Authors Note: I was absolutely not a Draco/Hermione shipper until I was bored one day and asked myself what Hermione would miss most from the Muggle world during her time at Hogwarts. This story exploded from that one idea.
This takes place right after The Goblet of Fire, but in this version Dumbledore dredged up some smarts and foiled Crouch Jr.'s plot, so Cedric is still alive and Voldemort is still Vapormort… (Hence the single reference to Cedric Diggory.)
Draco was bored. After listening to the dimwitted bickering of Crabbe and Goyle all morning, he considered turning them into something spineless and slimy in order to silence them. They were great for backup in a confrontation, but as conversationalists they left much to be desired. Rather than hex them, he yelled at them to bugger off for the afternoon and stalked off to be alone. Hogwarts was rife with places for solitary reflection, but today most of the prime spots were taken, largely due to the dreadful pouring rain outside.
The dungeon was even darker and gloomier than usual and Draco was already in a bad mood, so he took to the ever-changing stairs and headed for higher climes. A half hour of aimless wandering led him to a long, deserted corridor lined with huge gothic windows. He peered out of one and discovered a marvelous view of the lake, or it would have been if he could have seen more than a quarter of it due to the misty rain. Water poured down the glass in rivulets. He rested his forehead against the glass, feeling more than bored. He couldn't quite put a name to what he was feeling, but it wasn't good.
He pushed himself away from the window and noted several dark alcoves arranged along the opposite wall, interspersed with dark wooden doors that led who-knew-where? The alcoves had potential, as they were stuffed with large stone statues of various creatures. Directly across from him reared a huge lion, nearly triple life-size. Draco sneered. No Gryffindor lions for him today, thank you very much. He walked to the next alcove. A hippogriff. Screw that. Stupid beasts. The third statue was more promising. A manticore. Its human face growled from a lion-like mane and the stinger poised over its head looked ready to strike. Draco could relate. He gripped a leonine paw and hoisted himself up into the alcove. He slipped behind the creature and searched briefly for concealed doors, which were quite often hidden in alcoves around Hogwarts. If one existed here, it was too well concealed for a casual search and a quick Alohomora.
The scorpion-like tail was perfectly curled to provide a relaxing perch. Draco sat down and leaned his head and shoulders back against the curve of the tail. He twirled his wand and wondered if he should practice his Transfiguration spells for class tomorrow, but the required spells were ridiculously easy.
He tapped his wand idly against a thigh and looked beyond the statue's head to the long windows. He wished the bloody depressing rain would stop. He'd much rather be outside on his broom practicing Quidditch than moping here in an abandoned hallway.
Quick footsteps approached; perhaps not so abandoned. Draco sat up and flattened himself against the manticore's back. He peered out after making sure he was fully hidden in the shadows of the alcove.
The footsteps belonged to Hermione Granger. Draco sneered. Granger! What did she want up here? A square wooden box locomotored behind her, floating easily in her wake. He wondered what she was up to. Probably sneaking around on some errand or another for Potter or Weasley. He was actually surprised to see her alone. Normally the three of them clung together for protection like baby lemurs. The only time Granger was ever alone was when she was in the library with her face buried in a book. Likely her little trunk was full of books and she was looking for a private place to read.
She strode purposefully past Draco's hiding place without pausing and continued to a door two alcoves beyond his. She entered with her box and shut the door firmly. Draco waited to see if Potter and the Weasel would show up, but finally he climbed out of his alcove. He briefly regretted not hexing her when she walked by. She could have done with the tail of a jackass or ears of a fruit bat. He grinned and then grimaced; realizing if he'd hexed her she likely would have turned him into a sea slug or something worse. The little Mudblood was good with a wand, damn her to hell.
He walked quietly to the door through which she'd disappeared. He didn't sneak, because Malfoys did not sneak, but he did walk quietly enough that his footsteps would not be heard. He cast a whispered Silencio on the door, though he hadn't heard it make any noise when Granger had opened it. He flipped the latch and peered inside.
He saw a huge, mostly dark room with a ceiling that seemed miles overhead. A single glass window in the ceiling admitted sparse light in a square pattern on the center of the empty floor. The room looked devoid of both furnishings and occupants.
He slipped inside and let the door shut silently behind him. He wondered if another door exited the room. Likely, since Granger had disappeared. He was about to cross the room when a strange cacophony made him clap his hands to his ears.
What in hell was that strange racket? He nearly asked the question aloud and was glad he did not when Hermione stepped into the square of light. He shrank back instinctively, but it was far too dark near the door for her to notice him.
After that brief moment of panic, he froze and frankly gaped at her, as staggered as if she had Stunned him with her wand.
What the hell was she wearing? Gone were the voluminous school robes and stuffy white shirt, the knee-high socks and clunky saddle shoes. Her feet were bare. Her legs were encased in black – well what the hell were those, anyway? It looked like she had dipped her legs into black paint, as they seemed to have a shiny texture and clung to her skin in all places. Her midriff was indecently bare, as were her upper arms. The top she wore was black and the tiny straps that held it over her shoulders only emphasized that Miss Granger had blossomed quite spectacularly over the past few months. Who would have guessed she was hiding those beneath her robes? Bizarrely, she still wore the Gryffindor tie knotted loosely around her neck. It dangled becomingly between the breasts he had just discovered she possessed.
