Red and Green

by astrogirl23

A/n: Standard disclaimer applies. This one-shot was made on an empty stomach btw, so I'm apologizing for any OOC-ness. :)

It must have been the heat, or the fact that she had not been to luncheon yet. Or maybe it was the lethal combination of the sweltering hotness of the weather which made her skin a little damp with sweat and the sudden downslide of her glucose level which impaired her better sense of rationality. Well, whatever it was, it made her conked enough to ask the most unusual question.

"Have you ever worn something red?"

Draco Malfoy looked up from the paperwork he had been reading for the past seven minutes since he entered Hermione's office. It had been the first time he had ever set foot on the place, basically because he and his former schoolmate slash nemesis had nothing to do with each other. However, by some twisted hand of faith, his department needed some information from her field, forcing him to permeate the lair of his once-loathed enemy.

Once-loathed, yes, since as of the moment the only emotion he felt for her was apathy. She no longer grated on his nerves like she did back at Hogwarts, though he still felt a twinge of annoyance every time he saw her following Weasley like he was some divine creature she had the luck of dating. And what irked him more was that Weasley seemed to relish every moment of it. Pathetic, really. And he did mention annoying, didn't he?

"Pardon?" was his automatic, sickeningly polite response. Had he heard correctly, or had Hermione Granger really just asked a simply stupid question?

He watched as she picked up a funny-looking purple folder with doodles of ugly little house elves and began fanning herself with it. Her face was flushed from the summer heat, and her bushy hair looked frazzled enough that creatures might actually get lost were they to venture inside it. Fixing her brown eyes on him, she repeated what she just said, in an oddly patient voice.

"Have you ever worn something red?"

Okay, so she was asking some dumb question.

"Something red?" His brows slammed together in confusion. Her question took him by surprise, as he had never pondered such ludicrous matters before. Truth be told, now that he thought about it, he did not own any article of clothing in that colour. Well, except for the red underpants he bought at the age of twelve to spite his father about his incessant whining that his son was being constantly beaten at getting the highest marks by a mere Gryffindor muggle-born (whom he was currently conversing with). He wore the dreadful-looking looking underpants for approximately four and a half seconds before his father had magically torn it to pieces, a livid look on his face, and a relieved one on Draco's as he confirmed that his family jewels have not been severed off as well. Hermione need not know about that though.

"Yes, something red," Hermione confirmed in a slightly impatient tone, bringing him back to the present. "Has the heat gone to your head too? You've been asking me to repeat everything I've been saying, you know," she observed, a single brow raised. Draco had always speculated how women did that.

"Nothing has gone to my head, Granger, it's your odd questions that had me off the track," he answered dryly. "And no, I have never worn something of such vulgar colour,"

"Vulgar?" she sounded curious, if not affronted.

"Well, at least the ones I saw wearing it were,"

"Wow, I never thought that I looked vulgar in these," Hermione glanced down at her own very much respectable-looking robes, which was a rather boring shade of burgundy.

"Present company excluded, of course," Draco amended in his drawling voice, making her smile a little.

It was odd, really, attaching the words Draco Malfoy and smile in a single sentence without having the word torture in the middle, she thought absently.

Hermione looked at him thoughtfully, her eyes brimming with something Draco never saw her give him in his entire life—interest. This was getting weirder and weirder by the minute. Surely, all the accumulated heat in the room seemed to haze her logical mind, that's why she was grinning like an idiot at him right now.

"I think it would be interesting to see you in something red," she suddenly said, chewing on her bottom lip rather contemplatively. "I wonder if it would make you look less pallid… or maybe even Gryffindor-ish…"

Draco felt his trademark sneer tugging at his own lips. "Who would want to look like a wimpy, goody-two-shoes Gryffindor anyway?" he asked in a voice that dripped with sarcasm. "I'm fine with the evil green hue of Slytherin, which you say makes me pasty, thank you very much," he patted his dark green silk robes proudly, seemingly made of a lot more heat-friendly material than the burgundy velvet robes Hermione was wearing at the moment.

