A/N

This chapter goes dedicated to soumz13, for the lovely review filled with compliments both to my style of writing and the developing of the story. Thank you so much, to have read that you truly think this is the best story you've read is wonderfully pleasant and oh dear, I think I'm crying. ;) thanks for reading.

And for the rest of my lovely readers:

Chapter 30 "Cards on the Table"

Hermione groaned as she saw Lavender and her gloating expression. She sighed and looked back at her friends, who were obviously still waiting for her explanation. Luckily enough, Draco came to her aid.

"McGonagall said to tell you that if you have any questions, you should let her know." Draco told them.

Neither of her friends looked away from her, not even as Draco spoke. Maybe it had something to do with the swollen lips, and the very fashionable shirt she was wearing, maybe it was her wild hair, or the fact that she had slept in Draco Malfoy's bed or maybe it was all of the above. Who knew? But Hermione didn't like the looks she was receiving.

Also, she noticed that Lavender wasn't saying anything else. She looked up, to find that Lavender had descended the stairs and was walking rather quickly towards the portrait hole. Hermione had the feeling she wasn't in such a hurry to speak to McGonagall.

"Draco," she called.

Draco understood perfectly well once he saw where Hermione's gaze was set. He quickly pulled his wand from his pocket and pointed it at Lavender. Harry, Ron and Ginny turned at the same time to find Lavender rooted to the floor, quite literally. There were vine-like plants holding her feet flat against the ground despite her attempts at kicking them off.

Hermione turned to look at Draco and arched an eyebrow. "Couldn't you just have stunned her?" she asked.

Draco shrugged as he twirled the wand between his fingers. "I acted faster than you did." He pointed out.

Hermione shook her head and looked away from him as she pulled her own wand and let Lavender loose. Lavender jumped right on one of the chairs closer to her and looked at Hermione with horrified eyes, but she quickly recovered and glared at her.

Hermione walked up to her. "Listen," She began. "I honestly don't know what you have against me, if it is something against me or it's just your need to go gossiping around, but you have to leave me the hell alone. I have enough problems without adding your stupid rumors to the mix."

Lavender stared at Hermione, her mouth forming a thin line. After a minute or two of Hermione staring up and Lavender glaring down, LavLav finally answered. "My rumors don't seem so far off the mark now, do they?" She asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "I don't care if they are rumors or the honest to God truth, I want them to stop."

Lavender stepped down from the chair and walked confidently over to Hermione, getting quite close. Hermione was suddenly aware that she was still in Draco's white sort of see through and not so long shirt, but she refused to be intimidated.

"And what will you do to make them stop?" Lavender challenged.

Hermione's eyes narrowed. "You don't want to mess with me." She responded darkly.

To her surprise, Lavender laughed. "You don't scare me, Hermione Granger. I honestly can't see the reason why someone would look at you twice, let alone Draco Malfoy. But there's more to it than that. You take advantage of Harry's fame, appearing as the very honest best friend, straight A student, goody two shoes, teacher's pet, all in all the perfect witch. But we all know how you truly are."

"Oh? And how's that?' Hermione asked, a dangerous tone on her voice.

"As a stuck up, fake, little bitch." Lavender answered.

Hermione could feel her cheeks growing red with anger. She arched an eyebrow in response, but other than that, she gave no sign that she would object at that moment to whatever accusations she might receive from Lavender. She was simply waiting to hear them all out.

However, Lavender didn't seem as if she would elaborate or explain any of her accusations. Hermione grew very impatient.

"What exactly, dear Lavender, do you hold against me?" Hermione asked dryly.

Lavender smirked. "Well dear," Lavender began, making a very good imitation of the way Hermione had spoken to her. "I'm sure you have figured out that you aren't very well liked all around the castle, it's not just me the one who 'holds' something against you, I am, however, the first to let you know, I suppose."

Hermione glared at the girl in front of her. "Well, then, I suppose I do admire your honesty, and what's more, I thank you for it. However, I have to admit I stand a bit confused, for as far as I knew, you and I held, if not a friendship, at least a respectful relationship. I can see now that I was mistaken. But I would like to use a bit more of your very willing honesty, for you have yet to answer my question. What did I ever do to you?"

Lavender shrugged and tapped her index finger against her lips gently, her eyebrow furrowed in thought. She than sighed and looked at Hermione straight in the eye as she pulled her finger away form her face and down to meet her other hand, clasping them together in front of her.

"I'm not sure it's something specific, I just don't like you." Lavender said bluntly and somewhat bitterly, letting Hermione know that there was far more than her simple explanation. "Like I said before, this should not come as a surprise to you, for I'm sure you have heard it before many times. You walk around as if you owned the place, which you of course, do not. You believe you are better than all of us, what with your amazing abilities and such. But I supposed there's nothing wrong with being gifted, it's the way you have handled it that gets on everyone's nerves. Far from being admired, you are very well disliked." Lavender finished.

