Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with JK Rowling, Warner Brothers, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, or any other organizations/people that have property rights to Harry Potter.
Summary: For ashleyfanfic: Will one night of competition help Draco and Hermione finally realize their feelings for one another?
The leaves crinkled as the students rushed past, eager to get to Hogsmeade. Her lips curved into a smile as she listened to their laughter, remembering a time not seven years ago when she and her two best friends were always hurrying to the small wizarding village. Today, however, was special. It was the first annual Autumn Festival and she, as the Muggle Studies professor, had been assigned as one of the chaperones for the day's events.
A lot had changed since she had graduated from Hogwarts in July of 1997. Her grandmother had taken her on a trip to the States as her graduation gift and Hermione had loved it so much she applied to the Salem Witch College and spent the next four years there. Harry and Ron had been upset that she had not decided to attend the University of Wizarding England at Bath with them, but they soon realized how happy she was to be studying abroad and stopped bothering her about it. After college she had come back to Great Britain and made a visit to Hogwarts, excited to see her old professors again.
Albus Dumbledore had retired after the Final Battle, appointing Minerva McGonagall as Headmistress of the school. It was a shock to many when she appointed Severus Snape as her Deputy Headmaster. McGonagall had welcomed Hermione back with open arms, and Snape, upon seeing her, went straight back to his office and came back ten minutes later with an application to teach at the school, giving her a mischievous grin as he handed it to her.
Four months later, Hermione found herself sitting next to Draco Malfoy in a faculty meeting before the start of the new school year. Hermione grinned at the memory of Draco's face when he realized she was teaching at Hogwarts as well.
"What are you smiling about Granger? Are you actually happy that we were asked to supervise this lot?"
Hermione's smile broadened at his voice and she turned her head to look at him over her shoulder. "Why, yes, I'm quite excited about this. I wish they had given us an Autumn Festival while we were students."
Draco smirked at her. "I think that might have been impossible considering the times."
"I know, but it still would have been fun."
Hermione noticed his smirk twitch as he desperately tried not to smile at her. In the end, however, the smile won and she laughed at the goofy expression on his face.
Draco had been made the new Charms professor, having always excelled in the class. At the end of his seventh year he had realized he would need to do something to make money, for his father was still in Azkaban and Draco was not allowed to touch his fortune until his death. Draco had applied and was admitted into the Wiltshire School for Wizards, and four years later, he took a trip to Hogwarts, having a long talk with his Godfather and future employer Severus Snape.
"Come on then. It's time to mingle with the myriad of miscreants," Draco said, pulling Hermione by her robes.
"My dear Mr. Malfoy," Hermione started as she pulled the fabric out of his hand, "while I applaud your remarkable alliteration skills, I must reprimand you for referring to the children as miscreants. They are not criminals, although they can be a bit mischievous from time to time. If you must call them such discriminating names, use something like rugrats or ickle tykes, but never miscreants. That is far too mean."
"And calling them rugrats or ickle tykes isn't mean? I believe, Miss Granger, that someone could be shipped away for calling a group of seventh years those names. Now, that's just cruel."
Hermione pretended to look shocked.
"Cruel? Me? Absolutely not. Never. I'm a complete angel."
"Yes, but sometimes I wonder why those horns are under all that hair of yours."
Hermione gave him a smirk. "Well, I can't be expected to hide everything, can I?"
Draco rolled his eyes but gave her a grin as he gently pulled her by the arm towards Hogsmeade.
The village looked absolutely spectacular. There were many things to do and it looked as if some of the buildings had moved out of the way in order to make room for everything, especially the rides. Many of them looked similar to Muggle carnival rides, with the obvious difference here and there. Hermione grinned as she looked at all the different game booths set up in the streets. She heard Draco gasp next to her.
"What?" she asked and followed his gaze to the sky.
He looked at her in awe, his eyes round and his voice like a child's. "I want to go on that ride," he told her, pointing.
Hermione cringed when she saw what he was pointing at. Racing through the sky faster than any broom was what would best be described as a roller coaster. There were no tracks, but the cars moved in the same way many Muggle coasters did, flying high into the sky and then tipping over an invisible hill and speeding back towards the ground, only to level out suddenly and go high into the air again. Hermione gulped.
"Well, I don't see why you're telling me for; I'm not your mum. Go on it if you like."
