Chapter 1: The Bet
Draco leaned on the wall staring at her retreating figure together with her two closest friends since first year. He hated her with so much loathe that it made him punch the wall as he faced it. Another fight erupted again during their Potions class when their teacher paired them together while in the middle of making their potion. He just couldn't stand her, being in the same room with her, more so when he was being paired with her.
'Know it all mudblood.' Just the thought of her sickened him to the core. How could he hate someone so much but at the same time, felt something so deeply for her. He craved for her, longed for her… but he knew she was the one he could never have. He could have anybody from all four houses that vied for his attention but he had to choose someone who was out of his league, but then, it was an added bonus as that fact added to the excitement. He smirked to himself. Throughout their 7 years in Hogwarts, everybody knows their hate relationship, quarrels that you can never seem to dissipate quickly when it comes to putting a Gryffindor and a Slytherin together in one classroom, especially between a well known prince of slytherin and a bookworm, muggle-born. Harry and Ron just seem to stand by, waiting for Draco to cross the line for them to step up to save their friend.
He leaned again on the wall, resting his head against it, his face slightly titled upward as he closed his eyes trying desperately to erase the thoughts of her that are forming in his head, but failed miserably as he ignored the increasing pain from his now bleeding fist. Every night he dreamt of her, worse when he went through his day, seeing her everywhere, even when they aren't in the same classroom, he thought about her.
'Stop this obsession of yours you git. It'll only drive you insane.' He chuckled slightly at the thought He knew that he could get any female in this whole school, why go for the mudblood bookworm then? If his father knew, he was sure that he would flip his lid and send him straight to St. Mungo's and maybe disown him. Just his father's reaction as he told him the good news that he was made Head boy but he had to share his dormitory with the muggle-born girl, it drove his father furious. He shook his head and straightened up as he headed to his dormitory. Walking up the steps, he reached the portrait and said the password. The man in medieval clothes looked at him then noticed his bloodied up fist and started talking to him, advising him to go to Madame Pomfrey and have the wound looked at. He just scowled in reply and told him to mind his own business and walked in as the portrait opened. He passed the common room and headed up to his own room, going directly to the bathroom. He took of his clothes and went in to have a shower to clear his head and maybe forget why he was ever attracted to her in the first place.
Hermione sat on the armchair with her feet tucked under her with a book on her lap. She stared at the blazing fire as thoughts ran through her head. Hearing someone enter the common room, she snapped back to reality to see Malfoy with a smug expression on his face, not noticing she was there and directly walked up the steps to his own room. As she heard the door close behind him, she got out her black journal and started to write. This habit of hers made her calm down a bit when she wanted to sort out her thoughts. The little book that was filled with her deepest thoughts and deepest desires that she was afraid of sharing to anyone, even her closest friends. Staring back at the fire gain, she looked at her watch that said it was dinnertime. Closing the journal and the book, she gathered her things together and placed it in her bag then stood up and headed out the door.
Harry saw Hermione who entered the Hall, which was already filled laughter and mumbles of excitement. He waved at her who immediately saw him and made her way to her two best friends.
"Thanks for saving me a seat." She said to Harry who scooted over, giving her space as she sat down and placed her bag to her side. Then smiled at Ginny who was across from her.
"What's the bag for? We don't have anymore classes..." Ron commented eyeing the bag.
"Don't get to attached to your books, 'Mione. Save some space in your head for tomorrow." Harry quipped then started to laugh as she gave him a nasty look.
"I have detention after dinner, that's why I have a bag with me. Remember potions with Malfoy?"
"Speaking of Malfoy, look who just entered the Great Hall." Ron said nodding to the silvery-blonde haired boy who was making his way to the Slytherin table. The three, together with some people, especially females, stopped what they were doing to stare at the entering figure with that cool demeanor of his that seemed to attract almost all the girls who occupied the school. His dark, emotionless grey eyes found his friend, Blaise Zambini, and walked up to him ignoring the glances from his table and sat next to him with his two cronies, Crabbe and Goyle, across from him.
Noticing eyes on him, he looked at the opposite table to see the trio looking at him in disdain. He narrowed his eyes at them, especially at the girl sitting in between. He then smirked at her with a gleam in his eyes. Hermione just narrowed her eyes at him wanting him to know that she loathed him as much as he does.
"Boy, what I would give just to wipe that smirk from his face." Ron remarked, eyeing Draco menacingly as he clenched his fists until it turned white on the table.
"Why is it that you always assert violence to every situation, Ron." She commented more than asked as she tore away from his stare to look at Ron.
"Action speaks louder than words, 'Mione." He said looking at her who held his hand making him loosen up a bit. He smiled shyly as his ears started to turn a light shade of pink.
Malfoy saw this and scowled to himself.
"Look at him, that stuck-up, scum-sucking little git. How could anybody see him as attractive? He has ferret features for crying out loud." Hermione started when some of the girls from her corner started to gush over Malfoy. She couldn't take it anymore that she gave them her piece of mind, which some girls looked at her in shock because of her sudden outburst while Ron and Harry laughed at what Hermione's last sentence was.
