**The Superior Quality**


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Chapter one:

"You linger like a sweet smell in spring;

never leaving the air around me,

me never wanting to leave your air."

The thoughts of a boy.

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Enough brandishing of feelings... couldn't I just wake up and forget all that has gone wrong in my life? This, for example? Despite the fact that I can't help but running thoughts in my mind, I am not made, nor living, for a goal ridiculous as this.

Honestly, admitting to feelings like-this-to.. to.. 'that'; father will kill me! But, why can't I just then avoid it? Why can't I avoid her? Why can't I push it out of my hands and heart, and throw it out the window where it belongs?

Stupid human emotions! Curse my 'human-nature' to fall in love! To always feel ready to fly when she comes near, break into song at her every word, run through hot coals as soon as she enters the room... pathetic!

I, Draco Malfoy, cannot be 'attracted' to that Muggle!! That Mudblood!!

... Damn.. that actually burned my heart to say..

I heave a heavy sigh at my weakness; cursing ever more at my heart. Even if I had to nerve to feel for her, I end up fooling myself in front of her.

Just yesterday, I was walking down the corridor when I nearly fell backwards; someone had bumped into me. I gave a yell, "Watch it, idiot!" - I think I said, and to my surprise, the woman who had bumped into me was none other that Granger.

She gave an apologetic look, almost made me jump in and take the blame myself, but it quickly turned into a smirk. Imagine! Granger, smirking at me mischievously! I was quite baffled at her smart retort, a simple-"Sure, your greatness." And with that, she continued on. I eyed her as she left; a little red of course, but other than that, furious I was!

This strange difference in her attitude has been noticed ever since two weeks ago; when our 7th year in Hogswart had started. I often thought what had caused her to act differently over the summer? Last year, she was still the 'Buck-tooth-Loser', now she was 'Sarcastic-and-psycho-Granger'. Although, she must be thinking that this was a great change to her popularity and attention.

She was no longer threatened by abusive words: such as Mudblood, for she always had a snappy insult to throw back. Insults that he could almost feel, pinning his heart with needles. It was a mistake for him to sneer at her on the first day back. However, I was not aware yet that she had an attitude fix, or that she was going to be my dorm mate for the rest of the year; she was to become a HeadGirl. I was informed over the summer that I was to be HeadBoy.

With our sudden engagement, our surprise as we were both pulled to a private compartment inside the Hogswart Express, I.. I insulted her as she frowned at the sight of me.

What she said back, blew me away. I told her, "My, my, isn't this such a surprise! I'm stuck with dirty, stinky, Mudblood Granger for the whole year. Loads of fun, we'll have."

She replied darkly, "Ouch, that hurt Malfoy. Did that one take you all summer to think up? I bet you picked it up from your father. Have the two of you finally been spending time together? 'Ooh, Daddy! Please teach me all those nasty words you call mum so that I can also be as pessimistic, and deprive women and people below our level!'"

It angered, frustrated, and of course frightened me! After that, I became silent and didn't glance at her once. I kept a strict and hating look, but still, inside, I felt cold and alone.

Damn her wit!

Not only was she now able to retort an even better come-back to all insults, but she was also able to read your soul while she does it. It was like she was trying to lift the dark side of you, the depressed-side, and have it slam straight in your face. She acted rather cruel, to people like Pansy, Crabbe, Goyle.. Me. The whole Slytherin House.

Shocking, her attitude may be, she was still striving to be Top-notch in all classes. She was still receiving A's, passing highly in exams, and still diving through books in the school library. And still, she was very warming, nice, and welcoming; just as long as you don't insult her.

I was very surprised to find out that she had gone outgoing also. She no longer carried a book everywhere with her, but enjoyed the company of her friends. Her friends, Wonder-Boy and Weasel... the two who continually watch over her at all times. It was suspicious, the way they always surround her when they walk out the castle. Perhaps they've also developed a.. crush?

There was no blaming, Hermione.. (how lovely her name rolls off my tongue).. ahem, had grown up quite beautiful. She's no Parvati Patil or Lavender Brown; but no less, she was beautiful. She looked like an innocent country girl, sweet and ever-minding. But 'she' bites. I laugh at my humorous thoughts; how do I come with these things?

Well.. of course this is what I get for staring at her so much. Always having fluffy daydreams and imaginations.

