Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter movies, the books, or characters. All rights are deserved to the directors/ author of the wonderful Harry Potter books. I own Sugar Scales though.
Parings: Draco and Hermione, Blaise and Ginny
Chapter Two: Charming loyalties
Blaise mentally cursed himself, Hermione, and his presumed best friend Draco. He just had the most hellish time of his life after being forced to tell Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape that they had to escort each other to the Welcome Back Ball. The Slytherin had decided that he would meet his Professor's separately and then tell them, but he seemed to have the misfortune of running into both of them at the same time. The ringing in his ears had yet to stop.
The result of his fate was fifty points deducted from Slytherin and two weeks of detention with Hagrid and Filch, starting this very night.
Blaise glowered at the horrid pain and suffering he had to endure. His face wasn't its natural sharpness, but covered in dirt. He shuddered in disgust. The scent that lingered on him was from his detention: scooping up droppings from God knows what, cleaning the trophy room, and picking out the gum without magic. Sure he had body strength to do so, but he wasn't raised to do so. Then again he was raised to be a pristine little prat, but that didn't turn out.
"I look like Hippogriff droppings," he muttered before going off to shower his sins away. "There must be some Wizarding law against child labor, sometimes I wish I was a muggle…did I just say that!"
Meanwhile, in the next room, Hermione and Ginny lay on the Head Girl's bed and rambled on about the Welcome Back Ball.
Ginny gave a soft sigh and began to twirl her crimson-orange, stray hairs, "We're going to indulge ourselves so much."
"What do you mean 'We're'?" Hermione asked absentmindedly while flipping through her book Unity of Hogwarts Four.
Ginny raised an eyebrow and dropped her innocent act. "I mean we're going to the prefect's bathroom for the girls, to get all primped up with everyone else. Every dance involves this, this soirée you might say. It's like a pre-prep time to gain tips and gossip about who you're going with."
"Who would want to gossip about going with a Slytherin to the ball?" Hermione asked with a bit of confusion. "I'm just going with Blaise."
"You do know he is the second most wanted man in Slytherin," Ginny said with a dreamy expression, matching her voice, "He is quite attractive."
Hermione grinned wickedly though kept her usual tone, "So you do fancy Blaise."
Ginny went a bit red and shook her head, "I said nothing of the sort!"
"But you meant it didn't you?" Hermione asked while raising an eyebrow. Ginny merely stayed silent and turned away from Hermione. Hermione's eyes widened and she gasped slightly, "Ginerva Camille Weasley!" The elder Gryffindor then scooted closer towards Ginny, "What about Harry?"
"Oh honestly, Hermione!" Ginny exclaimed while jumping off the bed, "Why does everyone in the bloody world thing I'm in love with Harry? I mean seriously, that was in second year, and I did go out with other boys later didn't I?"
"Yeah but, I thought you still had a thing for Harry," Hermione said while biting her lip.
Ginny rolled her eyes and simply stated, "Then what about you and Ronald?"
Hermione's eyebrows furrowed, "What do you mean by that?"
"I mean that everyone expected you two to end up together," Ginny said as if it were a fact.
"Well we're like brother and sister," Hermione mumbled incoherently.
"See," Ginny explained earnestly, "Expect the unexpected."
"So you really do fancy Blaise?"
Ginny blushed darker than her own hair color, "Maybe a tad bit."
"Oh I can fix you two up," Hermione said with a small twinkle, "He can barley keep his eyes off you. You two will be perfect together."
Ginny raised and eyebrow and broke out in laughter, "You fix me up? Love, I need to fix you up with some dashing fellow. Who do you fancy?"
"Bollocks, Ginny," Hermione muttered quietly. "Haven't you already noticed that no boy in their right mind would look at me?"
Ginny's eyes looked as though they were going to pop out of her head, "Are you kidding me, 'mione? You have the classic beauty! You're graceful, and have that cute innocent charm."
"Don't doubt yourself Hermione," Ginny said in a knowing tone. "Plenty of guys give you the look."
"What do you mean the look?" she asked scathingly.
"I mean that boys do pay attention to you, but you brush it off," Ginny stated simply while flipping through the latest Witch Weekly.
"You must be going nutters Ginny. Honestly, boys attracted to me?" Hermione scoffed while staring at herself in her vanity. "I'm nothing compared to you. Who would be charmed with a 'bushy-haired know it all'?"
Ginny shook her head at Hermione's oblivious beauty. "Hermione, it's because you don't try to make yourself look slutty that makes you beautiful. Besides, your hair isn't bushy, though you are a know it all."
Both girls laughed cheerfully while spending the remainder of their time teasing one another.
Another fall day had claimed itself without rain, much to everyone's pleasure. The air was crisp, yet the sun shined brightly giving it a perfect feeling. The students had played Quidditch, lounged by the lake, or sat under the trees and brought up casual conversations. Hermione, Ginny, Harry, and Ron walked out to the lake while talking merrily.
"I feel a bit funny without my robes," Hermione said while flattening out her crimson skirt and white blouse.
"It's bloody hot though," Ron said while airing out his Quidditch robes.
The girls rolled their eyes and shook their heads. "And you're playing Quidditch why?"
"Because it's the only time I get to play the bloody sport," Ron said in embarrassment, remembering he did not make the team.
Harry shrugged and began walking off with Ron. "Well see you girls in a few."
"Alright," Hermione said while rolling up her sleeves to her forearm. She was a bit glad she didn't bring her robes, but it was the first time in ages she went without one.
Ginny gave her a wryly grin and nudged her, "I told you."
"Told me what?"
"Look around, 'mione, all the guys are staring at you," Ginny said angrily, "You're really oblivious."
For once, Hermione took a gander at her surroundings and did notice a few guys staring at her, jaw-slacked. Hermione blushed heavily and hurried off to a blossom tree by the lake. "N-no, they must be looking at you."
"Trust me, Hermione, it's all you," the red-head said while sitting under the shaded tree next the Hermione. "Why is it you're wearing your uniform anyway?"
Hermione shrugged, "Well, Blaise and I had a meeting with Professor Dumbledore, though he mysteriously canceled it and told us all students had a free day."
"Well the ball is tomorrow," Ginny reminded her in a serious tone. "And I don't care what you say; tonight you're coming with me to the prefect's bathroom."
The Head Girl groaned and was about to argue with her friend when Blaise and Draco arrived. "Getting all pristine for me, Granger, why I'm touched," Blaise said while putting his hands to his heart.
Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed, "Yes because my whole world revolves around you, Blaise."
"No need to tell me that," he grinned while sitting next to Ginny. "You two look absolutely striking today, think about losing those robes more often."
Ginny blushed madly at Blaise's compliment and gave a small thank you. Hermione shook her head at the younger girl, though smiled inwardly. "Why are you two here anyways? I thought you'd be off playing Quidditch."
"You have to be bleeding insane to go play in this weather," Draco said absentmindedly while sitting across from the girls. There was a bit of tension between Draco and Hermione as he sat down.
"Harry and Ronald are playing," Ginny said while staring off into the pitch.
"As I said, you have to be bleeding insane to go play in this weather," Draco replied dauntingly with a smirk.
"By the way, have you already gotten your suit for the ball?" Hermione asked Blaise casually while ignoring Draco's comment.
"Yes I have, and I assure you, you'll fall head over heals for me," Blaise stated jokingly.
"What color is it?"
Blaise pouted and continued, "Dark blue, the lady said it complimented my eyes."
"Well that takes loads of pressure off of me," Hermione said while wiping her forehead in mock. "I picked an azure colored dress myself."
