Well, here it is. The last chapter of this epic Dramione tale. Hopefully you all enjoyed it - I'll miss writing it. D: Well, there's always S U R V I V O R and Sugar and Spice to keep me occupied... the latter of which I haven't updated in a long, long time... -Guilty look-
& the story concludes here...
10 Ways to Kill Draco Malfoy
Now that Draco is fine and dandy... I'm starting to worry about where Ron might have disappeared off to. Prefect duties are in about 10 minutes and I can't exactly go alone.
He isn't in the common room, or his dormitory, or the boys' bathroom according to Harry (unless he is having a severe case of diarrhea and was too embarrassed to answer Harry's yelling or he was getting in touch with his feminine side and putting on makeup in the Prefects' toilets - both of which seem quite unlikely). I can't think of anywhere else he might be, especially since we're his best friends and he always spends his evenings with us.
Unless... he's with the Slytherins?
But there's no reason he would be. We haven't had a fight or anything (or at least our last one had been resolved already), and Ron's not exactly on good terms with any of them. Nor is he somehow attracted to any of them, the last time I checked. Well, I hope not, anyway.
I wait another few minutes, becoming more and more agitated as the seconds tick by. Eventually I give up waiting and decide to head to Professor McGonagall's office by myself and hope to meet him there. As soon as I push the portrait open and step out, I hear someone running toward me and turn around just as Ron collides into me with the force of a running buffalo. Not that I've been tackled by a running buffalo, but you know what I mean. I didn't stand a chance in the impact and is thrown unceremoniously to the floor. "HERMIONE!" he gasps breathlessly, helping me up with all the grace of a gorilla. "Help me! I gotta get away from that... that thing chasing me!" He jabs a finger energetically behind him, looking around fearfully as he does so.
I look at where he points and half expect to see one of Hagrid's 'pets' set loose, but instead I see nothing... until I spot a familiar black-haired girl apparently looking for something - or someone.
Suddenly everything clicks and I realize what is going on. So my nagging suspicions about Ron and the Slytherins were right! Trying hard not to burst out laughing, I push Ron in front of me to prevent him being seen by Pansy and we hurry toward the Transfiguration classroom. "You have a lot to explain, young man," I say, grinning as Professor McGonagall shoos us out of the room after giving us our usual instructions. "Since when did you and Pansy get together? You could have told us, you know."
"Since never!" he huffs indignantly, looking somewhat offended and embarrassed. "Do you really think I'd go out with her, of all people? Honestly..."
"Well you never know," I say innocently. "Stranger things have happened. Like, oh, me and Draco, for instance." Ron groans in exasperation.
The night passes uneventfully, and soon I am in the girls' dormitory getting changed for bed. As I crawl under my blankets, I muse at how us Gryffindors have gotten closer to the Slytherins this year. Draco was somewhat the one who started it, albeit unconsciously, with his looks attracting the attention of girls from all over the school. But I actually got past the mere attraction level and went to the relationship stage with a Slytherin, with my plans to kill Draco (which I can safely say did not succeed the way I planned). And now, not only is Harry more tolerant of Draco and perhaps Slytherins in general - excluding Blaise, of course - even Pansy is chasing after Ron. For some reason I find that... amusing.
Though I suppose I should have seen it coming after that time when she stormed into the common room and gave him that unwanted full-body massage. Heh.
The next morning at breakfast, Ron tries his best to huddle between me and Harry and cover his very obvious red hair. "Please don't see me, please don't see me," he mutters under his breath, like some kind of mantra to ward off evil spirits. Unfortunately this causes the opposite effect and Pansy walks by right behind us on her way to the Slytherin table, and upon hearing the chanting, stops to see who it is.
