Chapter Nine - Last Words & Lurkings

Hermione's wand lit up and started buzzing. This was her alarm call. She was groggy this Wednesday morning, as she had arrived back to the dorm late last night, in the early hours of the morning. She was forever thankful that Draco had not been waiting for her this time.

Getting up, she muttered the incantation to stop her wand ringing and made her way to the bathroom. She rubbed her eyes and turned the bath taps on, letting the heavenly sent of peach and orange fill her nose. It smelled as if she was about to bathe in some form of delectable hot ice cream.

She removed her pyjama shorts and tank top, and vanished them back to her room. She then went to brush her teeth, looking herself in the mirror. Why would Malfoy, or any other person for that matter, come anywhere near this? She thought to herself, applying toothpaste to her brush.

The only person she had had a proper relationship with, was Viktor Krum. Moreover, that had not exactly worked out as well as she had hoped. In fact, she wasn't even sure that she could call it a relationship. He wasn't exactly forthcoming at making romantic gestures.

Then there was Cormac McLaggen of last year, whom she had only used as a pawn in her game to make Ron jealous.

She rinsed her mouth out, and washed her face with a flannel, before studying herself in the mirror once more. At this point, the bath was full, so she turned off the taps and set a towel aside for herself.

Just as she was about to remove her underwear, the door burst open, revealing an early arisen boxer-clad Draco Malfoy.

She stared at him. Pale, yet not sickly so. Tall and half-naked. It wasn't an unwelcome sight. His hair was dishevelled and looked thoroughly bed-worn. In addition, his chest, oh the chest. He wasn't extremely muscular like Viktor, yet not lanky like Ron or Harry. He was toned, and she liked toned.

While she had been analysing his body, he was doing exactly the same thing to her. Hermione Granger in her undergarments was almost enough to make him hard. She was wearing red, lacy underwear and her legs could go on forever. His mind travelled back to their kiss. He wanted to kiss her again. More, than just kiss her. Take her immediately on the bathroom floor. There was something so innocent, yet at the same time, so undeniably sexy about her appearance.

She became self-conscious and crossed her arms over her chest. "Malfoy, can you not knock before you come barging in here?" She asked, surprised by her calm tone.

"Maybe you should lock the door next time." He said, staring at her breasts, having been amplified as she crossed her arms.

"Malfoy?" She enquired.

"Mh hmm." He replied, never removing his gaze, as if hoping her bra would suddenly pop open.

"Stop staring at my chest!" She exclaimed, pulling her towel across her, and wrapping herself in it.

"Damn it Granger, I was trying to undress you with my eyes. I was enjoying myself!" He said playfully, looking at her face, which had flushed blood red.

He leaned against the doorframe connecting his room to the bathroom, smirking at her.

"Ok well sorry to ruin that mental image for you, but do you mind leaving so I can bathe in peace? I'll even remember to lock the door this time!" Hermione said.

"Hmm, while I'm here I may as well just start getting ready too eh?" He said, before striding past her to the sink, where he opened his cabinet and prepared to wash his face, and brush his teeth by the mirror.

"You are such an unbelievable arse!" Hermione said through gritted teeth.

"Thanks, my arse appreciates it." He replied.

"I said you are, not, you have." She sniggered.

"We know that's a lie. I believe the last time we were together you couldn't keep your hands off of it." He winked at her.

She blushed profusely. He had done it. He had mentioned their make-out session. She chose to ignore his insinuation.

"Fine then, since I can't have a bath in your presence, and I don't have time to wait…" She trailed off and proceeded to remove the towel from herself and sit on the baths' edge, dipping her feet in and placing the towel next to her.

Thank god, my hair is not greasy. She thought luckily.

He watched as she soaked her flannel, and washed herself in this way. He snorted when she soaped up her cloth and washed her face.

"What?" She said.

"You look like Father Christmas." Draco chuckled at her foamy beard.

"Ha, ha. Wait, how do you know about Santa Claus?" Hermione asked, whilst continuing to wash herself.

"Granger, just because I am from Pureblood heritage, doesn't mean I haven't a clue how Muggles operate." He stated as she rinsed her face.

"Yeah well, just because you're of pureblood heritage doesn't mean you have to criticise the way Muggles operate." She replied wittingly, finishing her rinse-off and wrapping the towel around herself once more and walking out the bathroom.

Damn her for getting the last word in.

"You pulled Granger? Then you walked in on her in the bathroom… In her underwear?" Blaise Zabini exclaimed at Draco Malfoy, as he had just told him of the latest goings-on, yet managing to almost shout it out in double potions class with the other seventh years that morning.

"For fuck sake Blaise, care to tell the rest of the class?" Malfoy whispered, looking over at her table where she was sitting with Harry, Ron and Ernie MacMillan. Thankfully, her group seemingly showed no obvious signs of having heard Blaise's outcry. It had passed unnoticed, or they were doing a good job at pretending not to have heard anything. "Keep your bloody voice down!"

