Because I Love You: Chapter 1
Disclaimer: Anything sane that has been read in this fiction belongs to, non other than the great author who created the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. Anything off from the real series belongs to non other than the peculiar mind of mine.
Hermione Granger waited patiently in the Head Boy Head Girl office as she sat on the chair in front of the Slytherin Head Boy's desk. She wondered what could be so important that they had to pull her out of Ancient Runes class. They were making her miss a perfectly good lecture. "Can't we just start without the other prefect?" she asked as she finally lost her patience. "Professor Kirberger's going to give an exam after the class," she pleaded. "I can't possibly miss that." She was obviously anxious because of the exam that would be given after the class. How could this other prefect have no sense of direction at all? Did he or she not know how to reach the Heads office?
Arnaud Canfield smiled his sweetest smile at Hermione. The Head Boy was a tall, athletic built wizard with dark brown hair and deep green eyes that made him get what he wanted. Add to that his perfect smile and pearly white teeth, and no one could resist his charms. He truly did portray a perfect Slytherin student and there was no one else perfect for Head Boy as Arnaud. No one could deny that. "I'm sorry, Hermione, but this concerns you and Draco," he told her calmly. "So we can't start without him." Actually, he, too, was quite irritated that Draco Malfoy was taking so long to arrive. Like Hermione, Arnaud didn't like missing lectures, and, he didn't like asking other students to read their notes about the lectures he'd missed.
Hermione's mouth opened in shock. She didn't even dare look at the Slytherin, how come she had something to do with him now? "What's Malfoy got to do with me?" she asked Arnaud angrily. "I haven't even talked to him ever since this school year started." Her sixth year at Hogwarts was going very well until now, now that she and Draco Malfoy had something to do with each other.
"And I haven't seen the big-headed, know-it-all mudblood's head until now." Draco just entered the room. He looked very irritated. "Canfield, what's this stupid meeting for?" he asked, still standing by the door. He had expected something better than this, better than having any association with the Gryffindor mudblood.
Arnaud stood up and walked around the front of his desk. He leaned against it and crossed his legs at the ankles. "Ah Draco, good too see you too," he greeted as he motioned him to sit next to the chair where Hermione sat. Finally, they could start the meeting and get back to his class, soon.
However, Draco didn't move. Instead, he turned his back on them and opened the door. "I have no time for this, especially when it involves a mudblood." They pulled him out of Quidditch practice for a meeting with the egghead Gryffindor?
"You are going to hear this meeting, Draco," Leigh Anson, the Head Girl's voice called out. "And trust me, you'd rather deal with this problem with us than with the faculty." Grudgingly, Draco turned around, marched to his seat, and seated himself with an annoyed huff. The straight and silky black haired Hufflepuff Head Girl stood beside Arnaud with her arms crossed across her chest. Leigh Anson, like Arnaud, was a picture perfect example of a student and of a Hufflepuff. Her intelligence made her stand out among the crowd. And though Hufflepuffs were known to be gentle, Leigh had the ability to make them see a different side of a Hufflepuff member. And also make people listen to her with the use of her words and her dark brown eyes.
"We called you here to discuss your duties as prefects," Arnaud started, looking both prefects in the eyes. "It hasn't escaped our notice that both of you have certainly done nothing about the tension building up between our houses. And it's been going on for three weeks now, since the school year started." And true enough, freshmen and sophomores, young at heart and mind, attacked each other every chance they could get. After Voldemort was defeated the previous year, and news that most Slytherins' parents were death eaters, some students from Gryffindor became too confident on Harry Potter's victory. Well, the Gryffindor's victory according to them.
"I didn't even know about these fights… Well, I know some of it, but I just hear it from other people," Hermione said defensively. And that was the truth. She was too busy because of school work and prefect duties. And though stopping fights was one of prefect duties, sometimes Hermione had thought to let the others handle it. It wasn't that she was slacking off or anything like that, it was the extra reading time she needed for the N.E.W.T.s which she would take on her seventh year at Hogwarts.