"Come on, won't you at least try?" Hermione prodded. "I challenge you to wear something red for a week, and if you do, I'll finish those paperwork you're supposed to submit," she dared him, pointing to the rather thick stack of papers he held in his hands.

"Charming as the offer may sound, I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that,"

She gave him a devious smile which he thought did not really suit her. "As long as it does not involve something illegal or kinky, I'm up to it," she said in an assuring voice that made Draco squirm in uncertainty.

He thought he rather preferred her boring and uptight, and not morphing into some sly, teasing vixen.

"I never thought you had an immature side, Granger," was all he could come up as a response.

"Blame the heat," she said, fanning herself with the purple folder. "But I'm quite serious, actually. If you would accept my challenge, I promise to do a very good job on that report you need,"

Then he had this sudden bright idea. "No need to do the tedious job for me, Granger. All you'll have to do in return is to wear something green with the Slytherin logo for a week," he suggested, and she gaped for him for approximately nine and a half seconds (he counted), apparently at a loss for words.

She was probably thinking how the colour would clash with her hair. Or Weasley's hair, if ever they got together on a date or something.

Then, to his amazement, she said, "Fine. Tomorrow, then?" and there went his plan backfiring right on his face. Well blessed hell, he never thought that the prim and proper Granger would agree to a challenge so ridiculous. He had to find another way to get out of that disaster in the making in that case.

"But won't your beloved—" he paused to roll his eyes. "—Weasel mind you wearing my colours?" he asked idly, hoping he'd hit the right chords.

Granger gave no indication of looking the tiniest bit ruffled by his statement. "Don't flatter yourself, Malfoy, you are not the sole wearer of the Slytherin colours—though I must concede that you seem to be the perfect representative of the lot…"

"So it is my colour," Draco responded, smirk and all. "And thanks for the compliment, Granger,"

He looked amusedly at her single raised brow again. It must have taken at least a dozen facial muscles for her to achieve that.

"I was not aware I gave one, Malfoy," she said sweetly.

"Whatever would satisfy you, Granger. Just answer my question,"

"What question?"

"Are you being irritating on purpose?"

He was cut off by Hermione's laughter, which pissed him even more.

"I seem to exist to do that, Malfoy. As for your other question, that wouldn't pose as a problem," Hermione answered tartly. "I'll explain to him—wait, I think I know where this is heading at—you won't allow me to explain a thing to anyone, will you?" Trust her to make conclusions on her own. "Very well. The same rule should apply to you too, to be fair, and that includes your parents," he'd be damned if she didn't look happy about that.

An image of his father in an apoplectic fit when he saw Draco wearing those dreadful red underpants nearly a decade ago flashed in his mind, and he quickly pushed it away. He wondered if Lucius would spontaneously combust from anger if he saw his only son wearing Gryffindor-coloured robes.

Draco sighed in annoyance, his eyes swinging back to Hermione's smug-looking face. "Why am I even talking to you about such rubbish anyway? Let's forget that stupid challenge and get back to work, Granger,"

Hermione did not seem to be inclined in listening to him though, as she had suddenly begun peeling off her working robes. In front of him.

What in Merlin's fucking pants…?

"Oh bugger, excuse me for a second, I'm just about to hyperventilate from these suffocating robes…" she was saying, but her words barely registered his swiftly addled mind. To his wild relief (and disappointment), she was wearing muggle clothes underneath, a black knitted top and a matching fitted skirt. He had to admit though, she looked nice in that outfit. If she would just fix her hair and put on a little make-up…

He halted his train of thoughts before he might get any ideas. Horny, forbidden ideas.

"Anyway, where were we? Ah, you were getting a little chicken and were starting to back out from the challenge…" she said in a taunting voice that was so unlike her. "Come on Malfoy, are you too much of a coward that you're scared even of colours?"

Draco did not like where the conversation was heading. He hated being called a coward more than he hated Weasley's freckly face or Longbottom's stupidity or Greyback Fenrir's stench.