"Sorry, but mate good on you, she's pretty fucking sweet on the eyes!" Blaise said proudly, "When you planning on nailing her? And why didn't you tell me this last night?"

"What are you, my friend or my father? Too many eavesdroppers, and the bathroom thing was this morning." Draco said pointedly, staring at the back of Pansy Parkinson's head and wondering how on earth she had gotten a pass grade to go on to do N.E.W.T Potions.

"Speaking of your father. I'm not sure he'd be all that happy about your newly developed Mudblood-Love." Blaise said, and Draco thanked Snape in secret for allowing them to sit alone at the back of the class. If anyone could of heard the conversation between them now, they would have thought Draco had went mad.

"Mudblood-Love? Get a grip." Malfoy shot back at Blaise, a little louder than intended. "Anyway. My father is in Azkaban, you know fine well!" He said, resuming his hushed tone.

"Yeah, why is that? Who put him there?" Blaise snapped.

Draco found it extremely hard to resist the temptation to smack Blaise one right in the jaw, yet he was one of Draco's closest of friends. Blaise always seemed to get away with his flyaway comments. Before Draco could reply…

"Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Zabini. Would the both of you care to share with the class what you two are conversing about? It seems awfully important, as it seems that is has nothing to do with me teaching you the correct procedure of brewing lacewig flies and monkshood, without causing damage to the nerve endings, or creating a molecular explosion." Severus Snape questioned the pair of them, "Or perhaps, Mr. Malfoy, you would like to tell me the correct plant in which to bring asphodel to the boil with, when composing a restorative potion?"

"Mandrake root, sir." Malfoy replied, grateful of the fact that he had an adept skill as a potioneer.

Professor Snape eyed them both suspiciously before, "Zabini. Swap with Granger."

Hermione groaned audibly and began to protest allowing Snape to take five points from Gryffindor, before she had even reached Malfoy's solitary table. Slamming her books down upon the desk, she huffed, taking her seat and acknowledged Ron, Harry and Ernie's mixed expressions of disgruntled pity.

"Look Malfoy, let's just do the work and try to not make this permanent." Hermione said in a low voice as to not attract Snape's attention, sifting through her notes, which had become muddled when she had moved seats.

"But we both know that you want this to be permanent. Honestly it's like someone is trying to tell us something, even through bathroom mishaps." He whispered, smirking as ever.

"Bathroom mishap? The only sign someone is trying to send me, is to remind me to put a Draco Malfoy repellent over myself." She replied coolly.

"Whatever you have to do to keep yourself from kissing me." He teased, staring through her eyes, which burned with fierce passion, and adding so quietly that Hermione had to stop breathing so heavily to hear him, "Again."

With that, he turned to his notes, and ignored her entirely for the remainder of the lesson, though not so slyly taking very unsubtle glances towards her, until she would get annoyed and turn to him, allowing him to look away and snigger to himself. Each time he did this, and she returned to taking her own notes, an ever so small smile crept across Hermione's lips.

Thursday morning dawned bright and early and Hermione, starving to a near sudden death could not have been more appreciative of the breakfast spread. Just as she had started layering up her toast with apricot jam, Harry and Ron entered the hall, sitting across from her and Ginny whom she had met before-hand.

"Guess what?" Ron said to the girls as they sat down. It must have been something interesting as Ron hadn't even registered his favourite, bacon and sausages yet.

"What?" Ginny asked, taking a bit of her own toast.

"Blaise Zabini has been hanging around the Gryffindor common room." Harry said, looking from each girl to study their reactions.

Ginny almost choked on that bite of toast upon hearing the news, spluttering before she said, "Oh. That's weird eh? I forgot my Transfiguration books, I'll see you's at lunch!" She took another bite of her toast and rushed off out of the hall.

The boys took no notice of this as Ginny was always rushing about forgetting her books, but something had clicked in Hermione's mind.

Harry had mentioned Blaise Zabini hanging around, and she had almost choked. Hanging around? Possibly waiting for her. More importantly, Hermione's brain had deduced a crucial piece of evidence, that had obviously hadn't been taken into account by her male friends.

Ginny doesn't have Transfiguration on a Thursday.

"You alright 'Mione? You have that look about you. When you're trying to work something out mentally. You know, your eyes go all out of focus." Ron laughed at his own analysis.

"Is it something to do with Zabini?" Harry asked, excited. Perhaps she had heard something between him and Malfoy in her common room, was his instinctual thought.

"No, no. Just thinking about Arithmancy, in fact I'd better go get my books, I left them in my room this morning." Hermione scolded herself for using the exact same excuse as Ginny, when she suspected that she wasn't the only one neglecting the truth of her actions.

As she had got up and left, she prayed that the boys hadn't noticed anything strange, luckily for her, her quick exit had went just as unnoticed as Ginny's departure.

Without knowing, both boys though the exact same thing, at the exact same time, as Harry read the morning Prophet and Ron began demolishing his enormous breakfast.

Girls. They can be so weird sometimes.

A/N: What, oh what is young Ginny up to do you think? And what about the Halloween party? (: R&R!