"It's not my fault those Gryffindors always starts the fight. Those people are barbarians," Draco answered back snidely.
This made Hermione turn her head to Draco, with a glare of daggers. "Shut up, Malfoy," she hissed irately. "Slytherins are the ones who always provoke the Gryffindors," she continued and turned to look at Leigh and Arnaud. "Besides, first of all, I'm not always there to save the day."
"Slytherins? Why don't you go see the fights one time and see who beats up who?" Draco came back with angrily.
"People, let's stick to the agenda," Arnaud's voice stormed through the room. It appears that it'd be harder than he and Leigh had thought. "Fine! I know how prefects have a lot to do so I agree with Hermione about not being there to stop it," he started again. "But the fights between our houses should not be escalating like this, so Leigh and I made up a plan." He looked at Leigh so as to tell her to explain what they had planned for them.
"We decided that the two of you shall pretend to be together, to show the members of your houses that we can all get along." Leigh told them calmly. This was the only resort they had. Though it'd be impossible for both houses to start walking up to each other with open arms, it'd lessen the fights to talk about the former enemies. After all, rumors fuel students' interests and gossip meant less action and more whispers.
Draco let out a haughty chortle. "The students won't buy that. What do you expect us to do? Come out of this office, holding and kissing each other?" He looked at Hermione with dismay. "Just to let the both of you know, I don't want to be seen following around a mudblood."
"Sod off, Malfoy. I don't want a cold blooded animal having his hands all over me!" Hermione snapped back with sarcasm dropping off each word. "And these things take time. The students may be ignorant, but they're not thick."
"Who even said I'm going to touch you? I'd rather have a Hippogriff stuck up my ass than touch you."
Hermione sneered at him. "Oh yeah? Last time I checked you were screaming like Pansy when…"
"Last time I checked both your candidacy as Heads next year, and still as prefects, were at risk." Leigh interrupted the heated squabble between the two with a fuming tone. Both Draco and Hermione looked at her with open mouths. "You heard me right. Unless your houses' warfare stops, your candidacies are at risk. Especially the both of you have very disturbed pasts in Hogwarts." And she was right. Though Draco and Hermione weren't the only prefects in their houses, they were always the ones seen bickering at each other. There was one incident where they tried to stop the skirmish between two groups of students from their houses, and it ended up with Draco and Hermione in another tiff.
This made Hermione panic. Everything she worked for would go bye-bye because of this fight with Draco Malfoy and between their houses. "But…"
Arnaud raised his hand to silence Hermione. "No buts. We didn't want to go there but both of you forced us to," he said firmly. "We'll give you three days to think of a way to prove to the whole school about your relationship. We'll need to hear your plan by Monday, understood?"
"Fine! Fine!" both Draco and Hermione answered with an exasperated tone. They stood up at the same time and walked to the door, but bumped into each other on the way out.
"Let me out, you piece of scum!" Hermione yelled and brushed Draco aside. 'This is unfair!' she thought while she marched out of the corridor. 'Just because of these fights, I won't be Head Girl next year! Worse, I might not have a chance with Justin!'
Ever since fifth year Hermione had a crush on Justin Finch-Fletchley. They're both muggle-borns. He's a Hufflepuff and a perfect gentleman. He's nice to her as well, and there was nothing wrong if they were going to have a relationship. Everything would work out fine. He could be the one. Only thing is, she didn't know if Justin liked her as well.
"Look who's talking! Why don't you take your own advice, mudblood?" Draco bellowed as he slammed the door behind him. 'Fuck that mudblood! I'll lose everything because of her!'
"This is going to be hard," Leigh said with a tired tone as she sat on the chair Draco previously sat on.
"And fun," Arnaud added with a vice grin.