"Ah, the matching two," Draco said sarcastically, "How precious."
"For your information, Malfoy, the point of a ball is to coordinate with your date," Ginny stated while winking at Hermione.
"Then I must go tell that Lavender girl," Draco ridiculed with fake shock. "Now all the pressure has emitted upon me."
"Always the drama queen, weren't you, Draco?" Blaise said with a chuckle.
"You're going with Lavender?" Ginny asked incredulously. "She doesn't even like you. No offence."
"None taken, but, yes, I had to attend the ball somehow, so what is one to do?" Draco said with a shrug. "I know she doesn't like me, but that is a good thing because once we get to the ball, she can frolic with her toy Thomas."
Hermione and Ginny glared at Draco for his usual insults towards the Gryffindor students. Surprisingly, the four maintained a civilized conversation, though Blaise and Ginny were engrossed in their own about Quidditch teams.
"I've got to say the Dublin Dragons are the best team I've witnessed," Blaise said while holding his hands up in defense.
Ginny's eyes widened and she shook her head. "No, no, no, I've got to say the Lux Lycans."
"Oh look, they're having a lovers quarrel," Draco said bluntly with a hint of amusement.
Hermione raised an eyebrow and chuckled quietly. "Ah yes, bickering about the better Quidditch team."
"Oh you just don't understand, 'mione," Ginny said in a whiny tone. "It's the excitement of the game."
"Sorry I'm not as excited about it as you are Gin," Hermione said while looking up from Unity of Hogwarts Four. "I'm dreadfully apprehensive when it comes to heights."
"I'll keep that in mind, Hermione," Blaise said with a faux evil look. His stomach then growled and he blushed in embarrassment. "I guess I'm a bit hungry."
Hermione waved her wand and conjured up an apple which hurdled straight towards Blaise. He caught it with ease and smiled. "How'd you know I like apples?"
"The apple scented shampoo in our bathroom is surely not mine," Hermione snickered while winking at Blaise.
Blaise sat in utter horror as Draco and Ginny began laughing at him. His cheeks were tinted a slight crimson as he mumbled curses at Hermione. "That was supposed to never leave our dorms."
"At least I didn't say your special name," Hermione said teasingly while closing her book.
Draco smirked, knowing Blaise's first name as well. "Poor, Weaslette, out in the dark."
Ginny lowered her gaze at Draco. "It's Ginny, Malfoy. I don't appreciate you calling me Weaslette when I am here being perfectly civil with you."
Blaise swallowed the remains of his apple and nodded, "She's right you know Draco. We're all friends here."
"Ah, here comes the hypocrisy of the lioness," he said lazily. "Here I am calling you merely by your surname with an extension."
"Where is the hypocrisy in that, Malfoy," Hermione asked demurely in interest.
"Right there, Granger," Draco drawled pointedly. "You two call me Malfoy and I only return the favor by calling you Granger and Weaslette."
"Fine, Draco, riddle me this," Hermione said with a haughty expression. "Where is the civility when you called me a Mudblood?"
Everyone in the room gasped and remained quiet, awaiting Draco's response. Hermione was expecting a sneer or even an angered look, but was surprised by the Slytherin's calm complexion. He ran his hands through his hair and shrugged.
"Think of it as a term of endearment," he said with a saucy smirk. "Though if you prefer, I'll call you Hermione, or perhaps Mya."
Hermione blushed for the umpteenth time that day, "How'd you know to call me that."
"I once recall Potter whispering it to you," Draco said bluntly while lying on the grass, "That and some bothersome Slytherin told me."
Hermione narrowed her eyes over to Blaise's direction to find him already half-way to the entrance of Hogwarts. "Blaise, I think I might kill you."
"I take the mickey for that one, Mya, but revenge is oh so sweet," Blaise yelled while running into the school, Hermione, Ginny, and Draco following.
When Blaise entered the Head Dorms, he didn't expect for Hermione, Ginny, and Draco to come follow. What he didn't really expect was Hermione pouncing on him and hitting him with a series of hexes, in the process as his best friend and Ginny watched in amusement.
As Hermione finished up, she sat down on a loveseat and acted as though nothing had been wrong. Ginny giggled furiously and sat next to Hermione and Draco took a seat next to the Slytherin. Blaise furrowed his eyebrows and pouted while leaning back in the couch. "I need to get a new best friend."
"I'll be your best friend, Rigel," Ginny chuckled while biting on her fist.
Blaise sat in shock and didn't move. His face had become a deadly pale as his sapphire eyes widened as big as saucers. "Bloody hell! First they apple shampoo, then my real name, what's next?"
"Well there is always-"
"Shut it, Draco, unless you want your first name revealed," Blaise grinned evilly with a arrogant posterior."
Draco glowered and merely kept his head high in dignity, "I can bring you down with the things I know about it."
"Bring it on, Draconis."
The girls look to and fro at the Slytherins and gasped at such things they heard. Currently, the boys were wrestling with each other were yelling a few interesting facts about both one another, such as Blaise's blue llama plushie that he still had from childhood, and Draco's obsession with chocolate.
"Everyone is obsessed with chocolate though," Hermione said as if it weren't a worry.
"But Draco here has a bigger obsession," Blaise said while trying to wiggle out of Draco's hold on his shoulders. "He has a room full of it, just dedicated to chocolate. He worships it!"
"That is a bloody lie!" Draco said as he pushed Blaise's head into the carpet. "I'll kick your arse to hell and back, Zabini."
"Now boys, why don't we all just calm down," Ginny said while wiping her eyes from the tears of laughter she endured.
Both boys stopped but stared grudgingly at each other. They then turned towards Hermione and nodded in her direction. "Oi, we all had something embarrassing told about us, what can you tell us about Miss Weasley here?"
Ginny stared nervously at Hermione and pleaded for her not to say a word. Hermione ignored her friends look and spoke wistfully. "Her real name is Ginerva."
Blaise and Draco's eyes widened slightly and they began to snicker lowly, which turned out to be a full blown cackle like the villains in a movie. "Ginerva?"
Ginny moaned in embarrassment and turned as red as her hair, "Honestly Hermione, why would you do this to me?"
"Since you're dragging me to this infernal soiree of yours, I might as well get back at you with a little teasing time," Hermione said under a slight giggle while covering up her mouth.
The little feud of secrets deceased and then came back to the topic of hatred amongst the houses. Draco raved on about how all the other houses were hypocrites and Hermione retorted how most of the Slytherin's still disliked people who were not of pure linage. Blaise and Ginny watched in boredom as the two viciously exchanged some colorful words, one might not hear in a civilized conversation.
It got to the point where a vein popped out of Ginny's head in annoyance. She drew a large breath and whistled loudly which stopped the commotion at once. She glared at both Draco and Hermione with disappointment and sighed. "Why can't you two get along? Honestly, it isn't that bloody hard to have a discussion without screaming."
"We weren't screaming!" Draco and Hermione yelled in unison.
A bead of sweat ran down Blaise's head as he spoke with pure irritation, "This is how we settle this. Draco, you were wrong-"
"Ha!" Hermione said in triumph while crossing her arms.
Blaise raised an eyebrow, "Oi, you weren't right either."
"Not so smug now are you, Granger?" Draco snickered while leaning back against the couch.
"Now, Draco, you know how you were wrong to judge people against their blood and linage and all is in the past."
"Hermione, you have to admit that all the other houses were quite hypocritical against the Slytherins am I right?"
