The Moody Veela Chronicles

Chapter Five

Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize is mine as HP doesn't belong to me.

Silence spoke volumes. Hermione squirmed uncomfortably in her seat between Malfoy and Parkinson. The two Slytherins had fallen silent after that last exchange between them. Draco was now focused on eating and getting her to eat while there was a faraway expression in Parkinson's eyes.

Clearly Pansy Parkinson had been in love with Draco Malfoy once. Or rather, she still is. Hermione sighed softly. She could feel sympathy for the other witch, having been in a similar position with Ron and all. It was too bad for all of them that Draco hadn't fixated on his old friend instead. Life would have been easier then.

A sharp gasp sounded from Draco, and she turned to face him. To her shock, his eyes were wide and full of pain. "What's wrong?" she asked, placing her hand on his arm awkwardly as she tried to soothe him.

"What's wrong?" he repeated. "Nothing," he said, "except for the fact that you don't want me."

She bit back a groan. She had read how veelas were capable of sensing their mates' moods and all, and evidently Draco must have caught a whiff of what she had been feeling. She would have to be more careful in the future, but for now, she had a heartbroken veela to attend to.

"That's not true," she said. Her voice sounded weak even to her own ears, and Malfoy looked unconvinced. Hermione took a deep breath and then tried again. "I mean I knew how you and I are…that is how I'm your…."

"Mate," he supplied for her in a forlorn manner.

Hermione winced at his tone. It was plain to see that he was also hurt by her reluctance to state their relationship in front of his friends. Well that at least was something she could remedy. "Yes, how I'm your mate and all. It's one thing to know, but getting used to this is…well it will take some time, that all." She smiled at him, hoping to prod one from him in turn, but to no avail. Seeing how her attempts at consoling him were failing, she decided to take another tack.

"Besides, I don't see why you'd be worried about me not wanting you. I thought veelas were renowned for knowing how to um…." She flushed deeply, unable to complete that sentence as she looked over his lean yet muscular figure. Her mind promptly entered the gutter and stayed there.

Her veela was definitely too handsome for his own good—and for her own peace of mind. It was hard to think straight when she stopped to appreciate just how delectable he truly was.

Her new train of thought, however, seemed to turn the trick as a smirk appeared on Malfoy's face as he realized just what she was thinking about. "Ah yes. That we are. Thanks for reminding me, love." He nudged closer to her so that his leg was pressed up against hers.

Hermione could feel herself grow hot. How does he do that? she wondered. One minute I'm scrambling to make him feel better, and the next, he's doing something to make me all hot and bothered. Although all I think he's doing right now is looking at me. Oh dear. This is not good.

She turned her eyes towards her plate and started pushing around her eggs. This morning was definitely not going the way she had planned. She didn't know when she had lost control of the situation to Draco—actually scratch that. She was rather sure she had lost control when he had first turned up to escort her to breakfast. That was pretty sad but true. It had started with that kiss he had surprised her with and had continued with the way he had led her to the Slytherin table before she could even protest.

All things considered, it was rather obvious that she not only had a moody veela on her hands, but a deviously manipulative one as well. Hermione could admit to herself that she hadn't planned for such a contingency. Now that she knew, she had to get to the library post-haste to consider what her next step should be.

She put down her fork abruptly. "Well breakfast has been lovely," she said, "but it's high time that I get to the library." She tried to get up, but found that Malfoy's hand had snaked around her waist, keeping her in her seat.

"You've not even touched your breakfast yet," Malfoy told her sternly.

Hermione rolled her eyes at him then reached out with one delicate finger to touch a piece of toast. "There. Happy?"

"No," he replied. "Your eating habits leave much to be desired. You're going to make yourself sick, the way you ignore food. You're not on some silly diet, are you? As I think you're perfect the way you are."

"Thanks for that vote of confidence," Hermione said. She paused. That had sounded more snarky than she had intended. "Sorry," she mumbled. "I do appreciate the compliment, but I really do need to get to the library."

To her dismay, Malfoy's response was to frown down at her rather than let her go. "There's only a half hour before class," he said, his tone sounding eminently reasonable. "By the time you get to the library, you'll have about ten minutes to study before you have to get to class. That's time much better spent eating so you'll have enough energy for the day, don't you think?"

