The Devil Next Door

By: dolce-bebe

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and its characters. As much as I would love to own Draco Malfoy, he is a fictional character who strictly belongs to JK Rowling. Den Grudge is my made up character, other than that, all characters are from the book. (if you've read my other fics, Den Grudge is always in them)

Summary: It all started when she walked in on him. Face burning red from embarrassment she threw herself into her pillow, screaming. Honestly! Only Draco Malfoy would invite some girl to his room for sex and not lock the door. And she was the one who had to see it all.

A/N: Thanks for all the reviews everyone! Here's Chapter 5!

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Halloween Spook Night

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The Halloween Holiday was scheduled for a long weekend, and the students of Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry let out excited squeals at the thought of their three day trip to Hogsmeade. All seemed happy and contempt with the approaching day of Halloween. They bought costumes, expensive new clothes, and even enchanted places in the castle that would frighten the first years—why most people had even gotten dates. The girls, or to put one rather bluntly, Pansy Parkinson, had picked out the most revealing costume ever made by man kind. Others, who weren't so desperate, kept with the traditional scary costumes, such as vampires, werewolves and many frightening creatures. Some girls even went to the extreme and got the idea that they would prance around looking like a veela—the costume, of course, contained fair loads of make up and flashy outfits. It seemed that everyone had something to keep themselves occupied—if it were not with costumes, then with trying to find the perfect date. All were in fits of being in good moods— all but Hermione Granger.

For the last week she had scrambled to try and put the pieces together and figure out the new plans for the assigned project that Albus Dumbledore had given them—or rather, just her. It was completely and utterly frustrating. To think that she had finished ahead of time, only to have a sniveling ferret like Malfoy come in and throw them to burn in the fireplace. She simply wanted to wring his little neck after she recovered from the shock, but fought against it. It wouldn't do any good. Malfoy wouldn't change for anybody, certainly not for her. Hell, he had probably been born into the world for the sole purpose of making their lives miserable.

She did not understand him. He had briefly said, before harshly destroying her paper work, that he basically loathed her from the start and probably wanted to mutilate her body for the shrill thrill of it all. A monster, that's what the man was. Every time she was to be happy, it seemed fated that he would end up waltzing in the room out of no where to humiliate and torture her. Did he really want to see her breaking point? What exactly did Malfoy want from her? She wasn't bloody perfect, although she wanted to be. He just couldn't keep doing this to her.

Hermione scrunched her nose as she settled herself at the Gryffindor table. She was early as always for breakfast and had decided to do most of the work during daylight. The little speck of light from her wand certainly did not help her eyes in the dark. She had tried, oh yes she had, and looked what it had accomplished. The Head Girl now had saggy and droopy eye bags—eyes that could barely be kept opened, and so she fought terribly not to let her squinting show. It was utterly ghastly, and if she hadn't been in such a rush to get down to the Great Hall, and out of the common room, in fear that Malfoy would come in with his insults, she would have probably cast a few enchantments or so on her face.

The sound of soft footsteps reached Hermione's ears and her head perked up to see a tall, skinny, slightly tanned, dark haired boy, making his way to the Slytherin table. She recognized him at once to be Blaise Zabini, and her frown disappeared almost instantly. If she had no other choice and had to be stuck in an empty classroom with a Slytheirn, she would rather it'd be Blaise Zabini. The bloke was actually smart and kept to himself. Not to mention that he was very much quiet most of the time and rarely spoke. There were no cruel jokes, no nagging and he certainly did not go about flapping insults at every single living person—he wasn't like some ferret faced bastard. But why he had gotten sorted into that evil house, Hermione didn't know, although she often contemplated on how he did not get into being Head Boy. Oh yes, Malfoy had bribed the school into getting the position. How could she have forgotten?

He caught her staring and lifted his eyes to meet hers. Hermione felt her face heating up, and she looked almost instantly down at her hands. She was still clutching her quill ever so tightly and noticed that she had spilled her ink. "Bloody hell," she cursed, and grabbed her wand. "Scourgify."

After composing herself, Hermione felt as though her face was as beet as a tomato. He probably thought she was some pervert, taking sneak glances at him and all. Oh how she wanted to die. Maybe he would laugh at her for her stupidity. She knew that if it had been Malfoy, he would have probably not even given her the chance of looking at him before he strutted over to knock her ink off the table himself. But this wasn't Malfoy, was it?

She wanted to mentally slap herself for getting the nerve to look up at him again. He just stared at her, a blank, bored look on his face before he turned back to the book he was reading. The bushy haired girl sighed softly to herself, thankful that he had broken their eye contact. What more could she possibly do to embarrass herself? Oh no. She knocked her knuckles on the table. Knock on wood, knock on wood. Hermione would rather not embarrass herself further, but too late. He had caught the noise and his head snapped back up to look at her.