"Am I the only one here who thinks he's repulsive?"
"Repulsive? That's the last word I could think of to associate with the likes of him, Hermione. Just look at him… his smile could make any girl fall madly in love with that… god." Parvati said, almost sighing the last part as she looked at him who was now talking to Blaise. Hermione just rolled her eyes at her.
"More like a scowl… I could just gag."
"Oh Hermione," Lavander chimed in. "Maybe if you would look at him differently. Be friends with him than exchange death threats and name calling that the two of you have been mostly doing each waking day for the past 7 years. You might agree with us that the boy is yummy."
"Friends with Malfoy? Please, spare me the good looks talk and wake-up. You're just being blinded by the thought or maybe it's just hormones? My point is that you have to look beyond the package to see what he really is… an obnoxious creep, that is full of himself and evil."
"Added bonus then. Don't you just love that bad boy aura around him that holds a mystery that needs… exploring?" Patil commented having a mischievous gleam in her eyes with a grin plastered on her face that made Parvati and Lavander giggle.
Hermione just rolled her eyes again but this time irritated and sighed as the obsessed airheads won the first round. Harry gave her a reassuring smile and held her shoulder, giving it a light squeeze. She smiled back at him giving him a look that said she was fine then looked up to the high table as they saw Dumbledore stand up.
He motioned everyone to be quiet and waited until all were silent and gave the evening announcements. Hermione drowned him out of her head as she heard some parts of what he said that were already familiar until he mentioned something different.
"… and for the graduating 7th years, we have a treat for you. You will have a Graduation Ball, which will be held outside on the school grounds. Equipped with a band that will play on stage. But before all this you should first perform before the whole school,"
At this excited whispers erupted and he again motioned for them to quiet down before continuing.
"It is up to you on what you are going to perform, either individually or with a group. This would also earn your house points that would win you the house cup. Your head boy," He said nodding to Malfoy, motioning for him to stand with a smirk and the Hall erupted in sighs and applause. "And also, to our head girl, Hermione Granger." Hermione just rolled her eyes at the sighs and stood plastering a fake smile on her face, which disappeared as she faced Malfoy and glared at him, nose up. He just smirked more but hate visibly registering on his face. Dumbledore cleared his throat, which made them look at him and both sit down as he continued. "Is going to work together to make this event possible. They will be in-charge of making the plans with the other prefects. Now, everything has been said, we could begin our feast. Tuck in." he said and sat down. Hermione's jaw dropped as Draco scowled and cursed under his breath as food appeared on the four empire tables and people started to put food on their plates.
"About bloody time! I'm famished." Ron said, grabbing food and filled his plate as he started eating.
Hermione sighed, slowly loosing her appetite as she moved her food around the plate, which Harry saw that made him look at Hermione with concern.
"Thinking about the dance?"
Hermione looked at Harry then shook her head, lying to him as she gave him her most convincing smile but failed as he gave her his I-don't-buy-it-for-a-second look that made her stare back at her now mashed baked potatoes.
"I know that look anywhere, 'Mione. You can't hide anything from us. We know you too long for you to fool us with your common expression to mask what you really feel."
"I hate it when you know me." She said with a sheepish half-smile.
He one-handedly hugged his best friend.
"Don't worry… you'll look beautiful as always. Besides, Ron and I will always be here for you." Then he gave her a smile that she thought was quite charming that made her smile back at him genuinely.
When he returned back to eating his food she turned and hid a frown that started to form again on her face. She knew Harry was right. They would always be there for her when she needed them. For the past 7 years of their friendship, she couldn't be happier knowing the good times and bad times that they had but still their bond of friendship wasn't broken. But what disturbed her was the fact that they have always been there. She wanted something new, something different. She can't quite put a finger on it but still she didn't know why she felt incomplete. Like something was missing and this emptiness that was tugging on her mind always gave her something to ponder on. She always wanted to feel special, difference and for once loved. Not that brotherly love that she always felt from Harry and Ron but something more. Something that would make a difference in her life that she could cherish, remember, and look back on knowing that that happened to her. Knowing that this was her last year and last dance, she wanted that feeling that every girl wants on a special night, to be with someone that, for once, saw her for what she really was…
'Wishful thinking…' She smiled to herself quickly wiping at her eye with a tear that threatened to fall. She sniffed silently to herself as she felt herself blush, embarrass with the thought that she felt like a little girl. But then that thought was disrupted by the fact that she was going to be working with Malfoy. 'This would be pleasant…' She thought to herself but knew this would be a disaster later on. She inhaled and breathed out slowly, shrugging the thought out of her head then focusing on Harry and Ron talking about Quidditch.