Hermione sighed in defeat and nodded her head. "Sometimes it's hard to keep up with your moods, you know," she said grumpily as she picked up her fork once more. "You go from gloomy and depressed to over-protective in a blink of an eye."

"Well you only have yourself to blame for that, Granger," drawled Nott from his seat across from her. He was instantly the target of glares from both herself and Draco. "What?" he asked innocently. "I was only referring to the fact that Draco's moods are unlikely to stabilize until the two of you finally consummate your bond."

A wicked grin appeared on the Slytherin's face, and Hermione just knew she wasn't going to like what he was going to say next. A soft growl sounded from beside her, signaling that Draco felt the same as her.

Nott ignored those warning signs and pressed on. "If you want to leave breakfast early, I think a much better use of your time would be to stop by the broom closet closest to Potions. If you go now, there will be plenty of time for you and Draco to take care of matters."

Hermione's mind went blank. The smirking Slytherin in front of her couldn't have been implying what she thought he was implying. Then he threw her an impudent wink, confirming her suspicions. She groaned out loud and then turned to look at Parkinson, hoping to find some female solidarity. "Are they always this bad?" she asked plaintively.

Parkinson tilted her head to one side as she considered the question. "No," she finally said. "They're usually much, much worse. I think they're on their best behavior right now actually."

Hermione's mouth dropped open. "This is their best behavior?" she asked. Then she looked over at Draco and poked him sharply in his side. "I hope you're not thinking along those same lines," she said.

"Don't be ridiculous." The blond wizard wrinkled his nose in disgust. "A broom closet? How utterly unromantic. Using the Room of Requirement is a much better idea." His eyes glazed over as his face took on a dreamy countenance. "I can just see it now…you and me under the moonlight, our bed strewn with roses…now that's romantic." He finished with a sigh that could only be called girlish.

"Romantic?" Hermione repeated. "But there's nothing romantic about having no choice but to bond with—" She trailed off in horror, not finishing that thought.

"I…I…I didn't.…" she stammered nervously, unable to look him in the eye.

It was too late though. The damage was done. Draco's form stiffened. "I see," he said. "It appears that I was right all along. You do want nothing to do with me. Never fear, Granger. I may long for you, but I shall face my demise with all the dignity and pride that befits a Malfoy." With that, he rose from the breakfast table and stalked away.

"Bloody hell," she cursed aloud as she got up to chase after him. That didn't sound good at all. If anything happened to Malfoy, she would be responsible for it. "Ouch!" she exclaimed as a sharp set of claws dug into her arm. She glanced down at it to see Parkinson glaring fiercely at her.

"You better fix this," the other witch hissed. "I swear if anything happens to my best friend…."

"Yes, yes, I know. Death will be too good for me and all that rot. Now will you let me go? And if you have any ideas of where he's likely to hide, that would be appreciated too."

"Try the Quidditch pitch if it's empty, the lake if it's not," Parkinson answered. She shook her head in disgust. "Fate couldn't have picked a worse mate for Draco than you. Now go!" she commanded as she let go of Hermione's arm.

Hermione didn't need to be told twice. She was off like a shot, desperate to find Malfoy before he did anything stupid because of her. As she raced through the halls at Hogwarts, she couldn't help but think how horribly unfair she had been to Draco ever since discovering that she was his mate. She had promised to give him a chance and all, but she had only been focused on what she wanted and hadn't spared a thought for what he might want.

A stitch developed in her side as she ran towards the Quidditch pitch. By the time she reached there, she was out of breath and gasping huge gulps of air. As she breathed heavily, she looked around for signs of her veela. To her dismay, there were none.

Lovely. He must be at the lake then, she thought. No time to rest. I have to find him. As she turned around to head towards the lake, a flash of silver caught her eye from under the Slytherin stands.

Aha! Hermione slowly walked towards the stands. She took care to act as though she was headed towards the lake and never looked at the spot where Draco was hiding. Just as she was passing him by, she whipped out her wand and called out, "Petrificus totalus!" The resulting thud confirmed her aim was true.

