Chapter One: Tale as Old as Time
Something 'bout the way you looked at me
Made me think for a moment,
That maybe we were meant to be
Living our lives separately
And it's strange that things change
But not me wanting you so desperately
Professor McGonagall glared furiously at the two students before her. Steam was literally billowing from her ears. Her face was an intense shade of crimson and if possible, she might have exploded right there and then.
"In all my years here at Hogwarts, never have I encountered anything like this. Never!" she roared with the ferocity of an angered dragon.
Hermione shrunk back into her chair in fear. Her fingers trembled uncontrollably and her lips were swollen from her constant gnawing.
Dumbledore sat back in his chair with an irritating look of amusement in his eyes as he let Professor McGonagall rant on at the two fearful students before her.
She hadn't meant for it happen. But she couldn't help it! He had pushed her too far….
"Properties of….Malachite…" Hermione ran her index finger up and down the yellowed page.
The musty old library was void of any students at the time. The students of Ancient Ruins had been let out early and being the typical Hermione she was, had rushed to the library to begin her homework.
Flipping through the pages, she finally paused, "Malachite!" Looking down at the picture of the mineral, she cringed. "Ugly thing on the outside…" she turned the page, "…Pretty on the inside."
Carefully, she ran her finger over the elegant shades of green that coloured the stone. Bands of emerald, jade, forest green, lime green, every green imaginable. It was quite lovely.
I guess sometimes, you have to look deep inside to find the beauty of some things…
A familiar sardonic snicker suddenly disrupted her peaceful musings.
"Bucktooth Granger can't get laid so she tries to come on to a book" came the lazy, irritating drawl.
Instantly, she felt her finger nails dig deeply into the palms of her hands.
Ignore him…no, not him, IT!
Malfoy smirked, he knew he was getting to her, "Don't soil the books for everyone else Mudblood, what's wrong? Pothead and Weasel won't give you a tumble?"
A bright flush came over her cheeks and soon consumed her whole face.
Gritting her teeth, she replied curtly, "I'd appreciate if you'd leave Malfoy."
His steely eyes narrowed but his smirk broadened.
"Last time I checked a Mudblood didn't own this place. Although with the time you spend here, I'm sure it's like your second home." He paused; he could see her fists whitening, "I've noticed that you've been spending a lot of time alone nowadays, it's because your boyfriends have been spending all their time shagging other girls and ignoring you isn't it?"
Her eye twitched, slowly, she reached her hand into her pocket and gripped her wand tightly.
"Hey Granger, you know, you should really try something different with your hair, like washing it…"
Deep breaths Hermione, deep breaths
Leering at her, he strode over to look at her books, "Ah, like the nature stuff eh? Tell me, do you still love nature…despite what it did to your face?"
Control Hermione Control.
"Keep talking Ferret, someday you'll say something intelligent," she hissed.
This only encouraged the Slytherin prince. He was itching to get her into trouble.
"Oohh, smart Granger, but did you know, you were born because your mother didn't believe in abortion, but now that she's seen you, she believes in infanticide." He stepped back a few paces to see her reaction.
"Sod off Malfoy" she glared viciously at him.
He simply smirked, "Speaking of your mother, you know you're almost as ugly as her. You're father's blind right? That's why he married her isn't it? Or is he just as ugly as her?"
Her heart tore a bit more.
She loved her father so dearly; it was a year ago…last summer that her father was blindsided by a speeding truck. Hermione and her mother had spent weeks at the Hospital, waiting for his recovery. Weeks and weeks of waiting, only to find that when he'd woken up…he had become a paraplegic and his brain had been severely damaged. He couldn't recognize his own daughter…he couldn't even string two words together. In some ways, she wished that he'd been blinded instead. She remembered the uncountable nights she'd spent crying…just crying. It was selfish, she should have been grateful her father was even alive; but it wasn't the same, he wasn't the same. Nothing would ever be the same.
Amber eyes flared intensely as she jerked back from her painful reminiscing.
