Title: Wonderland
Author: Ning
Rating: R
Warnings: Sexual situations, cussing.
Summary: Obsession isn't only a perfume.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. The end.

Challenge

Quote: "Hello…you're very pretty, aren't you?" (page464, Harry to Goyle)
Theme: One is chasing the other (not in a romantic way)
Magical Item: Polyjuice Potion.
AN: Set right after HBP. Written in response to the Post-HBP Challenge hosted by ferveoproject/Contra Veritas/dmhgficexchange.

Wonderland.

1. Year One, Late June

Draco was staring at the mirror again.

He was spending most of his time peering at his reflection, wondering how he had changed in such a little span of time. His hands gripped either side of the sink, and his lips were pursed in annoyance. His brow was slightly angled towards the center, and he could see the tensing of his muscles in his jaw. His eyes were squinted, and he leaned slightly forward, almost touching the mirror.

If only he could fall through the looking glass.

Lately, his dreams were immersed in the looking glass. Draco hadn't dreamed about that for a long time. It would always start as soon as he closed his eyes: he would be looking at the mirror and the room would tilt and tilt, and it would spin, and he would fall through the window. He would be falling feet first, staring down at a black abyss, seeing snakes and scorpions and dragons and Double Blasted Skrewts opening their mouths while he tried not to touch them. He would see his father's cane, banging against the (cave?) wall, and his mother's dresses would hang in the air.

Desperate for something to cling onto, he would grab one, gripping hard. And it would slow his descent, and soon, brilliant light would appear and someone would be walking towards him. Someone with shimmering blue robes, white tendrils blowing from his chin, half-moon shaped glasses glinting in the light, blocking the clear blue that Draco was most likely to see, a blackened and dead hand curling towards him, saying, I can help you, Draco…

He would always wake up at that part.

He would wake at that part and curse the nanny that had told him the story of a little girl named Alice, a little girl named Alice who had fallen through the looking glass.

On those nights (which were occurring more frequently now), he would pad from his cot and stare at the mirror. The angles of his face outlined in the dim ray of the light bulb hanging from overhead. There were purple half-moons forming underneath his eyes from his sleepless nights that left him looking at himself. Pale white skin turned ashen from his worries, his fingers trembling from nerves.

All of these physical manifestations, all of these emotions, were something new to him. And he couldn't help staring at his reflection, wondering what happened to the boy who was completely different from the person that was staring back at him.

Perhaps Draco had already fallen through.

2. Year One, Late November

Voldemort was not happy with young Malfoy. He had specifically asked for Draco to kill Dumbledore to restore the family name, to restore the respect that the Malfoys once had.

Draco had not earned that right, and he would have to wait for another chance.

He was to stay in hiding, as instructed by Snape, and let Voldemort's anger and disappointment pass before he showed his face to the Dark Lord. Snape had told him to hide in a Muggle motel, something low-key that would grant him the necessities of life and would also hide his identity from other vengeful Death Eaters (upset at the fact that he could not complete his task) and members of the Order.

It had taken months before Draco was contacted again.

When Snape came to deliver a message from Voldemort, he found Draco dozing on the wooden floor of a Muggle motel, curled in a fetal position, his knees almost touching his chin. He was dressed in cotton pants and a plain white shirt, the heater on full blast. Snape noticed the drawn blinds that covered the fields of white snow.

"Draco!"

The young boy did not move a muscle even though Snape felt he had spoken loudly enough to wake. Snape felt chills run through his spine as he looked at the figure, leaning down to make sure that he was still alive. He placed his finger underneath Draco's nose and nodded at the faint breath he could feel.

Already close to him, he placed a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Wake up, Draco."

Draco stirred, drawing more into himself. He slowly opened his gray eyes, blinking at Snape's sallow face. "Professor…?"

"The Dark Lord has given me a message to send to you, boy. Get up, come on, now," Snape heaved Draco up from the floor and stared at him. Draco had grown a bit taller, but he looked confused, as if it was the first time he had ever seen the room. He seemed to have noticed a chair and sat down in it, his hands on the sides of the chair.

"And what is it that the Dark Lord requests, sir?" Draco's voice was hoarse as if he had no recent practice with it.

Snape kept still, standing at the same place that he had entered, and glanced at Draco. His greasy black hair had grown longer and he shook it out of his eyes as he curled his lip. He grabbed a plastic cup and poured a liquid into the cup. "I didn't think you would have been in this position, Draco."