Draco gave her a wicked grin.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked, her voice wavering slightly.
Draco's grin broadened. "Because you're going on it with me."
Hermione's eyes widened. "I am not! I will not. No."
Draco crooked his head. "Are you scared?"
"No, I am not scared. We are here to chaperone this event. We need to keep our eyes on the children. We simply just cannot see the children from so high." She said the last word rather meekly.
"You're afraid of heights, aren't you?"
Hermione shifted her weight to her other foot. "Of course not."
"Well, then you won't mind taking a few minutes to join me on the ride. Chaperones are allowed to have fun too."
"I will have fun," Hermione began walking towards the ride's line, then turned back to where Draco was standing. "Well, what are you waiting for?"
"This should be quite interesting, with you being scared of heights and all."
Hermione chose to ignore his comment.
For a brief moment before they got on the ride, Hermione thought she was going to be saved by the ticket man.
Hermione shrugged. "Oh well, I guess we can't go on the ride then. No tickets, you see."
Draco gave a small laugh. "We're chaperones at this carnival and were told by the Headmistress of Hogwarts that we wouldn't have to pay for anything except for food and beverage. You are aware of this, correct?"
The man smirked as he picked up a piece of parchment with a list of the chaperones. "Can I have your names?"
"I am Draco Malfoy and this twitching beauty is Hermione Granger."
"I beg your pardon, Draco Malfoy, but you are hardly one to call someone else twitchy. I seem to recall a certain event during our fourth year that made you twitch so much you grew white fur."
Draco pretended not to hear her, but Hermione caught the faint pink on his cheeks and smiled at her victory.
"Malfoy, Granger. Alright then, you two are good to go. Climb that set of stairs and then pick a seat somewhere."
Draco tugged her robes. "Come on Bushy."
Hermione followed him obediently. "Yes Master Ferret."
As they made their way up the stairs Draco noticed Hermione begin to shake even harder. She was trying to control her breathing but Draco could tell it wasn't going very well. He chuckled slightly as he put an arm around her shoulders.
"Don't worry. You'll be fine."
At the top of the stairs, they walked out onto a platform and Draco led her straight to the front car. "Malfoy's always come in first."
Hermione glanced up at Draco, her eyes twinkling, her voice rising in innuendo. "Do they really?"
"Why, there are those horns I was talking about earlier. I never knew you to be so horny."
His comment resulted in a gentle smack against the shoulder and he laughed at the expression on her face as she got into the car—full of fear, with a hint of amusement.
As soon as Draco had lowered himself into the seat next to her she wrapped herself around his left arm and was holding on so tight he feared he might have to amputate it because of blood loss. The thought alone caused him to let out an unexpected and extremely uncharacteristic giggle. Hermione had turned to him and laughed. He giggled again. Pretty soon, neither of them were able to look at each other without bursting with laughter. That is, until the cars began to move.
Draco felt her grip on his arm begin to tighten again and she looked as if she was about to faint when she looked over the edge of the car. The cars suddenly lurched forward as they flew down a hill and Hermione let out a shrill scream as she hid her face in the small section between Draco's shoulder and the back of the seat. Draco feared he would not be able to hear properly for a week.
Hermione peeked out from behind Draco's shoulder every now and then but buried her head every time she felt their momentum pick up. Draco looked down and noticed the platform and stairs were pretty far below them. Naturally, he concocted a scheme in his mind.
"Hermione, look, the ride is almost over." Hermione lifted her head and loosened her grip on his arm. Draco took the opportunity to wrap his left arm around her shoulders and pull her close to him. She gave him a strange look. "Just watch. Keep your head to the front and keep your eyes open. You'll be okay. I'm right here. Just keep your eyes open."
Hermione nodded slightly and rested her head in the crevice between Draco's neck and shoulders and grabbed his right hand. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
The cars lurched forward again as they speeded down the last hill. Draco winced as Hermione shrieked beside him. The cars leveled out again and slowly coasted to a stop. Draco stood, pulling Hermione with him without letting go of her hand. When they got to the bottom of the stairs Hermione pulled her hand away from his and smoothed her hair out.
Hermione nodded, smiling. "We're going to do something I want to do now."
"Oh? And what might that be?"