"Well then what is wrong?" Ginny asked in confusion, "Why do you two keep fighting?"
"Oh it's simple really."
"They're all hot and bothered all the time," Blaise said with a smirk, "They fancy each other."
A heavy silence bestowed itself upon the room until it exploded with anger.
"ZABINI, YOU'RE A DEAD MAN-"
"YOU DAMN PRICK HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BELIEVE-"
"WANT TO SHAG-"
Blaise cowered in the corner of the room as both charged towards him with menacing glares. Ginny rolled her eyes and stepped in front of Blaise before the two could get to him. "I think he's quite right."
Hermione's face fell and burned with embarrassment, "How can you possibly think that?"
"Sexual tension goes a long way 'mione and I think you've had about seven years of it," Ginny said, giving Blaise enough time to scurry to his room. She then picked up her items and walked out of the portrait.
Draco and Hermione stared at one another silently, then turned away immediately. "Er I should really be going-"
"Yes, prefects work for me-"
With the pathetic attempt of excuses being made, Draco stalked out of the portrait while Hermione in her room. She laid on her bed for a while before whispering nonsense to herself. She didn't even notice her room opening and Blaise walking in, sitting on the bed next to her.
"What are you up to?"
"Thinking about what Malfoy said."
"What have you thought of?"
"Malfoy was right for once."
"Brilliant deduction, Hermione," Blaise said while staring down at the girl. "On the contrary, he was also wrong."
"Enlighten me," Hermione said getting up to sit.
Blaise sighed and began to explain a long history of things. "You see, after the war, a lot of Slytherins have become a bit more sullen about things. Many of them lost their parents because they chose to serve the Dark Lord, but many of them were neutral, like mine were. Draco's parents were sort of drawn into such complications."
"I assume you still wont tell me?"
"As I told you before Hermione, it isn't my place to tell, but all I can say to you is that his thoughts about purebloods being superior are tosh now, just believe me when I say that," he explained thoroughly. "But about Draco being right, yes he is. I remember in our first year of Hogwarts when I was sorted into Slytherin and had potions with you Gryffindors. I tried to be nice to Finnigan and Thomas though they weren't quite cheeky with me."
"Well we didn't know better, Blaise," Hermione said earnestly. "We were only eleven."
"That's the point, Hermione," Blaise said with a belligerent tone, "Every year, at least two students get sorted into Slytherin and why do all the other houses do? Shun them because they think they'll grow up with the prejudice when in reality, it's the disregard they get from the other houses that fuel up their anger. They're only eleven. They're only children like we were."
Hermione remained silent while letting Blaise's words sink in. He was right also. The other houses were quite condemnatory towards the Slytherins.
"You speak of experience," Hermione said quietly.
Blaise lifted his heavy azure eyes to meet her amber gaze. "I've had five years of it."
Hermione stared sadly at Blaise and nodded, "I'm sorry."
The Slytherin straightened out his face and plastered a grin. "No need for pity, and lets go get a real meal, that apple didn't quite fill me up."
Hermione laughed and followed the charming fellow in front of her. They spoke nonchalantly about exams and the never tiring subject: The Ball. As they entered the Great Hall, Blaise went his separate way off to the Slytherin table. Hermione took their usual place in the middle of the Gryffindor table by Ginny and chatted with Parvati and Lavender about what would go down tonight.
"Ginny, are you and Hermione joining us in the Ravenclaw prefect's bathroom?" Lavender asked jovially. "We can show each other our dresses!"
"Oh definitely," Ginny said with a bright smile then remembered something. "Why didn't you tell us you were going with Malfoy?"
Lavender sighed deeply and gestured for uncertainty, "Well Dean knows how much I despise him, and he felt safe knowing I'd go with somebody I disliked. It kind of worked out for the best though."
"That's understandable," Hermione said with a quaint nod. She then piled some food onto her plate and began eating slowly. Her eyes flickered towards the Slytherin table, yet there was no sign of the egotistical blond. She sighed inwardly and turned her attention back to the chattering girls.
As time went on, Harry and Ron entered into the Great Hall and greeted the girls after hours of Quidditch. They still had their robes on and their brooms with them, though they lay forgotten on the floor. Ron began to eat at his usual fast pace much to everyone's utter disgust.
"It's like he inhales his food," Parvati whispered while tilting her head to the side. "Has he ever choked on food before?"
"Nope," Ginny said, trying not to gag at the horrid sight. "One of his many talents."
Draco sat in the Slytherin's common room while gazing at the subdued fire. He scoffed at Hermione's argument towards him about the hypocrisy. He was right. Of course. No doubt about it. The other houses claimed to be kind and forgiving, yet when many of the Slytherin's fought in the war, the hatred was still fueled towards them.
"To hell with it all," Draco said while thinking of the war with Voldemort. "Not like those fools could forgive us anyways.
"Forgiveness runs deep through a lioness's heart, though hatred is in the veins of a lion," Blaise sighed while walking into the common room. "Thought I'd find you here."
"You've become a mini Dumbledore, Blaise, you saw odd things and pop out of nowhere," Draco snickered while nodding to his friend. "I guess I should draw a truce with Granger and Weaselette."
"Always were the precocious one weren't you?"
"Smarter than you."
"And who made Head boy?"
Blaise rolled his eyes and put his hands on Draco's shoulders. "Why don't we go find Hermione and Ginny and you can go apologize to them. Oh and a little insight information, Hermione agrees with you."
Draco got up and stared at Blaise strangely. "The hells would freeze over before she'd ever agree with me."
"Well it must be bloody cold in hell, Draco, because she did agree with you," Blaise said while getting up and walking out of the common room with Draco.
"I bet she's cursing me to frigid damnation," he mumbled under his breath.
"Au contraire mate," Blaise said behind Draco's back so he couldn't hear. "You two are the most infuriatingly witty people I've every met. If the fates agree with me, the fact that opposites attract will hit those two within the year. I should write a book, it'd make one hell of a story."
When Blaise and Draco made their way back to the Head's dorm, they entered to find Hermione on the couch with Ginny by her side. The two girls were chatting nonchalantly though stopped as soon as the boys walked in.
"Why is it you decease your prattle when we enter?" Blaise asked while sitting next to Ginny. "It's like you have some bloody secret."
"Maybe, maybe not," Ginny teased while pushing him lightly.
Hermione lifted her stare towards Draco and met his silver eyes. She could see a look of confusion until he cleared his throat. "I would like to draw up a truce between the Gryffindor's and me."
Hermione cocked an eyebrow and made a notion for continuation. "Oh really?"
"Yes," he said through clenched teeth. "I-I apologize for my behavior towards your family, Ginny, is it?"
Ginny smiled and shook his hand, "I forgive you, and I'm sorry for using that Bat Bogey Hex on you in my fourth year and calling you a slimy prat."
Draco coughed lightly and nodded. "Accepted. H-Hermione, I regret calling you a mudblood all these years. You are a brilliant ally and student and I apologize for mistreating you because of your blood and linage."
Hermione's sharp gaze settled, "Apology taken, Draco. I am dreadfully sorry for accusing you of being the heir of Slytherin, being a deatheater, and for turning you into a ferret last term even after your humiliation in fourth year."
Draco's face tinted a slight pink as he gave a precise nudge. "Yes, er, accepted."
"Ah we're all friends," Blaise said with a fake look of tearful happiness. "If you don't mind me, I need to go bawl my little eyes out."
Once again, three pillows hit him directly in the head.
Ginny laughed while getting up and dragging Hermione along with her. "Well if you excuse us, boys, we have to be going now."