Hermione stared at Lavender for more than a second. Draco was leaning against the wall, watching Hermione intently. He knew that even if it was stupid to do so, it was quite easy to take offense at Lavender's not so kind words. He knew Hermione knew better than that, but he was actually worried, knowing her temper and those amazing abilities Lavender had mentioned before, it would be quite easy to put the Brown girl in her place, but he feared it wouldn't be the smart thing to do.

To everyone's surprise, Hermione smirked. "Well then, thank you, that's all I needed to know. Lucky for me, I'm one of those people who don't really care what others think or say about me, not unless it's coming from the people I do care about, meaning my friends, you might not be familiar with the term, so I don't expect you to understand. So once again, I thank you for your honesty. But other than that, I have nothing else to say to you. Now, McGonagall left instructions, which you are expected to follow. So do make your way to her office, Ronald here will escort you." Hermione finished, gave one final smile at the image of Lavender standing there with her mouth opened and proceeded to climb the stair to her dorm to get ready for class.

Half way up the stairs she turned around to see if her orders had been carried out, but she found everyone with pretty much the same expression on their faces, staring up at her. She rolled her eyes.

"Ron, take her to McGonagall's office. Draco, get ready for class and Ginny go and make out with Harry somewhere, I don't really care, just go." She said and finally made it to her room, feeling quite happy with herself.

0000

That morning, McGonagall had called for an assembly, asking every Gryffindor student to attend. Thankfully, only Lavender and Hermione's closest friends were aware of the situation, but since it was rather unlikely for any of Hermione's friends, meaning, Harry, Ron and Ginny, to talk about what was going on, McGonagall used a spell on Lavender, which was to make her keep her mouth shut, in the figurative sense of course, much to Hermione's dismay.

Surprisingly enough, the assembly was not what Hermione expected. Well, she wasn't really sure what she had expected, but certainly it wasn't what she heard. McGonagall did not speak about Draco staying in the Gryffindor Tower. Instead, she talked about the upcoming Finals, and if any student needed tutorial, even though they were still a good time away from doing the exams, it didn't hurt to study and be prepared.

About half an hour later of McGonagall announcing that, and putting out the list for people to sign up, the students were all on their way to their first class.

Hermione waited for the room to empty, and then she made her way up to the professor. She cleared her throat slightly to call for the old witch's attention, for she was truly engaged in reading the names on her list.

"Professor?" Hermione began.

"Yes, Miss Granger?" McGonagall asked.

"Well, I was wondering, were you not going to let everyone know about what is going on, I mean, about Draco staying in the tower?"

McGonagall smiled slightly. "I was, but then I thought better about it. It would be rather useless, and it would call for too many questions."

"But what would happen if any of them see Draco?" Hermione asked a bit impatiently.

"Look over at the door, Miss Granger," The professor indicated.

Hermione arched an eyebrow and looked over at the door, confusion clearly showing all over her face. "Yes?" she asked, the impatience coloring her voice once again.

"Can you see that silver light coloring slightly the frame of the door?" McGonagall asked her.

Hermione squinted, and sure enough, she saw the strange light. "Yeah," She answered uncertainly.

"Well that, Miss Granger, is a spell, an enchantment, if you will. I placed it there, so that it would be placed on every person who walked through the door, including yourself. That spell prevents you from speaking to anyone about Draco if you saw him in the Tower. Even now, if you tried to talk to anyone outside the Gryffindor House about it, you wouldn't be able to. Except me of course. Besides, it's pretty much a confusion spell. If anyone saw Draco, it would seem pretty normal."

"Oh" Hermione answered, her eyebrow furrowed in concentration.

"Anymore questions, Miss Granger?"

"No." She answered.

"Then I suggest you get to class, or you will be late."

"Of course." Hermione answered and made her way to class.

0000

The day carried on uneventfully enough. Lavender was not allowed to speak about anything regarding Draco Malfoy, but that didn't stop her from glaring daggers at Hermione every time the two crossed paths.

Draco found this rather amusing, for he had come up with the idea that maybe Lavender had a thing for him. He told Hermione about his sudden conclusion, but apparently Hermione didn't find it as hilariously fun as he did. She took it like any normal teenage girl would, angrily and threatening.

Hermione hated to admit it, but what Draco had told her made much sense, which resulted in her acting the way she did. Draco however, was just having a grand time watching his girlfriend who was showing herself possessive of him, blinded by her jealousy.

