Hey all! This is a one-shot fic brought to you by yours truly:) One of my reviewers suggested I do one, and I've been thinking about it, and today I just so happened to have an idea for one. Hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Ties

Hermione walked blindfolded across the Quidditch Pitch, her arms stretched out before her. All around she heard the stunted gasps and whispers of her fellow peers. As the top of her class, she had the honor of going first, of being the "queen" for the evening, which meant more of a chance she would not end up disappointed. Had the top student been a boy, their class would have crowned a king tonight instead.

With every step she took, her heart seemed to seize up a little more. It was like a dream—the whole week. She was going to graduate tomorrow, but before she did she had to make a choice.

"Just grab one!" she heard Harry shout from the sidelines.

It was a Hogwarts tradition as old as the school itself. Not one that the teachers and staff approved of, but a tradition nonetheless. Every year the entire graduating class met at a different location on a different night before graduation—that way the adults never found them, and, even if they did, there was little they could do. Years ago it had always been the pitch and always the night before. Their class had decided a few weeks before to reenact the tradition completely.

"Come on!" It was Ron this time. "We don't have all night!"

"Fine!" she called back, and reached into the air above her head until her fingers came in contact with a piece of fabric. She tore off the blindfold, staring down at the plain white tie in her hand. Once she had chosen, the remainder of the female graduates rushed onto the field, snatching at the white ties floating in mid-air.

The boys stood on the sidelines, awaiting the raffle. Last year the student with the highest marks had been a boy, and so the girls were the ones who had to do all the waiting. But, from the time they all heard about the tradition, they always knew their class would have a queen, and she would be Hermione Granger.

"Ready?" Hermione called out.

"Yeah!" the girls cried back, raising the ties in the air.

She raised her wand, said the right words, and instantly the once white ties burst with color. Red and gold for Gryffindor, yellow and black for Hufflepuff, blue and bronze for Ravenclaw, and green and silver for Slytherin. And on each tie, along with the house colors, was the name of its owner, stitched in the appropriate color.

Unable to even breathe, she was stunned to silence.

"Well?"

Hermione looked up to see Parvati smiling at her. She knew what she had to do, what was expected of her, but her mouth was somehow glued shut. With much discretion, she showed Parvati the name embroidered on the tie. The fellow Gryffindor could not suppress her gasp.

"Go on," she whispered, nudging her arm. Only after Hermione revealed her tie, could the merriment continue.

She took a deep breath, lifted her arm in the air, and shouted, "Draco Malfoy!"

A heavy silence blanketed the field. From the back of the crowd of boys, Draco stepped forward, his head held expertly high. He stopped only inches in front of Hermione, not saying a word. Without changing her expression, or wasting anymore time, she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his tie into place before knotting it. She tucked it into his sweater, smoothing it down.

"How ironic," he said, smirking.

Hermione rolled her eyes, dropping her hands to her sides.

"Get it over with so we can move on."

With no further hesitation, Draco cupped her face in his hands, his lips touching her, lightly at first, then rougher and deeper, his fingers curling into her hair. She eased into the kiss, allowing his tongue entrance.

His lips, his hands, the feel of his perfectly toned body pressed against hers—it all felt so right. When he pulled away, it was all too soon and she was left dizzy, her lips swollen from the kiss. The moment the selected couple was apart—when the queen finally had her king—the rest of the graduating seventh year girls weaved in and out of each other to find the boy that matched their tie. The field went silent once again as the pairs came together. It was a strange and silly tradition, but no one questioned it, and every year every graduate participated, regardless of the fact that many had significant others. It was only a game, everyone knew that.

"What are the odds?" Hermione whispered to herself, touching her lips. They were still warm from his touch, moist from his tongue.

After every boy was tied, and every girl was kissed, the students branched off into their respective houses, sneaking quietly back into the castle, where each house would separately continue to celebrate.

Amazingly enough, no one found out and the next day everyone graduated, feeling an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for several reasons.

Everyone, that is, except for Hermione Granger, who could not get the events of last night out of her head. Of course she was relieved to have finally graduated, but there was just something missing.

"Hermione!" She looked up and smiled at Harry, his arm slung over Ginny's shoulder. Last night he kissed Susan Bones, a Hufflepuff. But that didn't matter, because next year Ginny would be in the exact same situation. "Let's go. Party at the Burrow, remember?"

"Mrs. Weasley has been sending us reminders for a month," she laughed.

"You coming now?"

"Um…I'll meet you there," she said, patting his shoulder. "Save me some cake."

"Great. We'll see you there then."

When they disappeared into the mass of people, she took off in the opposite direction, and ducked into a well hidden alcove. What was wrong with her? Why was Draco and that amazing kiss all she could think of? It was a game, it meant nothing.

"Then why can't I get his lips out of my head?"

"I don't know, Granger." She jumped so high and gasped so loud that if anyone had heard they'd think she was being attacked. Draco stepped around the corner and came into her hiding place. She wanted to demand he leave, but she'd be lying to herself to pretend that's what she wanted. "But I think we have the same problem."

"Excuse me?" But already her body was leaning in, and she was very aware of the fact that he was too, his lips getting closer to hers every second. They were almost touching, when she jerked back and said, "This is wrong."

"All the more reason to do it."

"But Draco—"

He silenced her with his lips, wrapping his arms around her waist to pull her close, as close as she was last night. When he pulled back a few moments later to say something, he found her hands pressing his head to hers, making it impossible. It was just like last night. No—it was better than last night; it wasn't forced, it was what they both wanted.

"What are you doing now?"

"Party at Ron's," she sighed, almost dreamily, resting her head on his shoulder. She wasn't even going to allow herself to think right now, lest the complete craziness of the situation let itself known.

"No, I mean now that school is over."

"Job at the Ministry."

"Yeah?" He smirked, kissing her forehead, as if they'd been lovers for years. "Me too."

"Maybe I'll see you at work."

"You will. The maybe is after work."

Hermione leaned back and smiled knowingly, grabbing his tie to pull him back to her.

"Under one condition," she said firmly.

"And that is?" he asked, his voice hopeful.

"Call me Hermione."


Well, there's nothing left to say but: REVIEW!

Note: Conditions of the tradition known as The Ties:

1. The king or queen must be head of the class

2. The king or queen is blindfolded to select a floating concealed tie at random

3. Once they have chosen, the rest of the boys or girls may choose

4. The king or queen then announces their king or queen

5. The chosen person comes forward to have their tie tied for them before they can kiss their chooser

6. Nothing is personal, it's only a game, and no one should feel guilty or jealous

7. Only seventh years who are going to graduate

8. It is always—always—kept a complete secret

Doesn't everyone wish they could be part of it? Heehee! I know I do :)