"Could you get back to part about telling me why you want to see me so badly wearing that hideous colour?" he asked instead.

He was again momentarily distracted as he watched Granger attempt to pin up her unruly curls into a decent bun, the exposed areas of the inner portion of her slim upper arms bunching a little as she lifted up her thick, unmanageable hair. Vaguely he wondered whether that portion of pale skin felt as smooth as it looked.

Holy Chocolate Frogs. It seemed that his apathy towards her was slowly slipping away.

"And could you please not primp in front of me?" he added in a harsh tone for a good measure, earning a glare from her. He watched with a sense of haughty triumph as she literally struggled with the seemingly alive curly strands.

"You could try running a garden rake through it," he suggested sardonically.

"Oh, eat dung, Malfoy."

"And I thought I was the bad guy with the bad words here," he murmured, looking triumphant as he continued to study her.

Finally, with some divine intervention, she managed to clamp her hair in a ponytail, and Draco had to admit that she looked better.

"It is blazing hot in here, Malfoy, and I am allowed to do anything I wished in my office," she shot back, fanning herself again with that silly purple folder. She gave him a beady stare before continuing. "So, you are doing the dare, aren't you?"

"Not unless you give me a perfectly good reason why I should," he replied, tapping his fingers in a mindless manner against the stack of papers he was holding.

Hermione thought for a moment. "Astoria seems partial to red," she said slowly, and if Draco had the same talent of raising a single brow, he would have done so. She was back to looking at him in an attentive manner, as though she was gauging his reaction to the piece of information.

"Astoria who?" he asked in an innocent voice that did not suit his face.

"You know, the girl who had her tongue crammed down your throat at the elevator last week," she answered promptly, which made Draco burst into a totally unexpected laughter.

Hermione sat there in shock, as she had never heard him laugh without any trace of mockery and malice before. The laugh he gave at the moment sounded very spontaneous and natural, and she must admit, it sounded good.

"You've seen that?" he asked quizzically. Damn, well he thought that there was no one else at that floor when Astoria had assaulted him with a rather sexy kiss.

Hermione was crinkling her nose as she said, "Well, not really, though from the distance it seemed like it was what she was doing,"

It was what Astoria had been doing, Draco thought privately to himself. He really should be more careful next time.

"Fine, Granger, you got my cooperation," he surprised himself by saying.

Hermione rounded up on him, her eyes wide with surprise. "Really? Because I told you that Astoria likes the colour red?"

Draco had already stood up and was gathering the rest of the paperwork he needed before answering.

"No, because I think you'd look smashing wearing Slytherin colours."

Hermione realized that she also did not own a single piece of clothing in any shade of green as she rummaged through her closet that evening. Hmm. She might as well transfigure the colour of one of her work robes for tomorrow. Surely nobody would notice the sudden change in her robes' colour, not unless she was wearing it with a symbol of the Slytherin snake embossed somewhere visible.

Snatching a random set of robes from her cabinet, she went over to her bed and laid it on top of her comforter. With an expert swish of her wand and a whispered incantation, she successfully changed the colour of the robes to a rather unremarkable, moss green shade.

As she put the clothing back to the closet, she wondered where Malfoy was getting his own set of red robes. Would he charm one of his own expensive robes into a colour he hated? Or would he buy a cheap set at Madam Malkin's?

She closed her eyes and tried with all her might to imagine him wearing scarlet-coloured clothes, but the creative juices in her brain seemed to fail her.

With a grin she could barely restrain, Hermione found herself looking forward for the next day.

"Have you seen Malfoy?"

Harry let out a sigh that sounded like thinning patience. "I haven't, Hermione, and the next time you ask, please wait for at least more than ten minutes before asking me again,"

Hermione gave a sheepish smile at her friend. "I'm just anxious about the papers he's about to submit to me today—a hundred lives of wizards and witches are quite at stake here," she fibbed. Harry would not enjoy hearing that she's actually anticipating Malfoy's arrival because of another reason altogether, so she had to go for the white lie.

