Courage

A co-written fanfiction by the members of Fawkes Ashes the Harry Potter forum.

This story is written at the boards by members adding a post of a paragraph or few lines to the story and continuing it.

As the story is made up from lots of posts from different people it might have a rather eclectic style, we have beta-ed it and tried to make it flow as smoothly as possible.

H t t p : f a w k e s a s h e s . p r o b o a r d s 2 3 . c o m /

Chapter three is here for the new year! Thanks for the reviews and big thanks to the members who are all part of this chapter…Lunar Eclipse, Tennisplaya278 and Katharina!

Hope you enjoy this chapter, let us know in a review!


Courage : Chapter 3.

She waited outside the door for a while but as she was so early noone else was there, she tried the classroom door but it was locked. She took off her satchel and slid down to sit with her back resting against the wall, before pulling out her courage list. Looking it over, she decided to add another one to it. Her quill was about to go down onto paper when suddenly, she heard an all too familiar voice behind her.

"Well Granger. What do we have here?"


Oh no. Oh NO! Hermione thought, as she turned, knowing full well whose smirk she was about to see.

Draco Malfoy. His eyes fixed on the piece of parchment that she was clutching to her chest.

"Don't tell me the goody-two-shoes, Miss Prim and Perfect, Potter-lover, Mudblood is making a Courage list?" He drawled, raising a disbelieving eyebrow.

"So what?" Hermione snarled, cheeks glowing. "What's on yours? Bed the whole female population of the school, not to mention Crabbe and Goyle? Get the Dark Mark imprinted onto your arm? Climb further up Snape's a--"

"Touchy," Malfoy interrupted silkily. "But you'll never find out what's on mine, Mudblood, because I, unlike you, am not stupid enough to write on it in the general school area." Suddenly, he lurched forwards taking Hermione by surprise. She didn't move in time, and he misjudged his leap and shoved her over. They both landed hard on the stone slabs. Hermione watched her courage list fly from her grip as if in slow motion. They both scrambled up, reaching for the parchment.

"Accio Parchment!" Malfoy yelled, pointing his wand at it. To Hermione's horror, he caught it, and stepped back, smiling at her triumphantly, in a way that told her that there would be no mercy.

She closed her eyes, got slowly to her feet and waited for her fate to be decided. Instead of reading it out loud, Malfoy skimmed the list and muttered a few unintelligible things under his breath punctuated with ill hidden snorts of laughter. He smirked and then he pocketed the parchment.

"I think I'll save this for later." He said, grinning evilly and patting his robes, watching Hermione with a malicious glint in his eye.

Hermione did the only thing she could do. Glare at him and pretend that she didn't care. Before she could say anything back or think of a feasible plan of action, a few Ravenclaws showed up and the conversation ended. She fell back and leant against the wall, staring moodily at the ground until the professor showed up and the students entered the classroom.

She took her usual seat, the middle seat in the front row. Much to her dismay, Draco took the seat right behind her. Hermione inwardly groaned, but pretended not to notice and pulled out a piece of blank parchment to take notes on.

This was going to be an interesting class...

Draco studied the back of Hermione's head. Her bushy brown hair stuck out around her head and fell down her back. The sunshine slanting through the window shone through it, making the frizz light up like a halo.

It was terribly unattractive. Draco's lip curled, and tuning out the droning lecture, he pulled out the courage list he had just swiped and began to examine it more carefully.

1. Pass NEWTs

Draco rolled his eyes; it was just typical that this would be bookworm Granger's number one priority.

2. Overcome fear of flying

He suppressed a laugh, he'd forgotten her phobia of broomsticks... shame. It was rather amusing how worked up she got about not being the best at things. Though whether she would actually show backbone - would depend on her actually conquering the fear.

3. Continue tutoring Neville potions,

Neville? Oh, that pathetic drivelling Squib... Draco didn't know she'd been tutoring him, she'd kept that quiet. He shot the back of her head a narrow eyed look. You'd have thought she'd be shouting it from the turrets that she was a mentor. Teaching was probably her lifelong dream.

4. Beat Ron at Wizard Chess

She must be bad at Chess to get beaten by the Weasel, Wizard's Chess took brains, of which the Weasel had none.

5. Swim across the lake.

Draco let out a snort, and had to disguise it into a cough as he attracted a glare from the Professor. This was more like it; he was quite tempted to steal that for his list.

6. Get my first kiss.

Draco smirked, he'd half expected something like this from her, though if he was honest he had been under the impression she'd got her first kiss at the Yule Ball when she had the audacity to turn up with that Quidditch boy. Surely the Golden Trio would have got something worked out to save themselves the trouble of finding a first kiss. Granger kisses Potter, Weasley kisses Potter. That'd work.

7. Get drunk.

Draco's silvery eyebrow rose.