Knowing that Hermione and Draco wouldn't be able to stop the fights, Arnaud and Leigh decided the two needed to spend some time together… in detention, to make the pretending thing work out. So they asked Professor Snape to find a way to give both prefects detention, and of course, he was very much pleased to do it.
"Detention for three days. This sleeping potion clearly was done with mistakes," Snape told Draco and Hermione as soon as he saw the purple potion, which was supposed to be green. Though secretly, he placed an extra blue mountain grass in the cauldron to make sure the two would be given detention.
"But sir, I'm sure we did it correctly," Draco tried to explain but…
"No buts, Mr. Malfoy. I can clearly see that the potion was done wrong."
"Professor Snape, I'm sure Malfoy and I had done the potion correctly. We put in the ingredients at the right time, we chopped the roots just as you told us to, and we stirred it five times like the book said," Hermione said, as she tried hard to convince Snape they did the potion with no errors. There was no way she would sit for three nights in detention with Draco Malfoy. She couldn't stand just looking at him, what more when she spends two or three hours with him, alone.
Snape glowered at her. "Are you calling me a liar, Ms. Granger?" he asked in a tedious tone. Everybody in the room now looked at Draco's and Hermione's table. Hermione shook her head no as she looked down in embarrassment. "That's what I thought, very well, come to my office later and I'll think of your detention. Class dismissed."
Hermione gathered her things quietly and walked out quickly. Obviously she was confused and irritated. Detention served at her with no questions asked when she clearly made sure that everything was done right.
Hermione sat between Ron and Harry at dinner that night. "I can't believe Snape gave you detention, Mione. Maybe Malfoy screwed up the potion." Ron tried to make Hermione feel better. But he wasn't helping at all. First of all, Hermione hated being called Mione.
"Don't call me Mione, I hate that name. I was sure Malfoy and I did the potion correctly. I don't know what happened, but I'm sure we did it right," Hermione explained. She looked worried and was still confused about the incident. With no appetite for dinner, she just pushed around the food on her plate. Detention meant losing some study time, homework time and sleep time.
Harry placed his hand over Hermione's. Clearly, his best friend was bothered about the punishment. "Come on, just forget about that. We had loads of detentions before, so don't worry," he said, beaming at her. He tried to ease her mind. He knew very well how hard she was on herself when it comes to schoolwork and duties. Hermione looked at Harry with a weak smile. He was right though. She had experienced loads of detentions before. She had been to the Forbidden Forest for detention with Harry and Neville, helped Professor Sprout replant every Mandrake in the green house and arranged alphabetically every section at the library. The last one was no problem for her at all, so how hard could this detention be? Well, for one thing, it was detention with Draco Malfoy, alone.
Hermione slapped herself mentally. 'Come on, Hermione. It's just detention with the pompous windbag. This won't affect your candidacy as Head Girl next year. Don't get stressed out about it,' she told herself. She drank her pumpkin juice in one gulp and faced Harry. "You're right, Mr. Potter," she placed her other hand over Harry's. "How hard could this be?" She looked between Ron and Harry. Detention would be great with her two best friends, but sometimes people needed to get away from their comfort zone, right? "It's just three nights of Draco Malfoy's rants about mudbloods, Dumbledore, Harry and how his father could pay for someone else to do his detention for him." The three laughed at these words Hermione just said. When she opened her eyes after laughing so hard, she saw bluish-gray eyes boring into hers. Draco Malfoy had been watching her from the Slytherin table.
After dinner, Hermione said goodbye to Ron and Harry and started for the dungeons. Before she was out of sight, she took a last glance at them and saw them mouth the words "good luck" to her. On the way to the dungeons, Hermione tried to anticipate what punishment Snape would give them. Tiring enough, she thought of asking her professor to do detention alone. But of course, no one ever got in the way of Snape when he already made his decision. As she entered the Potion's room, she saw Draco's silvery gold hair 'attached to his big head' in front of the classroom, and an irritated Snape at his desk.