"Oh! Ronnie-kins!" she half-shrieks in delight when she spots him. "What a coincidence, seeing you here! It must be fate! Come, sit with me!" And without asking for his opinion, she drags him away in a flurry of robes, upturned plates and flailing arms as Ron tried unsuccessfully to get away and only ended up tripping over her robes and demolishing our plates. Almost as a reflex I mutter 'Reparo!' and the plates are restored. Sadly, there isn't a spell to restore Ron to his original seat and he is taken away, a panicky look on his face.
When I turn back to Harry, he has a half-strangled look on his face. "Well," he says carefully. "I'm glad to see that... Parkinson's getting over her weird infatuation with Malfoy. Which is good for you, 'Mione, of course." He smiles grimly as he watches Ron suffer at the Slytherin table.
"Except now she has an infatuation with Ron," I say easily, grinning as I help myself to some toast and occasionally glancing over to the other table.
"Works for me," someone drawls behind me. I almost leap out of my seat when a pair of hands find themselves on my shoulder. Judging by the surprised and dreamy looks on some of the girls' faces, I can guess who it is.
Harry makes a face. "Malfoy, save the affection for when you guys are alone," he grumbles, but I catch him eyeing Ginny as he speaks.
I grin to myself and bat Draco's hands away. "I'm having breakfast," I say, glaring at him.
"Today's Saturday. You can eat whenever you want," he shoots back.
"Breakfast is important."
"So I'm less important than that piece of toast you're eating?" Draco raises an eyebrow, pretending to look sad. "I'm hurt."
I know he's trying to win me over with his charm, and as much as I'd like to say I resisted and continued my eating, I couldn't. Soon I find myself bidding goodbye to Harry and walking away from the table, with a satisfied Draco beside me.
"I guess now your life's going to be a whole lot easier without Pansy," I say once we're out of the Great Hall. "Unless of course, you liked having her fawning over you all the time."
"Do I sense jealousy?" he smirks, until I step on his foot. Then his smirk turns into a grimace.
"Did you say something?" I ask, a dangerous smile on my face.
He coughs quickly. "Nothing. Nothing at all."
"Good." We continue walking slowly until we get to the edge of the lake, which can probably be voted as our favorite spot. As I sit down and glance at Draco to see if he would do the same, I notice that he seems to be thinking about something. "Something on your mind?" I ask as he lies down on the grass, making sure to keep an eye on the Giant Squid in case it tries to pull him in. He sighs, then coughs, then starts fidgeting. I didn't imagine someone like Draco would fidget, but I suppose you learn something new everyday.
"Just... about that night."
I feel like my heart has turned into a large toad and is now jumping merrily in my throat. It's interesting what mere memories could do to me. "... Yeah?"
"I was wondering... if you... well." He pauses. "If you had any regrets. Not saying that I did," he adds quickly, when I turn to look at him with a rather murderous look on my face. "It was great. Better than great. Awesome. Fantastic. Smash-"
I put my hand over his mouth to stop his blabbering and hear a string of muffled noises before he trails off. "What do you think? Of course I have no regrets. If I didn't like what was happening at the time, you know I wouldn't have hesitated to grab my wand and hex you where it would really hurt. But I didn't, and I still haven't. So you can be safe in knowing that I didn't... mind... it." I feel a blush crawling up my neck and I turned away from him to hide it.
If it were possible, I can almost feel him smirking widely at my back. "Well, that's settled then. I was just making sure... to protect my health in the near future. Just in case you had something against it. Not that you would have any reason to... pretty sure I made it enjoyable, hm? I mean, judging by the way you-"
"If you don't stop boasting about your skills in bed, your health in the near future will be jeopardized," I snarl at him, very aware that my face was now beetroot red. Thankfully there is no one around or I'd never live it down.
He starts laughing. "Come on, no need to be embarrassed!" he grins wickedly. "You- AHHHHHH!"
"Acquapyro! No - PYRIFICO!" The blue flames I originally cast at his robes soon turn orange, and very much real. "Now, that should shut you up."