"Yes, to the infernal soiree from hell," Hermione said with a slight pout. "I hate you for this I hope you know."
"Well I never liked you that much anyways," Ginny grinned while storming out of the Head's room.
The two Gryffindor's walked to the fifth floor without a problem, except for the fact there was a brawl between two first years. Hermione scolded them and took away twenty points each while making sure the two students went their separate ways. As they made there way to the Ravenclaw, prefects bathroom, they were greeted by the portrait of a girl with black hair and misty amethyst eyes.
"Hello, ladies," she said gently while playing the harp. "Password please?"
The portrait opened slowly and automatically the rambunctious feminine voices echoed throughout the halls. Hermione and Ginny heard the portrait close immediately and they walked inside to see a various amount of girls running around in their dress robes or pajamas. There were a series of fifth to seventh year girls of every house, including the Slytherins.
"Hermione, Ginny, over here!" yelled a voice in from behind them. They were greeted with a sixth year Ravenclaw, Alura Della-Rocco, Colin Creevy's girlfriend. Hermione smiled at the petit brunette haired girl who was dressed in a dark purple gown and matching dress robes.
"Alura, you look beautiful!" Ginny gushed while giving the girl a hug. "Collie will just love it!"
Alura smiled shyly and turned, "You think? I wasn't sure."
"He'll double over in shock," Hermione said with a reassuring smile while following her and Ginny over to a group of girls.
Hermione and Ginny were greeted by Padma and Parvati Patil, Lavender Brown, Pansy Parkinson, Daphne Greengrass, Hannah Abbot, and Susan Bones. Hermione looked over at Pansy and Daphne and nodded her head to them, which they returned kindly. Both girls sat down and began discussing with the girls about their situations.
"I'm going with Justin Finch Fletchly!"
"Ooo I'm going with Malcolm Burwick!"
"Pft, I'm just going with Casey Dagon."
"Ugh, Lavender is so lucky; she's going with Draco Malfoy!"
Lavender rolled her eyes while filing her nails, "Honestly, Dean's the one that told me to ask him because I dislike him so much."
"That's understandable," Hermione said as she read Witches Wear. She didn't even notice everyone was staring at her. "What?"
"-other than Malfoy-"
"-is the cutest-"
Hermione raised an eyebrow, "Your point is?"
"What is between you and Blaise!" every girl asked while staring at Hermione.
"Nothing," she said simply while going back to her magazine. "We made a truce on the first day to be civilized to one another and when we talked to Dumbledore, he said that Blaise and I had to share a dance. So he asked me."
"So you guys aren't dating?" Pansy asked in disbelief.
"Blimey, does everyone here think that?"
A round of chorused of "yeses" echoed throughout the bathroom.
"He's more like a brother than a lover."
"So he is just another Harry and Ron."
"I knew it."
"I didn't believe for one second they fancied each other."
Hermione noticed Ginny sigh in relief when Hermione stated truthfully that Blaise and herself weren't dating. The elder Gryffindor smiled at Ginny and nodded in a knowing motion. "Don't worry, Gin."
The rest of the night was spent with girls showing their dresses and robes with jeweled brocades and flowy evening gowns. When all was finished, the clock stroke midnight and the girls all went their separate ways. Hermione insisted Ginny come to the Head's dorm since the Gryffindor tower was too far from her reach and she would surely get caught. When they entered the dorm, all was dark except the cackling fire that burned earnestly for the room.
The flames revealed the body of Blaise Zabini, sprawled out on the couch with books scattered all around him. "He didn't make Head Boy for nothing."
"Should we help him?"
Hermione whipped out her wand and levitated all the scattered parchments and books neatly on the table while Ginny placed a blanket over him. Once they were done cleaning up, they crept upstairs and readied themselves for bed. Hermione whispered her prayers and goodnights and lay in her bed. She could hear Ginny's even breathing, signaling she was fast asleep. Hermione couldn't sleep however. Blaise's ridiculous words kept popping in her head.
"Just because Malfoy and I made a truce, doesn't mean he still isn't a slimy git."
Once Hermione reassured herself that nothing really had changed between herself and Draco, she fell into an uneasy, but nonetheless, a dreamless sleep.
Even as daylight filtered the Head Girl's room she still didn't awaken from her slumber. She shifted away from the intruding sunshine and found darkness once more; but the inevitable had occurred leading Hermione and Ginny to rise to another greeting day. The cause for their awakening was the Head Boy jumping up and down on the Head Girl's bed. The effect, well, that is a bit too graphic for anyone to find out. Let's just say, a threat goes a long way.
"Blaise, you are truly aggravating," Ginny moaned while getting out of the bed. She stretched a bit before walking into the bathroom, door still opened.
"I've been getting that a lot lately," he said with an authentic Slytherin smirk. "Incorrigible, annoying, devilishly handsome…"
"I doubt the last one," muttered Hermione's voice from beneath the comforter.
"And you're going to the ball with me…why?"
"Because I feel sorry for you and didn't want to turn you down," she said sarcastically while arising from the bed and going to her closet.
"Nice attire," Blaise chuckled while staring at Hermione's gym shorts and long shirt.
"It's the latest style," Ginny said dauntingly while walking out of the bathroom in gym shorts and a tank top. "How'd you sleep?"
"The couch wouldn't be my first choice for a slumber," Blaise said while cracking his neck. "Thanks for the cleaning up and the blanket."
"We didn't want you to freeze to death."
"Trust me, there is nothing colder than the dungeons," he said while settling himself in a loveseat. "What shall we do with yet another free day?"
"Since I'm done with all my homework-"
"-for the next six weeks-"
Hermione glared at Blaise though continued, "I was going to say that we should take a picnic down by the lake because it's such a nice day."
"Hate to break it to you, but dear old Potter scheduled a Quidditch practice today," Blaise drawled. "We don't want to lose to Beauxbatons and Drumstrang."
"I doubt you will, we're basically the best," Ginny said as she rummaged through Hermione's closet. "Now, Blaise, if you don't mind, get out so we can change."
"I could help you with that," the Slytherin chuckled while dodging a thick book. "Alright I'm leaving!"
In the end, Hermione and Ginny decided to watch the Hogwarts Quidditch team practice. When they arrived, they were greeted by Hotaru and Hannah, whom chatted happily about being on the team. Soon they left under Harry's orders and they resumed practicing every tactic and strategy people came up with.
Over the years, the Quidditch houses had become exceptionally brilliant at their skills. Draco and Harry were the only ones in Hogwarts who could successfully do the Wronski Feint and some new tactics that were brought up at the Quidditch league. At the first game, scouts from the league and Ministry were going to observe the students skills and might offer them a scholarship to one of their fine training facilities. Some people's futures depended on the upcoming game.
Hermione had always wondered what her future would bring her. She wanted to be an Auror, but since most of the deatheaters were caught, there wasn't much crime, basically paper work. Ever since her first year, there were always action and life-threatening adventures, and as much as Hermione hated it, she loved it. She thrived for the adrenaline rush of helping others, so that's why an Auror's job didn't suite her.
Her other option had been a Healer. As a child, before knowing about Hogwarts, Hermione had thought of becoming a doctor. She had always been fascinated with potions and remedial techniques to help others, just discovering something new made her so eager to do so. Since fifth year and D.A. she had been discovering some mixed potions would produce a great outcome. If you were to mix eye of newt and a Wolfsbane potion, you would be cured of a HinkyPunks bite, though she dared not share it with her potions professor.
