I ducked under Lee's arm and ran into the corner to hide. I saw Cormac scan the room for me, then shrug and go back to the snack table. Idiot. I couldn't believe I'd brought him to Slughorn's party. This was so not worth it. Harry waved to me from across the room. Gratefully, I threaded my way through the crowd to him. He was grinning, obviously having a great time. I couldn't see Luna, though, knowing her, she was probably doing something crazy. I shrugged and turned to see who Harry was talking to. He was tall and pale, with purple bruises under his dark eyes. "This is Sanguini," said Harry. "He's a vampire." I gasped, but then regained my composure and stretched out my hand.

"I'm Hermione Granger," I said pleasantly. "I heard that a vampire was coming." I tried not to be rude. He smiled.

"Actually," he said, his foreign accent completely unconcealed, "there are two." His huge arm swung back to invite someone else into our conversation. I felt my jaw drop. He was absolutely gorgeous. His eyes were a bright, buttery gold. His skin was pale and ivory, reflecting oddly in the flashing lights. His hair was bronze and tousled. He looked like a movie star.

"Hello," he said politely. "I'm Edward Cullen." I could feel my heart melting, my face flushing.

"I-I um…I'm, uh-"I couldn't concentrate at all.

"Hermione," supplied harry, shaking with silent laughter.

"Yeah," I said lamely. "What he said." Edward smirked. "Would you like to go get a Butterb-beer?" I stuttered. He laughed. I froze. "Oh…right. Vampire. Um…Professor Snape might have some blood downstairs, if…" I trailed off, embarrassed. He shook his head.

"I'm not…thirsty." His voice was soft and musical, as if he were singing rather than speaking. His expression was troubled. I turned to walk away, and perhaps disappear through a hole in the wall, but he caught my arm. His skin was icy, and his hands were like stone. "Please don't leave," he murmured courteously. "I'd like to get to know you better. Will your date mind if I dance with you?" he inquired, nodding towards Harry. I blushed.

"H-he's not my date," I muttered. He nodded thoughtfully, and then pulled me onto the dance floor in one fluid motion. Before I knew it, we were swaying along to the soft music.

"So," he said conversationally, "You are a witch?" I nodded. "It's so nice not having to hide your supernaturalism," he sighed. "I usually have to pretend to be human. It's…a relief…to just be myself." His words were slow, chosen carefully. His golden eyes bored into mine. I caught myself hyperventilating. Edward laughed. "Hermione," he said after a long moment, "I feel this… connection with you. I feel like I can tell you anything." I was dreaming. This was not happening. How is it that a beyond gorgeous, polite, smart, sensitive, vampire was suddenly confessing any affection for me, Hermione Granger, boring, nerdy, goody-goody, sidekick witch? It had to be a love potion. I ignored the fact that they didn't work on vampires. This just wasn't possible! How could Edward Cullen want to dance with me? I shrugged internally and decided to enjoy my first (and, I told myself, definitely my last) dance with Edward.