"Do not talk about my family, you prat!" she screamed in such vehemence Malfoy was taken back for a moment.
Alarmed, he whipped out his wand, but wasn't fast enough.
"Expelliarmus!" she cried. Her eyes had become dark and ruthless.
Draco's wand was ripped from his grasp and he was sent flying back against the nearest bookshelf.
Whipping around, she threw her books into her bag and turned to leave.
"Incendio" his voice boomed as he struggled to free himself from the mountain of books that had cascaded down on him.
Hermione shrieked. The tips of her hair burst into flames that were rapidly engulfing her head.
"Aquarius," a wave of water appeared suddenly, drenching her from head to toe. Her hair was singed and her cheeks were burning from the flames that neared her face.
Lingering in the air was a gentle scent of smoke.
Soaking wet, Hermione hurled her wand with all her strength at Draco and lunged towards him, knocking the young man forcefully to the ground.
Straddling the hated ferret boy, she began to pound his pale face with her fist. She could feel the tenderness of his flesh against her knuckles as she drove it into his jaw.
"You, are a worthless, conceited—" she paused searching for a word, "pureblood" she spat it out disgustedly as if it were a dirty word.
He wasn't down for long after he'd finally come to his senses. Years of vigorous duelling practices with his father had strengthened him immensely—that and he was a growing 16 year-old male. With one swift move, he'd thrown her off and wrenched her up from the floor by the neck of her robes.
Draco held her against the wall, not caring that she was inches from the ground, suffocating.
His face was contorted in anger and his silver-gray eyes had darkened considerably.
In spite of her situation, and lack of oxygen, Hermione still managed a smirk. She would not show him fear; she would not show him weakness.
"Go on, kill me ferret, kill me," she choked, her face was slowly turning blue from the lack of air, "I'm sure murder isn't anything new to you, death eater."
He suddenly dropped her. Hard.
With pure hatred, he glared down at the defiant little wench below him. Draco's body tensed and his voice lowered down to a bare whisper," you know nothing about me Mudblood…nothing."
"This is your last warning," the Transfigurations mistress towered over them with a look of disgust. "If I ever catch you two quarrelling; physically or verbally, you will have your Prefect badges revoked. Is that understood?"
The two battered looking students sitting before her nodded mutely.
Cautiously, the brunette's eyes wandered over to the figure seated alongside her. Bruises began to spread like ink across his flawless features. Dried blood caked his lower lip, and there were scratches marring his pearly-white cheeks. Pleased as she was with the amount of damage she had inflicted upon him, she still managed to keep the smirk off her face.
Not bad Hermione…
She squirmed uncomfortably in her chair. Her pride had been sorely bruised when Malfoy had abruptly dropped her.
"Furthermore," McGonagall continued, "if either of you are to even try to antagonize the other, I've already set a little charm on the two of you. If the two of you get along, you'll never have to find out what it is."
Draco gulped nervously.
Charm? More like curse…
"I want no more bickering from the two of you. the professor commanded sternly. "Is that understood?"
She glared at them with her dark, narrowed eyes as if daring them to defy her.
Again, they nodded obligingly.
"You are dismissed then," she said briskly, turning her back to them.
Peeling her still-wet clothes from the back of the seat, Hermione turned to leave, but the voice from her head of house stopped her.
"One last thing, you both have detention for the rest of this month."
Brown eyes cringed; Draco curtly nodded and stalked out from the room brushing past Hermione rudely. She silently trailed a safe distance behind him as they made their way to their separate houses.
"He's just to die for!" the pug-faced brunette purred twirling a copper coloured lock of hair around her finger. "I could take him right here and now."
Millicent shrieked in a fit of giggles as Pansy began avidly describing the events of the previous night.
"Hot, only one word to describe him," her friend whispered in between high pitched, girlish giggles.
Seated within the Divinations classroom were the Slytherins and Hufflepuffs, on separate sides of course, and all, well, almost all, diligently working away while their paranormal (even for the wizarding world) professor hovered around the benches checking up on each of their readings.