Now Blaise Zabini usually minded his business. He had no other choice. People always talked. They were nasty blokes, those people were. Spreading rumors, trying to fit in with the right crowd, but actually not acting like their original selves. It sickened him. He did not want to be like those who had a reputation. Those people who had to work so hard to earn the trust and win over the crowd. He was a simple guy, and did not need anybody within his own circle. In the world of Blaise, frankly, there was no one else but him. He loved the company of himself alone. There was no need for friends. What were friends needed for in the first place? Could they really help him in finding a good job? Help him with success, and give him the knowledge to encounter life's dangers and many possibilities? No, they were used for the one purpose and one purpose only—to waste time. To act like a child. Friends were a complete and utter waste of time, nothing else.

This was why Blaise found it extremely strange that he opened his mouth at the sound of her knuckles hitting the marble tables. "What are you doing?" He wasn't exactly demanding, but he was actually confused. He always knew that Hermione Granger was a strange one, or at least, that's what he had always heard from Draco. The guy simply could not keep his mouth shut about the little bint. It was always mudblood this, and mudblood that.

She looked up at him, a shock expression on her face. Her cheeks had gone, if possible, a darker shade of pink. "I-It's nothing. A muggle thing. Knock on wood, you know?" she replied, her voice small.

"Knock on wood?"

"It's, um...it's very hard to explain."

He cocked his head to the side, "Don't worry about it. We can't have the Head Girl stressing her brain out too much now can we?"

Hermione did not know whether to be flushed or to be offended. Honestly she did not know. She often thought of men as peculiar little things. They really didn't make much sense most of the time. Ha! And they said girls talked in riddles.

"What is that supposed to mean?" she asked.

Blaise blinked at her, his expression still of boredom. "I thought you were smart," he drawled out then looked back down to his book.

Biting her lip, she succumbed the urge to ask him again what he meant. Maybe it was just a Slytherin thing. It did not matter. He probably did mean it in an offense manner. Slytherins you see, had this glow about them. They would always, most always find a way to bring someone else down. Insults, rude remarks, threats—anything that would make them feel in control. In reality though, they really were just pathetic.

They remained silent and hard working throughout until breakfast had started. This was how it went for Hermione until the long weekend holiday. Every day she would come down early to do extra work in the Great Hall and he would come scampering in minutes later. They would exchange nods and continue with their work. He really was just as how people said he was: Silent as a mouse. Hermione sometimes even forgot that he would be sitting a few feet away from her and would stretch her arms out in a very un-lady like manner, making huge groans as she did. He, of course, would turn to look at her, a bewildered expression on his face and she would turn away her face beet red.

Hermione actually missed him. The Friday was going to be the last day she saw him until the next week when classes would again start. She longed to be with another who would let her work in peace. He was there and sometimes she would not notice. It seemed to her, that she had a friend who did not always ridicule her, constantly nag and distract her beyond belief. Blaise Zabini gave her peace of mind. It was strange in a way. He did not do anything but sit in his seat for a full thirty-four minutes. They barely spoke—but, in some way, Hermione guessed that being around him came as a break for her. He soothed her nerves and let her mind rest. And it certainly kept that annoying, little git, Malfoy, out of her mind for a few days. And for that, she was truly grateful.

Hurriedly, the Head Girl scrambled to throw bits of her clothes into her bag. Harry and Ron had managed to successfully drag her out to the Hogsmeade long weekend. Apparently, they had already booked rooms at the Three Broomsticks in advanced and had insured Hermione that they could not get their money back for the room that they had already paid for. So, the very reluctant girl decided to go. It wasn't all that really. She'd rather have stayed behind and finished off homework. Going to Hogsmeade meant that she would have to find something suitable to wear on Halloween day. A costume would be nice, was what Ron had said when she had insisted on accompanying them wearing her school robes. Purchasing a costume meant having to spend money, not to mention the ridiculous time she had to spend on trying one that either, One: was not too ghastly, Two: which is not too revealing, or Three: was not at all expensive. Either way, Hermione would have rather gone as a school girl.

The trip to the village seemed to have taken hours to the lowly, bushy haired girl. She had become accustomed to the comfortable silence of her room, that when ever she was around the noise, it constantly bothered her. Harry and Ron were joking around as usual, talking about Quidditch and cooping up plans to scare some of the third years. Very unprofessional, but alas, Hermione did not want to ruin their mood. Ever since their fight not so long ago, she had been rather lenient with them. It wasn't as if she was being a pushover or anything of the matter, but she simply could not have them giving her the cold shoulder again. She was alone enough as it was.