Although, me mentally accepting my 'thing' for her, it was just the pit of the my problem. I have at least thousands more to concoct and solve. Perhaps some other day... right now I just feel like staring at her... below my bedroom window.. oddly standing outside in the rain.. and enjoying the sweet drops of water roll slowly down her face.

How I'd like to run down there and drink the water from her cheeks-her lips, caress them away, and hold her soaked body in my arms.

My wild school-boy fantasies are loose once more. I quickly wiped the growing fog on my window with a swipe, and struggled to look down once more. But my 'object of affection' was no-where in sight. She was not under the willow tree, nor she was outside at all.

I heard a quiet shutting of the portrait door outside my room, I knew then that she had come back. My heart almost leapt. Rushing to my door, I composed myself as I twisted the knob open.

Standing closely by the fire, dripping wet, was Hermione herself.

She glanced a look my way, and instantly, in my surprise at her quick reflex, I gave an insult.

"Taking a shower, are we?" Damn! Damn, damn, damn!! Why am I such an ass?

I watched her face give a light smile.

"S'pose you could say that.." she said softly.

It was a close one, I was lucky enough to have caught her in her sarcastic moods today. I don't know why, but every time I get a chance to speak to her-in hoping for deep conversation-I end up giving her insults, retorts, and threats. Even if she would sometimes strike back with her own, it nonetheless held me back to throw more.

Maybe it was my 'other' side.. trying to fight back feelings? If so, this 'side' definitely wasn't going to let me have a chance to change the conversation.

Still, we both were, and kept an awkward silence between us. I was too busy studying her once again. Her hazel eyes were now peering into the fireplace, its flames dancing in her eyes. Her long, black witch dress, clinging to every curve of her body; exposing more of it than I'd seen before. I felt a rush of heat in my cheeks, ogling her like that made me feel like a pervert. Her damp hair, clung the sides of her face.

It was no longer bushy, as it was a long time ago. Since 5th year, she had grown it longer-down to her waist-and straightened out a little. Straight along the front and back, and then curls at the ends. It was also sleek and shiny; so much I had wanted to toy with it.

Determined to end the quiet, I thought quickly of her still standing there, wet.

"Dry yourself, Granger. Didn't you know showering in the rain can give you a cold, you nitwit Mudblood?" I sneered at her! Why can't I control the way I talk to her? Other than that, I called her 'that' name. I swear I felt my tongue burn slightly from it.

Turning her attention back at me, her eyes burning through mine, she kept her smile.

"Worried, Malfoy? I thought you'd rather see me in my deathbed?" she said rather.. surely. I was worried of course, no use denying it, I'd rather not see her ill in the next few days. But her little question about me rather seeing her in her deathbed, it was a little insulting; Am I that closely related to my father? Do people think 'surely' that I'd grow up like him?

Now I was eyeing her, annoyed. I gritted my teeth, why? I don't know, for sure, but I knew I was bringing out the bad side of me.

"Of course I'd rather see you in your deathbed. Don't hesitate to invite me when you are." .. dammit.. there goes my inflicted side again.

However, she wasn't looking at me with pure distaste, instead she forced a sarcastic smile, and turned towards the door to her room. She stopped as she stepped in and turned her head to the side.

"You'll be first on my invitation list, Malfoy, don't worry." she said in a 'sing-song' voice. I tell you, I think she had gone mad.

As she disappeared inside her door, I was a bit angry. Angry at myself, at her, and of course the little time we had to talk.

I leaned against my door frame, feeling like I could run around the room in frustration. Stupid me for creating such a devious, uncaring side. Well.. it wasn't really me who created it, rather it was my father.

Damn him, then! Him and his obsession with the Dark Lord.

... How is the 'Voldemort's reign' going, you ask?

It has been at least 3 years ever since the news the Voldemort was once again, at large. My father, the ass-kissing Death Eater he is, of course plays a very big part for him. I don't know much of the details, I try avoiding the subject as much as I can, but there have been numerous murders since then. Mostly murders of Muggles, and Muggle-Lovers.

Though I fear; what if Hermione was attacked? I shudder to think that day would come, how would I take it exactly? My father would probably be celebrating, laughing, with his fellow Death Eaters. The man has no soul...

But I was relieved, as long as she was here in Hogswart, she was safe. That ding-bat, Professor Dumbledore, is still here and as long as he's here-everyone says this-no will get hurt. And I guess, as long as I'm here, I can also watch out for her...

