Chapter One: In the Library

It was just past ten o'clock and Hermione Granger sighed as she dropped her quill and stretched in her seat, curving her body slightly to try and get all the kinks out. She had been sitting in the library, researching and taking notes for three hours, when her body started protesting at the strain.

Researching and problem solving were perfect ways to take her mind off the trials that were a regular occurrence in her life; the stress of trying to keep the peace between the D.A members that were from different houses and felt they had some scores to settles, Harry's constant argument that he wasn't as good as they all knew he was, Ron's bullheadedness, the list went on and on...

Standing, she reached higher and higher, standing on her tiptoes, stretching to her fullest extent and completely unaware that a pair of hungry, icy blue eye were watching her every movement as she bent forward and touched her toes.

He wasn't suppose to be doing this, watching this girl with unchecked hunger, following her every curve as she did something as simple as relieve her body from the pain of being in one position for too long. She was a Mudblood, the worst of the creed, and here he was, wondering if she tasted as good as she looked.

Almost as if she could hear his last thought, the Granger girl jerked up and spun around, barely giving him enough time to duck behind the bookcase he was spying on her from, cursing his obsession and the disgrace of being caught while a small part of him wished that she had seen him, that he could admit his feelings...

Hermione scanned the shelves, the hairs on the back of her neck still raised with the knowledge that someone had been watching her. Her first notion had been that Ron had taken to spying on her, but she quickly pushed that thought away as impossible; for one, Ron wasn't the type that went around sneaking glances at people, for another, the last time this had happened and she had confronted him about it, he had turned a nasty shade of green and asked if he really looked like a stalker to her.

The last comment had unnerved Hermione more than she'd like to admit and, instead of her original thought of a shy admirer trying to summon up the courage to talk to her, she immediately began thinking that she was being stalked and that scared her to no end.

Watching the Granger girl slowly tense up, he growled at the protective feeling that rose in his gut, growing ever stronger as her eyes whipped around, getting more frantic by the second as she searched for whatever scared her.

Searched for him.

The thought made his stomach clench with another feeling, although this one was more alien than than than the first one; he felt warm at the thought that Hermione Granger would be looking for him and it grew so strong he was overcome by the urge to walk over and talk to her, calm her down a bit.

Growling one more time at the feeling that wouldn't go away, he left his hiding place and made his way to her, hoping to not accidentally slip and reveal how he felt, but unable to see her frightened like that.

"You're here again, Granger? Don't you have anything better to do? It's a Sunday, for Merlin's sake!"

Hermione had spun around when she heard someone approaching, hoping it had been Ron or Harry coming to get her and laugh at her irrational fear, but instead of their familiar faces, she saw Draco Malfoy sauntering toward her, his trademark smirk in place.

Frowning, Hermione ignored the voice in her head that pointed out the worried creases on the forehead that the smirk tried to hide, as well as the fact that it made her concerned, and snapped, "None of your business, Draco. I have every right to be here, same as you!"

"I wasn't aware that we were on a first name bases, Hermione." He could feel his smirk growing even wider and the worry unclenched his stomach now that she wasn't scanning the room like a trapped rabbit. His face felt like it would split at her enlarged eyes as she realized her mistake, "This is a new development."

Those beautiful chocolate orbs stayed widened before narrowing slightly as she stiffly replied, "It was a slip of the tongue, Malfoy, one that I won't make again. What do you want, or are you just here to make fun of me?"

Was it her imagination or did his shoulders slump slightly? "Of course," he bit off sharply, making her twitch her hand for her wand, "why bother with the Slytherin? Call me what you want, Granger, I've heard worse."

"So have I, most of it from you." He really did flinch this time, it wasn't just her imagination, he actually looked sorry she was momentarily caught off guard. "What's with you today, Malfoy? Usually you just saunter in, call me a Mudblood, insult my friends, and saunter off. This isn't like you at all."

"I didn't know you payed such close attention to what I do, Hermione," Draco drawled, watching with satisfaction as Hermione's cheeks turned pink, "much less on weather I saunter or not."

"You are such a prat!" Hermione snapped, gathering up her things and leaving hurriedly, a light blush still residing on her face as she muttered, "Why do I bother...?"

Watching Hermione's retreating form, Draco smiled softly, a light, genuine smile that few ever saw. It had gone well, better than he anticipated even, she hadn't slugged him and he had gone through an entire conversation with calling her a Mudblood. Things were looking up.

Turning, Draco left the library and headed to his common room, thinking of what he'd say to her the next time they met and totally disregarding everything his father said about Muggleborns.

This was turning out to be a good day.

A/N: Hello, I have decided to do a fic about one of the other pairings in the world of Harry Potter while I wait for my muse to return on my other stories. Please tell me what you think and weather or not I capture their characteristics. Don't worry, I have more!