Hermione Granger was not an idiot.
The morning before she left for her seventh year at Hogwarts, she found that her wardrobe had been completely redone. When she asked her parents just why they'd chosen to outfit her in shorter skirts and tighter tops, they had looked vaguely puzzled and said she'd bought the items herself.
Which was, obviously, not the case. She filed the episode under Minor Impossibilities to Consider at a Later Date.
Unfortunately, her imminent departure for Hogwarts precluded any last-minute shopping, so she was forced to choose between going in a slinky blue blouse and black leather miniskirt or wearing purple Tigger pajamas.
She chose the pajamas.
Unfortunately, when she started to put them on, they morphed persistently into the blouse and miniskirt. As some higher power was clearly telling her how to dress (Item two in file MICLD), she gave it up and wore them anyway.
She reached the Hogwarts Express just in time, and trotted down the corridor, searching for an empty compartment. Of course it might have been a coincidence that all of them, even the one Harry and Ron were in with their newly-acquired girlfriends (which they had, incidentally, not mentioned anything about until the very same morning her wardrobe had been supernaturally redesigned) were filled to the last seat except the one at the end.
The one that Draco Malfoy was sitting in, all alone.
Wearing leather pants and a loose hunter green silk shirt.
With his collar unbuttoned.
Looking very, very sexy.
Hermione weighed her options. She could either go in there and sit with Malfoy, or stay out and sit in the hall.
His leather pants were very tight.
Her subconscious reacted before her reason could interfere. She pushed open the compartment door and sat down across from the blond, who glanced up at her, face unreadable.
He looked again.
"Why the sudden change of attire, Granger?" he drawled.
Hermione rolled her eyes. Trust a Slytherin to make that sort of comment. "It's not like I did it on purpose, Malfoy." She mentally replayed the sentence, and realized that she sounded like an idiot. But Malfoy wasn't looking at her like she was an idiot...actually, at the moment he was staring at her piercingly.
"Don't tell me. This morning, when you got up, your clothes had suddenly turned into stuff you'd never wear, not in a million years. And—this is just a guess, but—whatever you tried to wear turned into a particular outfit and you were forced to wear it."
"Er...actually, yes. How did you know?"
He buried his face in his hands. "Guess. Incidentally, did you do your hair like that on purpose?"
Hermione reached up instinctively, and found out that her hair was now falling in soft honey-colored ringlets around her face. "Oh Merlin. No. My hair isn't even this color!"
Malfoy looked up, eyebrows raised in mock astonishment. "What, aren't you pleased with the change? No, don't answer. I hate to say this, but I know how you feel. I mean—my hair's normally a sort of white-yellow, and it wasn't too flattering but I was attatched to it because it was mine. Key word, Granger—was. Now it's sort of blondish silvery. Malfoys do not have blondish silvery hair."
He looked so cute when he was insulted.
Hermione pushed the un-Hermioneish thoughts out of her head and tried to focus. "All right. Um, do you have any idea what caused these...changes? From what I've seen, the other students don't seem affected."
"Nope. You might be interested to learn that nothing unusual has been going on in their lives lately. No wardrobe changes, no mysterious nanosecond hair treatments...it's just us."
"My sentiments exactly. But from what I gather, we may not have seen anything yet."
Hermione shot him a curious glance. "Why do you say that?"
He smirked. At least that hadn't changed. Well...now he looked drop-dead sexy when he smirked, whereas before he just looked cute.
And...that was quite enough thinking along that line.
He leaned forward. Hermione was temporarily distracted. Not that his voice wasn't a distraction in and of itself. "Granger, whoever's orchestrating this has a point. Do you honestly think they'll just give up?"
"Well," Hermione huffed, "what's the all-important point, then—or don't you know?"
Draco ignored her mocking tone. "I thought you were smart, Granger. Add it up. We both got makeovers and ended up in an empty compartment together. I don't even want to think about what's going to happen next."
Hermione thought about it. "Eep."
"Yep. Hey, did you know that when you sit like that I can see down your shirt?"
Blushing furiously, Hermione tried to readjust her blouse. "Don't look, then," she snapped.
"I can hardly ignore them. Are they really yours? Or did they come with the makeover?"
"It is absolutely none of your business, Malfoy. And I said, don't look!"
He was indeed staring avidly. "Hey, I'm a man."
She snorted. "More like pasty-faced little boy."
Suddenly, silver mist filled the carriage and Hermione shrieked, clutching at Draco's arm. Draco took the opportunity to slide a hand down her back. Hermione slapped him. "You are not helping, Malfoy! Besides, it's all the influence of whoever's in charge of this thing. If you don't fight it, I swear I'll make you regret it."
At that point, the two felt themselves being shoved through a portrait hole. "Where are we now?" Hermione asked wearily.
Draco glanced around speculatively. "I think these are the Head Boy and Head Girl's quarters. Nice."
"Nice?" shrieked Hermione. "NICE? Did you or did you not notice the single plush loveseat just wide enough for two people, the dim lighting, the soft, thick rug in front of the fireplace, and the cabinet full of alcohol?"
"Yep. Nice. It's the kind of place a guy could—"
"You utter, utter pratly prat! You complete bastard! You—"
The silver mist reappeared.
Hermione didn't have to ask this time. Snape was sneering at them from his desk in the Potions classroom. "Mr. Malfoy, Miss Granger—you have disgraced your houses. For your detention, you have to polish this spot off my desk. You'll be all alone and I won't be back for three hours. Got it?" He stalked out.
"Snape never, never says 'got it'!" Hermione wailed. "We'll never get out of here alive! The universe is tilting!"
Draco took a corner of his robe and wiped the spot off. "We got three hours to fill, Granger," he pointed out. "Might as well try and figure this out."
"And we never get unsupervised detention! And we never get this little work anyway! And what did I do to deserve all this?" She sank against the wall and began hyperventilating.
Draco grabbed her shoulder and pulled her up. "Snap out of it, Granger. If we ever want to get out of this world, we can't lose it. And we have to work together, as much as I hate to admit it."
She took a deep breath and calmed down. "All right. Is there parchment and a quill anywhere in here?"
Instantly Draco spotted a roll of parchment and a delicate quill.
"Da-amn!" he said, seriously impressed. "This must be like the Room of Requirement!"
"Whatever. Give them here." She shot a glance at the ceiling. "And, if there's anyone listening, there will be no spark or chemistry or accidental brushing of hands or whatever your sick, twisted mind can come up with."
Draco handed the parchment and quill over, and there was no spark or chemistry or accidental brushing of hands.
Hermione felt oddly disappointed for a moment, but pushed the thought away. She seated herself at the desk, smoothed the parchment out, and twirled the quill for a moment, thinking. "Let's do this systematically. First, what is our objective?"
He snorted. "That's easy. We're trying to escape the madness."
"Yes, but what madness and how can we escape it?"
Hermione gripped the quill so tightly her fingers hurt. "You are not helping, Draco Malfoy!"
"Sorry. I'm being distracted. Your skirt keeps riding up."
The quill snapped. "Stop it! Look, we both want to get out of here and have life return to normal, yes?" She glared at him. "And close your mouth before you start drooling. You're not going to get anywhere with me."
Rolling his eyes, he sat down on the desk. "Like I'd want to."
Her glare intensified. "You're the one who keeps staring at my ass. And get off that desk!"
"What? Where else am I supposed to sit?"
To be continued!