He looked drowsily at Snape.

"He says that he is displaying his generosity in your favor."

Draco said nothing and waited.

"He desires that you follow the Mudblood Granger and kill her."

Draco collapsed into the seat, the cushions tracing his lax form. He stared slack-jawed at the request, wondering if he had really gone crazy. The older man thrust the cup at his former student, making sure that it was well on its way to his lips before standing back.

"Sir…I – I couldn't possibly – not after Dum –" Draco cleared his throat, "Are you sure that he would ask it of me?"

Snape's lips thinned as he grimaced. "Yes, the Dark Lord requests that you get rid of her. She is one of Potter's closest friends, and he is sure that Potter would be out of commission for a couple of days, grieving. And he believes that you would do better to take down a girl rather than one of Weasley's brethren."

"What about the She-Weasel? She's a girl, too! And, and," Draco fumbled for another reason, "she's also close with Potter, too! I heard that she was his girlfriend!"

"Is that so?"

Draco nodded, suddenly leaning forward, (just not granger just not granger just not granger), drinking its contents. (too precious too smart she'll figure it all out but she shouldn't be – can't be – touched no not her can't kill her CAN'T KILL HER DRACO YOU ARE NOT A KILLER)

"Are you trying to get out of this favor that the Dark Lord has granted you?"

Draco reeled back, wincing, automatically putting walls up in his mind. "No, no, of course not, I was just wondering –"

Snape turned around, his robes billowing out as he faced the door. "He suggests that you make it as quickly as possible. You won't need to report to him." Snape was just about to Apparate when he turned to him, "Your mother is worried about you. Do visit her before you set out on this quest. And whatever you do, be careful."

He placed a piece of paper down on the table before Draco heard the crack of Snape's exit.

3. Year One, Middle December

He had attempted contact with Granger once after Snape's visit.

Draco had written a letter requesting for her presence in a small family-owned pastry shop. It was dark, and there were various Muggles sitting at tables with their portable laptops, and they were tapping furiously into their keys when Draco had entered.

He had expected to be late since Granger was always so punctual, but instead, he had to save themselves a table, left center. He ordered a drink, tracing the rim of his glass, watching the water droplets slide down onto the table.

Draco faintly smelled his mother's perfume and he wondered if someone was wearing the same thing. He should have really checked up on his mother. He could smell the aroma of the expensive perfume suddenly mixed with an underlying smell of oranges, a faint detection.

He sniffed at the air when he smelled the oranges but considering they served orange juice, he ignored it. He didn't notice that she was there until she sat down across from him. He jumped, startled (and annoyed) at her sudden appearance. She simply picked up a menu and ordered herself a drink as well.

"And to what do I owe this meeting?"

She had broken the silence first, and he scowled. She had spoken to him as if he was another ordinary person, not the Draco Malfoy from school who had hated her with every bone in his body.

"No cordial greetings nor little traditional banter between one another?" He was biding time, clutching his glass reflexively.

She smiled at him, the skin around her eyes crinkling. Her eyes did not twinkle, they did not glitter; rather, they held a different type of knowing. There was not a blemish that he could tell on her creamy skin, and he noticed that she was wearing her hair back. She hadn't done that while they were at school, only at the Yule Ball.

Perhaps she had done it for him…?

"We've never had any cordial greeting before, Malfoy." The waitress brought Granger her drink and she thanked her. "What makes this any different from before?"

"I…" Draco hesitated. He hadn't fully thought out his plan – he had only known that he had to somehow get close to Granger to fulfill his mission, no matter how sordid he thought of it. He licked his lips and moved to place his hand on top of hers.

She looked down at his incoming hand and spoke in a small whisper, "There are people watching us, Malfoy. Any sign of ill intent and they will take you away, Obliviate every mind here."

Draco's hand hung in mid-air. "I told you to come alone," he snarled, his lip curling back in an ugly grimace.

Granger nodded and looked at him. "If we had sent you a letter requesting for you to meet one of us, would you have come alone?"

He was ready to retort back yes! until he stopped himself, letting his hand fall halfway to his destination. He was scowling again, his eyes narrow with annoyance. He pursed his lips and looked to the side, wondering if the Weasel was disguised as the woman reading a newspaper. Maybe Potter was one of the waitresses; maybe he had been the one to serve Granger? She did come as soon as Granger had sat down…and even if the place weren't busy inside…wouldn't they have waited until she was settled?