"Yes, I heard about that," Harry muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Has he been giving you a hard time?"

No, it's the other way around, actually, she silently mused. "Err—not really, he was actually quite civil yesterday,"

"That's good," Harry replied. "He's actually becoming half-decent now, you know? He seemed to outgrow snide insults and racism lately,"

"Yes, I know," Hermione said, remembering that as of yesterday, Draco Malfoy had officially spoken to her using more than two sentences without the word 'mudblood' affixed to it in a very civil manner. "He's very much improved,"

"Well, it seems like putting his own life at stake for other people's sake gave quite a contribution to his attitude improvement," Harry remarked bemusedly.

Hermione gave a smile at that. Really, who would have thought that Draco Malfoy would suddenly work as a Hit Wizard for the ministry, when all he showed during his seven years at Hogwarts was pure, undeniable cowardice? Hit Wizards were considered one of the toughest, bravest workforces in the Ministry of Magic, with their lives constantly being in jeopardy from catching the most dangerous criminals. And everyone knew for a fact that his parents disapproved of his job. As far as Hermione heard, however, Draco had been one of the best Hit Wizards the ministry has ever had. In her opinion though, who would better understand how a dangerous criminal's mind works than one who had been the same before?

"But hasn't he been wanting a position at the Auror Office?" Hermione asked, and was confused with Harry's sudden chuckle.

"Yes, he has, but not until he heard that Ron was also applying—he'd rather risk his life out there than stay in a workplace with two of his former enemies," he explained, referring to himself and her boyfriend. "Though come to think of it, he did not really mind when I was the only one there, but when I mentioned Ron, he tossed his application papers to the fireplace and insisted that he'd rather break his neck chasing criminals than lose his mind working with—as he put it, 'a mentally incompetent beggar',"

Hermione could not help laughing despite the direct insult to her boyfriend. "Maybe he likes you better, Harry," she said shrewdly, a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Ooh, do I smell romance in the air?"

Instead of getting mad at Hermione's teasing, Harry grinned, his green eyes sparkling with naughtiness. "Don't tell that to Ginny, she might get ideas…"

"I could probably use it for blackmail, were the need to arise," Hermione said good-humouredly. "Anyway, I've probably hogged most of your time already, so I'll be going then,"

Harry gave her a smile, told her to take care of herself, and then went back to his work. Hermione rose and gave him a half-wave as she began walking towards the door of his office. She gave an abrupt pause though, when Harry suddenly commented, "It's the first time I've seen you wear robes in that particular shade of green,"

"R—really?" she asked with a slightly shrill giggle. "It was on sale at Madam Malkin's, and I needed new robes, so I bought it," she lied, hoping Harry would not prod any further. The almighty did not seem to be inclined to side with Hermione however.

"Well, I should say that you look… you look… kind a little odd wearing that colour," he remarked in a careful voice.

"Odd? How?" It was Hermione's turn to prod.

"Err—" Harry scratched the back of his head. "You look a little evil and… Slytherin-like,"

"Really?" Hermione pretended to look outraged. "It doesn't suit me then?"

Harry cleared his throat, looking uncomfortable with the topic. "Actually, unbelievable as it may seem, you look good in those robes," he clarified. "You could almost pass as one of Malfoy's friends," His green eyes indicated that he was teasing her. Good. Hermione would prefer teasing than accusing any day.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, that was very heart-warming," she said wryly before shutting Harry's office door behind her.

Whew. That was close.

She did not expect passing by Parvati, whose presence at the Ministry was quite questionable since she worked as Professor Trelawney's assistant at Hogwarts. Though if the rumours were right, she was currently dating Dean Thomas, who worked at the Department of Mysteries, and that was probably why she was there. With a delighted squeal, she had ensnared her arms around Hermione in a tight, friendly hug.