"Finally," she said as she stomped over to Malfoy. His steely stare was shooting daggers at her, but she merely rolled her eyes. With another wave of her wand, she released him from her spell and promptly began to lay into him.

"What were you thinking, running off like that?" she shouted. "You gave us all a scare!"

"Oh my bad," he replied dryly. "I wasn't aware you cared."

Hermione bit her lip. She could understand why he might think that. "I do care," she said, "and I know what I said was thoughtless and cruel and I was going to apologize, but you never gave me a chance to!"

His eyes narrowed at her, and his nostrils flared. "No apology is needed, Granger," he said coldly. "I have no wish for your pity. In fact, I would rather die than become your next charity case."

"Argh!" she cried, throwing her hands up in frustration. "Haven't you been listening to me? I've been trying to tell you I'm sorry!"

"Don't you tell me what to do!" he shouted back. "And I don't want you to feel sorry about me. I just want you to leave me alone!"

"You are the most impossible man I've ever met," Hermione told him. She saw him opening his mouth to toss out a retort and decided to take a page out of his own book.

She stood up on her toes and kissed him.

The reaction she got from his was instantaneous. His arms enveloped her, and he hoisted her up with ease. His tongue ran against her lips, as though asking for permission, and she opened them eagerly, happy to give him the access he wanted. She closed her eyes as she relished how close they were—their mouths fused together and her body pulled flushed against him.

Malfoy pulled away from her and set her down, frowning but looking satisfied at the same time. "Who would have thought you would resort to such underhanded tactics?" he asked with a smile.

"I learned from the best," was her answer. She took a deep breath and then pressed on. "Look Malfoy, I'm sorry."

"I don't want to hear it," he interrupted her.

"Too bad. You got stuck with a selfish witch for a mate so you're just going to have to learn to deal with that." That shut him up. Hermione blinked back tears from her eyes. "I am sorry," she told him. "I kept thinking about myself and how you weren't my dream wizard and…and I never stopped to think that I wasn't exactly your dream witch."

"I wouldn't say that," he said softly.

She shook her head sharply, which sent her curls flying. "You can't convince me that as a child you would dream of falling in love with a bossy Muggle-born witch who is overly fond of books."

"Hmm…that sounds rather kinky when you put it like that." He was now smirking at her.

"Stop that! I'm trying to be serious here."

"So am I."

She huffed in exasperation. "Could you please let me finish? I was so caught up in thinking of ways I could improve you and all that I completely lost sight of the fact that I'm not exactly a catch either, that I have my own glaring faults. Rather than trying to compromise, I just wanted to have everything go my way…and that was wrong of me. I'm sorry."

She looked down at her feet, truly ashamed at the way she had behaved the last day. "I would like to give us another chance…that is if you're still amenable to the idea."

"Seeing how it's either that or I die, I don't think I really have much choice."

Hermione winced at his choice of words. Malfoy definitely had a point. She shivered and crossed her fingers, hoping that he wouldn't find death preferable to her.

"Don't be silly." A hand reached out and lifted up her face. He kissed her again, but this time softly and slowly and with a gentleness that infused her with all of his love for her. Hermione was on the verge of swooning when he ended it. "Though I suppose it's inevitable that there will be times that you'll make me wish I were dead, there's no one I would rather be with than you—and I like to think that I would feel the same way even if I weren't a veela."

"Glad to hear that." Hermione bit her lip, trying to think of what they should do next. "Come on then. Let's go to the library. We can look up ways that you can put up with my friends—because I would really really like it if you could—and if there are any bad habits you'd like me to work on, we can make a list for that too and how I might improve. I think I'd like to be better for you," she concluded, her cheeks tinged in pink.

"I don't think that's a good idea, my dear," said Malfoy.

"Why not?"

"Because while I love the idea of spending the entire morning alone with you," he said, "we're already late for Potions as it is. I don't know about you, but I can't afford to miss a class with our N.E.W.T.s being just around the corner."

Hermione gasped. "It's that late already?" she cried. She tugged at Draco's arm. "Move it, Malfoy. We're late!" As she dashed off in a blind panic, the sounds of his laughter echoed behind her as he languidly followed after.

Author's note: Another short update, I know, but hopefully still amusing enough. My thanks to everyone kind enough to leave a review. :D