(i mean, granger hadn't even taken off her gloves – white gloves, i wonder who got them for her? – yet and already the waitress – potter?weasel? – just flew at granger and asked her what she wanted smiling at her as if they knew each other as if they were school buddies little friends little shag bunnies partners and)

Draco's thought stopped in a heartbeat; he couldn't think of anything coherently after feeling one of Granger's fingers tapping against the table. He hadn't noticed at first until it was the incessant rubbing friction against his middle finger that made him want to jerk his hand back and itch at that godforsaken spot before he realized –

The tips of their fingers were touching.

He looked quickly up at her face, but she didn't seem to notice. She began to turn her head towards him, but he darted his gaze back towards the table, hoping that she wouldn't realize that he realized what the situation was.

He gripped onto her finger.

She looked at him, her eyes slightly open with surprise. "Malfoy…"

"I'm not doing anything dangerous, am I?" He hated his voice at that very moment: it had sounded desperate, almost pleading.

"No, no, I suppose you aren't." She breathed in, looking at him curiously. "You still haven't told me why you asked for this meeting. I assume that it's something important – after all, you've been unheard of for the past half year, we were wondering…"

Draco held onto her fingers even more tightly. "Thinking about me, have you, Granger?"

Her posture stiffened, and she made a move to get her fingers out of his grasp. "Not as much as you've been thinking about me."

"What are you saying?"

"Nothing. Nothing at all, Malfoy. Look, is this meeting over with? I do have to finish my Christmas shopping. It was so nice to chat with you, really, it was." She had been getting up the whole time, speaking in a rather loud tone, completely different from the hush and private one she had been using before. "But I must go, I promised my friends that I would catch up with them."

It was a hint and Draco got it. He leaned back in his chair and while she fumbled to get her Muggle money out, he waved his hand imperiously at her. "Don't worry," he said, "I'll take care of it."

She looked dubiously at him but nodded her thanks. Granger gave him a small parting smile before leaving.

He watched her back as she moved through, staring hard at her:

(i wonder what malfoy had planned something to do with harry ron or does it really have something to do with me I don't think so but it might be think rationally hermione granger he had only asked to see you and he didn't even seem to want to do or say anything and i can feel him staring at me i bet he's still looking at me he's always doing that)

Draco jerked himself out of her thoughts. He stuck his hands into his pockets, grabbing a fistful of Muggle pocket money. Lifting a finger, a different waitress had brought his check, and he had thanked her for serving them before. She looked at him strangely before saying, sure mister my pleasure, and he had responded to her to keep the change.

He shoved the white gloves that Granger had left behind into his pockets.

4.Year Three, Early April

He had moved from place to place, undetected and seemingly undeterred in looking for a Hermione Granger. He had never approached her again after the fiasco in the pastry shop two years ago, but he certainly kept an eye on her at all times.

Draco couldn't explain why of his impulsive need to follow Granger wherever she went. He knew that he could have done a simple Location charm on her. He still had her gloves; they were always shoved into his pockets wherever he went. Instead, he moved to places that she moved to, subscribing to the same paper that she subscribed to: one that landed on her doorstep, and the other was the Daily Prophet.

He read each one daily at about the same time that she did, wondering where she disappeared off to at certain moments of the day. He would hear the crack! of an Apparation and then lose track of her for days at a time. For two years he had followed her, marking her steps, studying her habits.

It was especially annoying when she was visited by Weasley, his red hair obvious to people even ten feet away. He had tried not to listen in on their conversations but sometimes their arguments were so loud, he wished that he could place his own silencing charm on them.

He would lie awake at night, sometimes, holding onto his sheets listlessly, forcing himself not to fall asleep. Draco was not going to sleep, not to fall through again and again and again. He would lay in his bed and stare out the window, counting the stars that winked at him treacherously.

He would stare at his neighbor's house, knowing exactly which room was Hermione's, and he would bring out his Omnioculars and hold it in his hands, waiting for a sign. Sometimes, she would be up late at night reading books – he was never able to read the titles of the books – and other nights, she would go to sleep early. And those were only the nights that she stayed in her little room. Draco felt perverse watching her undress or licking her finger and turning the pages of the book.

He hated himself for it, and that was another reason not to sleep: she was always fresh in his mind.

