Full Story Summary: My attempt to tackle a stereotypical scenario used commonly in Harry Potter fanfiction: The old Headboy and Headgirl stuck sharing a tower story . . . Hermione sells her soul to Draco to prove a point: that it isn't actually possible to own another person's soul. But weird things start happening and she soon finds out that she shouldn't have been so hasty to sign that slip of paper. She knows she has to get Draco to give her back her soul before things go too far, but Draco has realised what is happening and is enjoying his new found power over Hermione. How long before things start to go horribly wrong? And to what lengths will Hermione go to get back what is truly hers?
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and associated characters.
A.N. This story was previously known as Selling Souls Is A Bad Idea. It has also been re-edited since the name change. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed so far.
The stars shone brightly casting ghostly candlelight sparks across the black mirror of the Great Lake. The tips of the pine trees, which made up the Forbidden Forest, waved solemnly as if the breath of a thousand deceased souls sighed over them. The rising mountain peaks blacked out the starry sky and cast long shadows across the grounds of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the tip of one of the towers a high arched window glimmered with warm, comforting light. Inside a girl sat at her window seat and leant studiously over a thick book, a globe of butter-yellow light floating lazily by her shoulder. She ran long slender fingers through her thick curly hair, sighing in frustration at the sounds of rage echoing from the downstairs room.
Muttering to herself, the girl snapped her book shut and set it down on the window seat. She frowned as she scanned her bedroom, glancing at the ticking clock on the wall. Her room was plainly furnished with a simple wooden wardrobe and chest of drawers, a large four poster with twisting patterns carved into the mahogany posts and a neat trunk at the base of the bed. Inside the trunk parchment, quills and ink bottles could be seen stacked neatly. The walls and floors were made of the heavy stone commonly used to construct the great castle. A thick rug of deep red provided some warmth from the chilly flagstones and a stone fireplace held a merrily crackling fire, charmed to be heatless in the heavy summer air. Above the fireplace a canvas of the Gryffindor crest shone in the amber light, catching the gold leaf. The room, too, was decorated in the colours of the founder of Gryffindor House, rich scarlet bed covers highlighted with stitched swirling patterns in golden thread and a shimmering gossamer gauze curtain of gold that floated like a halo around the bed.
The clock read eleven-thirty. Hermione uttered a small moan before storming from her room and down the winding staircase that lead to her shared common room. The sound of curses and furniture being battered increased in volume as she approached. Downstairs, in the room that was meant for relaxing, a chair lay upturned, its pillows thrown and scattered across the thick carpet of dark blue, obviously pummelled. The table, still covered in study books and scraps of parchment, had been shoved roughly to the edge of the room so that a quill had rolled onto the floor. In the table's original place a glowering Draco Malfoy scowled while pacing back and forth, absently kicking a pillow heavily across the floor. His clothes and demeanour were surprisingly dishevelled, not at all like the spoiled Slytherin Prince.
Hermione scooped up the tattered pillow before it could receive another beating and set it on the nearest sofa, smoothing down its soft green cover. Malfoy glared at her explosively, a sneer curling his thin lips.
"What?" he spat venomously, throwing himself upon the cream sofa and staring up at her with stormy grey eyes.
"Could you not take your little tantrum upstairs? I need the Common room to study," Hermione hissed, trying to keep her temper down.
Hermione had arrived for a new school year at Hogwarts in high spirits knowing that for once she could complete a year without fearing that other, more dangerous things would interrupt it. Her mood was enhanced by the added bonus of becoming Headgirl, a title she had been working towards for her previous six years. But her first week back had been turned sour by the news that her new tower, exclusively for Headboy and girl would be shared with the boy that had made her school life since starting Hogwarts a living hell, Draco Malfoy. Although they had respectfully ignored each other most of the time, Malfoy only giving a sly comment every now and then, she had then gone on to discover he had at sometime developed a bad temper problem, often snapping at the simplest of things. Hermione believed the poor pillows of their shared Common room would never be the same again. This made studying for their NEWTS exams, an importance no teacher would let Hermione forget at the moment, considerably harder.
Hermione was using her first Sunday night back in the eventful Castle to study but, although she had requested one, she did not have a study table in her bedroom and she desperately needed the one in the Common room to write notes. The clever witch wished to finish making annotations on the latest tome she was studying in History of Magic, a lesson she had first thing the next morning, but had been chased from her study table by a raving Malfoy. Now she was drawing close to her tether. There was no way she was going to let the emotionally unstable boy ruin her chance at a good grade.
And now he was staring at her with that aggravated look, as if she personally had done him some great wrong.
"It's my Common room as well, Mudblood. I have every right to be here too," he snarled, stretching out on the sofa. Hermione's blood boiled at the insult.
"What's the matter? Has your Mummy forgotten to pack you your diamond encrusted quill? Oh poor you! It's the end of the world," Hermione cooed in a simpering voice. Malfoy sat forwards, his eyes flashing with anger.
