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Albus Dumbledore steepled his long, graceful fingers as he contemplated the two students sitting in front of him. Both were charming, popular, intelligent and witty. Both were stubborn, arrogant, obstinate, and inflexible.

Hermione Granger was top of her class. She exuded an aura of capability and authority that contradicted her young age. She read voraciously, and she could recite passages of books that she had read ages ago.

Draco Malfoy was a mischief-maker. His quick mind was more often than not devoted to pranks and disobedience than schoolwork and rules, yet he still managed to breeze through his academia with an air of self-assurance and poise.

Albus quirked a smile as he observed the two students. Hermione Granger flipped her long mane of unmanageable russet hair over her shoulder and calmly ignored the boy beside her, who had crossed his long legs so as to repeatedly tap her knee with his foot. Noticing a muscle tick tightly in the brunette's jaw, Albus decided he had best speak up, lest Hermione crack under the pressure and hex her peer in front of her Headmaster.

"Well, Miss Granger and Mister Malfoy, I imagine you understand the predicament I am in?" Albus asked, not really expecting an answer, he continued. "You are both exceptional students. Your academic achievements are remarkable and you both display leadership abilities well beyond your young age. Yet, despite these admirable traits, this is the third time this month you have been sent to my office for fighting in the halls…"

"Sir, really, you must understand, Malfoy provoked me! I was—" Hermione, said, only to be interrupted by Draco.

"Granger, don't be a hypocrite, you were—"

"I was talking to Kevin McNaughton and—"

"You were not talking to him! He was assaulting you and I—" Draco said, his face reddening with anger at the memory of the boy's hands on her.

"I was hugging him because he did well on a test and—"

Albus held up his hand to silence the two students. Sighing slightly as he watched the two glare at each other, he wondered how they would cope with what he was about to suggest if they couldn't even stay civil for a few minutes.

"Miss Granger, Mister Malfoy, I am at a bit of a crossroad with you two. You see this is somewhat against the rules, but I am going to tell you secret. I plan to appoint you both as Heads for next year."

Hermione Granger gasped. Albus could see the girl's happiness shining in her expressive coffee eyes, at least, until she processed whom she would be sharing the honor with.

"But sir! Malfoy cannot possibly be made Headboy! You can't possibly mean to give him authority! He will—"

"Miss Granger," Albus interrupted, "I am well aware of Mister Malfoy's history, seeing as I issued most of the detentions he has accumulated. Now, usually, the Heads do not know of their selection until they receive their letters; however, you must see why I had to circumvent tradition…"

The two students' shared a confused glance.

"Headship requires loyalty and passion, yes, this is true. However, it also requires co-operation and trust, two things that you two seem incapable of achieving when in the same room. Over the past few months, I have been trying to figure out how to fix this little problem, yet it seems you two have solved the problem yourselves."

Again, the two teenagers shared a confused look.

Smiling at their confusion, Albus stood up from behind his desk and approached a locked armoire beside a bookshelf.

"Miss Granger, I imagine you have read Hogwarts: A History?"

The brunette nodded.

"Excellent! Then I imagine you remember the short section on unusual punishments that the Founders organized to cut down on misconduct?"

Hermione nodded warily, praying Dumbledore was not alluding to what she thought he might be alluding to.

Albus pulled out a key attached to a long chain around his neck, and slid it into the armoire's keyhole. Listening to the ancient cogs whir and spin, Albus smiled as the doors creaked open, rusty from disuses.

"The Founders were very… creative when it came to chastisement. Most of the punishments faded into obscurity, although one has survived to our time, often used when two students seemed incapable of co-operation…" Albus searched through the armoire's contents, finally finding what he was looking for. Turning slowly, he couldn't help but chuckle at the looks of apprehension adorning his two favorite students' faces.

"Handcuffs…" He said simply, dangling a pair of Medieval-looking handcuffs from a long finger.


Hermione and Draco' mouths dropped in astonishment as their Headmaster brandished the handcuffs.

"Yesssss!" Draco said suddenly, jumping up from his chair and performing a happy-dance. Images of all the delightfully wicked pranks he could pull on the brunette danced through his head.

"You must be crazy." Hermione whispered, staring at her idolized Headmaster with a look of horror.

Albus smiled at the polarized reactions. "Now, the handcuffs fade into invisibility once they are fastened to two hands. They are inhexible and unbreakable. They dissolve twice a day, for five minutes, once at midnight and once at noon, so as to allow the occupants time for… personal needs. You must be beside your fellow detainee once the allotted five minutes are up however, lest you be magically yanked towards them."

"Professor, I must protest! This is inhumane! MALFOY 24/7!!! You must be insane to think—" Hermione said, only to be cut off by Draco.

"You're hardly a walk in the park either, Granger!" Draco said, belying the fact that he had been openly pursuing her since the war had ended and he had disassociated himself with his previous beliefs concerning muggleborns.

Albus Dumbledore rolled his eyes at their bickering. Noticing that they were about to storm away from each other, he quickly waved his wand and cast an Immobulus. Chuckling at the frozen looks of rage on their faces, he jovially walked over to their frozen forms and snapped the handcuffs on their hands. Walking back to his previous spot, he released them from the charm.

"You're insufferable!" Hermione shouted at her opponent.

"You're unbearable!" Draco returned, appreciating how all their yelling was causing Hermione's chest to heave.

Spinning around to storm off, the two teenagers let out similar grunts of surprise to find an invisible connection to the other. Slowly turning around to face Dumbledore, they wore identical expressions of surprise.

"Well, children, it has been a long day," Albus said, letting out an exaggerated yawn, "I am off to bed, I trust you can see yourselves out." And with that, Albus walked jauntily out of his office, humming a tune and smiling at what he was sure to be an entertaining couple of weeks.