Snape still hadn't cooled down towards the Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Hufflepuffs, even after the war. There were occasional, but rare situations where he deducted points from Slytherin and awarded one point to the other houses, but it was once in a blue moon. Hermione sighed while dozing off about other subjects. Maybe she could be a professor at Hogwarts. That would be awfully fascinating.
All of a sudden, Hermione was knocked back against the stands, with Ginny on top of her. "Hermione, are you bleeding mad!"
"What are you talking about?" she asked absentmindedly.
Ginny glared at her and got up, "A bludger was coming straight towards your head."
"Oh my," Hermione said while putting her hand to her mouth. "Thanks you, Ginny."
"Like I'd have you go to the ball with an upturned face," Ginny giggled while patting some dust off of her skirt. "What were you thinking about?"
"Oi you girls ok?" Harry yelled while pulling next to them on his broom. Both nodded and he sighed in relief. "Watch your head next time 'mione, I don't want you girls getting hurt."
"Yeah, sorry about that," Eric yelled while dodging whacks from Hannah. "I didn't mean to!"
Harry sighed as Hannah chased Eric all around the Quidditch pitch along with Hotaru and called off practice immediately. As all the other players went into the showers, Hermione saw Draco and Harry discussing something. She questioned their motives and stared walking towards them, but when she was in hearing distance, they ceased their conversation.
"What were you talking about?"
"Nothing," the two boys said smoothly in unison.
"You know boys, I wasn't made Head Girl for nothing,"
"And I wasn't made Quidditch captain for nothing, 'mione," Harry said with a grin while giving her a brotherly kiss on the cheek, "A captain never discusses his plans and strategies."
As Harry walked away, the weary look Draco had soon vanished as Hermione turned to him with a raised eyebrow. "Are you going to tell me?"
"I'm not a noble Gryffindor," he said while walking off to the showers. "I think you might want to watch out, the Weaslette his hoarding towards here like mad."
True to his words, Ginny was dashing towards Hermione with a hysterical face. "Hermione! Do you know what time it is?"
"An hour past lunch?"
"Do you know what this means!"
"That we have missed lunch?"
"How can you be so daft, Hermione?" Ginny yelled while dragging her towards the castle. "We only have seven hours to ready ourselves for the ball!"
"I only need three!" Hermione shouted while struggling from the girls grasp. Even though she was shorter, and younger, those two years of Quidditch gifted the temperamental redhead.
"Oh no you don't, missy," Ginny growled while taking her to the Gryffindor tower, "The bathrooms are already full along with the showers, and now I'm going to be late to the ball because of the practice!"
"Why don't you grab your things and come to the Head's dorms with me?" Hermione asked while stepping into the Gryffindor common room. "Blaise already took his two routine showers and won't be using the bathroom. It'll only be the two of us."
Ginny's eyes widened in awe, "Really?"
"Yes now grab your dress and robes and we'll head off."
Ginny was gone in a flash and came back with a small parcel while scurrying away to the Head dorms with Hermione. When they arrived, Draco and Blaise were yet again fighting about something though stopped once the girls entered the room.
"Always the composed one eh, Blaise?" Ginny giggled at how Blaise first introduced himself.
"This idiot started it," Blaise pouted while crossing his arms. "What're you two doing here anyway?"
"Ginny is convinced that if we don't get ready for the ball now, then we'll be late," Hermione said with a roll of her eyes. "Absolutely rubbish."
Blaise frowned while nodding his head toward Ginny. "Oi, who're you going with?"
"Xavier Carvin," she stated coolly. "He asked me the first day."
Draco snorted, "Him?"
"What's so wrong with Xavier?"
"He's too, how do I put this?" Draco asked Blaise.
"Shy, wimpy, pansy little bliker that one is," Blaise said while gathering his books.
"Just because he is a bit shy, doesn't mean he is bad," Hermione said while pointing her nose to the air.
"The bloke is afraid of hairpins," Blaise said bluntly.
"Is that even possible?" Ginny asked with wide eyes.
Hermione tilted her head and shrugged, "There are a lot of people out there that are afraid of the most bizarre things."
"I'm stuck dancing with a boy that is going to be frightened by the items in my hair," Ginny said in a mortified tone. "I thought this was going to be a good ball too."
"Don't worry about it," Blaise said suavely while smoothing back his hair, "Dumbledore said he would be happy as long as we dance with out partners once. I'm sure there are a lot of chaps out there that would beg for a dance with you."
"Very flattering," Draco said monotonously while heading towards the portrait door. "I'll be off."
"You might as well go with him Blaise because there is no way in hell you'll be staying here," Hermione said sternly while pointing towards Draco. "Ginny and I need to get ready."
"The ball doesn't start for another six hours!"
"Well tell that to Ginny!"
Blaise frowned childishly as he trudged out with Draco. Hermione walked over to the portrait and told the lioness and snake not to let them back in here until they were ready for the ball, thus leading to so many hours of excruciating painstaking hours of getting ready for some ball. Ginny was first to shower as Hermione laid out their dresses and dress robes which arrived in their rooms that very day.
She observed the sheer material of her Japanese styled dress. The top of her dress consisted of a sapphire colored material with a glittering jeweled brocade, glistening in the light with a black outline around the jewels. The bottom was flowy with a sheer, sapphire web, and black silk underneath, to make the bottom elegant and not too big. Her robes were of the same blue coloring and covered her wholly.
Ginny's dress was simple, yet sexy for her petite form. It was a long floral gown that ruffled in her upper body and flowed down gently with two slits running up her knees. The bright green material would compliment her hazel eyes, making them brighter and vivacious. Her dress robes were the same green color.
After Ginny was done with her bath, Hermione rushed in and lavished herself with the various amounts of taps and bubbles and a warm bath. She sighed at the relaxation she felt and wondered how much pain would be endured by walking in heals and how many times her feet would be stepped on. She was quite surprised by herself by actually being excited to attend the ball.
Hermione hadn't felt this cheerful since fourth year at the Yule Ball. She felt the rush blow back into her as if she were anticipating for Victor to come and escort her to the ball. Even though she wouldn't ever admit it, she loved the looks she received. It was as if people saw her for her and not her exterior intelligence and she loved it.
As she reminisced about her past memories, Ginny had knocked on the door while shouting for her to get out. "Hermione, you've been in there for an hour and a half!"
Hermione's eyes shot open as she stared at the clock on the wall. To her surprise, she saw that it had indeed been an hour and a half of memories. She got up from her bath and wrapped herself into a towel, both body and hair. After a quick drying spell, she wrapped herself in a robe and walked into her room once more. She saw Ginny in her shorts and jumper while applying a bit of light make up on her complexion.
"Finally!" Ginny said while looking at Hermione from the vanity mirror. "I thought you might've drowned."
"No," she said while brushing out her semi dry hair. She sat down at the vanity and began to apply some silky liquid in her hair to make her hair softer than it already was. Ginny had gotten up a while ago and began dressing in her gown. When she got out, she went straight to Hermione and tapped on her shoulder.
"How do I look?"
"Lovely," Hermione said with a soft smile, "Though you could do without the curlers."
Ginny giggled appreciatively and pointed at Hermione's hair, "Yeah, now turn around and let me fix yours."
The next couple of hours were spent doing their hair and make up with a few laughs. After applying the last bit of Blemish Be-gone, they stared at themselves in the mirror, which applauded in approval. "You'll knock them dead."
