regarding Dementor?  Maybe in next chapter? – would be interesting if Curly delved a bit on Heidi's feeling.  Wonder if all muggles are so accepting of magic?"

Hermione grinned.

So he did like the story!  Not that she liked the ferret or anything, but as a writer, it gave her a wholly satisfying feeling when people enjoyed reading her works.

She re-read his comments, with a niggling feeling at the back of her mind, feeling that there was just something about his comments, but what it was, she really couldn't say.

She turned to Seeker's latest chapter where Lord Drake had made some progress in locating the man responsible for murdering Hermia's father, but to her consternation, Malfoy hadn't read that chapter yet – or perhaps he'd skipped it, since he had commented on the story after "Midnight".

Shrugging her shoulders, she decided to write the next chapter using Malfoy's comments – Chapter 19 will focus more on Heidi's feelings.

~*~

*****

Curly,

Just got your missive – sorry to reply to this so late.  Would you believe I lost my copy of Write On?  I had to get the society to send me a new one so that I was able to refer to your Chapter 18.

Like I said, I felt Chapter 18 was your best yet.  The reality of that meeting the Dementor still gives me the shivers.

I totally agree with you about 'Blank Parchment' – sounds like something I'd use for certain.  I'll see what I can do about getting the society secretary to create that new column.  It pays to know someone on the Board of Directors.

With regards to Chapter 19, I was wondering if you could include more emotion from Heidi regarding her meeting with the Dementor?  It would be interesting if you could delve a bit on Heidi's feeling.  After all, I'm not sure if all muggles are so accepting of magic.

I'm looking forward to your next chapter!

Seeker

*****

Hermione frowned, reading her letter from Seeker.

There was just something

A loud bustle at the door of the Potions classroom distracted her and she looked up.

"Mr Crabbe!  In my office, NOW!" the Potions Master swept through the room to the door at the front of the class, which led to his office.  "The rest of you – 3 feet of parchment on how the addition of moonstone will affect the Aging Potion.  I expect it by the end of the class!"

The class got busy shuffling parchment and stationery, whilst a white-faced Crabbe slowly made his way to the office.  Truthfully, most of the class were more curious about Crabbe's fate than with their assignment, though none of them envied the boy's position.  More than once, the door to Snape's office rattled, but nary a sound escaped to enlighten the rest of the class as to what Crabbe had done, or what he was facing.  A 'Silencio' was cast in that room, obviously.

About half an hour later, the door of the office was opened, and an even paler Crabbe exited, followed by a foul-tempered Potions Professor.

"Let this be a lesson to the rest of you regarding cheating in my class," the Professor whispered his threat with narrowed eyes.  "Mr Crabbe will not only retake the fluxweed test, his privilege of visiting Hogsmeade has been revoked for the rest of the year.  In addition, he has detention with Mr Filch every weekend until he graduates.  His parents, naturally, has been informed."  An evil smirk followed this announcement, and the entire class was caught in a mix of sympathy for Crabbe and relief that they'd not been stupid enough to attempt to cheat at Potions – after all, it would be preferable to fail in one of Snape's test than to be caught cheating.  The Gryffindor camp was shocked at the severity of Crabbe's punishment; but as usual, they notice the lack of House point deduction for the Slytherins.

After Crabbe went back to his seat, Hermione glanced towards the 'enemy's' half of the class.  Crabbe was sitting petrified – fear and dismay written on his face, while both Goyle and Malfoy were whispering to him.  Malfoy, in particular, seemed very upset with Crabbe.

Hermione shrugged.  Slytherin affairs were none of her business.

~*~

"No, Vincent, for the last time, aconite, monkshood and wolfbane are all the same ingredient!" Malfoy said in exasperation.

"I thought Wolf's Bane was Dumbledore's Delight?" Crabbe queried, oblivious to Malfoy's frustration.

"Yes, yes, that's what the muggles call Wolf's Bane, but Snape'll never let you write that down as an answer."

"Why?"

"Why?" Malfoy's voice raised a notch, "Why?  It doesn't matter why!  The point is that you need to remember that aconite is the same as…" he prompted the larger boy.

"Uh… the same as… uh… monks… monksbane?" Crabbe squeaked.

"WOLFbane, monksHOOD!"

Hermione, who was hidden behind the hedge, stifled a giggle.  She had unwittingly been eavesdropping on what seemed like a very unsuccessful Slytherin tutoring session.

Hermione was wrangling with her Chapter 19 outdoors, when she overheard the Slytherin trio settling down on the other side of the hedge.  At first, she was a little miffed by the distractions from the other side of the hedge, but then she began to feel a little uncomfortable eavesdropping on them.  That feeling was quickly overcame by amusement when she saw how much difficulty Malfoy had in explaining the simplest of Potions basics to his non-Potions-inclined friend.  Fortunately for Malfoy, it seemed like Goyle was doing fairly well in Potions and need not undergo his tutoring, leaving him to concentrate on Crabbe.