"For your information I have just been informed that my father has been granted a shortened sentence. So you'll excuse me if I'm not in the best of moods . . . But then again, this could come in handy. I'm sure my father would want revenge on the boy and his filthy companions, who helped get him sent down in the first place. Perhaps I could point him in the right direction," Malfoy threatened. Hermione gave an involuntary shudder of fear at the thought of his father on the loose. Even the man's own son despised his cruel and torturous ways. God knows why he was granted a shorter sentence; he should have been locked up in Azkaban for the rest of his life. But there was no doubting he was very rich and Hermione was beginning to discover that money could get you pretty much anywhere. That and power over others. Despite this, Hermione was not about to show pity for the enemy.
"Running back to daddy to do all the dirty work? How typical of you, Malfoy," Hermione jibed. Malfoy jumped up.
"God I'd sell my soul to see you locked in a box full of blast-ended skrewts. Ones that Hagrid has forgotten to feed for two weeks," Malfoy shouted, then paused to grin evilly at the notion.
"Shame it's impossible. I'd have fun feeding your soul to load of Hippogriffs bit by bit." Malfoy looked at her, his head cocked to one side.
"Who says it's impossible to sell your soul?" he goaded her.
"I didn't think you were that thick, Malfoy. It's not physically possible. The soul is just a metaphor to symbolise a person's identity."
"Ooh, get you, Miss-know-it-all. Prove it then," the Slytherin drawled.
"Prove it? How the hell am I supposed to do that? It's not actually possible." Hermione knew Malfoy was just trying to draw her into some sort of argument to relieve his anger but she couldn't help but retaliate. And now he was grinning at her in a disconcerting way.
"If you think that selling your soul won't affect you then do it. Sell me your soul," he asked. Hermione took a step back.
"Sell you my soul?"
"What are you afraid of? If you're right you wouldn't actually be giving me your soul, you'd just be selling me a metaphor," the blonde boy smirked. Hermione scowled at him. She didn't understand why Malfoy would want to own her soul and the thought of it in his possession made her shudder. But what was she thinking? Souls didn't exist in a physical sense, therefore she would not actually be selling hers. And she wanted desperately to prove her point.
"It wouldn't work," she said simply in reply. Malfoy just smiled and reached over into the pile of schoolwork he had left stacked on the desk, pulling out a scrap of parchment, a quill and ink bottle. Hermione watched warily as he hastily scrawled on it, then picked it up once he'd sent the paper fluttering over to her. She read the neat flowing writing.
I, Hermione Granger, do hereby pass full ownership of my soul to Draco Malfoy to do with as he pleases for the right to use the Common room in peace when I wish and for the total sum of ten galleons.
"I'm willing to leave the Common room to you and I'm throwing in ten galleons. How could you resist?" Draco told her, presenting the quill.
"'To do with as he pleases'? What are you going to do? Rape my soul?" Hermione asked, peering at the blond boy quizzically. "Why do you want it so much anyway? I'm sure that a muggleborn's soul can't be worth that much to you." Malfoy's face darkened and he sighed exasperatedly.
"Look, we're both trying to prove a point, right? I'm willing to give you money in return. If we look at it your way, you're getting something for nothing. So just sign already." Hermione hesitated. Instinctive alarm bells were ringing in her head, but she couldn't stand to let Malfoy think she was afraid to prove a point. Hermione slowly took up his expensive quill, signing underneath his neat writing with a flourish. Malfoy smirked at her gloatingly as she shoved the crumpled piece of paper into his outstretched hand.
Automatically she checked herself to see if she felt any different. But of course she didn't! This was stupid. Malfoy didn't really own her soul, just a scrap of parchment with ink scrawled across it, that's all. Hermione swallowed her fears.
"Satisfied now?" she asked with hands on hips. "Now you can imagine in your screwed up little head that you own my soul and I can be happy knowing I was right all along." Malfoy just looked at her smugly. He's just trying to wind me up, get me paranoid, the Gryffindor told herself.
"Don't worry, I'll keep it safe," Malfoy almost laughed, patting the breast pocket of his robes into which he had just slipped the ragged piece of paper. "Think what I could do with such a pure soul!" The thought suddenly struck Hermione that Malfoy might be able to use some sort of black magic on her by having that scrap of parchment with her signature. It would explain why he was so eager for her to sign it. But as soon as it came to mind she dismissed the idea. No, even Malfoy wouldn't risk his precious place at Hogwarts. She turned away.
"I'm going now so you can have your little tantrum alone. Just make sure you've packed up by the time I get back." She heard Malfoy snicker at her half-hearted attempt at an insult as she began walking to the door. He's just trying to psych me out, Hermione tried to believe.
"Wait!" His voice reverberated around her body like a bell, triggering muscles and nerves. Try as she might, Hermione found that her feet would no longer move at her command. She had suddenly ceased her path to the door and stood with her back to Malfoy.