As they slipped on their high heals, they walked out of the room in dignity. To their surprise, Blaise and Xavier were sitting on the couch, while staring at them in awe. Both got up and held out their hands for them to take as they reached the end of their staircase. Blaise kissed both Hermione and Ginny's hand gently as he bowed. "May I say you both look absolutely striking."
"And you look quite charming yourself, Blaise," Hermione said as she stared at him. His suite consisted of the same color as Hermione's gown, which complimented his eyes beautifully. His long, black dress robes were open, except where it tied around his neck with a brooch of the Zabini crest.
"Yes I know," he said smoothly while taking her arm. "Shall we go?"
As they left to the Great Hall, the passed many of their friends and rivals with either compliments or breathily insults. Ginny scowled as Xavier kept a distance between them, as he fidgeted while staring at her hair. She rolled her eyes as they entered the magnificently decorated Great Hall.
When they entered, their ears blared with music from the Krazy Kneazles blasting away on their drums and guitars. The décor consisted of House colors and banners everywhere from the walls to the tables. The ceiling was enchanted to show the constellations of the snake, lion, badger, and owl. Blaise and Hermione were stopped every second by one person or another, receiving compliments on the decorations and the turnout of the ball.
Professor Dumbledore walked towards them, with a grand smile. "I give you my compliments, Mr. Zabini and Miss Granger."
"Thank you professor," Blaise said with an earnest tone. "Though the credit goes to Hermione."
"And maybe Miss Weasley perhaps?" Dumbledore asked with a touch of humor. "Though you had the most dangerous task of all I presume, Mr. Zabini."
Hermione and Blaise saw as Dumbledore's gaze averted towards Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape bickering at one another. All three chuckled lightly, while Blaise rubbed the back of his head. "I suppose you can say that. Came with a harsh punishment."
"Detention I assume? Well the rest of your servings aren't to be served over such a silly matter."
"Thank you, professor."
All of a sudden, the lights began to dim and Dumbledore walked towards the front as everyone quieted down. "Thank you all for attending the Welcome Back Ball for Hogwarts. This ball is to make sure Hogwarts stands tall through the trails and tribulations we've gone through. Even though the War with Voldemort has demised, we must stand strong so the same thing is not to happen again. To that I would like to take a moment of silence, to those whom we've lost over the years to the sides of darkness."
A thick-heavy- silence bestowed upon the hall. Whispers of prayers were spread through the hall and finally Dumbledore cleared his throat. "I would like to remind you to thank your Head Boy and Girl for planning such an extravagant ball. Please get with your partners and share this dance of harmony. After the song ends, I expect you to dance with another person, but not from your own house."
A slow song began to play melodically, though nobody moved. People shifted uncomfortably, yet struggled to pull themselves to the dance floor. Blaise looked around and rolled his eyes while holding his hand out for Hermione to take. They both led themselves towards the dance floor; Hermione placed her hands around Blaise's neck while Blaise rested his hands on her waist. They both moved slowly and tried to block out everyone's stares.
"Bloody cowards," Blaise mumbled under his breath.
"I know what you mean."
Out of the corner of her eye, Hermione saw Harry and Ron pull their dates to the dance floor and they began to dance also. She smiled inwardly and continued her dance gently and smoothly. Soon more and more people followed and danced rhythmically to the smooth melody of the song. Even some professors, much to some dismay, walked towards the floor and began to move.
Colin Creevy had snapped a shot of Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape dancing distinctly far away from each other. Snape displayed a sneer upon his face at Colin and shouted a string of detentions and subtraction of points, but Colin managed to escape and dance with Pansy Parkinson.
The song began to slow down and Blaise and Hermione separated with a curtsy and bow. Malcolm Burwick from Slytherin then walked towards her and bowed and they both began to dance to a faster tune the Krazy Kneazles. He was quite nice, to Hermione's surprise, and he told her how he was sorry on behalf of some of his Gryffindor counterparts.
After a few more dances, Dumbledore announced that they were free to dance with whomever they want. Many people cheered, though some remained dancing with other houses. Four people were particularly were among popular dance candidates; Draco, Harry, Blaise, and Ronald.
Hermione and Ginny, whom just ditched Xavier Carvin after he had hyperventilated and fainted at the site of Ginny's hairpins, were relaxing at a table while drinking some Butterbeer. They had talked about whom they danced with so far and those whom stepped on their feet.
"Hope I wasn't one of them," Blaise chuckled while sitting next to Ginny and grabbing a Butterbeer.
"I was victim," Draco drawled while leaning back in his chair, "That Lavender Brown really hates me."
"Just a bit," Ginny said nonchalantly, "yeah."
Over the next few hours, people began to play some of the games available and took pictures of the night to remember its wonders. At one point or another, the Golden Trio was bombarded with questions about the war and wanted full details. Once again, they explained everything, including their form of Animagus. Bellatrix Lestrange had cast a poisoning spell on Hermione's open wounds in her Animagus form, a wolf, and how Ronald was hit with curses in his Lion form. In the end, Harry cast a spell that Hermione had come up with and the demise of Voldemort was history.
As for Hermione and Ronald, no one knew what Harry's Animagus form was and it was a phoenix, so as he spilt his tears on his friend's wounds, he sang a solemn melody to the night. The girls gasped in awe while the guys cheered in their macho manliness, and that's how the night presumed. Stories, games, and more dancing was in stow and currently, Blaise and Hermione; Draco and Ginny were dancing to a faster song being played.
At the last verse, Blaise spun Hermione into Draco's arms while taking Ginny's hand.
"I'm afraid ladies and gentlemen, this will be the last song of the night, so we're going to keep it slow," the lead singer of the Krazy Kneazles said while the lights dimmed to semi-darkness.
"I'm touched," Draco said while placing his hands on her waist. "You saved the last dance for me."
"More like Blaise did," she said with a small laugh.
"Looks like they're having fun."
Hermione looked next to her to see Ginny's head rested on Blaise's chest. A warm feeling flushed her heart as she smiled, "They're perfect."
"I thought he'd never go for it."
"What do you mean?"
"You haven't noticed?"
Draco rolled his eyes while staring at the couple, "Blaise has been trying to go after her since last year. I'm sure Potter told you all about it since he snuck into the Slytherin department and overheard our conversation. "
"I thought he was kidding," Hermione said absentmindedly, "though Ginny has actually fancied him since the beginning of the year."
Both remained silent throughout the next few seconds, though everyone knew silence between the two would never last.
"So this is what it resorts to?"
"What do you mean?"
"The only way we can talk civilized to one another is about our friends or class work," Hermione stated.
"Are you always so blunt with your answers?"
"Yes," he said with a smile, which looked more like a smirk.
"You're infuriating, I hope you know that."
"I try just for you."
Hermione looked at him as he gave a real laugh, "You should do that more often."
"Smile…laugh…it's beseeming. We've all seen the sneering, daunting side of Draco Malfoy," she whispered with a quiet smile, "what haven't you shown."
"The other side of the mask that nobody sees," he said while averting his gaze.
"Why don't you take off the mask?"
"There's a lot more to it than that."
The song began to lose its rhythm and the lights began to turn on again. Draco stared at Hermione with a blank gaze and sighed while shaking his head. She pulled away from him though held his stare.
Hermione stared at him intently, "Tell me."
"Well done everyone!" Professor Dumbledore said with an appraising cheer, "I am proud of every person here by showing such unity. Once again I thank Miss Granger and Mr. Zabini for giving us all a very fine night."
Claps echoed throughout the hall though Draco and Hermione kept an intent gaze. All noise and laughter were blocked out and all that could be heard was the light thumping from both their hearts. It wasn't until Ginny tugged on Hermione's arm and rattled something that seemed to be the best news in the world.