"He just couldn't take his hands off me," she grinned wickedly while sending the platinum-haired prince a wink.
Draco rolled his cold, gray eyes and returned to his tarot cards. Divination would be over in less than ten minutes and he'd barely been able to tell the difference between Major Arcana and Minor Arcana due to the irritating pandemonium that was Pansy.
Trumps and Pips? What is all this bullshit?
"Stupid pug-face," he fumed silently, "give her one good night and she goes blabbing to the entire castle…damn hormones."
Sluggishly, he began to flip over his multi-coloured Tarot cards.
Oh! I know what this card is! It means Mudbloods ugly! And this one….it means she's ugly! And ah, this one's my favourite! A thousand werewolves are going to tear Mudblood into shreds and she's going to die a horrible, horrible, bloody, gruesome, Mudblood death!
The blond boy uselessly waved his hand back and forth trying desperately to cool himself off. Summer had passed what felt like eons ago but with all the heat emitting from both the students and the incenses, the room had become thoroughly uncomfortable and stifling hot.
"Watch this," he heard Pansy whisper to her troll-like partner.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Pansy unbuttoning the top three buttons of her charmed-to-be-skin-tight blouse. Draco smirked and turned back to his chart.
"That girl leaves nothing to the imagination" he thought as she strode dauntlessly in the direction his bench.
She awkwardly leaned across Draco's bench making to reach for his bottle of ink and paused her chest directly in front of Draco's face. He jerked back abashedly in disgust.
"Can I borrow some ink?" she asked in a low, seductive tone waving the bottle just inches above her half exposed chest.
Draco stared for a moment at the repulsive figure before him. Bloody hell, I must have been drunk last night…
The bottle was dangerously full, what would happen if it were to spill… right about now… he wondered. Carelessly, he waved his hand motioning for her to take it. The voluptuous brunette screeched as his hand knocked the bottled from her hand and indigo ink spread rapidly across her breasts and down her no longer pearly white blouse. She glared viciously at the smirking blond before storming out of the classroom in tears.
Draco howled with laughter, "that was permanent ink too!"
Crabbe and Goyle blinked for a moment staring with utterly perplexed expressions on their faces.
After shaking his head in utter disbelief at the stupidity of his two cronies, Draco sluggishly continued interpreting his cards.
The words: Idiots! Complete idiots! flashed vividly though his mind.
The main hall filled with ravenous students as lunch began. Toffee coloured eyes swept across the sea of hungry students until they finally fell upon two familiar figures. One was a flaming crimson haired boy who besides the fact had spurted almost five inches over the summer looked pretty much the same as he always did. Across from him sat a raven-haired boy sporting emerald coloured eyes that had long since made her heart skip a beat. A wide grin spread over her delicate features as she made her way over to her best friends. Just the sight of his mesmerizing eyes washed any trace of ferret-face clear from her mind.
"Oh, hey, Hermione! Didn't see you come in," said Harry as he refilled his goblet with fresh pumpkin juice.
The girl flounced into the spot next to him and cocked her head. "Too busy stuffing your faces I assume?" she teased, beginning to start on her savoury minced pie.
Harry chuckled and draped his arm across her shoulder. Hermione could feel her already heated body starting to boil over.
Ron's head shot up from his plate glaring at her indignantly with a mouthful of pie.
"I resent that!" he spat.
"Ugh! Say it! Don't spray it!" cried an obviously disgusted voice.
Ron looked over."Sorry, Seamus" he muttered sheepishly immediately after had he swallowed.
The sandy-haired boy furrowed his brow but took notice of Hermione, and his expression immediately softened. "H-Hey Hermione" he blushed.