For the rest of the time I spend outside with Draco, I watch, amused, as he takes off his robes in record time and in his panic, try all sorts of random spells to put out the fire (thankfully the cloth is wool, so the fire spreads slowly, giving him plenty of time to come up with something). A few that I witness include one that turns one of his sleeves into mush, another that makes the robe wriggle around weakly like a dying worm, and one that looks suspiciously like a Dark Arts spell that involves little vampire bats coming out of his wand and trying to 'eat' the fire, though they only end up getting burned into crisps. Eventually he stops trying and just throws his robes into the lake, where it sizzles slightly and the fire goes out.
"That... was unnecessary..." he huffs, glaring at me while casting mending spells on his damaged robes.
I smile innocently. "Well, you're going to be stuck with me for a while, so you might as well get used to it." I patted him on the back. "And congratulations on saving your robes before it disappeared."
He looks pleased. "That would be good, actually. You staying with me, not me saving my robes," he says, smiling a smile that, for once, did not contain hints of a smirk, a sneer, a leer or anything of the sort.
I suppose that it would count as a truly genuine smile. I'm hoping I'll be seeing more of those in the future.
"Let's go," I offer, starting to stand up. He quickly grabs my hand and puts an arm around my waist to help me up, the picture of a perfect gentleman. I grin, and don't let go of his hand the whole way as we head back into the castle.
Later that day, a very bedraggled-looking Ron stumbles into the common room, where Harry and I are writing our latest essay. As soon as he comes into the room, a sort of hush descends upon everyone as they all look his way. He stares back at them, and then at us. "What?"
Concerned looks and words greet him. "Ron, are you OK?"
"Hey man, you alright? You don't look so good. Here, have a seat."
"God, Ron, you look like a mess." This last comment comes from Ginny, who wrinkles her nose in distaste at the sight of her brother. "I hope you had fun."
Ron stomps over to his little sister. "Ginny, do I look like I had fun?" He points to his ruffled hair, his wrinkled robes and the top buttons on his shirt which had been ripped unceramoniously off.
She holds back giggles. "No, but you look like you were mauled by Pansy."
"Which is exactly what happened," he groans dramatically, showing a hint of Fred and George in his actions. At this, everyone starts whispering loudly amongst themselves, discussing theories on what could have occured between those two. "I can hear you guys, you know! I'm not exactly deaf!" he yells loudly when rumors in the making reach his ears. Finally, after a few more words with Ginny, he comes over to where we are sitting. I raise an eyebrow at him, smiling expectantly. He rolls his eyes back.
"So what happened?" Harry asks, semi-consciously dipping his quill in the ink bottle repeatedly as he looked at Ron, until the entire lower half of it was black with ink and his fingertips were stained the same color. "Judging by what happened last time you guys met... nothing good."
To Harry's surprise, and not mine, Ron breaks into a grin. "Actually, nothing bad this time. She was civil. Honestly," he adds when Harry gives him a disbelieving look. He also turns to shoo away the crowd of people who had been gathering around without us noticing.
"No wonder you looked discreetly pleased last time when you came back from Prefect duties with Pansy," I say, smirking. "So you guys are on good terms now. But what we want to know is - exactly how good?" Harry nudges him in the ribs, prompting him to answer.
Ron goes red. "We're not on good terms," he says quickly. "I just said she was civil. And how did you know I was pleased last time?"
"Girls notice these things," I say absently, scratching bits of ink off my nails. "And anyhow, you aren't exactly hard to read. Not for me at least."
"Yeah, you can't hide from Hermione Granger," Harry agrees, nodding sagely. "You can't hide anything. Nothing at all! Nothing, I say!"
I give him a weird look. "I'm sure we got the point the first time, Harry," I remark, giggling. I think being with Ginny makes Harry a bit high sometimes. I'm starting to wonder whether she's good for his health or not - but I suppose as long as they're happy, I can't complain.