"Hold on a second, a deal's a deal, I'll get ten galleons," she heard him say from behind her. She listened to his footsteps clatter up the stairs in speechless anger. She couldn't move! Hermione Granger had let herself be immobilised by her enemy. Why oh why had she let her guard down? He'd obviously cast a spell on her, was trying to freak her out. Hermione tried to move her foot but it wouldn't budge. She was just about to call out to Malfoy when she heard the patter of feet as he returned. He stopped when he saw she hadn't moved and still had her back to him.
"Turn around then." Hermione felt her legs swing round awkwardly. "You'll probably give this to the Weasel. Now there's a person who'd sell his soul for just a galleon," he sneered as the golden coins clinked into her palm. He stepped back, looking at her vacant bemused expression, an expectant look on his face as if he imagined Hermione would fall at his feet in thanks. Perhaps she was just shocked that he would give her anything at all. She still hadn't moved.
"Err, you can go now," he offered. Hermione felt the muscles in her body relax and had to stop herself from slumping to the floor.
"What – what spell did you use?" she stammered, staring at Malfoy in shock. He looked at her in confusion. "The spell. You just hexed me!"
"What are you harping on about Granger? I gave you the money already, now why don't you go away," he spat. Hermione felt herself twist around and head for the door, her body only listening to the command of the moody boy behind her.
"See, you're doing it now!" she shouted behind her, as she automatically clambered through the portrait door. She heard a cruel bark of laughter before the door swung shut and she was consumed by anger. Shouts and curses of rage echoed down the stone corridor, as the Headgirl, seemingly struggling with herself, marched down the hallway, waking the unfortunate occupants of a few portraits.
At the end of the corridor her limbs became her own again and she found she could walk freely. Hermione had half a mind to march back to her tower and ask Malfoy what exactly he was playing at. But her whole encounter with the Headboy had exhausted her, so instead she decided to return to the safety of her old House tower and the haven of the company of her friends
Hermione stormed into the Gryffindor common room, casting about for her friends. Most of the lower years had already retired but there were still an ample amount of students sitting about, either studying or playing games such as exploding snaps. Fortunately Harry and Ron were still up, sitting in their usual place by the fire, playing a demanding game of wizard chess. Hermione stormed across the room and slumped down in the chair next to them.
"What's the matter, Hermione? Is Malfoy finally getting to you?" Harry asked as Ron's queen viciously pulped his knight.
"You know what that little – little . . . Urrgh," Hermione cried in exasperation, not being able to find any words suitable enough for a Headgirl to use to describe her enemy. Harry and Ron looked at each other knowingly.
"What happened?" Harry asked with mock enthusiasm. Hermione hesitated. Somehow she thought it would sound stupid admitting she'd 'sold her soul' for the sake of an argument. She knew that her friends wouldn't understand why she did it. They might even consider her foolish for doing so.
"I got into an argument with him and he spelled me. He was just trying to freak me out but it was weird. A bit like the imperious curse except my mind wasn't fuzzy. I could think perfectly clearly." She had their full attention now.
"You don't think Malfoy would use dark magic?" Ron asked, not needing to feign worry this time.
"No," Hermione said. "He wouldn't risk his position at the school. He was lucky to get back in to Hogwarts after his father got caught. It was just . . . strange, that's all."
Draco stretched out on the sofa, looking up at the note in his hand, deep in thought. He didn't know what had compelled him to persuade Granger to sign the slip of paper. It gave him a good chance to get one up on her; he could certainly get her paranoid. Play a few tricks, cast a few spells and she'd be begging him to give it back to her. It's not like he actually believed in all that superstitious rubbish about souls. He'd just wanted to wind up the stuck-up bitch. Besides, it'd get a few laughs from the lads. He could just imagine their faces when he told them he had managed to get Hermione Granger, Headgirl of all people, to sign her soul over to him, like some hopelessly in love girl in one of those awful love stories.
But it didn't look like he'd have to play any tricks. Her imagination was already getting the better of her, it seemed. What was she talking about when she kept going on about a spell? What spell? He certainly hadn't cast one. And the shocked, almost fearful look she had given him? It was definitely strange. And now she was probably spilling the whole event to her two little companions. He suddenly felt the urge to hit something – hard. He didn't know why he hated the idea of the girl telling those two dimwits all that transpired between themselves, as if it was something private.
Draco continued to stare at the looping signature. Was it him, or was the ink catching the light from the fire in a peculiar way? Draco decided he must be tired. All the effort in aggravating Granger had left him spent. He made his way up to his bedroom, similarly furnished to Granger's but with different house colours, Slytherin's green and silver in the place of Gryffindor's red and gold. He set the signature on his bedside table and went into his bathroom to wash and change.
On his desk the slip of parchment fluttered in a non-existent breeze, the writing seeming to dance and swirl on the page. And while Draco was busy in the bathroom, the ink from the signature began to glow a bright amber colour and the whisper of a song drifted across the room, sweet and melodious, almost like it came from the soul of a pure, innocent girl. When Draco returned, the paper lay, unassuming, upon the wooden surface of the table.