He saw her from across the table the moment she hid the frowned until she wiped at her eye to vanish a tear, not wanting her two companions to see her at her most fragile state. He was the one who always saw her, glancing secretly at her when she was deep in thought or those emotions she was embarrassed to show to anyone. Her bottom lip hidden behind her perfect white teeth. He smirked to himself of the thought on other ways that he could put her lips to work. As he slowly saw her expression change, his smirk widened, as this amused him. He never knew Hermione's smile could be so alluring… well until now that they were far from each other because all he got from her when they were close to each other were snide remarks and an exchange of insults. The gleam in her eyes darken whenever she was face to face with him like that one night when he caught her abruptly in the bathroom with just a towel covering her body. She was partly done when he walked in because she forgot to lock the door. Shock registering on her face but he just stood there idly with his eyes grazing all over her body, noticing her perfect curves. Her hair damp that fell on her shoulders and at her back, the towel hung tightly on her perfectly round breasts. He mischievously grinned at her who just told him to get out as she shoved him out the door and slammed it in his face. He cursed under his breath with the reaction that he was getting down below by just the sight of her.
"What's with the face, mate?"
Draco snapped back to reality when he heard Blaise ask him with a cocked eyebrow. He just gave him a bored expression in reply with his.
"Nothing. Looking for someone to screw tonight to get my mind off that infuriating mudblood who got me in detention which I have to pay for later."
"Ah, the feud between you and Granger that happened during potions." He commented glancing at the brunette who was talking with a redhead, laughing.
"That doesn't surprise me. But it has become more recent lately."
"Imagine having to live with that filth, Blaise. If seeing her everyday for the rest of the year and having to work with her during classes isn't torture enough, we have to share a bloody bathroom too."
Blaise gave him a cocked eyebrow in reply as if surprised.
"Oh please, spare me the thought, Blaise. I'd rather be friends with scar face than see that mudblood naked." He said crossing his arms.
Blaise just sneered at his friend's comment who now had a disgusted look on his face. Blaise looked at Hermione again, this time surveying her.
Hermione didn't notice that she had the attention of the two most sought after males in Slytherin who made it into the list of the top ten hunks in Hogwarts that four houses had made. She was to engross with the conversation that she had with Ginny to notice Draco and Blaise from a distance. Her expression changing so often, most of the time biting her lip in thought then laughing again.
"But I'll have to admit though, Draco. She's changed a bit since our fourth year… quite lovely actually. Attractive don't you think?" Blaise inquired but not looking at Draco who snorted.
"Come on, Blaise. You're a pure blood. How can you even think of something like that with… that!" He said, gesturing to the person in question. Suddenly Hannah Abbott who was the same year as they were, passed their table and gave Draco her most seductive smile. Waving gracefully towards him and gave him a hint that he accepted reciprocating the smile. Hannah just licked her lips before she went to her table.
"Now that, I can comprehend that could be associated to the word attractive." Draco said with a smirk on his face, watching Hannah's walk that gave a little strut, eyeing her hips.
But Blaise wasn't paying attention to Draco, he was more preoccupied with Hermione at that point.
"Wonder what it would be like to shag her."
"WHAT? Have you lost your mind, Blaise?" Draco asked lifting his eyebrows just slightly as if looking shocked at Blaise's statement.
Blaise just looked at him amused.
"Don't tell me that that thought has never crossed your mind, Draco. It's good to have a real challenge once in a while… Try something new. Spot a worthy prey that you could pounce on and satisfy your thirst later on. Besides, I fucked Hannah last week and believe me. She isn't that good." He said patting Draco on the back.
Draco found himself staring at Hermione again who was now in a heated argument with Ron. It had crossed his mind not just once but a lot of times since these past weeks, but denied it to the world that he was attracted to that know-it-all who was now smiling again at the frowning redhead that had reddened cheeks now. It sickened him when she touched his hand and also that earlier gesture that he witnessed between Harry and Hermione, when he gave her that touch to the shoulder, he felt anger rise like he could have jumped on Harry then and there. But slowly shrugged it of wondering why he was so affected.
Blaise looked at his friend who was deep in thought again, a small grin tugging on his lips as he noticed his friend's gaze change. It couldn't be seen by the untrained eye but to his, he saw very clearly like a sun on a cloudy day. He knew Malfoy since their first year. He knew what he really felt even though he showed no expression but was visible through his actions or his eyes that Blaise already figured him out.
He noticed the look that Draco gave Hermione earlier. How he secretly desired her. How his face would always turn into a scowl when he was jealous with both Potter and Weasley when they hugged her or touched her in such a way, which struck a nerve in him. But he knew Draco would rather die than admit his growing feelings for her. It amused him how it affected his friend and thought of something for it to be more entertaining.
"I propose we make a little wager. If I shag Granger, you must do something that I tell you to do, anything I'll ask. If you'll be the lucky man then I'll do what you ask of me to do. Deal?"
"I agree to your terms, mate. But there's no way that's all. I know you too well, Blaise… Don't tell me you have gone soft." He said grinning at his friend, remembering that this isn't the first time that they did this. Recalling the countless times they betted on a few appealing women of Hogwarts that ever walked these halls. Those were good old days… even now.
Blaise snickered at his keenness.
"One catch. Don't fall in love with the mudblood. We have until the Graduation Ball."
"Not a problem." Draco said feeling self-assured as he shook Blaise's hand in a firm grip.'We'll see about that…'