The bushy-haired girl smiled at him with her now even teeth. She remembered coming back during that summer and her parents scolding her for magically altering her teeth. They'd insisted on her using muggle braces. Her bushy mane had recently lost its horrid untameable frizzyness ever since she had switched conditioners. Although still bushy, her locks now flowed down her shoulders with more ease and it was considerably easier to drag a comb through. Everyone had taken notice of the changes in Hermione that year, especially the males. Over the years, her late blooming body had filled out much more appropriately and attractively just as every other teenage girl's had. Furthermore, she seemed to have grown a few inches over the course of summer vacation, lengthening her slender legs. All in all, Hermione had always been modest in appearance and never revealed too much of her body. Looks and beauty were never at the top of her personal list and they never would be.
The girl turned her head to face the direction of the boys, mostly on Harry of course. She had long since had a crush on the boy who lived, but it was because of her personality, not his looks. This year, her lust for him had grown into something more. Her desire for him was indescribable, and even a peek at him could take her breath away. Unfortunately, her attempts at hinting her desire for him, had all failed miserably.
A voice near her rung out, disturbing her peaceful thoughts.
"Well? Are you? Hermione?"
"What?" she blinked, slowly tumbling back to reality.
"Are you going to finish your pie?" Ron repeated looking at her quizzically.
Hermione quickly shook her head. "No, ahead, take it; I've got to go back to the library to look something up. I'll see you two in Potions."
"Go a bit earlier then will you? I have something I need to talk to you about!" Harry called out as the brunette rushed out from the dining hall. She briefly back and nodded, then disappeared back into the clutter of bustling students.
"S…S….I know it's here…..Gordon Solaris" Hermione pulled the book out from the shelf victoriously and moved to sit down at the nearest table.
Hastily, she flipped open Famous Charms, Curses and Hexes that you Never Knew Existed and began to take notes, but not for long. Her mind quickly began to wander, and her thoughts fell upon a memory from just a few weeks ago.
"It's okay Harry, maybe she just wasn't the one," said Hermione in a soothing voice.
Harry groaned. "Three days and she dumped me…must be a record..."
Slowly, she moved closer to him. "Well, it's Lavender, what did you expect? That witch hasn't kept a boyfriend for longer than a week!"
Harry sighed and laid his head in Hermione's lap. She carefully took off his glasses and gently began to stroke his cheek with her thumb.
"No one will ever like me, I'm ugly and stupid, and I'm such a pathetic loser…I wish I was someone else" he muttered self-deprecatingly as he reached up and tugged at Hermione's curls.
"That's not true…" she told him delicately. "I know this one girl, who really likes you. And not just because you're the famous high and mighty Harry Potter, or because of the way you look." She paused and took a deep breath. "She doesn't think you're a pathetic loser, and she likes you because you're you. Not anyone else."
Harry grinned slightly, "Do I know her?"
Hermione returned the grin and replied. "Yes. Yes you do."
"Tell me about her" he murmured, gently caressing her hand with his own.
The honey-eyed girl could feel his warmth spread throughout her body. Her heart suddenly began to beat at the speed of light.
"Well, she's smart…not all that tall, but tall enough…you've known her for quite a while now…and…"
Hermione stopped as she noticed his eyes closed. She watched as his heaving chest moved up and down, and smiled wistfully at her love before tenderly placing her lips on his cheek. Almost silently, she whispered into to him.
"And she loves you."
Once again, her thoughts were rudely interrupted. This time, by a group of girls sitting at a table just two shelves away.
"We're finally official!" Cho squealed in delight. The swarm of seventh-year girls around her burst out in shrill giggles.
Madame Pince shot an icy glare in their direction. Quickly, the group shuffled out the doors stuff giggling madly.
Hermione's heart suddenly swelled. Cho had a boyfriend! Now Harry was all hers! With this deliriously happy notion in her mind, she skipped out of the library to meet the love of her life.
"Hurry up you imbeciles! Before the giant oaf gets back!" the voice of a silver-haired boy broke the near-silence that surrounded the edge of the forest.
The trio of Slytherin had planned to hide a cage-full of Billywigs in Hagrid's hut so that when he entered, the feisty creatures would string him senseless; and when he couldn't teach properly, he'd be sacked for sure. Draco smirked internally at his pathetic excuse for a plan.