He touched his tongue to suddenly dry lips and tried to remember to breathe. His brain could not quite accept this new material: the profoundly unexpected revelation that Hermione Granger, Mudblood, show-off, know-it-all, and all-around general annoyance, was stunning. Her waist was trim and defined, her legs were sculpted visions of perfection and… he had to admit… her face had lost all hint of childish puffiness and had become… oh damn it all… she was actually pretty. Even her hair had lost much of the untamable curl and now it looped rather becomingly over her bare shoulders and down her back.
He fumbled for the door handle behind him. He needed to escape. He had to burn the image from his mind as soon as possible. He would get Goyle to cast a Memory Charm on him!
And then Hermione began to move. The sounds seemed to be some sort of music and she flitted sideways in rhythm to the noise. There was a lot of thumping involved and Granger's hips shifted appealingly each time a beat descended. Her shoulders shook and her hands rose into the air. The tempo increased and Hermione spun and gyrated more and more wildly. Her hands were in the air and her feet moved in a blur. She seemed to be singing, although Draco could not hear over the music and it did not have recognizable words.
He watched for an interminable time, not realizing his hand still rested on the latch. His throat was dry and he felt an unmistakable heat rising from his loins. He had the sudden urge to stalk into the light and grab her. She would stare at him in shock, eyes wide and possibly frightened. Her hair would be in disarray and her chest would be heaving from exertion. Her lips would be wet and—
Draco turned the latch and bolted from the room, not caring if she heard. He raced down the corridor past the weeping windows and fled down the stairs. Only when he was safely in the Slytherin common room did he halt, panting from the exertion.
"Cor!" Goyle commented from his usual position on the couch before the fire. "Where ya been, Draco? Someone chasin' ya?"
Draco stared at him, amazed that he had even considered for a moment letting Goyle cast a Memory Charm on him. The baboon would likely fry his brain like an egg. What the hell had he been thinking? He remembered. Fricking Granger. Spinning in a darkened room and looking like an angel from hell. What did they call those? A succubus. He shook off the image. It wouldn't do to be having lustful thoughts about Hermione Granger. It simply wouldn't do.
He looked around briefly for Pansy Parkinson, but the thought of groping her did nothing for him at the moment. Her breasts were like two tangerines in comparison to—
"I have a headache," Draco choked. "I'm going to lie down for a moment."
That, however, turned out to be the worst thing he could do. He tossed and turned upon his blankets and tried in vain to think about the most boring things imaginable: Herbology, playing Quidditch against Hufflepuff, History of Magic class, flubberworms. Nothing worked. His mind returned again and again to the Gryffindor Mudblood dancing to her strange Muggle music.
Hermione cast a Scourgify on herself to remove the sweat and clean her clothing. It was a painful process, but she did not have the time to sink into a leisurely bath. She was supposed to meet Harry and Ron in time for supper. She sighed happily as she slipped on her school robes and tucked her exercise clothing away in the corner near the phonograph machine. She had stumbled across the ancient phonograph during one of their wrong turns and had smuggled it to this unused room in a forgotten wing. On her last trip home, she had gone to secondhand stores and picked up as many old records as she could find. Of all the Muggle things she missed while at school, modern music was high on the list. At the top of the list was her computer, of course, and then telephones, but electronic devices simply would not work at Hogwarts.
The old crank phonograph, however, was not electronic. It played the old 70's and 80's vinyl just fine. Someone must have dumped their entire 80s collection, for she had found Van Halen, Def Leppard, Billy Squier, Queen, and Pat Benatar. Today she had listened to Guns N' Roses, which wasn't her favorite, but "Sweet Child of Mine" had a great beat for dancing.
She had discovered the life of a wizard was not exactly conducive to a svelte figure, what with the butterbeer, and pumpkin pasties, and sweets stolen from the kitchen by Ron at every opportunity. When she'd returned home for the summer, she'd felt horrendously fat, a feeling confirmed by the bathroom scale. She had vowed to eat fewer sweets and exercise more, but the girls in her common room thought exercise was a Muggle curiosity. They stayed slender by the application of various spells and potions, a practice Hermione was certain could not be healthy. Therefore, she exercised in secret, and dancing allowed her to indulge in her love of Muggle music.
She smoothed her robes over her hips and smiled. The regime was working perfectly. She felt great. She checked her wardrobe again and left the room and its secrets behind.
Draco noticed immediately when Hermione entered the Great Hall for supper, although he wished he hadn't. She was back to her normal style of dress, thank God. White shirt buttoned high on her neck. Knee socks properly tugged to knees. Ugly shoes on dainty feet. Robes covering all slender assets. Tie correctly knotted and tucked into the nasty Gryffindor jumper instead of dangling temptingly over swelling, heaving—
Draco suddenly became very interested in his plate of food, although whatever he ate suddenly tasted like sawdust. He tried not to notice as Hermione wedged herself between Harry and Ron and beamed at them. They paid her no mind whatsoever, as they were apparently involved in some heated conversation with Seamus Finnigan. She shrugged and began to eat.
Draco studiously ignored her for the rest of the meal and satisfied himself with a running commentary of insults about the neighboring Ravenclaws that had the Slytherin table roaring with laughter by the end of the meal. When several of the Ravenclaws began fingering their wands and glaring at him, he figured his work was done and retired for the evening.
A quick glance at the Gryffindor table showed the Lemur Trio already gone. He breathed a sigh of relief at having not even noticed her leave.