A/N: This is something I knocked up this afternoon, desperate for a bit of Dramione bonding. Read, review and enjoy.
He walked about ten feet in front of her. It didn't bother her, she didn't want to walk with him either. She'd already asked the Head Girl and Head Boy if she could swap her duties, but the answer had been a final, unyielding, resolute no.
Her night time patrol with Ernie Macmillan was absolutely fine. Ernie, although pompous and self absorbed, was friendly and chatty, something which Malfoy definitely wasn't.
After her third patrol with him (totalling six hours of solid silence and the occasional run in with an out of bed student) Hermione was on the verge of going insane. The next time she had a patrol with Malfoy, Hermione brought a Rubik's Cube along with her, and spent her time twisting and turning the colourful puzzle as she wandered along behind Malfoy.
On their sixth patrol, Malfoy lost his patience.
"Expelliarmus!" The Rubik's Cube flew out of Hermione's hand and into his own. He threw it against the wall, where it broke into its separate pieces, the middle axis surrounded by tiny coloured cubes.
"What did you do that for?"
"If I have to hear you twisting and grinding and clicking that thing one more time…"
Hermione pulled out her wand and pointed it at Malfoy. "Muffliato."
He glared at her, and she knew the spell had worked.
"Better?" she mouthed. She turned her wand on the Rubik's Cube. "Reparo."
The cube put itself back together in an instant and Hermione summoned it, put her wand back inside the pocket of her robes, and continued with the puzzle.
"Granger! Fix this at once!" he said loudly, evidently raising his voice so he could hear it above the buzzing in his ears.
Hermione ignored him.
"Do it or I'll go to Snape," he threatened.
Hermione lazily pointed her wand at Malfoy. "Finite Incantatem."
Malfoy huffed, turned around and continued walking. Their duty had to last until midnight, so she didn't know why he was walking faster, it wasn't like he'd be able to get it over with more quickly.
"So what's the point of that thing?" he asked, two patrols later, his curiosity getting the better of him.
"It's a puzzle," Hermione told him, "you have to get all the sides to be the same colour."
"What's the point?"
"Torture. And a big fat feeling of smugness if you ever complete it."
"Why don't you just leave it?"
"Because," Hermione explained, "once you start it, you don't give up on it, you just can't."
"I'm guessing it's a muggle contraption."
Hermione yelled in frustration, glaring at the Rubik's Cube. Malfoy, who was in the kitchen getting himself some chocolate biscuits and a flask of coffee, poked his head out the door. He was frowning.
"Do you mind? I'm trying to get some food here."
"No, I don't mind, Malfoy," Hermione huffed, wanting dearly to throw the stupid bloody thing (the cube, not Malfoy, although that would also be appealing) at the wall and see it smash into a thousand pieces.
"Biscuit?" he offered, ten minutes later.
Hermione frowned and took one from the packet, eyeing it suspiciously.
"For goodness' sake, I haven't poisoned it, Granger."
"You never know with you."
"Give me that thing," he snatched the cube from her.
"No, Malfoy, don't!" She watched in agony as he twisted the cube, destroying in a few seconds all that she had worked for over the last two months.
He continued walking as he twisted, Hermione trotting along beside him to see what exactly he was doing to her precious cube. The more he twisted, the slower he walked, until finally, he came to a complete standstill, leaning against the wall, frowning and twisting, then repeating the action.
After a few minutes he threw the cube back to an anxious Hermione.
"It's stupid," he declared.
"Only because you can't do it."
"Neither can you."
"I will. Eventually."
Hermione ignored him and went back to twisting her cube.
"You're doing it wrong."
Hermione stopped and turned to look at Malfoy, clearly not impressed with his comment. He was sitting one stair further up than her, and she rolled her eyes at his superiority complex.
"You can make an entire side if you just do this," he snatched the cube from her and got all the blue squares on one side.
"Now you're doing it wrong. Firstly, it doesn't work if you just make whole sides, you have to get a two by two square in the corner. Secondly, you'll notice along this edge," she ran her finger along the side of the cube where the blue squares ended and another side began, "there are two oranges and one yellow, ergo, that blue belongs on the other side."
Malfoy tutted and threw the cube back at her. It was as close as she would get to 'yes, you're right,' from Malfoy, and every time he threw the cube back to her, she smirked.
"Shouldn't we actually do some patrolling?" Malfoy asked after five minutes of quiet clicking. Hermione sighed.