"How nice of you to charm us with you presence, Ms. Granger," Snape greeted her in a sarcastic tone. Hermione sat down beside Draco and waited for their punishment. Snape hadn't thought of one yet. "Now what to do with you…" he said as he tapped his forefinger on his cheek. "Ah yes, I want both of you to reorganize the ingredients in the storage room, as well as clean them, without the use of your wands," he told them, and when none of the two moved… "What are you waiting for, graduation?" And Draco and Hermione scrambled to their feet and went to the storage room in a hurry.
While Hermione started to take the jars of ingredients from the shelf and placed them on a nearby table, Draco sat down on the table and looked at the contents of the jars.
"Malfoy, what are you doing?" Hermione asked in an irritated tone as she saw him do nothing at all to help her.
"Studying the ingredients Snape's using for his lessons," Draco answered, and grabbed a jar of bats' wings and eagles' eyes. When he saw Hermione glare daggers at him, he smirked and said, "Why aren't you doing your job, mudblood? You're the reason we're in detention, remember?"
Hermione's mouth opened in surprise. "Me? I remember you saying, 'But sir, I'm sure we did it correctly.' And don't you even put the blame on me, you cold blooded git!" Hermione yelled at him, waving her hands in anger.
Just as Draco was about to yell back at Hermione, Snape came in angrily. "I hear one more word from the both of you and you'll be cleaning the whole castle." Then he saw Draco sitting on the table. "What do you think you're doing, Mr. Malfoy? Or do you want to be the only one to clean the whole castle?" he scorned at him. Like lightning, Draco stood beside Hermione and started to take jars from the shelf.
After Snape left, Draco took his seat again on the table and resumed what he was doing. Hermione removed her robe, since it was a bit hot inside Snape's storage room, and rolled her sleeves up to her elbow. After smirking at Draco, she continued to take the jars of ingredients and placed them on the table where he still sat. She rolled her eyes when she saw him still doing what he was doing. Nothing. "If you don't want to go back and forth, why don't you make yourself useful and wipe the jars with that rag?" she spat out scathingly, and then turned her back on him.
Draco grimaced at her but started to wipe the jars clean. Bored out of his mind, he absent-mindedly gazed at Hermione, whose back was to him. She was trying to reach the top of the shelf for the two remaining jars. He looked at her from top to bottom. Her chestnut colored hair, which ended just below her shoulders, wasn't untamed anymore. Instead, it was just slightly wavy and looked quite sexy. His eyes went down further and he couldn't help but stare at her long, shapely and toned legs. Her skin looked smooth and creamy white. He was out of his trance when he noticed her move up and down to reach the top of the shelf. Her skirt moved with her, which was too much for him. Though it didn't move up for him to see what Hermione didn't want anybody to see, it still was too much for Draco to look any longer. He closed his eyes tight and then opened it again to get the vision of Hermione out of his head.
Finally tired of jumping, Hermione stopped and stood there while she thought of a way to grab those jars. Though the voice in her head told her to ask help from Draco, her pride got the better of her, and chose to do the deed by herself. She crossed her arms and started to tap her forefinger on her elbow as she looked the shelf up and down. What did she need to do to get those jars?
As he saw Hermione had stopped jumping, he now saw her side. And again he vaguely stared at her. Her breasts were now full, but just the right size for her body. Her stomach was flat, and her butt was simply alluring. She turned her back on him again to look at the top of the shelf. Though her uniform was a bit baggy, he could see her waist was small and her hips were just appealing. And then Draco Malfoy lingered through thoughts he wouldn't usually think of.
Hermione looked for a stool in the room and saw one beside the door. She walked to the door and found Draco Malfoy staring in to space. She stifled a laugh then grabbed the stool. It was a little tall and unsteady when it stood up, but if she wanted to finish the job, it would have to do. As she put the stool in place, Hermione held on tight to the shelf to keep her balance. After a few attempts, tiptoeing and extending her arm, finally she grabbed the two jars which were quite heavy and this made her lose her balance.