"What?" she responded while slowly resting her stare on Ginny's excited face. "I'm sorry I didn't hear you."
Ginny frowned though dismissed it immediately as she hugged Hermione. "Blaise asked me to go with him on the next Hogsmeade trip."
"That's wonderful, Ginny!"
"I know," the redhead beamed.
"Does Ronald know?"
Ginny's face turned blank as she stared at Hermione. "I forgot to tell him. Oh gosh, he'll nag me till I'll bleed! I can't believe this! Finally I get asked out by a guy that I like and who isn't afraid of hairpins and now Ron is going to be against it because Blaise is a Slytherin and he was one of the judges to decide whether or not he would be on the Quidditch team!"
"Ginny!" Hermione said while grabbing the younger girl by the shoulders. "Breath."
"Oi, you can't snuff it yet," Blaise said while putting his arm around Ginny's shoulder. "We still have to go out on our date."
Ginny put her head into his chest and muffled incoherently, "Don't let Ron hear that."
"Hear what? Why in the hell is your arm around her!"
Hermione, Ginny, and Blaise turned around to see a stressed out looking Harry and a red-faced Ron. "Now, Ronald…"
"Oh Gin, please don't tell me," Ron said while throwing his hands up in the air. "You fancy him and have fallen into his evil ploy to corrupt innocent Gryffindor girls. Look, he already brainwashed Hermione-OW!"
Hermione glared at Ron after smacking him in the head. "Stop being such a prat!"
"I didn't know I could do that," Blaise said while raising an eyebrow, "Lure girls in with my wit and charm…"
"Harry, you have my back mate, don't you?"
"Actually, Ron, I'm neutral," Harry said coolly, "Zabini and Malfoy have chilled out over the year and I find nothing wrong in what's happening. Zabini could've done more things then put his arm around her by now mate."
"Oh great, everyone is against me!" Ron yelled while walking out of the almost empty Great Hall.
"Give him time," Harry murmured while following Ron. "Oh and you might want to watch out for Ginny's temper. Stubborn as a Hippogriff she is."
"Harry James Potter, I'll kill you!" Ginny screamed at a laughing Harry while running after him with her wand.
It had been exactly one month since the Welcome Back Ball and things seemed more blissful at Hogwarts. There were the occasional scruffs with the younger years and there seemed to be many more exceeding the Inter-house unity friendship; so instead of two Ravenclaws snogging, it was a Ravenclaw and Slytherin. The first Quidditch match was drew nearer as the days passed.
After the dance, Ginny indeed got her revenge by using the Bat Bogey hex on Harry, and she and Blaise had gotten closer. Blaise seemed to be extra charismatic when Ginny was around and avoided the glares from Ron as he would talk to her in the halls and wait for her to finish class. It was so sweet that…
…you just wanted to gag.
Then there was Draco. He avoided Hermione every chance he got and never looked at her straight in the eye ever since the dance. The only time they'd speak was during class over work or about casual things when they were in a group. Hermione never did get her answer.
The anticipation was heavy until the day of the Quidditch match finally arrived. Hogwarts was greatly decorated with shades of green, purple, red, and yellow. Everywhere, students were supporting the Hogwarts colors and awaiting the arrival of the Beauxbatons students and Madame Maxine.
The Quidditch pitch and stadium was also expanded over the summer so more people would be able to view the sport without being squished. The Hogwarts Quidditch team was practicing none stop and improving as each day passed. The chasers were quicker than before, Harry could catch the snitch easily without distraction, Draco hadn't let any goals in, and the beaters were just as good as Fred and George.
The day had finally come. The boys and girl went their separate ways to change and awaited the day's outcome. The uniforms had changed also. Instead of separate house colors, the robes were pure black, with the crest of their house on back along with their last names.
"You look rather dashing," Blaise's reflection said while nodding in approval.
"Always that vain. Zabini?" Harry asked with a grin.
"Someone has to keep my self-esteem up," Blaise replied while looking at his reflection. "What better way than have your own opinion?"
"Mine said I looked like a vicar," Draco mumbled while walking away from the mirror. "I didn't believe it until I took a good look at myself."
"You looked the same way at the Yule Ball," Eric chimed while putting on his protective gear and grabbing his beat.
"Thanks a lot."
"Don't mention it."
"Ready everyone?" Harry asked brusquely while watching everyone nod. "Lets go and win for Hogwarts!"
The boys met up with the girls and began to walk out to the stadium where they were greeted with a deafening round of applause and screams. The Beauxbatons team, dressed in periwinkle robes, had already been introduced and were flying around the pitch await the Hogwarts team. "And here we have the Hogwarts Keeper, Draco Malfoy, Chasers, Blaise Zabini, Hotaka, and Hotaru Orimoto, our Beaters, Eric Dublin and Hannah Abbott, and our Seeker, Harry Potter!" Nathalia Amdis from Hufflepuff jeered.
The team, except Harry, began flying in the air to their regular posts and awaited Madame Hooch's whistle and words.
"I want a nice clean game."
Harry and the Beauxbatons seeker shook hands.
"The snitch has been released…AND THERE OFF!"
Harry zoomed off into the air and saw that Beauxbatons were in possession to the quaffle. To his amazement, Beauxbatons team was exceptionally brilliant. They flew gracefully. "And Pierre Wifitt goes for the kill and MISS! Saved by Draco Malfoy, who looks devilishly handsome today if I must say-"
"Miss Amdis!" Professor Snape said warningly. "This is Quidditch, not a way to kiss another persons bum."
"You should talk," she mumbled as she continued her commentary. "Draco Malfoy throws the quaffle to Blaise Zabini, who is our current Head Boy. Too bad he is currently dating Ginerva Weasley of Gryffindor-"
Blaise grinned and passed the quaffle to the Hotaka, whom passed to Hotaru. They dodged the beaters thrown their way and cut across the other chasers. When they made it to the hoops, Hotaru threw it over the hoops where Hotaka awaited with his arms outstretched and threw the quaffle to Blaise who scored.
"Ten points to Gryffindor! Wow what a might fine strategy, well thought out, probably came from our captain and loveable Seeker Harry Potter who interestingly enough gets it from his father and godfather-"
"I'm warning you, Miss Amdis, no more stories or comments about how you adore the boys-"
Just then, Hotaka Orimoto glimpsed a bludger coming straight towards him, though couldn't dodge it as it hit him square in the chest. The Beauxbatons beater grinned while flying away.
"YOU FILTHY! FOUL! FOUL!" screamed Nathalia as many gasped while seeing Hotaka motionless on the floor. "GIVE ME A BAT AND I'LL THROW A STINKING BLUDGER AT THAT BINT!"
"I warned you, Miss Amdis!" Professor Snape growled while moving the girl from the seat. "It seems a Hogwarts player has been injured and gives the Hogwarts team a slight disadvantage. Potter you better find that snitch before-"
"Serverus!" Professor McGonagall said with a scowl.
Blaise cursed foully while glaring at the Beauxbatons beater. "Abbott, Dublin! Give them hell!"
The beaters nodded and saw the Harry was still searching for the snitch along with the other seeker. The rest of the game consisted of some ups and downs with Beauxbatons scoring points like crazy, though Blaise and Hotaru managed to score some points of their own. Eric managed to get back at the beater who put out Hotaka and got him out of the game also. Beauxbatons was currently a hundred points ahead of Hogwarts and the chances were slim.
