A/N: This story is indeed pre-HBP, though I could not resist throwing some hints in here and there that are from the book. Just a warning! Enjoy!

Chapter 1

The Quidditch Pitch

At the magical school of Hogwarts, anything can happen, and anything will happen. Surprises lurk around even the darkest corners, and it is those surprises that have labeled Hogwarts as a teenage soap opera. Relationships blossomed unexpectedly between unlikely candidates as quickly as you could say love potion. Take Ronald Weasley and Luna Lovegood, for example. Who would've expected that a brief meeting outside the Charms corridor would lead to a full-fledged, two month relationship? Two months and still counting, in fact. Funny enough, Ron and Luna had actually surpassed the 'longest relationship' mark out of the majority of the school. Don't be mistaken, there had been a couple of relationships that lasted longer than a couple of months, but the chance of that happening were growing slimmer by the day. After all, what could be expected? A bunch of teenagers locked up in a castle together for seven years; of course they'd want to explore new things, no matter how unforeseen they were.

However, the most startling relationship, in Hermione Granger's opinion, was her relationship with Harry Potter. No one had given a single thought to Hermione and Harry being together, even after an article came out in their fourth year about a love growing between the two of them. No, it had always seemed like Hermione would end up with Ron Weasley, no matter how much they argued. But one day at the beginning of their sixth year when Ron had engaged in what seemed to be a sexual relationship with Lavender Brown, Hermione realized that the two of them getting together would never happen. So, in need of comfort, she turned to her closest friend, Harry Potter. There, a love like no other bloomed, and for once in her life, Hermione was happy. She was truly, unmistakably happy.

It was exactly a year and two months ago to date that Harry had shyly asked Hermione to be his girlfriend. Both were so inexperienced in the field of dating, mainly due to the fact that neither had ever had a real relationship; hell, Hermione had never even been kissed before. It had taken months before they could open up to one another and actual start to act like a dating couple, but nevertheless, they did, and their relationship was stronger than was ever imaginable.

Though, there was one area in which Hermione had not explored yet. That area was, of course, sex. No matter how much 'everyone else was doing it', Hermione could not bring herself to lose her virginity. She just couldn't do it. So, months ago, she had decided that it was her decision and her decision only about whether or not she was going to have sex, and out of this decision came the result of abstinence. She would not have sex until she was married and with someone who she truly loved. Not that she didn't love Harry, mind you; she and Harry and exchanged their 'I love you's' a couple of months ago. She still chose to stick by her own person rule, though. No sex until she was married, end of story. She discussed this with Harry early in their relationship, and he agreed without hesitance. He did not see it as a dilemma, seeing as he was head over heels in love with her.

And still, as weeks turned into months and months turned into a year, Harry never expressed a problem with the situation. Even though sex was all the rage throughout Hogwarts, Harry and Hermione never let it abuse their relationship. They watched too many relationships form and then diminish almost immediately because of sex, and they refused to let that happen to them. Yes, it was best to stay away from all that trauma. At least, for now.

Although, having people like Draco Malfoy skulk about the school did not help them at all. Rumors flew around Hogwarts that Malfoy had been caught shagging all over the school, from the middle of the forbidden third floor to underneath the Quidditch stands. He had no shame, but each and every boy at Hogwarts miraculously admired and adored him for his sex record. Harry had of course denied it, but Hermione could tell that he too was astounded by Malfoy's reputation.

"I don't think highly of Malfoy because of his reputation!" Harry had argued. "It's disgusting! It's a disgrace to all males!"

"So you're telling me that you wouldn't love to sleep around with any girl you'd like?" Hermione had demanded.

"Of course I wouldn't." Harry replied with a slight hesitation. "You're all I need, Hermione. You're my shining star."

It was lines like these that made Hermione love him. He was cheesy and he tried way too hard, but it was cute nonetheless. She loved spending time with him and she missed him when she was not with him; so, it was no surprise that she was eager to accept Harry's invitation to meet him on the Quidditch Pitch at six o' clock that evening. She hadn't seen him since lunchtime seeing as she had Arithmancy in the afternoon and Harry had had a detention with Snape after school. Hermione was antsy; she missed her boyfriend. But why had he wanted her to meet him at the Quidditch pitch of all places? Why not the Great Hall or the Head Boy and Girl dormitory that they shared? It was a mystery, and it made Hermione even more excited to find out what he wanted.

"It probably isn't safe to circle the Quidditch pitch alone." A familiar voice drawled.

Hermione turned; sure enough, the voice belonged to the one person who she'd dive into the lake just so she wouldn't have to talk to him. Her arch-nemesis, the infamous sex god of Hogwarts. Draco Malfoy.

"And why not?" Hermione retorted.

He nodded towards the forest. "There are strange creatures in there. You never know what might stray too far and attack an unsuspecting mudblood. What a shame that would be."

"So what are you doing out here alone, Malfoy?" Hermione demanded.

He shrugged. "Oh, just going for an evening stroll is all."

"Well, keep strolling." She said, hating Malfoy with every fiber in her being.

"You know Granger, I think we got off to a bad foot all those years ago." Malfoy said, crossing the field towards her. "I mean, it's our seventh year. Surely you can put all of your hostility and resentment behind you."

"My … my hostility? My resentment?" Hermione stuttered, unbelievably.