As he looked at the now wobbly Hermione, Draco placed the jar and the rag on the table and ran to catch her just in time. He looked at her to see if she was alright, which was so un-Draco-ish and found she was staring at him with surprise. Her lips 'pink and soft,' Draco thought, were slightly parted and her almond colored eyes, 'deep and beautiful,' were staring deeply into his bluish gray ones. He could smell her sweet and light vanilla perfume as he breathed in deeply, and he couldn't resist anymore. Hormones. Boy hormones to be exact were overpowering the usually collected Draco Malfoy.
Surprised that Draco ran to catch her, Hermione looked at him, maybe to see if he was genuine about it. She was taken aback when she found herself in his arms but was more shocked at how close they were. She found herself looking at the formerly pointed and sharp face of Draco, which now looked smooth and soft. And she couldn't help but notice how soft his lips seemed. His hair was still brushed up like always, but now it looked soft and silky. Breathing in deeply to get some air in her lungs, since she held her breath when she felt his arms on her back, she could smell his spicy cologne. Just the smell she always wanted from men and it reminded her of someone from back home. As she looked deeper in his bluish gray eyes, she couldn't stop herself from being drawn to them. She just found them captivating. What surprised her more, was when she saw Draco bring his face to hers. They could hear each other's shallow breaths.
He could already smell the strawberry scent of the lip balm Hermione was using when he heard the door open.
"Ahem!" Snape cleared his throat noisily. Draco almost dropped Hermione to the floor when he heard their Potions master's voice. Fortunately, his strong muscles still had her. He stood her up beside him. Both of them turned scarlet when they saw Snape's smirk on his face. "Nothing really, just thought to check up on the both of you." Snape eyed both prefects, and went out the room, leaving them to finish their work.
After Snape left, Hermione looked at Draco. "What?" he asked her, when he saw her looking at him. She quickly turned away as she shook her head, and placed the two jars on the table. For the rest of the evening, they worked silently, and both tried to stay away from the other as much as possible.
Hermione went to Snape to tell him they were done. She went back to the storage room and told Draco they were all right to go. On the way to the prefects' dormitory, she tried with all her might to brush the thought that Draco Malfoy, ferret boy mudblood hater, was about to kiss her, out of her mind. But she found it hard since she could still smell his spicy cologne on her uniform, and she could still feel his strong arms wrapped around her. Questions occupied her mind as she continued to walk. Why? What? Was he? And then suddenly she bumped into something and landed flat on her butt. "Sorry…" she muttered as she stood up, but when she looked up to see who she bumped into, she couldn't stop herself from giggling. She apologized to a wall. She continued to walk, quicker this time, and saw Draco still walked ahead of her. She scolded herself for being so worked up over Draco Malfoy. Just then, she bumped into something again, but this time, it was softer and warmer and before she fell on her butt again, it caught her. She was caught once again by Draco, his hand grasped her arm. After a few moments of staring, he let go of her and continued for the prefects' dormitory.
"Joie de vivre," Draco spoke the password and climbed through the portrait hole. He flopped onto the couch in the prefects' common room, still with the thought of his desire to kiss Hermione Granger earlier. 'Learn to control your hormones, Draco,' he told himself. He saw Hermione walk towards the stairs and the scene back in the storage room raced through his mind. She didn't bother to look at him. "For someone who just got your butt saved, you sure don't know how to thank your catcher." His admission rolled off before he could stop himself. He really didn't want to get into any name calling fights tonight since he was quite tired, but for some reason he wanted Hermione to stay there even though if it meant having another fight.
Hearing Draco's words, she stopped dead on her tracks. "Thanks for catching me earlier," Hermione said quietly. She was too tired to start a row with him tonight since she did most of the getting and placing back the jars. With a last look at him, she continued to walk up the stairs and up to her room.