8. Befriend House-Elves again.

Then his eyes rolled,

9. Share girls' night in with Parvati and Lavender.

A smirk played over his lips and he became entranced in a short and rather dirty fantasy about what a girls-night-in, in the Gryffindor dorm would consist of.

10. Tell Harry how I feel

His eyes traced the last the line a few times. The smirk still playing on his lips. He didn't even hear the scraping of chairs as the class left.

"Malfoy. Malfoy."

"W - what?" He snapped, looking up into Granger's glaring brown eyes.

"Give it back."

He stared challengingly back at her, then just as she went to snatch the parchment he whisked it away from her and tucked it deep into the folds of his robes.

"You can come and get it tonight Granger, I'll let you know where at dinner. Bye," he added over his shoulder as he swept his stuff into his bag and left the classroom. Leaving her gaping at his back.

Eventually she hitched up her jaw. She couldn't believe him! The nerve! There were so many things he could... Hermione didn't even want to think about it.

She stormed away toward the Great Hall for dinner. Halfway across the Entrance Hall, she accidentally ran into someone, literally. She pulled her head off the person's chest, her cheeks glowing red, when she realised it was Harry, she was even more embarrassed and blushed furiously before running off again.

Harry stood there, a very confused look on his face.

Way to go, Granger. She scolded herself as she ran up the stairs toward Gryffindor Tower, that was very courageous wasn't it? What's the point of writing it on your list if your not even going to -

She scolded herself as she ran up the stairs toward Gryffindor Tower,

"Woah, careful Hermione!"

"What?!" Hermione stuttered, looking up and finding her self an inch away from Ron who was holding his hands out to stop her. "Oh, alright Ron? How was Divination?"

"Crap." He answered succinctly, "Are you alright? You were miles away."

"Yeah, I'm fine." She answered sheepishly, "I was running over NEWT charms in my head." She lied quickly when he looked dubious.

"Should've known!" Ron said rolling his eyes and taking her by the elbow. "C'mon lets have a game of chess before dinner."

She shook her head.

"Sorry Ron. I've got to do Arithmancy homework and that essay for McGonagall and get my cou-" She stopped herself right there.

"Get your what Hermione?" Ron asked curiously.

"Nothing." She replied too quickly.

Ron narrowed his eyes at her in suspicion, "What - "

"Oh, okay! One game before dinner. Let me drop my stuff in the dorm, I'll be right down." She babbled, hoping to throw him off the scent, flashing him a bright smile.

"Great!" Ron said, with a grin, completely forgetting his previous train of thought and following Hermione into the common room and heading over to the corner to get out the pieces.

"I win!" Ron crowed loudly, clapping his hands loudly and leaping out of his chair to perform his ritual victory dance.

"Well done," Hermione said absent-mindedly, casting a nervous glance at the clock. Well, the task of beating Ron at chess hadn't been completed yet, but her excuse was that she couldn't concentrate on the task at hand fully when the shadow of her list being in Draco Malfoy's hands was hanging over her.

She felt as though her stomach was full of lead, as a million ideas of what Malfoy was going to do zoomed through her head. Reading her list aloud to the student body at dinner was probably number one of his plans. She groaned, her head dipping and her bushy hair falling into her face.

"Aww, c'mon Hermione!" Ron crooned, pausing mid dance to tweak her cheek, beneath the veil of hair, "You'll beat me one day soon!"

"Mmm," Hermione murmured noncommittally.

"Alright mate! Where did you get to?"

Hermione's head snapped up to see whom Ron was addressing, even though it was perfectly clear. Harry's eyes met hers briefly and she felt her cheeks burn, but in confusion she saw his face redden a little too. She blinked and looked away.

"Oh, just went to see Hagrid." Harry said vaguely, "Want to go eat?"

"Yes!" Ron answered immediately, his stomach giving a loud growl as if on demand. "Coming Hermione?"

"Yeah," She answered, with the air of someone going to their execution. "Okay." She stood up slowly, and ran a hand through her hair to attempt to tame it a little, then followed the boys out of the room.

Each step she took towards the Great Hall made her feel like another lump of lead was being dropped into her stomach. She found her feet moving slower and slower despite Ron's frantic whining about his state of starvation. Her predicament had almost banished the additional confusing look Harry had given her earlier, it was still playing in her mind but she had no time to linger on it, with the situation at hand so close.

They had reached the heavy doors and were about to enter the Great Hall when a swarm of excitable Hufflepuff girls swirled past, Ron elbowed his way through, grumbling loudly about his appetite, and Harry managed to slip in front too. Hermione however got caught amongst the crowd, she was just about to be jostled through when she felt someone grab her elbow with an almost painful grip.

Malfoy.

She knew it was him before he'd even whispered in her ear.

"The charms classroom. Midnight."