"I say that our first stop should be Zonko's," Ron said excitedly, "I bet you that they'll have loads of sweets that give you boils and such. Let's slip one into Malfoy's pocket. That'll teach that sodding git a thing or two." He and Harry shared a laugh, and then gave Hermione a confused look when they saw disapproval written on her face. "Cheer up, Hermione, will you? I was just teasing." He again turned to Harry and shook his head to imply that he really wasn't kidding.

"I can't believe the both of you actually dragged me out here. It's all boring really. Don't you think so?" Hermione started as they walked by the shops decorated with floating candles, ghouls and over sized plastic spiders that indeed came to life when touched. "It's the same every year."

"Hermione, you've been stuck all day—no, everyday, in your room with those bloody books. Give it a rest why don't you." Ron exclaimed, "Since when have we hung out like this? Last year I suppose, before you became Head Girl. Holidays are exactly as it sounds like—they're holidays! You're supposed to take breaks from school work, your duties... Look at the professors— McGonagall and the others are all in spirit!"

"—Except Snape," Harry added.

"Well, yeah. Except Snape, but you do see where I'm getting at don't you?" Ron continued. "You need to liven up. Live life! Have fun! And we thought you were exciting and all. You're always trapped in between the pages of your books."

"I am not!"

Harry snickered at her as they entered the sweet shop and was nearly knocked over by an irritated looking Draco Malfoy. He stood next to Crabbe and Goyle who hardly noticed them due to the amount of paper bags filled with candies wrapped around their arms. Pansy Parkinson had dressed up in her costume in a very skimpy, lingerie looking, pink outfit that made her pale skin stick out. Merlin sakes, Halloween was two days away. Could the woman not wait? Her arm, Hermione noticed, was clutching Malfoy's tightly as she gave all three of them looks of disgust.

"Watch where you're going, Potter," came Malfoy's usual drawl. He had a scowl on his face and surprisingly enough, wasn't dressed to match Pansy's so called costume. The thought was absolutely horrific to Hermione.

She shrunk back in between Harry and Ron. Knowing Malfoy, he wouldn't pass up the chance of insulting her as usual. The thing that bothered her most of all, was the fact that if he raised a level up in his scale of arrogance, that he would spill out one of the too many horrible things that he had done to her the past month. Harry and Ron of course, would go mad and thrash about. It would only end badly.

Quickly, she tried to grasp the sleeves on Ron's robes to drag them away, but Harry had already spoken.

"You're the one that came out of no where, Malfoy," he spat out. "Stop keeping that big head of yours up all the time and watch where you're going."

"Hmm," Malfoy drawled out casually, "Let me see. Five points for being rude to the Head Boy. Oh! And another five for talking back..." Pansy giggled beside him. "So tell me, how are you three fending off? Going to visit that Shrieking Shack of yours are you? It would make a fine home for you Weasley, but if I might add, I did see a few cheaper ones. You know—the ones with no roofs. I'm pretty sure that it's more to your standards. It's fairly affordable with the money that your father makes. Great change from having to sleep all in one bedroom."

Ron's face had gone a deep scarlet, and he made a move to launch himself at the smirking Malfoy. Hermione gave a small shriek and grabbed the back of his robes to prevent his full frontal tackle. She probably should have kept her mouth shut, because Malfoy had turned to her and raised his eyebrow questioningly.

"And I would have thought you'd stay behind with all your little books, Granger," he said. "How are those outlines coming along? I suppose they should be done by this weekend. Tsk, tsk. The Head Girl out having fun while there is work left undone. What has the world come to?"

Hermione glared at him.

"That's rich, coming from someone like you, Malfoy" she said, "You're always taking praise for other people's work, aren't you? Maybe if you'd take your nose out of those frilly laces, "she motioned to Pansy's costume and heard her gasp, "Then maybe you'd actually get some work done for a change."

Draco didn't reply to her last comment and merely glared. At least he hadn't denied the fact that he probably had his face all over Pansy's frilly costume—if not before then Hermione was sure, later on tonight. The only good thing that came out of going on the long weekend trip to Hogsmeade was that she wouldn't have to hear Malfoy and his little girlfriends all night long like she had so many times in their dormitories. Merlin help her. Imagine if she had stayed in Hogwarts for the weekend and he had decided to stay as well— a long weekend with nothing but loud banging in the next room. The Head Girl would rather kiss one of those blasted ended skrewts.