"And it looks like Potter has found the snitch!" Professor Snape yelled while noticing Harry diving towards the ground with the Beauxbatons Seeker on his tail. "W-what is he doing? Potter you bleeding idiot! You're going to hit the-"
But just as Snape began yelling, Harry pulled sharply and rose back in the air, though the Beauxbatons Seeker wasn't as successful as he hit the ground sharply. "Oh, well Potter just pulled a Wronski Feint. Trying to be a Victor Krum there aren't you Potter? Always wanted the glory-"
"And you say I was bad?" Nathalia scowled while taking Professor Snape's place. "Sorry for the RUDE commentary everyone, but I'll be taking over again. Yes, Harry Potter amazingly performed the Wronski Feint to trick those nasty little buggers on the Beauxbatons team. Good job, Harry! Oh wait, look at that…Blaise Zabini makes a move…SCORE!"
While everyone was focused on Harry's Wronski Feint, Blaise swept in and threw the quaffle into one of the hoops. The Hogwarts team took a victory lap around the pitch though readied themselves for another round. After a half an hour it seemed like this time Harry found a golden object winking at him from the corner of his eye. At that, he darted towards the object with the bloodied Beauxbatons Seeker on his tail.
"Looks like Harry has found the snitch. Maybe it's another fake, maybe its not. You get them, Harry! Uh oh…looks like the weather is getting pretty restless."
True to Melanie's word, the skies got darker with gray clouds and the wind began to blow harder. People pulled their cloaks tighter around their bodies and stared as it began to sprinkle. Harry cursed the rain on his glasses, making his vision blurry and discontinued his attempt to catch the snitch.
"Arg, Potter, get your arse over here!" Draco yelled while whipping out his wand and pointing them at Harry's glasses. All of a sudden, his vision was clear and he grinned.
"Shut up, you prat, and get the snitch!"
"Its looks as though Draco Malfoy saves the game for Hogwarts as he performs a spell on Harry's glasses. What a dreamer."
Harry nodded and darted off towards the Beauxbatons Seeker who was struggling with his robe and trying to get the snitch. He caught up to the Seeker and found the snitch was almost in his hands when Harry pulled right beside him and snatched it. Harry fell ten feet off his broom and into the mixture of mud and grass holding up the snitch.
"HARRY POTTER HAS CAUGHT THE SNITCH!" screamed Nathalia happily. "HOGWARTS WINS! IN YOUR FACE YOU NASTY, FILTHY-"
Though no one listened anymore as they all ran to Harry and congratulated him with pats and cheers. "Good job everyone!"
"Great throws, Blaise!"
"You rock, Hotaru!"
"Nice beating there, Hannah!"
The rest of the night was spent with a victory party in the Heads Dorms thanks to Blaise and Hermione. The professors, though strict, approved of the party and left the students to go on with their celebrations. Butterbeers and Fizzing Whizbees were passed all around as everyone replayed the scenes and commentary.
Blaise was sitting on the couch next to Ginny and Harry who were receiving praise from their fellow peers. Hermione rolled her eyes and grabbed Ginny by the arm, dragging her away. "As if Blaise needs a bigger head then he already has to deal with."
Ginny laughed and nodded, "I agree."
Hermione sighed and sat on a nearby couch, sipping her butterbeer, "Where's Malfoy? I thought he'd be here with all the other boys."
"Not sure," Ginny replied thoughtfully, "I haven't seen him since he walked towards the pitch."
Hermione nodded and grabbed a cloak while walking out of the dorm. Why wouldn't Malfoy be cheering with his fellow players, obtaining a big head and extreme arrogance? It was very un-Malfoy like. Her boots clicked against the stones, only the echoing and the pounding of the rain was heard.
She finally came to the entrance and saw that the skies were cloudy and powerfully pouring rain onto the lush earth. There was a light breeze as she stepped out into the rain, not caring if she was getting wet. She strode towards the Quidditch pitch and searched all around, only to find a lone figure leaning against one of the Keepers many hoop post.
That's how she found him. His hair matted down by the rain, his clothing drenched, with his broom at his side; his head was bent. Hermione walked over towards him until she was just inches in front of his figure. "What are you doing here, Granger?"
"Looking for you."
"Why would you be doing that? Did Blaise send you?"
"No one sent me," she whispered while stepping closer to him. "I was wondering where you were."
"I find that hard to believe."
"Why are you out here, Draco," Hermione said firmly.
"Why do you even care?"
"Stop answering my questions with questions."
Draco looked away from the ground and to his side. "I'm here because I want to be out here."
"That isn't a very good answer."
"Nothings perfect, Granger, so get over it."
"Tell you what?"
"What's behind the mask? You said there more to it. Tell me."
Draco looked up in surprise to see Hermione heatedly clutching her fist.
"You will not give me this tosh!" Hermione said angrily while looking him straight in the eye. "Blaise keeps saying there is more to you. I want to know if there is. Show me! What are you hiding?"
"It's not that easy!" he yelled back with a heated look. "Nobody would understand!"
"Stop saying that!" she screamed while moving the wet pieces of hair out of her face. "Why can't you say it!"
"You want to know? You honestly want to know?" Draco hissed through his clenched teeth. "How would you feel if your whole existence was all fake? How would you feel if you grew up being taught false things? How would you feel when your supposed enemy finds out your secret truth? Tell me that, Granger? How would you feel?"
He glared at her coldly. "Speechless? I'm surprised Potter didn't blab it out to the world?"
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is, my parents were really under the Imperius curse, they didn't detest Muggleborns and half-bloods as much as they showed it, I was taught these things when they were all faux, and my whole life is a lie," he growled with a sneer. "Do you want to know how my family was dropped of charges? Because of Potter. He was with the Auror's when they invaded our home and used some spell on my parents and discovered the truth."
"There is nothing wrong with that."
"Of course nothing seems wrong to you. Everything is right to you and about you."
Hermione was taken a back with a look of confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Don't give me that rubbish, Granger," Draco snorted with a look of ridicule. "Nothing ever seems that wrong to you. Blaise and Ginny dating doesn't seem wrong to you, the way Professor Snape still treats everyone doesn't seem wrong to you, the way your so keen to answer questions in class even though none of the professors pick you-"
"One, there is nothing bad about two people dating no matter what their linage or house," Hermione stated firmly. "Two, Professor Snape will and always will be a git, pardon my language. Three, the professors want to give everyone else a try to answer questions. Those are all very little things."
"Don't you understand?" Draco asked with an exhausted look. "You're a perfectionist. Whether you know it or not, you are. You help everyone, even the lost case Longbottom, you volunteer to do quests for professors, you're the top of our class, you're Head Girl, and you're voted the most successful witch of out year-"
Whether it was the cold or the flatter, Hermione nose and cheeks were tinted a slight pink as she stared at Draco. "Those are what I give back to Hogwarts."
"Oh come off it," Draco said with a short laugh. "You're the only one who wants to liberate House Elves."
"They have rights you know."
For one moment, there was utter silence between the two. Both inhaled the muddy scent of rain until Draco spoke once more.
"I was wrong."
"What were you wrong about?"
"For calling you a mudblood. You aren't. You're purer than I can be."
"I'm tainted with cruel intentions, while yours are good. You're chaste with a good heart. Hence, you're purer than I will ever be."
"That can change."
Hermione stood on her tiptoes and kissed Draco on the corner of his mouth. "Open your heart."
Draco stared at Hermione's warm eyes and nodded. He stepped closer to her and kissed her softly on the lips.
For once, everything was pure rhapsody.