She gritted her teeth and spun round to try and reason with him but he was already half way to the Slytherin table, his hand resting lightly on the rear of one of the giggling Hufflepuff girls.

Swallowing down the lump in her throat she reached the Gryffindor table and sat down next to Harry and opposite Ron. She was feeling a little calmer, it seemed like Draco had thought of something that required time to execute and hopefully she would be able to stop his plan that night.

Ron and Harry were deep in an animated Quidditch conversation with Seamus and Dean and some girls from the year below. Hermione began to help herself to food, her gaze flickered over to the Slytherin table and she found Draco staring at her, he arched an eyebrow questioningly, and resignedly she dipped her head in a nod. A smirk flashed across his face, before his eyes moved away and onto Blaise who was having a pea flicking contest with the boy next to him.

Dinner was over and she made her way up to the common room with Harry and Ron. Thoughts were spinning around in her head and she couldn't get them to stop. What was Malfoy up to?

She felt someone nudge her on her side. Hermione looked up and saw Ron's grinning face.

"Want to try beating me again Hermione?"

Smiling, she declined, claiming that she feeling very tired and wanted an early night and rushed off toward her dormitory. Harry spotted her out of the corner of his eye and made a halfhearted attempt to run after her. Sighing, he told Ron good night and left to go to bed. Ron stood in the middle of the common room, a confused look on his face before running off and asking Seamus to play.

Hermione went through the motions of getting ready for bed, for the benefit of Lavender and Parvati. She washed, brushed her teeth and changed into her pyjamas and had got into bed. While the other girls were in the bathroom she whispered to her alarm clock to wake her at ten to midnight.

She couldn't get to sleep, but lay wide-awake, staring at the top of her drapes and listening to the others fall asleep. At quarter to twelve she swung her legs out of bed and grabbed her cloak and tiptoed out of the dormitory.

She was halfway down the staircase before she began wishing she'd remembered her slippers. She winced as she reached the bottom of the steps and put her bare foot onto the freezing cold slabs. Then she froze in alarm.

She could hear Peeves humming and it was steadily getting nearer. Glancing around wildly, she ran silently across the Entrance Hall and squeezed into a shadowy nook in the wall. Moments later Peeves zoomed into sight, turning lazy somersaults, he flew upwards and proceeded to fiddle with the chandelier above the Entrance Hall for a few minutes before cackling, resuming his humming and zooming away again.

Hermione blew out a sigh of relief, and darted for the Charms Corridor. Her classroom was right at the end, she moved along swiftly, pulling her cloak around her for warmth and trying not to shiver. Finally she reached the familiar oak door, tentative for creaks she pushed it open.

"About time Granger." A voice drawled silkily from behind the desk.

Hermione didn't answer, but threw at glare at Malfoy, then turned her back on him to shut the heavy door carefully. Eventually she faced him.

He was seated, looking at her over the desk. He had on a black woollen jumper and his school robes were flung over the back of a chair next to him. Folded neatly beside it was what looked like an invisibility cloak. On the desk before him, he had placed his wand and neatly next to it, spread flat on the wooden surface was...

"My courage list." Hermione said, taking a step forward.

"I didn't think you were ever going to show up." He replied idly, leaning back on his chair and propping his legs up on the table. "To say Gryffindors are loyal is like saying it snows in July."

He whipped out his wand and with a few words, tiny snowflakes fell gently around her.

"Then again, I could be wrong."

Moving toward her list, she retorted, "A Malfoy admitting he was wrong. Now I can die happy." She reached toward her list, only to have it snatched away from her fingertips.

"But I do know Gryffindors have no sense of - stealth when trying to obtain something or keep something."

Hermione gritted her teeth feeling on the edge of either hitting him or bursting into tears.

"Malfoy." She said, tried to control the quaver in her voice. "Give me my list."

He arched a silvery eyebrow and then let his eyes sweep the parchment meaningfully. Every now and then he let his eyebrow twitch a little higher, or the corner of his mouth tug into a smirk.

Hermione felt her cheeks burning. Anger began simmering in her veins. She shouldn't have let Ron and Harry talk her into doing the list at all... it wasn't going to improve her life at all. It was going to ruin it.

Sucking in a breath and trying to gain enough composure to speak again, Hermione stared at Draco as he slowly read the list again. He swung his legs lazily off the desk, and straightened himself out fluidly. Not bothering to look at her, he started towards the door.

Something in Hermione snapped. Before he'd gone two steps, she'd flown across the space between them and made a wild and hasty snatch for the parchment.

Foolish move, Granger. She berated herself instantly, as quickly as a snake; Draco captured her wrists in a vice like grip and slammed her against the wall.

Breathing hard she glared at him with as much force as she could muster. Trying not to let her fear show.

"Let go Malfoy!" She hissed, screwing the list into a crumpled ball in her fist and struggling against his grip.