They all took another minute glaring at each other. Harry, Ron and Hermione at Malfoy, Pansy staring daggers down Hermione's way and Malfoy trying to accomplish his most foul sneer. Then with out warning, he beckoned for Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle to follow him. He pushed pass Hermione's way and was out of sight in a matter of seconds.

"Bloody git," she heard Ron mumble under his breath.

--

The very next day wasn't at all exciting. By the way Ron and Harry had described their 'planned' weekend, their exact words were—or rather, what she could make out from their mouths as they were filled with sweets, were something about the best Halloween ever, and something being so damned well spooky. Hermione hadn't listened very carefully. She had planned on staying the entire day at the Three Broomsticks working on the outlines for the winter ball. Malfoy's words had struck her hard the other day, reminding her that she was indeed behind on schedule and that she shouldn't have been wandering around Hogsmeade with the over flowing stacks of homework that she had left undone the whole week.

Unfortunately, Ginny was also a part of the group. She was Ron's sister after all, so frankly, Ron and Harry had rented one room, and they had reserved one for Hermione and the little Weasley. Ginny, by far, had passed Hermione's outer barrier and was now considered as a friend. Although she hadn't minded sharing a room with the red head, the minute Ginny found out about Hermione's plan in locking herself in their room on Halloween day, she sprung into action.

The Head Girl was then dragged out of the safety and comfort of the little inn and taken to a near by costume shop. Ginny had insisted that she be ready for tomorrow's Halloween Spook Night. Apparently, there was going to be a lot of people arriving in Hogsmeade tomorrow night to watch the festivities and instantly, Hermione was reminded of the old traditional muggle way of celebrating the holiday. Ginny, however, had insured her that it was nothing like the way muggles treated Halloween. Not only was it supposed to be a fun night, but there were apparently consequences.

"It's not just fun and games, Hermione," she insisted. "Strange things happen on the night of October 31st. Things come to life—you know, like the ones you read in muggle books, only this is real. It's the day of the Devil. Many creatures come out of the Forbidden Forest to come feast—veelas—you've heard of veela's haven't you? Yes, well, they lose all sense during that night. They feed, hunt, you name it. I gather that it's not safe at all to keep yourself locked up at the Three Broomsticks all by yourself. It's really best to keep around the crowd. Surrounding yourself with people always reduces the risk. That's what mum always says."

Hermione listened to the girl ramble on. She had in fact, heard of these things before in books. There really wasn't anything to be worried about. They were miles away from the Forbidden Forest—if Ginny had noticed—it was why Dumbledore always insisted that the majority of the student body take a trip to Hogsmeade for the whole weekend every Halloween. It had always been for the risk of not having anyone attacked. Dumbledore was no fool, and neither was Hermione. Why, Ginny talked to her as if she were new to the whole thing.

"Ohh! Look at this one," cried the red head, "This would look smashing on you, Hermione."

Snapping her eyes up, she spied her friend holding up a frilly white, very revealing sort of lingerie. Hermione wrinkled her nose. She would rather die than be caught in something that only Pansy Parkinson would wear on one of her little one night stand dates. Goodness, what on earth had come over Ginny Weasley? Hermione Granger certainly was no prostitute of the sorts.

"Ginny!" she exclaimed. "I would rather die than be caught dead in that thing!"

"Oh, lighten up, why don't you? It's not what you think," Ginny started still holding up the 'costume.' "You ever heard of Gabriella the Enchantress? She was a great sorceress who tempted men all over the world with her magic and good looks. I heard that she caught many dark wizards in her time. Used her powers for good is what they said, and she only ever wore this type of clothing."

"She did not," Hermione insisted, fidgeting around her robes.

"Yes, yes, she did! I think you should try it on," the young Weasley begged. "It's not like people are going to laugh at you. It's Halloween! People will be dressed up as all kinds of weird things. At least your costume will have significant meaning."

"These are only significant to men," Hermione said stiffly, grabbing the hanger from her friend and shoving it back on the racks. "I told you. I'll just put my school robes on and be a school girl. Many girls in the muggle world do it that way." She almost forgot to mention that the 'school girl' outfits that were worn on Halloween by muggles were usually the skin tight, short fitted skirts that the brainless blonde haired ditzy girls used to wear at her elementary schools. Of course, Hermione would never admit this to Ginny. Who knew what kind of ideas the girl would get in that head of hers.

"Oh you're no fun," Ginny pouted and stalked off towards the other aisle, leaving the Head Girl very annoyed.

She did not follow Ginny, but waited for her outside the shop instead. She knew that if she stayed that the red head would surely push her into the horrid costume. Heaven forbid that clothing like that was even created.