Frankly, she was surprised at Malfoy's willingness to help his friend.  She had often thought that Slytherins were generally loners, and would not deign to offer help unless there was a string attached.  Then again, there was no evidence in their House for her belief.  She supposed friends were the same regardless of House affiliations – she had her own share of helping Ron and Neville in their Potions homework, and she could sympathise with what Malfoy was going through on the other side of the hedge.

"Merlin, Vincent!" she overhead Malfoy admonishing the inept wizard.  Then in sotto voce, the Prefect added, "You're almost as bad as Barely Breathing and her 'as if's!"

And in that instant, Hermione had an epiphany: she knew who Seeker was!

~*~

The whole of the next week, Hermione didn't know how to feel; didn't know what to do.

She'd sit and stare at the Slytherin Prefect, puzzling over how it was that he was one persona in his writing and a wholly different person when dealing with the Gryffindors.  Just who was Malfoy, really?

At some point in her ponderings, she would be extremely gleeful at the secret she held in her hands – imagine how their peers would feel about that Slytherin git if they knew he wrote a romantic love story like "Midnight".  Then at other times, she would read his story and wonder… wonder if he wrote himself into "Midnight" as Lord Drake… and that led to the question of who his Hermia was based on.  In those times of reflection, she would alternate between blushing at an unnamed hope and pale at an unnamed concern regarding who Hermia really was.

At the end of that school week, Hermione found to her dismay that she had Prefects' duty to patrol the seventh floor corridor with Malfoy.  This wasn't the first time they were paired off for duty – and it probably wouldn't be their last.  Usually, when she was paired with Malfoy, they'd just walk together in a tacit agreement to remain silent, patrolling the corridor.  Malfoy knew better than to antagonise the Head Girl if he meant to keep his Prefect position.  Also, Hermione had requested that the Head Boy, Ernie Macmillan, roster Ron with Pansy, and Malfoy with herself each time they had to pair the Seventh Year Slytherins with the Gryffindor Prefects.  Hermione had known instinctively that if Ron were ever paired with Malfoy, there would be little done by way of their duty.

But now, she eyed her partner warily, unsure of how to proceed.

"Evening Granger," Malfoy greeted the Head Girl nonchalantly.

"Evening Malfoy," she replied neutrally.

"Shall we begin?" Malfoy led the way to the seventh floor, with Hermione trailing behind him.

~*~

An hour passed as they walked along silently.  The seventh floor was devoid of people since midnight was in about fifteen minutes.

Hermione was burning to confront Malfoy about Write On, but she felt awkward – what if she were wrong?  What if Malfoy wasn't Seeker?  What if Malfoy found out she was Cantankerous Curls and he revealed to everyone that she was the one who wrote Muggleland?  For the first time in a long while, Hermione did not know what to do.

"Is there something the matter?" Draco stopped walking and asked in exasperation.  "You've been sneaking looks in my direction since we began our patrol.  What's going on?"

"Um… nothing… nothing's the matter," Hermione gave a wan smile, shaking her head negatively.  In her agitation, Hermione paced up and down the corridor, thinking about Malfoy's magazine, how to return it to him and how to tell him of what she knew about him, all the while with Malfoy looking on.

"It's quite unlike you.  What's going on?" Malfoy insisted, standing just outside where the Room of Requirement was.

Suddenly, Malfoy asked in surprise, "Where'd this door come from?"

He put his hand on the doorknob, opened it and entered.

Hermione followed her partner into the well-lit room, gasping at the two writing table, set to face each other, the two comfortable looking chairs, lovely writing quills and inkpots and two stacks of the smoothest parchment that had Hermione itching to fill with words.  In addition to all the writing implements any writer would need, there was also a thin magazine which Hermione recognised as the issue of Write On that Malfoy lost.

"How did this get in here?" Hermione blurted out unthinkingly, picking up the magazine, which should have been on her desk in her room.

Malfoy looked at Hermione speculatively.  "You know what's strange, Granger?" he asked, taking a seat in one of the two opposing chairs, "I'm wondering how this room is set up for purposefully for writing, and you're wondering about how that magazine got here."

"No, Malfoy," Hermione rolled her eyes, "You just don't get it, do you?  This is your copy of Write On – I'm just wondering how the Room knew to put it here."

"My copy?" Malfoy stood up, reached over to the brunette and plucked the magazine off her hand.  "Hey, you're right," he exclaimed, folding himself to sit back down again.

In the next instant, he stood ramrod straight, eyes narrowed on Hermione and his entire body radiated anger.  "How would you know it's mine?"

Hermione looked at the angry boy, weighing her options and then sat down nonchalantly at her side of the tables.  "You left your copy under your chair in the library two Mondays ago," she shrugged, "I didn't know it was yours until last week."

Draco sat down, looking slightly deflated.  "So you know I subscribe to the society," he drawled, "but I doubt that you know which of these stories are mine, Curly," he sneered.

Hermione's eyes widened in shock.  How did he know?

"You knew?  You knew I was writing in Write On?  How did… How would you…" before Hermione could continue further, it suddenly dawned on her – "You have someone on the society's Board of Directors!"

Draco gave her his trademark smirk.  "Not just someone – yours truly," he leaned back in his chair smugly.