He raised an eyebrow at her but followed her to the middle of the street. She stopped in front of a booth that had little plastic boats stuck to the wall with some sort of target under them. "What is this?"
"This, my poor uneducated pureblood, is a Muggle carnival game. You see this thing right here?" she asked, pointing to a large metal thing with handles and two red buttons. "You aim it towards those targets and you push those buttons. When you push the buttons, water squirts out of it. You need to make the water hit the target. When you hit the target, the boats move up the wall. Do you understand the game?"
"It sounds a bit ridiculous. Why would Muggles ever think this would be fun?"
"For the same reasons wizards do," Hermione answered, giving him a sickly-sweet smile.
Hermione went to the worker behind the booth and gave him their names. The worker smiled at her and she beckoned for Draco to take a hold of one of the shooters. There was a loud buzzing sound and Hermione pressed down on her buttons. A stream of water shot out of it and she positioned it just in the right spot for it to hit the target. By the time Draco finally figured the game out, she had already won.
"That wasn't fair," Draco told her sulkily.
"Fine, we'll play another game," she said as she led him to a booth with wooden mallets, plastic frogs and a fake pond with plastic lily pads everywhere.
"All you do with this game is take a frog and put it on one of the catapults. You take the mallet and hit the catapult, trying to get the frog to land on one of the lily pads."
Hermione nodded and loaded a frog. Draco watched her as she lifted the mallet and hit the catapult squarely. The frog zoomed through the air and landed neatly on a lily pad. Draco did exactly what she did with one small difference. His frog zoomed through the air and hit the worker in the forehead.
Hermione grinned. "Oh yes, I may have forgotten one thing. You shouldn't hit the catapult very hard."
Draco tossed his mallet back on the table. "We're going to do something I know how to do now."
"What might that be?"
"Bubble Darts, of course."
Hermione followed him to a booth that had bubbles full of water floating in the air. Draco picked up three darts from the table and threw them one by one. Three bubbles popped.
"That's it? That's all you have to do?"
Hermione picked up the darts. She threw the first one and scowled as it bounced off the bubble. She threw the second one a bit harder. It did the same thing. She threw the third one as hard as she could and watched in disgrace as it bounced off again.
"Well what do you know, I've won something." Draco gave her a smirk.
She huffed. "I don't really like this game. You know, we should really get back to our chaperoning jobs."
"Yes, I suppose we should." Draco turned away from the booth and began walking down the street slowly with his hands in the pockets of his robes. "By the way, do you want to know the secret to winning that game back there?" he asked her after a couple of minutes.
Draco turned his face to her and gave her a look of complete innocence. "You have to be pureblooded to be able to pop any of the bubbles."
Hermione's mouth dropped open. "That's—that's not fair! That's discrimination! That's—"
"That's a carnival scam. There are far less purebloods than there are half-bloods and muggleborns. It's a way to make money."
"But, but then only purebloods get the prizes. What if I had wanted a teddy bear?"
Draco snorted with laughter. "A teddy bear?"
Hermione's face flushed. "It isn't funny! That is not fair at all! It's still discrimination and-and—not fair. I can't believe that they would do that. Is that even legal? Is it—"
Draco had lowered his mouth to hers. Hermione stood shocked for a second, unable to grasp the fact that Draco's lips were on her own. He pulled away from her, smirking.
Hermione stared wide-eyed at him for a moment, still registering what had just happened. He was still smirking at her and then she suddenly realized what he was doing. This was another competition and he thought he had won.
Hermione gave him a similar smirk and then grasped him by the collar and pulled his face down to hers. His eyes widened.
And then she covered his mouth with hers.
1. Name/Pen Name:
Your LJ Username: ashleyfanfic
Are you over seventeen?: yes
Rating(s) of the fic you want: shrug I'll take
anything. Smut not necessarily needed.
Rating(s) you're willing to write: Any and all...
Things you want your gift to include:
a. One or both Draco and Hermione are teachers at
b. They don't teach Potions or Arithmancy,
however.(done too often. Be original)
c. They can be together, and if they are, no kids, no
talk of marriage, or a real deep conversation about
love. Sweet but not cavity sweet.
What you don't want your gift to include:
Any Squicks/Things You Won't Feel Comfortable Writing:
Well, the normal stuff. No Beastiality, and I would
prefer no one dying in it. That depresses me.