"Well 'ello there Hermione. Can't say I've ever seen you without 'Arry and Ron. Yer not up to no good are ye?"

Hermione gave the half giant a half hearted smile, but then flushed a pale pink when she noticed that the sign to the shop wasn't what Ginny had told her it was. The sign clearly read, "Madam Fritz's Sexy Lingerie For Women." How could she have not seen it before? Mentally, Hermione wanted to slap herself upside the head. Gabriella the Enchantress's costume indeed.

"Oh, no, no, Hagrid," she replied quickly, stammering as she did. "Y-You see, Ginny dragged me here and all. I would never be caught dead near this store."

"Ah, yes. I was just teasing ye there," Hagrid said with a chuckle. "But what I've been 'earing, is that yer too busy now a days to see yer ol' friends. Ye 'aven't forgotten us now 'ave ye?"

The girl shook her head and felt a deep tug at her chest. So it wasn't just Harry and Ron after all. It wasn't her fault really. If she weren't Head Girl, she'd be sure to spend tremendous amounts of time with them. It would have been just like the olden days.

"Well, being Head Girl is hard work. Got to be on top of my class—and with this new project Professor Dumbledore's signed up for us—it's impossible to keep track, let alone have time for friends. It's not like I can help it, Hagrid," Hermione said, biting her bottom lip. "I might even stay in for Halloween. You know—finish up homework and such. I'm far behind."

"Well don't get too caught up in too much work. Halloween's a dangerous time. Don't want to be keeping yerself locked up with no one. It's always good to keep company ye know. Help keep away bad spirits. But of course ye know all about that now don't ye?" Hermione noticed that his look had gotten serious and she kept a mental note on it. "Well it's the whole reason why I'm 'ere and all. Promised Professor Dumbledore that I'd take care of the whole lot of ye. Just in case some of them creatures get loose down 'ere at Hogsmeade."

"And what creatures actually do come to hunt on Halloween night, Hagrid? I haven't read much about them."

"Er, well—" Hagrid gave a slight cough peering down at her through his large beard. "Ye ain't supposed to know that little bit, Hermione." She gave him a suspicious look, causing the giant to fidget nervously and change the subject. "Ron's been stressin', or so 'Arry's told me," he said. "Been sayin' a whole load of stuff about how yer not eating well and how sick ye look. Homework ain't everything. You best remember that."

Hermione opened her mouth to ask him more about the creatures from the Forbidden Forest, but he interrupted her.

"I noticed that you've switched out of Care of Magical Creatures, Hermione. Don't like seein' yer old friend Hagrid 'nymore?"

"No! Of course not, Hagrid. It's just that I have so many classes and well...Professor McGonagall told me I couldn't take all of them and so I had to switch—" Hermione stalled and instantly regretted her words.

"Well, can't really blame ye. 'Sn't the same without ye though. That Malfoy kid's always gettin' on me nerves. Really hard to teach a class when ye got a ferret runnin' around to mess things up righ'?" he said.

The Head Girl sighed. She really felt sorry for him. Hagrid had always been there for her, Harry and Ron when they had needed him the most. The least she could do was—

"Well, I could switch out of Arithmancy... I mean I'm already taking Advanced Arithmancy. There's really no point in taking two classes in the same year," she said.

Hagrid gave her a faint smile when suddenly Ginny burst through the door. She gripped Hermione's arm dangerously and flashed her a frightening look before turning to Hagrid and forcing a smile.

"H-Hello there, Hagrid," she stammered out. "W-Well, best be going off now. Hermione's been telling me she's got loads of work to do. Can't really stop around and chat—Let's go, Hermione."

Before the surprised looking Head Girl could react, she was already being dragged off towards the Three Broomsticks. She peered over her shoulder and saw Hagrid's large arm waving goodbye to them, but Ginny's death grip on her arm tightened and her pace quickened towards the inn.

"What in Merlin's name is going on, Ginny?"

The red head didn't answer and continued dragging her off until they reached the safety of their room. She sat Hermione down on one of the beds and stood in front of her nervously, a small tinge of red appearing on her cheeks.

"Goodness, I was so scared," she managed to say. "Promise you won't be mad at me...I had your best intentions at heart. I mean—I hadn't meant to do it, it just sort of happened. One minute I was looking at it, the next—"

Hermione interrupted her voice stern. "And what exactly hadn't you meant to do?"

Ginny didn't reply, but slowly she pulled out, what appeared to be thick white laces that were hidden in her robes.

Hermione gasped. "You stole it?" she cried. "Ginny! How could you? I said that I didn't want it. We've got to take it back."

"No!" the Weasley cried. "I-I mean, we can't just go back. It's not like I stole it. It's not really stealing per say, it's more like...a-a layaway. I left three sickles on the table, I promise!"