"Sorry, h-here, take them" Goyle stammered. With jittering hands, the dim-witted sixth-year handed Draco the cage only to drop it inches away from its recipient.
"You idiot! You incompetent fool!" The Slytherin prince hissed furiously.
Billywigs began zooming out from the cage to freedom, whizzing about like bees.
"Now look what you've done! Father had those imported directly from Austra—bloody hell!" he hollered at the last two words as one of the frisky creatures drove it's stringer into the nape of his neck.
His two cronies shuffled up next to him tentatively flanking either side."M-Malfoy?" Crabbe stuttered as they gazed intently at their leader who seemed to be in a daze.
"Whhhhaaaaattttt?" he whined stretching each syllable. His eyes were glazed over and he blinked several times trying to regain focus.
"Are…are you alright?" Goyle questioned, unconsciously rubbing his knuckles with force.
Malfoy blinked several times more before bursting into a fit of girlish giggles.
"What the…D-Draco! You're…you're FLYING!" Goyle yelped in terror trying to back away but still gazing in awe.
Crabbe followed until they were far enough from the levitating blonde who was now at least nine feet off the ground and slowly drifting in the direction of the forest.
"Weeeeeeeeeee! I'm flying! Like…like…a Firebolt!" Draco squealed while flapping his arms uselessly.
"Draco what's wrong with you!" Crabbe bellowed from below.
"Weeee!" he cried again in glee. "Nothing! I feel great! What's wrong with you!" his voice slowly faded as he glided gracefully into the forest.
Draco's two bodyguards hobbled over closer."Malfoy! Where are you?" cried one of them.
He giggled louder, peeking out from behind a tree branch."Over here! Catch me if you c-OW" Draco smacked violently into a fairy nest. "That hurt…" he whined rubbing his already swollen head.
Suddenly, a swarm of colourful fairies sped out from the calamity of a nest, shrieking barely audible words at him and pelting fistfuls of fairy dust at the drugged-up boy.
"You're so cute" he chuckled carelessly as he tried to grab one unsuccessfully. Slowly, the Slytherin boy began floating back down to the ground.
Crabbe and Goyle stared at him in utter confusion.
"Come on! Let's go back to school so I can show off my wicked flying power." His eyes seemed to glow with the anticipation of a young child. Taking the arms of the two giants, he dragged them forward swinging their arms playfully to a cheerful tune.
Hermione rounded the corner from the library, shielded with delirious happiness. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep her from being bulldozed by a magically intoxicated Malfoy.
"Ow!" Hermione had toppled over and fallen hard on her pride…again. Gingerly heaving her figure from the floor, she looked up to the face of her aggressor.
Hermione stared at him, he was….smiling? No, that's not possible; Malfoy's didn't smile…at least not like that….right?
"Ew the Mudblood!" he squealed, pointing a finger in her direction.
Hastily, Draco began wiping off imaginary dirt from his robes. "I've been contaminated!" Hermione gawked at him. He was acting excessively…childish…even for him.
Suddenly, the professor's charm kicked in, and sent him flying against the wall.
"What in the world is wrong with you!" she demanded, still glaring at the blond boy who was now crumpled on the floor, wiping his hands on the stone walls.
The boy stared at her in disgust, "I don't like you, and nothing is wrong with me, what's wrong with you!"
Hermione raised an eyebrow, "O…kay…there Malfoy, I'll just be leaving now if you don't mind."
"Go away! You're ugly!" he spat back at her. Again, he was thrown forcefully into the wall.
"What is wrong with you?!" she exclaimed watching him being thrown around by an invisible force. Then, she thought better of it, "No, wait don't answer that, I don't have a decade to spare."
With a final glance backwards, she shook her head in incredulity.
All the gel he uses on that big fat head of his must have seeped in and addled his non-existent brains…
Review and you can have Draco! (For a minute… )