Her desk was propped up against the window, and on the nights that she would read her book, she would undress slowly, tantalizing, almost like a striptease except Draco knew that the only reason why she was going slow was because she was thinking about something that was in the book. She would disappear from view for a few seconds and suddenly come running back with one item less on her body.

He would take off his clothes and lie in bed, his hand wrapped around his erection right after watching her. He would breathe in the scent of oranges, faint but still lingering on her gloves. He would curse her for being a Mudblood and having that kind of body; he would curse her for being friends with Potter and Weasel; he would curse her for not knowing what she was doing. He would curse her because he hated her; he hated every single pretty atom that she was made of.

Sometimes, he would come so hard, he would black out and in the morning, he would find stains on his sheets.

5. Year Three, Late April

He finally decided to visit his mother. They did not live in the Wiltshire mansion anymore – not after the Death Eater attack on Hogwarts and Potter named him as an accomplice for Dumbledore's death. Snape found a place for Narcissa to dwell in, working as her Secret Keeper.

Draco Apparated by the village where Narcissa was hidden, clutching the paper that Snape had left on his table, walking swiftly and trying to conceal himself. Thinking it angrily in his head, he came to the door, and he let out a breath of air, trying to recollect himself before knocking. He barely had to knock when he saw his mother's hand grip the front of his shirt and pull him inside.

"Oh, my dear son!" Narcissa grasped him tightly for a few seconds and gave him a swift kiss on the cheek. "I've been worried about you, you know. Didn't Severus tell you to visit me?"

(been worried about me been worried about granger worrying about granger where is she what's she doing rightNOW)

"But Mother, I'm visiting you right now," he replied cheekily.

(but i'd much rather be with granger fucking)

"You know what I meant." She paused as she carefully looked at him. Her fingers lightly touched around his eyes and traced the angle of his cheekbone. "You look terrible, Draco. What has happened?"

He shrugged, "Not catching enough sleep, I suppose. Honestly, mother, there's no need to fuss."

(thinking about granger that's what the fucking slag always in my mind can't let anyone know about this)

"I feel I'm perfectly entitled to that due to the fact that you're my only son and I haven't heard anything from you in years!"

(sorry mum been busy watching granger because i want her and i love her and i need her but she doesn't know it yet no not yet but i'm going to make her know i'm going to make her find out i'm going to make her mine)

Draco rolled his eyes and sat down on the couch. "I'm on a mission, Mother, so we're going to have to keep this quick. And I mean no offense at all," he added hastily.

(have to kill her have to fuck her have to have her)

Her thin lips pursed in annoyance and she flicked a few strands of her away from her face. "The older you get, the less use you have of me, it seems."

(father always said only one woman in a man's life)

"I just wanted to check up on you and see how you're doing. Apparently, you're doing fine, so I'll leave you be." Draco moved towards the door in a hasty exit with a swift kiss to her cheek before Narcissa's hand clamped down on his arm.

(have to go havetoleaverightnow don't know what granger's doing got to find her now now now)

"I wish you wouldn't get so angry easily, Draco, but like father like son, I suppose. Do visit me again, soon, dear." She stroked the side of his face affectionately before he bounded down the steps.

6. Year Three, Early May

He was done with waiting. There was no point to it, really, he reasoned, he was going to have her either way. Draco had to kill her or else he would die and all a Malfoy learned throughout his whole life was to look out for himself. And family, Draco silently added.

Draco had memorized her schedule, and he knew that she would be walking down the block soon. He wouldn't stay in the house, but he would wait, oh yes, he would wait outside until she was close enough, and then he would take her. Once she was close enough, he would grab hold of her, peering at her through the bushes next to her entrance and shove the homemade Port-Key into her palm.

(been waiting for this forEVER)

He heard footsteps reaching him, soft and muffled against the pavement. He whipped his head toward the sound, recognizing the curly hair pulled into a haphazard bun, the way she grew more tired as she reached her home. She was alone tonight, no Weasley or Potter escorting her and giving her a kiss-on-the-cheek goodnight.

Draco always wanted to yell out the Killing Curse every single time they did that.

She had finally reached her door, shoving her hand into her pocket to get her key when he latched onto her wrist. She gasped in surprise and he felt her stiffen, her eyes wide as he placed a button into her hand.

"Hello…you're very pretty, aren't you?" He grinned at her.