"Yes, I suppose we had." She got up and so did Malfoy, and they continued walking down the corridor. They only got as far as the next set of stairs before they sat down again and started working on the Rubik's Cube.
Consequently, the fourth year Ravenclaws who were sneaking down to the kitchens that night went uncaught.
When she got back to her dormitory one night after her patrol, Hermione emptied the pockets of her robes and threw the robes into the laundry bin. It was only as she was climbing into bed that Hermione realised that the Rubik's Cube was nowhere in sight, and she knew exactly who had taken it.
She glared at Malfoy across the Great Hall the following morning. He was fiddling with the cube, occasionally taking a bite of toast.
"What's up Hermione?" Harry asked as he sat down next to her. He followed her gaze over to Malfoy and saw the Rubik's Cube in his hands. "He stole it?"
Hermione nodded and Harry stood up, as if to go and get it off of Malfoy but Hermione dragged him back down. "I'll sort it."
He was already waiting outside of Potions when she arrived, and he was still playing with the cube.
"Give it back or I'll hurt you, Malfoy," Hermione said, holding out her hand for the cube.
Malfoy snorted with laughter and ignored her.
Malfoy was hoisted up in the air and was dangling upside down as though an invisible hand had grabbed him by the ankle. The Rubik's Cube fell to the floor with a clatter, and after Hermione had picked it up, Malfoy also fell to the floor.
The Gryffindors roared with laughter and Pansy Parkinson approached Hermione.
"You'll pay for that, you mudblood!"
"Leave it Pansy."
Pansy turned around and looked at Malfoy, who had got to his feet.
"She took your box!"
"It was hers in the first place."
Pansy moved sulkily back to her gang of Slytherin girls, who were all glaring at Hermione.
"Can I just -" Malfoy reached for the cube but Hermione snatched it back.
"No you can't! You've massacred it! You're not touching this cube ever again!"
"Never one to dramatise things, are you Granger?"
The door to the dungeons opened and Professor Slughorn stood there, filling the entire door frame with his bulky mass.
"Morning ladies and gents, come in, come in."
Hermione couldn't help herself from fiddling with the cube under the desk while Slughorn rambled on about the potion they would be brewing, determined to undo the damage that Malfoy had caused.
"Sir," Malfoy said in his oiliest of voices, "Granger's playing with toys under the desk."
Hermione felt the blush rise in her cheeks and scowled at Malfoy, as she put the cube in her bag.
"No, undo that, that's not right."
"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."
"No you're going to -"
Both of them fell silent. The blue side was completed, as was the yellow side. The orange side and the red side were also finished. Malfoy twisted the cube around and saw, to their horror, that the centre square on the green side was white, and the centre square on the white side was green.
"So close…" Hermione whispered, staring at the cube.
"We've practically solved it anyway."
"Yeah, it's just two squares, isn't it?"
"There's no point in messing all of this up." Draco gestured to the other sides of the cube.
"No," Hermione agreed, "that'd be a real shame."
They turned to look at each other, both thinking the same thing.
"I won't tell if you don't," Hermione said in a hurried whisper.
Malfoy held out his hand, and Hermione shook it. He waved his wand and suddenly, the white side was completely white, and the green side was completely green.
As they were finishing the patrol, taking turns to look at the finished cube, Hermione spoke. "I feel wrong," she said. "Dirty. Because we cheated."
"And that conscience is exactly the reason you weren't sorted into Slytherin."
On their first patrol back after Christmas, Hermione had a small plastic bag dangling on her arm. Malfoy frowned at it, and then at the two pieces of brightly coloured plastic in her hands.
"What's that?" he asked.
"Mum and Dad sent it to me for Christmas."
"Yeah, but what is it?"
Hermione sat down on the next set of stairs they came to and emptied the carrier bag out into her lap. There were around forty different shaped pieces of plastic in varying colours. "It's a puzzle, kind of like a 3d jigsaw. You have to fit them all together and they make a big sphere."
"How big?" Malfoy asked.
"Bigger than a prophecy but smaller than a bludger," Hermione told him, throwing one of the pieces down and picking up another piece, attempting to slot it together with the piece she already had. "Try and fit some pieces together," Hermione said.
"Oh no," Malfoy replied, standing up and brushing down his robes. "No way. I'm not getting into that again."
Unfortunately for Malfoy, he had less willpower than he had originally thought, and ended up spending his evenings sitting on the stairs with Hermione, a pile of colourful plastic between them.