Disclaimer: Obviously this stuff isn't mine.
The next morning started out as normal. Students filed into the Great Hall for breakfast as their teachers took their own customary seats in front. Very few of the students noticed the appalled looks Snape and McGonagall kept giving each other in between bites of food.
At the Gryffindor table many of the students were trading jokes and late night rumors. They had all heard about Harry's latest escapade concerning the deranged creature that had been terrorizing Hogwarts. It seemed he and Ron had managed to render the beast unconscious just as Filch came upon the scene. Sure they had detention for the next two weeks for being out past curfew, but so did Hermoine and Draco Malfoy who had also been caught breaking curfew.
The doors of the Great Hall opened, causing a few students to glance up in curiosity. Ginny was the first to notice, and thereupon dropped her fork with a clatter. Neville and Seamus looked over to see if she was alright, but followed her open mouthed gaze to the entrance. What they saw left them speechless. Soon the Great Hall was deathly silent; all eyes were on the doorway.
Standing hand in hand were Draco Malfoy and Hermoine Granger. Directly behind them Crabbe and Goyle were struggling to keep Ron on his feet. The red headed Weasley was in shock, whether from dealing with a deranged creature of the night, or because of Draco and Hermoine. Harry moved out from behind Ron and led the way towards his usual spot at the table.
Draco followed suit with Hermoine still clutching his hand. She really did hate all the attention, but she knew it couldn't be helped. Harry sat down with Draco beside him, and Hermoine beside Draco. Crabbe and Goyle took seats across from them with Ron in between them.
Harry leaned forward to take a bite to eat when he noticed that people were still staring. "What?" he asked impatiently. "Haven't you ever seen a group of friends sit down to eat?"
"S'all right, mate," said Draco giving Harry a pat on the back. "It's still early in the morning."
"Right." Harry nodded in agreement and glared at the people sitting nearby. As soon as the students began to look away Harry turned to Draco and muttered under his breath, "Touch me again and I swear I will turn you into a ferret permanently. I don't care that Hermoine threatened to hex me—I'll take my chances."
"Suit yourself," whispered Draco calmly. "Hermoine already threatened me last night. I'm not allowed to lay a finger on you without her permission. And she's awfully scary when she's angry."
"No kidding," agreed Harry with a sigh. "Ron's still recovering from eating all those slugs again. I thought she was going to kill all of us last night."
"Well you can't blame her. You and Ron did tackle me once I was standing up again."
"Done complaining about me?" asked Hermoine sweetly. Harry and Draco turned to the young witch with plastered smiles on their faces. "Oh come off it, I'm not really going to turn you into women. It'd be a disservice to my sex."
"Just as long as you remember that," said Harry returning to his food.
"Ugh—how can you eat that?" gasped Ron staring at Crabbe and Goyle in horror as they helped themselves to the food on his plate.
"Its food," answered Crabbe with a shrug.
Ron shuddered and turned to Hermoine with an apologetic look on his face. "You're a scary woman, you know that?"
"Of course I do. How else do you think I can handle Draco?" returned Hermoine simply.
"Hey now!" protested Draco giving Hermoine an odd look. "If I recall it was me who had to convince you to be my girlfriend! I had to scare you silly with the prospect of marriage!"
"Honestly, Draco, you could have just plain out asked me to be your girlfriend. I would have said yes." With that Hermoine continued eating, blithely ignoring the shocked expressions on her companions' faces.
"Did you just hear that?" asked Draco looking at Harry.
"Yeah, you'd think it was her idea for the two of you to get together," murmured Harry.
Hermoine heaved a sigh and gave both boys a steady look. "Of course it was my idea. Who do you think let that beast into Hogwarts?"
"You what?" exclaimed Ron jumping in his seat.
"Well it wasn't my idea per se. Professor Snape suggested it naturally. He used the same tactics when he met Professor McGonagall," replied Hermoine.
Harry, Ron, and Draco turned in their seats to stare at Snape and McGonagall as the two teachers froze in horror.
"Do you think they know?" questioned Snape under his breath.
"I believe so, Severus," whispered McGonagall.
"Then what do you propose we do about it?"
"Run?" suggested the head witch. Snape looked ready to protest until Harry and Ron jumped out of their seats, wands raised above their heads. Snape and McGonagall were out the back door in a flash as Ron and Harry issued threats behind their retreating backs.
Draco turned his gaze to Hermoine who had a smirk on her face. "You weren't serious, were you?"
"Of course not." Hermoine gave Draco a kiss on the cheek and watched as he settled back down to eat. He barely had taken a sip of his drink when Hermoine said, "Dumbledore was the one who let the beast in. I just asked him to."
A/N—Aw, isn't Hermoine clever? Thanks for all the great reviews. I hope you've enjoyed the story.