We work on the essay for a bit longer, and eventually Ginny starts yawning. It looks slightly fake because it takes a long time with her mouth open before the yawn comes, but when she grabs Harry's arm and makes hasty goodnights to me and Ron, the reason for the pretense is obvious. I glance at the grandfather clock on the wall near the fireplace. Barely 10pm. I turn back and see Ron glaring suspiciously at Ginny and Harry's retreating backs as they slowly make their way towards the Fat Lady painting to head out of the common room. "I thought they were tired," he says, an annoyed expression on his face. "Honestly, these days... little sisters can't be trusted at all."
I laugh and look back at them again just as they climb through the portrait-hole. They look so happy and into each other that I can't help but feel that this year has been nothing short of spectacular when it came to relationships. There's Harry and Ginny, obviously, who have had probably one of the more tumultuous relationships so far with Blaise's random snog with Ginny, and Elliot's interest in the same girl and all the trouble that it caused. Then there's Ron and Pansy, who seems to have settled down a bit with the drama and action. Although they're not even close to being a couple, something tells me that Ron doesn't hate Pansy's massages as much as he says he does and Pansy enjoys giving him said massages more than she does with anyone else (except maybe Draco, but that's a different story).
And finally... me and Draco. Possibly the most unexpected two people to ever get together in Hogwarts history. If anyone had made a bet before this year on the chances of us becoming a couple, everyone would have betted against it.
I suppose that means everyone would have lost the bet.
At Potions a few days later, Snape seems to be in a foul mood again and starts picking on his favorite victim, Neville. This is a scene that is played out all too often and most of us are used to it by now - though of course that doesn't mean we like it. Funnily enough, although his memory is now much, much better than before, he still has trouble in Potions. Maybe Snape's mere presence kills his brain cells with the power of fear.
"Longbottom," Snape's silkily dangerous voice says. The Gryffindors stiffen, while the Slytherins look at each other and prepare for a good laugh. "I wonder... why is it that your potion is pink and bubbling like molten lava when the instructions clearly say that you should put one newt tail into your potion, not two?" He taps Neville's cauldron with his wand and as always when he does this, the concoction inside disappears and the cauldron is empty. Neville looks like he's trying not to start crying and slowly starts again.
The Slytherins laugh uproariously like it's the funniest thing on Earth, Draco with them. When he catches my glare he quickly stops and smacks Crabbe and Goyle, who also stop their stupid chuckling.
It's times like these that really make me wonder why I'm in love with a stuck-up ferret like him. Then, in a moment of déjà vu, I remember that everything started with a Potions class like this one, and I suddenly realize that I still have one plan of my 10 left. With a grimace directed at Draco, who seems not to be able to hold in his laughter again as Neville continues to make mishaps in his potion (not that I blame him - having Snape breathing down your neck while you work must be pretty frightening), I think of my final plan with a slight smile on my lips and my hands trying not to reach for my wand.
--- Plan 10: Try not to kill Draco Malfoy
When: Until the next time I change my mind (which could happen anytime, mind you)
Why: Because I say so
How: Must muster all the self-control and self-restraint I have so I don't punch him in the face or hex him into the middle of nowhere everytime he annoys me - I'm already using my wand way to much for that purpose these days, anyway
And I sure hope that this will be the one plan that will actually go the way I want it to.
Got my fingers crossed.
Ahh, the end! The ending wasn't particularly dramatic or anything. Buuuuuut this wasn't a particularly dramatic story in the first place. xD This was, however, the most fun story I'd ever written (not that I've written all that many), and it helped me realize that I still have to improve HEAPS more with my writing. -.-;;
Just wanted to get some feedback from you readers (you don't have to answer if you don't want to!): what did you think was the funniest moment in the story? The most interesting? The most romantic? The most violent? -Laughs- You can also say whatever you want to say about this fic if you do decide to answer, cos it'll be the last time you can! Hahaha. :D
I seriously had a great time with 10WtKDM, everyone, and I hope you did too. Kudos and see you in my other fics (which need to be updated! -Nervous laugh-)! -Waves-