So he decided to reassure her that she was his one and only by surprising her during the fifteen minutes they got between classes. So while Hermione was making her way to her class, Draco, who was hiding in an empty classroom, grabbed her quickly and pulled her into the room, pressing her back against his chest.

Although Draco's intention was to surprise her, Hermione rather felt like she was having a mild heart attack. She tried to figure out who had intended to scare her out of her skin while wondering why Harry and Ron were not pounding at the door and coming to her rescue before she recognized the scent of the person holding her captive. And even though she wasn't scared anymore, she still wondered why her so called best friends where not coming to her aid if they had been walking right next to her.

And then she remembered they were chatting rather excitedly about the next professional Quidditch game, or something of the sort, she couldn't quite recall, she had tuned them out and only remembered it was an extremely boring guy topic.

0000

"-Which is why we have to bet on it!" Harry concluded his observation.

"Maybe you're right, but I'm still not sure, I mean, why would we trust a Slytherin to hold the bets, no offense Hermione," Ron answered.

When he didn't hear Hermione's forgiving, or angry reply, he looked over to where she had been walking next to him. When he didn't see her there, he stopped short.

Harry walked a few more steps before he too stopped.

"Where's Hermione?" Ron asked.

Harry looked at Ron, his eyebrow furrowed as he thought. But his expression quickly cleared as he shrugged. "Maybe she forgot something in the classroom and went back to get it."

Ron's lips were pursed as he thought about it, then he too shrugged. "Right. But anyways, I don't think we should let Adrian Pucey…"

The two boys continued their conversation, the topic of a missing Hermione stored deeply at the back of their minds. With friends like that, who needed… non caring people in the world?

0000

Hermione found herself relieved that her friends did not come to her rescue, not that she needed any rescuing. She was alright, more then alright, actually. The ache she was feeling in her lungs due to oxygen depravation wasn't necessarily a bad thing, at least not at the moment; she was pretty much enjoying it.

Draco pulled back, breaking their 'I assure you I love you and only you, so quit being silly' kiss, leaned his forehead against Hermione's and smiled down at the flushed girl.

"Did that convince you?" Draco asked huskily, his usual smirk in place.

Hermione fake glared up at him. "If you think that a kiss and some words will convince me…"

She however, could not finish her sentence, since Draco had once again pressed his lips against hers. It was a shame really, considering her comeback was rather witty. Wit did not just grow on trees, you know.

But Hermione could care less at the moment. All she cared was about his hands, tracing rather tantalizing circles on the middle of her back as he deepened the kiss with each passing second, and drew her closer to him with each stroke of his tongue against hers.

Hermione moaned softly against his lips as she felt her legs growing weaker and weaker, until she was sure she would fall. But he kept her standing. How he managed to due that, was beyond Hermione. But she was thankful for his arms, and his hair, in which her fingers were tangled at the moment, and his intoxicating smell, and his muscular, gorgeous body, and his lips, Merlin his lips.

Draco groaned slightly as he fought to keep himself and Hermione in a standing position. He tried to recall how close the wall was, or if there was a desk close by where he could, well, prop against so that he didn't waste so much energy in trying to stand, since said energy could be put to a better task.

But just as he was walking Hermione blindly backwards, the first bell rang. He could care less about the damn bell, but Hermione, being the little bookworm she was, quickly pulled her lips from his.

"We should go," Hermione said slowly, as if she was trying to remember how to exactly pronounce the words. She looked up at him from half closed eyes as she fought to steady her breathing.

Draco stared down at her, and smiled brightly. "Now, are you sure?" He asked her in a low voice as he neared his lips to hers again, teasing her. He looked at her lips for a second before looking into her eyes again, that playful flirty grin still about his lips.

Hermione's breath caught in her throat, which she was already short in, as it was. But she smiled up at him either way, and neared her own lips closer to his, deciding to play his little game.

She got closer and closer, all the while staring at his lips, and just when she was less, much less than an inch away, she smiled and looked into his eyes before pulling away.

"I'm sure." She answered.

Draco was still a bit dumbfounded, but he recovered quickly. He smirked at her. "For Merlin's sake Hermione, you sure know how to drive a guy crazy." Draco muttered.

Hermione gave him her own smirk in return, one that clearly challenged his own. "It's a class all the girls had, How to Tease a Slytherin Boy 'till He Wants to Snog You Silly." Hermione shrugged as if it was another charms lesson, which in literal sense, it was.

"Is that so?" He asked her, his eyebrow arched.

Hermione nodded. "You're the fourth Slytherin this week." She said in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Wait a minute, but your lesson says a Slytherin boy, not many Slytherin boys." Draco countered back.

Hermione shrugged. "Yeah, well, we work with what we have."