"Gosh, Hermione, long time no see!" she gushed out, leaning back to take a look at her. "You're looking good! I didn't know you and Ron broke up, though I must say you look better off without him," she continued, and Hermione gave her a questioning ogle.

"What? Where did you get that idea?" she asked, temporarily flabbergasted. Had she seen the future on one of Professor Trelawney's crystal balls?

"Well, you are wearing Slytherin robes…" Parvati regarded her thoughtfully. "So who's the lucky guy? Is it Blaise Zabini?"

Hermione resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "I know, my robes look like a familiar Slytherin shade, but these are perfectly ordinary robes not associated in any way to Slytherin," she said hastily, as Parvati looked ready to interrupt her again, a dubious expression crossing her features. "Ron and I are still together, by the way,"

"Oh," Parvati seemed positively disappointed. "Well, I'll catch you later, I've prepared this surprise breakfast for Dean, you see, and I'd better bring it to him before it gets cold," and then she disappeared to the direction of Dean Thomas's office before Hermione could blink.

She walked on, hoping not to run into anyone she knew who might comment on her robes again. Honestly, she saw about a hundred people a day wearing the same shade of clothing, yet they were not accused of wearing Slytherin colours.

Again she prayed she would not run into anyone familiar who would most probably comment on her robe colour, but alas, the phone line to heaven seemed to by busy.

"Why, hello, Hermione," Luna greeted her with her usual dreamy-eyed gaze. "Is that Slytherin robes you're wearing?

Hermione wanted to howl with frustration. Instead she replied in a rather brisk tone, "No Luna. Do you have some business here at the ministry today?"

Luna gave her a sunny smile, seeming to be oblivious to Hermione's growing aggravation. "Yes, Rolf and I need to submit some papers to the Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures about the latest subspecies of Mackled Malaclaw we found near the border of England and Scotland…"

"I see," Hermione said, brightening up. "I've worked there before, so maybe I can just take those papers myself to the boss so you can go on your way,"

"Really? Thanks Hermione, Rolf's actually waiting for me outside the building, saying he did not want to come in because he might possibly run into the minister, whom he owes ten galleons and a knut to,"

Luna then handed the papers to a relieved Hermione and practically danced her way out of the office block, her long mane of pale blond hair swishing merrily as she went. She was making her way back to her office when she received a rather brusque tap on the shoulder. Whirling around, she found herself face-to-face with none other than her boyfriend.

"Hi," she breathed out, wondering why the heck her heart was hammering as though she was caught doing something she shouldn't. "Good morning to you too, Ronald," she managed to say, reaching up to peck him on the cheek.

Ron did not seem to find the morning so good though; with a pout that was not at all suitable for his large, gangly frame, he gave her an impersonal once-over. "Why are you wearing Slytherin robes?" he demanded.

Hermione could only stare at him in open-mouthed surprise. "Slytherin robes?" she echoed in a disbelieving tone. First Harry, then Parvati, then Luna, and now, her own boyfriend!

She gave a mental, very angry growl that she would not dare express in front of Ron, but wanted so badly to. "These are not Slytherin robes, Ron," she ground out between her gritted teeth. "Why in heavens would you come up with such a preposterous idea?"

Instead of looking contrite, Ron's face burned with anger. "Gee, I don't know, maybe because you're wearing their damned emblem on your back?"

Hermione looked aghast at what Ron said, because there was certainly no snake imprinted at the back of her robes when she put them on this morning. That only meant that…

Oh, she was going to skin that ferret alive.

Hermione found him lounging lazily at her office, sitting on her own plush executive chair, a satisfied smirk on his face.

She was about to open her mouth to give him a piece of her mind when she noticed his robes. It seemed to be made of expensive silk, a dark, blood-red colour. What held her arrested stare, however, was the way the colour seemed to complement his skin tone and muscular figure. She never expected he'd look so good in red. Really, very, totally, undeniably good.

But the sneaky git had imprinted the Slytherin logo at the back of her robes, and he was going to pay, big time.