"I don't think so Granger." Draco answered smoothly, not releasing a tiny bit. "Recite it."

Hermione went momentarily limp and gaped at him.

"What?"

"You heard." He answered coolly, not breaking his hold or his gaze.

Hermione blinked at him and tried to free herself again but his hands were like steel cuffs. She sucked in a furious breath and glared at him.

"Pass my NEWTs..." she muttered, glaring at the floor, her eyes flickered up to see if he was listening.

"Go on," He prompted.

"Spend a night in with Parvati and Lavender... Um... keep on tutoring Neville... err," she paused, searching for another item on the list, "Overcome flying fear. Beat Ron at chess. Befriend the house elfs. Um..."

She trailed off,

"The lake?" Draco hinted.

"Oh." She nodded dully, "Swim across the lake."

There was silence for a few minutes and she wriggled again. "Thats it." She said eventually, when he still wouldn't release her.

"I don't think so..." Draco said quietly. Hermione's eyes flashed up to meet his defiantly.

"Yes. It. Is." She gritted out.

"Tell someone how you feel?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." Hermione retorted, biting the inside of her cheek.

Draco studied her face for a moment. She had looked angry before, but now she looked white with fury and a multitude of unrecognisable emotions. Emotions that the thought of Harry Potter invoked in her. He frowned.

"Maybe you'll remember this item instead then." He said, and suddenly leant in and pressed his mouth to hers.

The kiss was short and before Hermione was able to react in any way Draco pulled back.

"Well, Granger, that makes one topic less on your list. We'll have to see about the other ones."

Draco released her hands, turned around swiftly and left the classroom.

"What do you mean?" Hermione called after him. But Draco was already gone.

Standing alone in the classroom a completely confused Hermione realised two things:

She just got her first kiss ever from Draco Malfoy and he still had her courage list.

Hermione took two tentative steps forward to see if her legs still worked. Realising that she hadn't yet fallen onto her face, she broke into a run, flying round the corners and only stopping when she reached the area near the Fat Lady. She stopped, out of breath, and leant against the stone wall, closing her eyes.

Firstly, Malfoy had her Courage List. Secondly, he knew her... feelings for Harry. And lastly, the most confusing thought of all, he had kissed her. Properly. She touched her lips, where they had made contact, and felt a small shudder of revulsion. She didn't find him remotely attractive, she didn't even like him for Merlin's sake! Many did, but she just couldn't see past the cold, vicious exterior.

But why, why had he kissed her? Was it possible that Malfoy liked her? Fancied her even?

Hermione banished that thought immediately. This was Malfoy, and after all calling someone a Mudblood, as he had done many a time, wasn't exactly a term of endearment. Plus, it would cause problems beyond imagination if Malfoy fancied her and knew that she fancied his arch-nemesis. His hatred for Harry would grow ten-fold, if that were even possible. It couldn't happen. He couldn't fancy her. It was just a sick and twisted power trip, probably part of his bigger evil plan concerning her list and humiliating her to the entire school. Very Slytherin. Very Malfoy. He didn't fancy her.

With that thought secure in her mind, Hermione ventured into the Common Room.

Harry was waiting for her.

"Where have you been, Miss Granger?" he asked, eyebrows raised.

Hermione slumped into a chair. "I... You see... I thought I would fit in some extra Astronomy practise."

Harry's eyebrows disappeared into his messy fringe. "Oh really? Hermione, you got 100 in our last assessment, and you even answered the extra credit questions perfectly. Come on. I'm not a total idiot."

"Fine," said Hermione blearily, too tired to lie. "Malfoy nicked my Courage list, and I was going to get it back. And..."

He kissed me.

He kissed me...

HE KISSED ME!!

"and..." she stalled, seeing the spark of angry fire beginning to flare in Harry's eyes as happened every time Malfoy was the subject of discussion. She didn't think that this was a good time to mention the kiss, if she could avoid mentioning it ever, it would suit her just fine.

"...and... Peeves was blocking my way to where I was meant to meet Malfoy and he chased me all the way back here." She finished lamely, crossing her fingers under the table that Harry wouldn't question her lie.

He looked too angry to have really heard the end of the sentence.

"Are you alright?" He asked gruffly, Hermione nodded blankly. "That git! I'll kill him. Don't worry Hermione, I'll get it back for you."

"No!" Hermione said suddenly in a panic, Harry stared at her, "I mean, no." She said, swallowing, "I don't want you to make a big thing out of it Harry. You know he'll make my life miserable if you do."

"He already makes it miserable." Harry shot grumpily but he could see her point. "Fine." He said grudgingly. "I won't do anything... for now." He added darkly.

Chapter 4 out soon! Please leave a review and let us know how we are doing. Remember if you want to get involved, come and sign up at Fawkes Ashes the link is in our profile!