"Three sickles isn't even half of what this is worth!" Hermione tried to keep her voice down. If people were to hear her...

"Oh come off it, Hermione. We'll return it eventually. And besides, no one knew that I took it. Madam Fitz was too busy trying on the new stuff that came in those big brown boxes. Did you see her over at the corner? Couldn't take her eyes off that bloody mirror of hers. Bet she stares all day at her reflection. She's a bit too old wouldn't you say, to be playing the part similar to Pansy Parkinson?"

"Ginny, we've got to return it—this isn't right."

"It's just for one night. Please, Hermione. It's just one night. I think you owe it to us. Harry, Ron and I... e-especially Ron. He's been rather grumpy these days without you around. Been ranting on how much time you'd rather spend with that prick, Malfoy, than with us." Hermione almost chocked at her words. "Halloween is one night—one day! Just come out and have fun with us and I promise we won't bother you again." She gave her a small smile. "Well...not until the Christmas Holidays come around at least..."

--

"No. I refuse to come out."

Harry rolled his eyes at the locked door and watched with bored eyes as Ron attempted to bang the door open with his fists. Hermione Granger had locked herself in her room the whole night and refused to come out a day later until Halloween officially came to an end. Apparently, from what Ginny had informed them, her costume was something Hermione liked to call, a creation of the devil.

"Hermione, I swear, I will bloody knock this door down if you don't come out! It's seven thirty and the festival's about to start soon! Haven't you looked outside your window? People are already out, dressed up, and we're the only ones still sitting here waiting for your lazy arse to come down!" Ron bellowed out, his fist crashing down on the wooden door.

She didn't answer and Harry scratched his cheek, before pointing his wand at the door handle. "Alohamora."

A loud shriek echoed through the rooms as the bushy haired Head Girl was lifted by her two best friends and dragged out the room, down the stairs and out into the busy, bustling streets of Hogsmeade. The students had gathered all around, running helplessly down the roads, being chased by a few ghosts and a few others dressed in scary costumes.

Hermione grumbled under her breath and tightly held her robe around herself.

"Let us see what you're wearing, Hermione. A school robe isn't exactly a very good costume now is it?" Ron insisted.

To the Harry's right, Hermione could see Ginny chuckle, and she suddenly wished that she could wrap her small hands around the pale girl's neck. There was no way that she would parade around the streets in nothing but lingerie. Ron however, had caught her off guard and whipped her robe open. He gaped at her. Harry's eyes had gone wide, and Ginny, who she so wanted to kill, burst into fits of laughter.

"J-Just what are you supposed to be, Hermione?" Harry managed to choke out through his shock.

Hermione mumbled something under her breath and secured her robe again, glaring down at the floor.

"She's Gabriella the Enchantress—you know, the temptress witch who subdued all those men," Ginny chirped.

Harry and Ron gave each other confused looks and looked back at the very disturbed Hermione. She gave them both hard glares and stalked off towards the crowd. Many people roamed the streets, and she almost shrieked when Ron grabbed the back of her robes, but only saying that it was a safety maneuver so that none of them would get separated. They headed down the street and suddenly a blast went off to their far right. Ginny had shrieked and noticed that there were a few pranksters that were throwing fresh pumpkin stink bombs into the air.

Hermione scrunched her nose at the stench and noticed that there were many shops stationed around the houses. Most selling candies and sweets, although, Ron had warned them not to purchase any. Most of them, he had assured, were sweets that would either make you incredibly sick in the morning, or sweets that would either give you boils, a third arm, or make your head grow the size of a pumpkin. Surely enough, a few minutes later, Hermione spotted a crying third year student who ran pass them, face filled with boils and a pigs tail coming from his rear. Harry and Ron had howled with laughter and pulled the very testy looking Head Girl back from the student, saying something on how the kid should have known better, and would surely learn the next year around.

They spent a great deal of time at the stationed shops. Harry had purchased a few bags of sweets insisting that he pull a prank on a few Slytherins the next morning by slipping some in their butterbeer. Hermione of course, scolded him on the manner, stating fully well that they could end up with detentions. Ron had retorted back, saying that only she would have that authority and of course, she wouldn't dare give her 'best friends' a horrid time with Filch after she had supposedly always ditched them for school work.