"Why hello Granger, I've been waiting for you all morning," he said amiably, rising to his feet. "I must say, you do look good in that robes,"

Hermione responded by tossing Luna's dusty envelope containing her thick research papers literally on his face. It hit him smack on the nose hard enough to satisfy her, though to her disappointment, his nose showed no sign of an epistaxis.

"That was for sneaking up on me and imprinting a stupid snake on my back," she huffed out as she watched him rub his sore nose and dusty face.

"There was no need for physical violence, you know," he muttered, plopping back down on her chair. "I would have apologized,"

"Not enough," Hermione bit off, taking the seat across him. "No wonder people kept on asking why I was wearing Slytherin robes. How did you manage to put that blasted snake on my back without me noticing anyway?"

"That was easy. I simply used a disillusionment charm on myself and followed you to Potter's office," he admitted without any trace of remorse. Darn the git, he was even grinning in pleasure!

"And why have you resorted to such petty tactics?" she asked coldly, not one bit amused as she recalled the furious expression on Ron's face earlier.

"In case you did not know, the only red robes I was able to purchase last night contained this—" he rose and turned to his back, where she saw a huge lion at the middle of his rear, roaring soundlessly and looking very much like her former House symbol. "—which I tried to remove with all the spells I knew, but would not budge. So since I had made that stupid bet with you, which I tried to fulfil within my limits by the way, I thought it would only be even if you had a snake on your back as well,"

Hermione could not think of anything better to do than stare at him with her mouth hanging open. Now that he had explained his side, her anger seemed to have disappeared.

Or it may have transferred to him.

"And, if you must know, Astoria saw me this morning," he ground out.

"R—really? What happened?" Judging from the look on Draco's face, it wasn't good.

"She freaked out, accusing me of cheating on her over someone from Gryffindor," came his bitter reply. So they had a similar experience that morning, Hermione thought with some sense of satisfaction.

"For your information, Ron accused me of the same thing too, you know!" Hermione said hotly. "And Parvati as well, had assumed I was going out with Zabini!"

"Well, Blaise is one hell of a sight better than Weasley," Draco commented dryly. "Astoria had asked me if my sense of taste had been burned by the hot weather yesterday for having a sudden preference for—let me quote her—'ugly, bushy-haired mudbloods'—as she put it—and threatened to tell my father,"

"She wouldn't!" Hermione gasped, knowing how evil Lucius Malfoy can be were he to take a hold of news that his only son was conniving with a lowly muggle-born like her. "Oh, bugger it, these robes have caused us enough trouble already—" without any warning, she had pulled him to her and was quite literally tearing open his robes with an angry fervour. "We have to get rid of these—"

Draco, who had been rendered stunned and speechless for the first thirty seconds Hermione had been ripping his robes off, finally got a hold of himself and grabbed her wrists to stop her. Then her knuckles accidentally grazed his bare chest (he preferred wearing boxers only underneath his robes) and at that moment, everything went still.

Except for his suddenly rock-hard family jewels.

"Granger…" he croaked out, and she halted her movements, her brown eyes locked to his exposed skin in a fascinated manner. Then her gaze locked up to his, mirroring the surprise and confusion he felt.

He wanted to kiss her. And he'd be damned if she did not look like she also wanted him to. So he did.

He leaned his face towards her tentatively, as though he was giving her all the time to flee—and pressed his lips to her half-opened ones. To his surprise, it was her tongue that first touched his, and that was all the signal he needed to take control of the situation.

Settling her atop the paper-laden desk, he continued to kiss her, his tongue tasting and savouring the sweet taste that was exclusively her. Hermione pulled him closer, sending the two of them tumbling entirely on the desk in the process, with him on top of her.

His mouth travelled from her lips to her throat, and he positively heard her give a moan of pleasure as he suckled on a sensitive spot below her ear.

"Shh," he murmured. "Keep quiet or somebody will—" he gave an abrupt pause, feeling as though he had been doused in a bucket of ice. Somebody will hear us.

Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh holy fucking shit.