"Yes, that's what I said." Malfoy replied. "I don't really understand where it all comes from, but I'd really like it if you could put it away. I don't need you to give me a stressful year."

"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHERE IT COMES FROM?" Hermione cried, angrily. "How about you cursing Ron in our second year? Or cursing me in our fourth? Or holding me and my friends' hostage like a bunch of prisoners during our fifth year? Or calling me a mudblood for seven years and making my life a living hell? Does that help your thick skull understand a little better?"

"Tsk tsk." Malfoy said. "See? So much hostility. Let it go, Granger. It doesn't do the soul any good."

"Go fuck yourself, Malfoy." Hermione retorted through gritted teeth.

"Shh." Malfoy hushed, pressing a finger to Hermione's lips. "You mustn't utter such foul language. What kind of a role model is that for the younglings?"

Hermione stood paralyzed to the spot. Why was Draco Malfoy touching her?

"What do you want, Malfoy?" She whispered.

He stared at her, unknowingly gazing into her deep, brown eyes. What do I want? He asked himself. He suddenly became aware of the situation. He was standing not even two feet away from Hermione Granger, holding his finger to her mouth and staring into her eyes.

He took a quick step back. "I want what any man wants." He replied hastily. "A couple chicken legs and a heap of mashed potatoes. Good day, Granger."

And with that, he took off towards the castle without another word.

What just happened? Hermione asked herself. She was confused. Malfoy hated her, and she returned those feelings. But what was that, then? She felt tension, but not hateful tension – a different kind of tension that she could not place. Was it possible that maybe, just maybe, she and Malfoy could set aside their past feelings for one another and possibly become … civil?

"Hey Hermione." Harry greeted as he pranced towards her and placed a quick kiss on her lips.

Startled, Hermione said, "Hey, Harry!"

"I passed Malfoy on the way here." He said disgustedly. "Seriously, every time I see him, I just want to curse him."

"Don't we all." Hermione replied quietly. "So, how was detention?"

"Oh, same as always." He answered bitterly. "But this time, I got to scrape cow dung out of tiny little bottles. I don't even want to know why Snape has cow dung in the first place. Either way, it was sickening."

"You washed your hands, I hope?" Hermione asked, backing away slightly.

"Of course I did." Harry smiled. "I wanted to be peachy clean for this."

Hermione grinned. "For what, exactly?"

Harry grinned back. "Gryffindor!" he suddenly shouted. "Hufflepuff! Ravenclaw!"

Hermione turned to see students pouring onto the pitch, all of them from one of the three houses that Harry had called.

"Harry, what's-" She began.

"Shh." Harry hushed. Hermione fell silent, though she was slightly annoyed that she was being hushed for the second time in ten minutes.

"Hermione, I've told you before a thousand times that I love you." Harry began, taking her hands into his. "And every time, I feel like it's never enough. It never comes out right. It never truly expresses just how much I love you and how much I love being with you."

"Harry, I-"

"Please Hermione, let me finish." He interrupted, nervously. "I just want to shout it out over and over again to the world, and in my books, that means that you're truly special to me. So, I got all these guys" – he indicated the group of students – "to do something for me. And for you."

Giving them the signal, Harry watched as each student, including Ron, mounted their broomsticks and rose into the air, trying to form a sentence. It was so funny watching them all argue as they tried to locate their proper positions; obviously, they'd practiced this before, but poorly.

Eventually, letters began to form. Hermione grinned as Hannah Abbott and Michael Corner fought over a place in the letter A from the first word. So far, the letters M, A, and R were distinguishable. Mar? Hermione thought, confused. Marge? Mark? Mary? Mary! Hermione gasped. Marry!

Harry turned to her, then reached into the pocket of his robes and pulled out a small, black box. Hermione was shocked beyond belief; her eyes swiveled back and forth between the students in the sky (which, 'marry' was indeed now clearly identified as the first word) to the black box in Harry's hand.

"Hermione, I love you." Harry repeated, smiling a small smile. "And I think we should be together forever. So, will you marry me?"

Finally, the last couple of people came together to fully form the question 'Marry Me?' in the sky. If Hermione hadn't been so stunned, she would've laughed at Colin and Dennis Creevey, who were hitting each other from their positions at the top of the Y.

"I …" Hermione stuttered. She was at a complete loss for words. Marriage? At such a young age? The idea was preposterous! And yet, she could not imagine herself with anybody else. Harry was not only her best friend, but he was her soul mate. They were destined to be together.

Harry smiled at her, squeezing her hand tightly as if to say I'll always be here for you. That was enough reassurance for Hermione.

"I will!" She exclaimed, throwing her arms around his neck.

The entire 'Marry Me' crew burst out in cheers and applause; in fact, Neville cheered so hard that he almost fell off of his broom.

"Mrs. Hermione Potter." Hermione whispered in his ear as he placed the diamond ring on her finger. "I kinda like the sound of that."

A/N: Alright, this is obviously coming off as a Harry/Hermione fanfic. This actually surprised me, since I always hated them together. I always thought that if Draco can't have her, then Ron should. But, I took this down a different path and said Harry/Hermione, so sue me. This is NOT a Harry/Hermione fanfic, though! Just the beginning. Look forward to Hermione/Draco, because I can guarantee you that it's coming. Ciao!

Be a dear and leave me a pretty little review. Your thoughts mean the world to me.

Jessica (JJLove28)