The night dragged on, and Hermione was very much bored. The constant tug at her chest warned her of the unaccomplished work for Dumbledore and she felt the urge to simply slip out a back alleyway and make a break through run back to the Three Broomsticks. Ron then assured her, that there would be more surprises later that night and dragged her off to the far street where a large crowd had gathered. She spotted a flash of Malfoy's white blond head through the crowd and frowned instantly. The groups of people had gathered around a stage that she had noticed were being set up the day before for the concert. Apparently, seeing the Spectrum Witches live in concert was a real treat. Now Hermione knew nothing about wizarding bands and singers, but she supposed that they must have been a very popular group for people had started screaming and dancing to the upbeat music as the stage's bright lights shone down on them. Many girls had begun shrieking and flailing their arms wildly to Hermione's horror and she barely had time to react as a pumpkin stink bomb flew past her head.

The bass was almost too much for Hermione's sensitive ears, and she covered them with her hands. Harry, Ron and Ginny had disappeared and she spun around frantically looking for them. How could they have left her? Or rather, simply how could they have let themselves be separated from her? She knew nothing of concerts, but what she did know, was how people usually went wild over them. The Head Girl pushed passed a few dancing couples and was nearly knocked over by a frantic blonde girl who was screaming for her friends as well. So apparently she wasn't in it alone. The thought at least soothed her for a minute or two.

Hermione certainly knew of wizarding concerts—although she had never been to one. There were talk of pushing, shoving, fights, and all the fun stuff people seemed to love to do. It did not fit her character. She was supposed to be buried within her books by now if it weren't for her 'friends.' Where were they anyway?

Shoving and pushing pass the large groups of students, Hermione finally found herself at the end of the crowd. The band was still playing loudly and she inched up on her toes to see if she could get a better look. Harry and Ron and Ginny, heaven forbid, were probably dancing to their heart's content forgetting all about her in the process. Who would refuse? A long weekend holiday meant for the hard partying students of Hogwarts, and only Hermione Granger could look about with a frown on her face. Really though, she'd rather be doing homework.

And that was what she was going to do.

Inching away from the wild screaming teens and their raging hormones, Hermione trotted off down the street. The people, she had noticed, had deserted the rest of the roads and had decided to take refuge by surrounding the stage. It wasn't as if she minded. The emptier the streets were, the faster she could get back to her room and finish her work. It certainly did better than having to push pass the hysterical students.

Dear Gods, why had she bothered dressing up? It was all that tart Ginny's fault. The girl had practically forced the outfit on her. Friend indeed. What kind of a friend would force another into wearing the skimpiest outfit known to man kind? A lunatic of a friend, that's what.

The wind had gotten cold, or was it cold to begin with? It had probably just been the temperature of body heat that had kept all of them warm in the first place, and now that the streets had gone deserted, it felt as if winter was close by. Hermione gripped the hems of her robes tightly. She was absolutely freezing, and who wouldn't be—dressed up in frilly lingerie in the middle of the night? Merlin, she wondered how Pansy Parkinson was holding herself up at the moment.

She reached the inn in a matter of minutes and turned towards the bar. There was no sign of Madam Rosmerta. It was certainly odd, and Hermione doubted that the woman would be up within the crowds of students partying up to the Spectrum Witch's number one track, "Wand Tipped Magic." It was then that the girl noticed that there was someone in the room with her, sitting about near the bar. A hooded figure, and she immediately knew that it was male, judging by the broad shoulders and the slouched seating position on the stool.

Hermione blinked her eyes, feeling an unwanted attraction flare up. It was as if she couldn't pull her eyes away from the stranger's back. She felt herself taking a step closer.

"Um...hello?"

The man stiffened and turned to look at her. Hermione rather thought that he seemed familiar. His face was something that quite resembled that of an angel. He was stunningly beautiful. His face, she noticed, palled in comparison to the moon. It was pale beyond belief and the girl fought the urge to simply throw her arms around his neck in total bliss. But shaking herself off, and feeling rather embarrassed, Hermione shrugged off the feeling and proceeded up the stairs. It must have been the heat from the concert, because she had started to feel incredibly warm and flustered. The whole room seemed to be burning up. It simply couldn't be just from the concert and in a matter of minutes her eyes had also started to become unfocused as she fought to keep herself upright by gripping the walls tightly with her shaking hands. Dizziness came next and the recollection of fast footsteps marching up the stairs barely registered to her ears.

The stranger had caught her before she stumbled down the floor. His arms gripped her tightly around the waist and his stare turned morbid. Hermione could barely see him now. Her vision had got stray and she felt herself throwing her body at him in the magnetic attraction. One may have said that Hermione Granger simply lost her marbles. She really wasn't the type to throw herself upon people, especially those she did not know of. But the girl simply could not help herself.