When the pull in his stomach subsided, and the walls of Granger's house stopped moving, he glanced over at Granger, holding her hand firmly and rubbing her knuckles. She coughed and tried to wrench her hand away from him, but when he tightened his grip, she heard a few knuckles crack.

"Bloody hell, Malfoy! What's this all about?" He pulled her to him, and she stumbled into his chest, her face inches away from his.

(i have to kill you.)

"I love you."

Granger lifted her eyebrows at him, startled. "What are you talking about?"

(i need to kill you)

"I'm in love with you."

"You don't know what love is."

He brought his other hand to trace her eyebrow, the length of her cheekbone, to settle on her lips. "Oh, I know what love is, Granger. It's the burning sensation that gathers deep in your gut and makes you want to explode so that it could stop hurting so much. It's the way I look at you and appreciate everything about you – despite your lowborn status. I've loved you since the day you slapped me in third year. Merlin, you had that look on your face – you dared to touch me – you made me hate myself so much for enjoying it – fuck, Granger, I loved it when you got angry with me. I loved it when you tried to hit me. I wanted you to touch me in that way."

She was staring at him, open-mouthed.

"I love you." He leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers lightly. He pulled back slowly, gauging the reactions on her face, and all he noticed was how pallid she looked, the furious blinking, and the trembling mouth.

"I love you," he repeated, tightening his grip around her wrist and pushing her against the wall of his hallway. He grabbed her other arm and when he felt her squirming against him, trying to get away, he pressed his body against hers. "If you hurt me, I will take you against this wall whether you're willing or not."

Granger stilled her movements and turned her head to face him. "This…this wasn't how it was supposed to work out," she started out nervously.

(supposed supposed supposed to kill her but i love you)

"Granger, what are you talking about?" He recognized that scent of hers, and he could almost feel the vapors fill his head as he nuzzled her neck – the scent of oranges, tingling against his nose.

"The meeting you requested," she whispered against his ear as he nipped at her neck, "we had Ron Poly-juiced into a woman that worked there. He saw you enter and went over to assist you – you ordered a drink and he slipped in something, it was supposed to be Veritaserum, I mean, that's what he said, that's what he told us at least, but maybe it was a botched potion – I walked in and you were supposed to be under the influence but you didn't seem like it and you didn't answer my questions…"

Draco really did want to make sense out of what she was saying. He knew that this was absolutely not what she had expected. But her body was under his, and he had been yearning for the soft curves that were currently under him, their skin separated by mere barricades that could be easily removed. He wanted to feel the breasts that were being cushioned against his chest; he wanted to feel the honey drip onto his fingers from between the juncture of her thighs.

She continued to speak, trying to urge him to realize: "We knew that you were given a mission to (she choked) kill me, and we knew we had to find a way to divert you from that. We figured that we could slip Veritaserum, and we could keep you for a while and maybe I could have gotten something out of you before you noticed…"

Hermione's eyes widened while her head leaned against the wall. "Oh, Malfoy, that wasn't Veritaserum, was it…" Her hands clenched, squashed in between their bodies – she seemed almost oblivious to the way that Malfoy leaned his body into her. "It must have been some type of love potion – Amortentia?" Draco knew that Granger had that way of thinking aloud to herself, and he let her speak for a little while more. "Oh, God, they couldn't have put Amortentia instead…otherwise there was such a long window period – maybe a side effect? – maybe you were able to dilute the potion because of something in your genes…?" Her mind was working and he didn't have the patience to deal with her scientific curiosity rambling from her mouth.

"It doesn't matter, Granger. I love you still," he murmured against her skin, peppering kisses from her collarbone to her jaw. She was just limp against his body, and he began to feel frustrated. This wasn't what he wanted. "Fight me, Granger. Show me the little Gryffindor spirit that you were so proud of."

She slowly turned her head to him, licking her lips. She blinked, and he saw that she realized what he meant. She shook her head quickly, breathing in deeply before trying to push him off of her. "No, Malfoy! You can't do this!"

"I can do whatever I want, love. I love you," he grinned, his teeth white in the dark, his lips descending toward her. He took her into the room that he had peered through his window, pushing her inside, and slowly closing the door with his foot.

Hermione Granger smelled like oranges and that scent was everywhere.

AN2: I was just thinking about this, but if anyone would like to leave me your e-mail, I'll e-mail you on new stuff that I've updated or started. Thanks.