He fell with a thud on the floor as he disengaged himself from her, his heart racing, his breathing uneven, and his cock feeling ready to self-combust.

He could not believe it. He had just made out with Granger and had the hardest hard-on in his entire life.

He tried not to watch as she slowly rose from the desk and hopped down on unsteady legs. So, she was just as unstable as he was. Somehow that fact comforted him a little.

"Sorry about that," she mumbled, unable to look him in the eye. Her face was flushed both with embarrassment and—dare he say it?—arousal, her hair in a wild disarray. Her green robes were half parted open, showing an ample view of her cleavage and black satin bra.

Draco never thought he'd find her dishevelled look more arousing than the unruffled Astoria with her thong and see-through shift.

He was alarmed when she pointed her wand at him, but then she only whispered the incantation to mend his torn robes, which looked good as new again.

She then proceeded to fix herself, all the while avoiding eye contact with him.

When he could no longer take the silence, he muttered, "It is I who should apologize, for taking advantage of you,"

This time Hermione finally looked at him. "I was the one who tore your robes open," she said, looking like she could still not believe herself to be capable of doing such thing.

"I was the one who kissed you."

He was puzzled to see a small smile on her lips.

"Yeah, but I had my tongue in your mouth first," she whispered.

Okay, so she had him there.

"But I still owe my apologies, nonetheless," he hoped he sounded sincere enough to her.

Hermione watched him as he stood up from the floor and dusted his rear off. She could not help but notice the growing bulge on his groin, and she flushed a deeper scarlet shade. Had she done that?

"As far as I'm concerned, nothing happened," she said, glad that her voice came out strong and matter-of-factly. "And I wouldn't mind if you change your robes now, as it has caused us heaps of trouble already…"

"Your offer still stands then?" he asked, referring to the bulk of paperwork she offered to do for him in return.

"Sure," she answered.

"Well then. I guess I'll have to tolerate wearing this for the rest of the day," he said, totally taking her by surprise.

"Wh—what?" she looked at him like he was nuts.

"I'm trying to be fair here," he told her, sounding a bit miffed. "I might as well get it done with,"

Hermione gave him an astounded stare. "Where's the manipulative Draco Malfoy and what have you don with him?" she asked in wonder.

He gave her an irritated look in return. "Here I am trying to keep my end of the bargain, and you mock me?"

She shook her head, trying to shake off the doubt. He did seem sincere.

"Fine. I guess I'll be wearing these robes for the rest of the day too," she finally said, earning a grin from him.

"That's good, for a moment I thought you'd leave me alone in such an embarrassing state," he said, giving a mock sigh of relief.

"Actually, I thought you looked quite handsome in that particular shade of robes," Hermione blurted out before she could stop herself. She blushed again, to his delight.

Draco's smile looked a lot more warm and genuine now. "I believe that's the nicest thing you have ever said to me, Granger," he murmured, and to Hermione's horror, she could actually feel her heart swelling with happiness.

"I'm just being honest," she mumbled.

"As I should be," he said idly. "I think you look smashing in those green robes yourself,"

"Thank you," she said, giving him a shy smile that made his heart accelerate and his cheeks turn pink. Really, this moment was making him and Hermione act like teenagers all over again.

"And Granger?" he called out. She looked at him, her brown eyes meshing with his amused grey ones.


"It may be pretty hard to believe, but I don't regret doing that stupid bet with you," he confessed.

"Really?" Hermione looked happily surprised. "Why?"

"Well, first of all, it made me discover that I look great in red," Draco started, his ever-famous smirk touching his lips. "And… it made me realize that you're quite okay, Granger," he said softly. "You're more than okay, actually."

To her amazement, Hermione could feel the traitorous warmth seep through her at his words.

"Touché, Malfoy. I don't think you're half bad either," she murmured, loud enough for their ears only. "But don't tell anybody, they might think I've officially gone insane,"

"Ditto, Granger."

And so the rest was history.

A/n: Cookies? I'm hungryyyy.