It was then that she realized that he must have cast a spell on her. A love spell perhaps? It was possible. But suddenly his eyes glowed a seeping red and his face darkened. Hermione, who was caught up with her dreamy stare, gasped and struggled in his grip. She had heard about these creatures. These veelas. Ever since the incident at the Quidditch World Cup in the summer of their fourth year, she had managed to read about them. It was as if the creatures gave off a wave of aphrodisiacs to the opposite sex, claiming them and catching their eyes.

A brief warning on Ginny's word the other day panicked the horror struck Head Girl as she gave a frightened shriek. The man was no longer charming, nor beautiful. His face had become that of a monster. Fangs had grown to the size of her hands as he gave a fierce growl. Within seconds he had flung her robe to the ground and suddenly she felt utterly exposed to him. Blast Ginny and her blasted costume. She could practically feel his lusty stare over her, and without warning, he dived, burying his nose in her bushy hair to inhale her scent.

Hermione cringed and screamed again. She fought to gather her wand that lay in her pockets, but the veela male had her arms tightly gripped and in a second she was thrown to the ground. Giving a cry of pain, the Head Girl fought to grab her wand, but it had been knocked out of her robes and down the halls completely out of her reach. She screamed. Merlin help her. She was Head Girl! She had to fight! She knew tons of spells, dozens of curses, a million enchantments—but none seemed to register to her head as her assailant moved closer. This was it, she had decided. Maybe Malfoy had been right. Maybe she really was just a shadow of Harry. Maybe she really did live in his shadow, and got praised for the purpose of only aiding him when he needed help. For Merlin sakes, this veela was no Voldemort. Surely Harry had worse. Why couldn't she find the courage to fight him off? What kind of a witch was she if she couldn't even utter one single spell? How would she prove herself to everyone—to Malfoy—

In a flash, the veela male launched himself and Hermione shut her eyes accepting death. She was never the type to give up. She had always been brave, loyal, and courageous. It was why she had been put in Gryffindor just like the rest. But here she was, frozen and scared and laying on the cold floors accepting her fate.

She waited... and waited... but it never came.

Instead, a bright light shot through the room and before Hermione could register what had happened, the veela lay on the cold, wooden floor. She scrambled for her wand and shook in the corner, hugging herself tightly. She spun her head around, looking for her savior, but found none, or maybe he or she had been there all along. Never the less, Hermione's vision was still blurry from the encounter. She glanced once more at the veela and noticed that he had changed back, his expression harmless and his face as charming and as handsome as before.

A tug at her heart came rushing. She felt the urge to pounce on him, the attraction building up again, and before she knew what she was doing, the girl had begun crawling towards the beast. She begged for his touch, she longed to be near him. There was just something about he boy that—

"Bloody hell, Granger! Try and get a hold on yourself!"

Hermione ignored the warning and continued on. She was mere inches from the unconscious body when—

"Stupefy!"

The Head Girl froze for a second then collapsed on the floor, stunned. She heard soft footsteps approaching and peered up at the man in her frozen state. She saw a flash of blond hair.

"You know, you really aren't as clever as you're believed to be."

Merlin help her...

--

Ahh! Another chapter done. It wasn't bad was it? Hardly any Draco/Hermione interactions, but it will come very, very soon. I'm sure everyone knows who Hermione Granger's savior is at the end of this chappie! excited squeal I promise that they will have a lot of more sparks in the next chapter. This was only a preview And now to answer some of my dearest reviewer's questions—

CherryCheeks91 – Yes! I know that it gets so boring! Well just think about it this way, it's even more boring having to write about them arguing over the same thing in the past four chapters, but there will be romance! I just want to keep them in character for the longest time and not rush things. Notice how in this chapter, Draco doesn't insult Hermione with the word, "Mudblood," but decides to pick on Harry and Ron instead. Eh, eh, get my drift. It will come eventually!

Nikki – I'm sorry if Draco appeared very harsh in the chapters, but I'd rather have him harsh than be a some sort of love sick puppy that helplessly falls in love with Hermione. Just think of the chaos if I were to do that! He will loosen up later in the chapters, I promise!

Stephyyy – Thank you very much for the compliment! The good parts are coming very soon I assure you. Draco will just have to develop a certain possessiveness towards our dear Head Girl, and will probably start after this chapter!

-jellyacy- Thank you for the lovely review! And yes I did think that the last chapter was a little bit depressing, but it certainly did not make me teary eyed! I hope that I didn't depress you or anything! But never the less, there will be more Snape later on in the chapters!

And to all my other lovely reviewers! Thank you all and I hope I did not seem to drastic with the whole 'horror' thing in this chapter. It's my own little way of getting Draco to change his opinions on Hermione, so there will be romance in the later chapters! Be patient please and review!