Then again, you never know if anyone's here that isn't very trustful. Snape, for example: he was a Death Eater along with my father, but I recently understood that he had converted sides and was now working as a spy for Dumbledore. Snape must be very courageous, to stab Voldemort in the back like that.

Enough of that shit.. it's almost dinner time. The door across me burst open, revealing a 'now-dry' Hermione in another simple black, witch dress. Had I been standing here long? I snapped back to reality as she oddly looked to me.

"Hey, want to start heading to hall?" she spoke curiously, maybe a bit hesitant.

I almost leapt up, had she asked me accompany her to the Great Hall? I blinked a couple of times before grunting out, "What?"

"I said," she looked crossly now, "Do you want to start heading over to the Great Hall? I'm going now, would you like to come?" she ended it with a cross of her arms on her chest.

Easy now, Draco, don't throw an insult to anger her again. So I nodded, not trusting my mouth to respond.

I followed her as she began to walk towards the portrait door; she swung it open. We both stepped outside, the portrait swinging closed behind us, and started to make it down the steps.

There she was, walking in a highly-fashion, beside me; the sweet scents of oceanic breeze sweeping from her direction. We were quiet, although I would love to say something, but as far trusting myself, I didn't.

It seemed like hours of nerve-racking silence, until we reached our destination. With a quick smile she headed to her table, leaving me walk to mine, glaring back at her (although I was very taken with her quick smile). How I hate these feelings, wishing they would already pass.

... but then again, I wouldn't mind them sticking by for a little longer.

And so I give up, I admit it (just to myself, of course), I 'fancy' Hermione Granger. I want her.. in every way possible.

Mostly not for the thought you are thinking of. Honestly, everyone's been acting like that though. Stupid, really... but then I suppose it's the hormones' fault. Raging hormones, intriguing little devils. I could name a couple of seventh and sixth years right off the bat, who had done 'it' already. I trust you'd found out what 'it' means.. if not, I meant sex. Yes, yes, the I said it, the evil word.

Disgusting, people who sleep with numerous partners. Prostitution, in school no less, except it's free as long as it's willing.

Just as I thought of that, I shuddered as I recognize who sat beside me. Seductively, she wrapped her arms around my neck, and gave me a small peck on the cheek.

"Draco-baby, how are you today? Is Mudblood Granger being a bitch again?" it was none other than Pansy-Pug face-Parkinson. I pried her off of me, and glanced at her coldly. To my pleasure, she held herself back in fear.

She gave a scowl, "What's the wrong?" she asked suspiciously, sliding a bit of affection in her tone.

"You." I wanted to say, but instead: "Nothing."

At first she looked as if she was going to attach herself to me again, so I coldly warned her with my eyes. She gave a huff and walked towards her so-called friends, finally leaving me in peace.

That bitch, she thinks she could gloat and cling around me just because my mum knows hers. And her constant bickering of Hermione, I couldn't take. Ever since the day she was told off by Hermione, she began spreading lies and jokes about her. I would laugh at her face, if Hermione ever found out, because then, she'd be ridiculed far worse.

Ah... how much I would love to witness that.

Forgetting that for now, I sit impatiently in my seat, forking the food in front of me. Crabbe and Goyle had just entered the room, both now on either side of me. They were talking in mere grunts and whines. I wasn't really paying any attention, although they I was. Good thing they weren't asking questions, or else I wouldn't know what to answer.

I'm relishing thoughts now.. wanting to be back in my dorm with 'her'. At least try to summon up the courage to engage in a formal and-actually-nice conversation. I wasn't ready though, I was still fighting feelings inside.

Love her-leads to telling her-leads to.. her hating me? This is one prediction.

Hate her-leads to denial-leads to possible growing up as a crooked man full of grouchiness and spite? A second prediction.

Love her-leads to telling her-leads to possible return of affections-but can lead to me being defamed and shunned by my father...

Damn... I'll just think about it later.



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Author's notes:

I hope you enjoyed the fic. A bit dramatic, but nonetheless sensible.

This fic will continue a little bit more like this, and might also be dark

in later chapters. I'm really hoping I can get it to be very deep and angsty,

but that won't be until later on in the chapters. By the way, the little poem

excerpt is from my original work, so I own it (the plot also).

However, I do not own the Harry Potter characters. I hope you'd figured that

out earlier. J.K. Rowling, you need to get that 5th book out!