"You knew from the start?"  Hermione was confused.  He was Seeker – and he knew from the start that she was Curls, and yet he had helped her in her writing, and they had exchanged reviews and thoughts and comments and… and…

As was her wont, whenever Hermione was flustered, she started talking before her brain kicked into gear, "But… but… why would you even correspond with me if you knew who I was in the first place?"

"Who said anything about corresponding with you?" Draco's eyes narrowed into hard slits.  "I did no such thing," he crossed his arms in a defensive stance.

"But… but you're Seeker!" Hermione protested, sitting up..

Draco stood up suddenly, rounded to the seated Hermione and trapped her in her chair by looming over her, his hand planted firmly on the chair's armrest.  "How did you find that out?" he snarled into Hermione's personal space.

Hermione gasped in surprise.  She had never been so close to the Slytherin as she was just then – his eyes was glittering in anger and an amusement that radiated an unnatural glow – a silvery glow that Hermione found that she wanted – no – craved to have light on her again.

Giving in to that Gryffindor impulsiveness, Hermione, like Malfoy's Hermia, Hermione succumbed to the proximity of the young man before her, tilting her head up and closing that mere inch betwixt them in a soft kiss.

Surprised by the girl's warm lips on his own, the opportunistic Slytherin needed no second offer to deepen the kiss.  Like his own Lord Drake with his Hermia, he had waited so long for this enticing woman to recognise in him a kindred spirit, and he had pursued her in his own unconventional way for so long – long before she even knew of his interest.  Draco pressed the brunette deeper into her chair, his hands no longer on the armrest; one revelling in the mess of her dark curls, the other holding her as close to himself as possible in his awkward half-kneeling, half-raised position.

Hermione was lost in her own world of delightfully novel sensations.  Whilst her sense of sight was not in employ, her other senses were reeling.  She tasted Draco's pumpkin juice-sweetened warm mouth.  Draco's cologne of sandalwood imprinted in her sensory overloaded mind.  And the touch of his warm skin!  His hair!  Hermione had never known that caressing another person in such a manner could elicit such pleasure.  She could hear both his and her own dialogue of whimpers and sighs, which further confused her senses.

Finally, when their initial passion was satiated for the moment, they parted lips on a shared sighed, each with a pleased, wonderment on their countenance.

"So Draco," Hermione whispered into their breathless silence, "what will our next chapter hold?  I'm so looking forward to it."

The once-nemesis looked half-lidded brown eyes with a smirk, "Well, I was thinking a little more description about kissing wouldn't hurt."  Then just before capturing Hermione's lips once again, he added, "but I'll need to do a more thorough research about it."

The End.

A/N:

From the HP Lexicon:

Malécrit: Playwright who wrote "Hélas, j'ai Transfiguré mes Pieds (Alas, I have Transfigured my Feet)" (QA) "malécrit" is French for "badly written" – I though Hermione might enjoy the irony of writing a 'badly written' character.

Inside joke (of which there are plenty!):  Hermione's idea of 'Blank Parchment' is stolen wholly from whitescreen, an lj community for writers who have developed writer's block in any way or form.  *winks*  (This bit is for you, Del and Linzi!)

Apologies to magpyeyes aka Alice in Muggleland for borrowing the title "Malécrit in Muggleland".  (Go read Draco's Delicate Condition at Astronomy Tower NOW!  You won't regret it… um… you might… er, but I guarantee you won't easily forget it. *grins*)

Also, part of the inspiration of this story must go to the dracohermioncommunity Yahoogroup.  We just discovered our very few, but very proud male D/Hr shippers such as Joe aka idiotic savant, and that got me thinking about how it would be if Draco were to be writing fiction.  I just want to dedicate this story to the dracohermioncommunity – you people rock!

Someone once commented that my A/Ns have a certain style – they're certainly right; my A/Ns are rather long-winded. *winks*

That said, there will be no second chapter to this story.  It might be abrupt to end there, and some of you (like myself! *grins*) might feel that there might be more added regarding Hermione's reaction to the kiss: the whys and wherefores and aftermaths and preludes… BUT, to conclude otherwise might be construed as "A Crappy Ending" – a no-no requirement for the challenge.  I feel strongly that the story should remain as "incomplete" as one of their works – not only as a balance for the story in that the D/Hr story is a work-in-progress, but also because it ties in nicely with Draco's Gary-Stu that began this story in the first place.

What I can add as an afterthought is that the Room of Requirements becomes Draco and Hermione's private writing space, and they wrote wonderful tales of fiction to the delight of their readers.  Apart from that, like a never-ending tale, they lived from chapter to chapter, a tale of joy, sorrow, gain, loss, hope and despair… but through it all, their passion and love for each other were tried and tested, and were found true. *smiles warmly*

FIC REQUEST #113:

Rating(s) of the Fic: G to PG-13

3-5 Things to Include in the Fic:
1. Romance
2. Cheating
3. Suspense
4. Scariness

What Not to Include in the Fic:
1. No interaction between the same sex!
2. No student hooked up with a teacher
3. Don't over use a swear
4. No crappy endings!