"Well, would you look at that. My Gryffindor sweetheart is a real player." Draco said as he took a step closer to her.

Hermione smiled. "Yeah, and she is also a real dedicated student, who has to get to class on time." She said as she took a step towards the door.

"Oh, you're no fun." Draco huffed.

Hermione laughed, walked over to him, stood on her tip-toes and planted a soft kiss on his pouting lips.

"There's a time and place for everything." She said to him.

"Oh yeah?" Draco asked as he walked with her out the door, making sure that there was no one in the hallway.

"Of course, and sadly, right now it's time for class."

"Sadly, it is." Draco sighed dramatically.

Hermione laughed. "I'll see you at lunch." Hermione said to him as she made her way down the hallway.

Draco nodded. "See you." He called after her as he walked the other way, whistling softly to himself, and thinking how whipped he was.

I know, I know. I took ages to update, so feel free to yell at me all you want. Truth is, this is one of the chapters I have suffered with the most. I just couldn't figure out how to write it out. Want to know a secret? The whole, Draco-takes-Hermione-into-an-empty-classroom-to-snog-her-senseless was a last minute thing. But I figured, what the hell, might as well have a little fun.

So tell me what you thought =]

But Anyhoo, I know I have stopped replying to your reviews, but I'm in such a happy mood since this chapter is finally done, that I will reply to all of them. =]

LavenderSpice – sorry about the cliffhanger, actually, I'm not really sorry about that, I'm sorry I took so long to update =[ I'm glad you liked the chapter, and yes, I agree! They are wonderful together. Thanks for the review, and for reading of course.

Kat.1600 – I'm really glad you liked it. =]

earthgoddess36 – That sucks, your boyfriends living so far away, no matter how sex crazed he is. xD I love Draco too. The things he says, well I mostly make him say it because to me it sounds a bit genuine, you know, and although Draco is very astute, I do believe he has his natural moments. And Hermione has yet to explain to her friends, wonder how that will come out. Thanks for the review!

Sectumsempraaa! – Yeah, the first chapter did seem to catch everyone's attention. ;) I'm glad you're loving it, and thank you, it's always nice to hear compliments as such. =]

LovingBlackParadise – now sex, hmm… lol, yes, it would have been rather awesome if they would have ended up having sex. However, I did rate this story T and as much as I would have enjoyed writing out the Lemon, it wouldn't be fair to my readers if I changed the rating. So it stays like that for now. xD thanks for the review, and I'm glad you enjoyed their reaction.

MysteryShadow101 – I'm glad you liked the chapter so much, and hope this one was worth the wait. =] thanks for reading and reviewing.

Rebecca – Yeah, rather weird for her. But part of my story is dedicated to showing how they change throughout their relationship. ;) I'm glad you are loving the whole story!

Cornilia243 – It's alright, as long as you review. =] thank you, and I hope you keep on reading.

Gryfferin Princess – lol, another person who hoped for a sex scene? Lol. Yeah well, it might happen. Who knows. ;) thanks for reviewing, and shame on you and your not clean mind. Lol.

BFFofCrazyShopoholicPixe-AliceThanks thanks thanks! Lol. Love ur name! Thanks for the review.

Mysterissister - I'm sorry I took so long, and the explaining part has yet to get here. Thanks for the review =]

Soumz13 – I like you. Lol. Thank you so, so much for all your compliments. The fact that you ignored your mother because of the story truly means a lot to me. Lol. I'm sorry I took so long, but I hope this chapter made up for it. even if not many things happen, we saw a bit of Hermione and Draco! And I'm glad I got your first long review! Lol

Puppyluv13 – lol. I'm glad you liked it! personally, I wasn't a fan of Hermione and Draco either. It just never occurred to me. I was a Harry/Hermione shipper, well, supporter. Then my friend, she, introduced me to the fanfiction world, but in Spanish. I began to read Hermione/Draco because she did. Then I said.. hmm, let's read in English, so I did. And then I liked Draco/Hermione a lot, and then I decided to write my own story. I don't know why I told you all of that, but I did. Lol. Thanks for reading, and the review!

Faenea – cliffhangers are the best, if the next chapter is updated quickly, or else, they suck. Lol. I'm terribly sorry. Lol. Shame on you, for reading at work. Tsk tsk. I cant have that in my conscience. Lol. But alright, since you reviewed, I will not tell on you, =] thank you for reading.

CheekySweetChic – thank you! It means the world to me to have people say that. thank you so, so much.

So there you go, my dear readers. Hope you guys enjoyed reading this =] thank you for reading, and double thank you to those of you who reviewed.

So now go review this chapter. Come on, click on the review this story/chapter botton. Come on, I dare you. I know you want to ;)

Until later,

Yours,

Leilygurl