Disclaimer: I don't own the wondrous world of Harry Potter. Sadly, it all belongs to JKR.
A/N: This is just a little fluffy Christmas one-shot. A few notes: this takes place in seventh year, Voldemort is dead, Snape and Dumbledore are still alive, and Draco and Hermione are heads. I hope that you all enjoy it.
Gasping for breath as she ran, Hermione Granger felt like a fox being chased by the hounds of hell. Only the hounds were boys, all intent on cornering the petite head girl under Dumbledore's enchanted mistletoe. What's the big deal, you ask? It's not like you have to kiss. It's only a muggle tradition, right? Well, that's where you are wrong. This is very special mistletoe. Not only does it appear out of thin air at the most inopportune times, if two people happen to be caught beneath it they are cursed to stay beneath it. Until the curse is broken that is. And there is only one way to break the curse. Yup! You guessed it. Only a kiss will break the curse.
It can't be that bad, you say. It's only a kiss. Can you imagine kissing your best friend? Goyle? Crabbe? Zabini? Seamus? Cormac? Or the latest prat, Malfoy?
At first, Hermione was entertained watching all the skirmishes going on around her. She didn't realize in the beginning that she would eventually become the subject of a witch hunt. Pun intended. She watched as some of the oddest couples had the misfortune of becoming a victim of Dumbledore's malicious spell.
The first victims had been none other than the hated Professor Snape and Professor Trelawney. It was extremely satisfying to watch the man turn even paler than he already was as Trelawney attempted to plant one on him. It was even funnier to watch the usually composed Potion's master bellow at Dumbledore to release the spell at once. Dumbledore, for his part, didn't flinch as Snape demanded that he perform the counter curse.
Dumbledore had said, "Severus, you know that there is no counter curse. I suggest that you quit stalling the inevitable. Besides, you are attracting quite an audience."
With that, Dumbledore had turned away, his robes swirling majestically behind him as he made his way back to his office.
Snape had gulped nervously and faced Trelawney. Leaning forward he kissed her quickly. Trelawney had swooned on the spot. Every one had watched the scene as it unfolded. Laughter and raucous comments abounded.
Seamus had shouted, "Good going Professor. You are quite the Casanova!"
Snape had rounded on them all. "That's quite enough! Shows over! I suggest you leave before you spend the rest of the year in detention!" Everyone had scurried away, not fancying detention with Snape.
It didn't stop there either. Trelawney had started to attend meal times in the Great Hall. Before she had never joined the staff for dinner. Now, she could be seen making googly eyes at Snape down the staff table. It was bliss to see the snarky professor so unnerved.
There were hordes of other students that were subjected to the monstrous effects of the pesky plant. Lavender Brown had been reduced to tears when she had to kiss Gregory Goyle. Parvati Patil had gone to hospital wing after kissing Vincent Crabbe with extreme stomach cramps and vomiting. Ron had gotten stuck with Pansy Parkinson. Hermione had secretly enjoyed his discomfort immensely. She hadn't entirely forgiven him for the whole Lavender Brown incident. Pansy had wailed about sullying herself with a blood traitor. She had carried on for a few minutes and finally Ron had grabbed her and kissed her, shutting her up. When he released her she had slapped him forcefully, stomping away screaming that she was contaminated. He had moaned and carried on for hours, stating that he had been abused and it was all Dumbledore's fault. Poor Neville Longbottom had been practically assaulted by Millicent Bulstrode when she convinced Peeves to follow him with the mistletoe.
Hermione felt extremely bad about laughing now. It really wasn't that funny. Maybe this was her retribution for laughing at the misfortune of others. They say what goes around comes around. And boy did it ever come back to haunt her. So far, she had narrowly escaped each thick-headed dolt. It seemed that she was safe from no one. Even her best friend Harry had tried to trap her beneath the horrible weed. If you can't trust your best friend, who could you trust? What was wrong with them? Why was everyone acting so out-of-character? When had she become the most sought after girl at Hogwarts? She looked the same as she always did, didn't she?
No, she knew that wasn't quite true. Ever since the start of her seventh year, she had noticed the increased interest of the male population. Even the Prince of Slytherin himself, Draco Malfoy, had shown interest in the Gryffindor Princess.
Speaking of the slimy git, that was who she was currently hiding from. Peeking around the corner, she saw that the corridor was blissfully empty. Sighing with relief, she continued on towards her dorm room. As she walked, she remembered the first time that Malfoy had approached her. Talk about having the shock of your life. She had been in the dungeons walking to her potion's class and minding her own business. A hand reached out and jerked her backwards. Blinking, she found herself pressed against the rough, stone wall by the seductive Slytherin. At first, she had thought that he meant to curse her or something. Instead, he had asked if he could accompany her on the next Hogsmeade trip.
She had stood there, too stunned to speak. Did Draco Malfoy just ask her out? He had looked at her expectantly, hope clearly etched on his perfect, porcelain face.
Thinking carefully, she cleared her throat and said, "I'm not sure that is a good idea, Malfoy. I'm beneath you, as you so often remind me. Dirty blooded, remember?"
Smirking softly at her, he drawled, "As much as I'd love to have you beneath me, Granger, a trip to Hogsmeade will suffice for now."
Her face had turned a brilliant shade of pink at his innuendo. Was he hitting on her? She felt like she was lost in an episode of the muggle show The Twilight Zone.
Tracing her cheek with his thumb he continued, "Times have changed. I don't believe any of that pureblood supremacy crap. That was all an act for the sake of my father, who has had the grace to die and rid the world of his poisonous presence. There is no reason to not accept my invitation."
He had slowly been leaning toward her as he spoke. Hermione felt trapped. Her back was pressed fully against the wall, his arms placed on either side of her head like a cage. Oh, why did she leave for class so early? Looking up at him, she gulped nervously seeing how close he was to her. His face was only inches from her own. She could feel the warmth of his breath on her cheek.
Thank Merlin, Harry chose that moment to show up.
"Oi! Malfoy! What are you doing? Leave her alone!"
Malfoy slowly stepped away from her and sneered, "Potter, alaways sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. We were having a simple conversation before you rudely interrupted."
Hermione took that moment to step behind Harry. Malfoy had seriously shaken her and Harry could handle himself.
Harry said coolly, "Looked like an assault in progress to me. Stay away from her. I don't know what you are up to, but knowing you it can't be good."
"Jealous, Potter? Afraid of someone moving in on your turf? You should be. We both know that I'm the better man."
Hermione had watched as Harry stared at Malfoy incredulously. Did Harry really like her like that? He was her best friend, her brother.
Harry had replied flippantly, "I don't know what you are talking about, Malfoy. I do know that that Hermione is my best friend and I want was is best for her, which definitely isn't you. I'm warning you, stay away from her."
Draco chuckled darkly at the bespectacled boy. "You keep telling yourself that, Potter. As for your warning, don't hold your breath. Malfoy's always get what they want."
At that remark, Harry had drawn his wand. Hermione put a hand on his arm, "Harry….Come on….He's not worth it."
Harry was seething as he took his seat next to her in class. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Harry. Just a little shocked is all."
"Why? What did he do? Did he hurt you? I'll kill him!" These questions were all asked hurriedly by the raven haired boy.
"No, Harry. It wasn't anything like that. Oddly enough, he asked me on a date."
"That's exactly what I thought. He said that he didn't care about blood purity and all that rot. That's news to me. He's only been preaching that nonsense for the last six years. What do you suppose that he's up to?"
"Nothing good, Hermione. Nothing good."
Several moments passed and the silence became uncomfortable. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. "Harry, about what Malfoy said…Is it true?"
Harry sighed deeply, "No, Hermione. I really have no idea what he's talking about."
Pulling back to the present, Hermione glanced over her shoulder to make sure that the ferret wasn't following her. This was getting annoying. She couldn't walk in the corridors, attend class, or perform her head's duties without some random boy trying to assault her under the mistletoe. Each attempt seemed to escalate in its elaborateness. Luckily, she was the smartest witch of her age or she would be doing a lot of kissing.
She begrudgingly admitted that the ferret's latest plan was well orchestrated. He had come to her to report that Peeves had made a huge mess in the charms corridor. He had said that he couldn't get the charm right that would clean it all up and he needed her help. She had walked right into the corridor, stopping short when she didn't see any mess.
"Malfoy, where's…." Thank Merlin she had looked up when she did. Hanging there, innocently, was Dumbledore's mistletoe. And she was right beneath it.
Jumping quickly to the side, she exclaimed, "Malfoy! You prat! There wasn't a mess, was there?"
Smiling softly at her, he said, "No, but I can't seem to get your attention any other way. I'm not the same person that I used to be. I know that it's hard for you to conceive, but I have changed. If you'd only let me show you."
The entire time that he was speaking, he had slowly been walking toward her. Hermione backed away , matching his progress step for step until she ran out of room. Her back was pressed against the castle wall and she had a sense of déjà vu. Only Harry wouldn't rescue her this time. Caging her again with his arms, he gazed into her wide, golden eyes.
"Why can't you see that I honestly like you? What do I have to do for you to give me a chance?"
She stared up at him, perplexed. He couldn't like her. Merlin, he had made her life hell for six long years. Their relationship had always been on a hate-hate basis. There was no love lost between the two of them.
Biting her lip, she said, "Draco, I'm confused." Or maybe I've been confounded. Since when did I ever call him Draco? "You hate me. For six years, you've been horrible to me. Do you honestly expect me to believe that all of a sudden you are different?"
His molten, silver eyes burned into her golden ones with such intensity that she could feel the heat wash through her whole body. "Yes. Just give me a chance and I'll prove it to you," he murmured.
His eyes focused on her lips as he leaned forward and Hermione lost her Gryffindor courage. Ducking under his arm, she bolted like a startled gazelle being hunted by a lion. Only in her case, the lion was a snake.
Dinner was a rather awkward affair. She could feel his eyes on her throughout her meal. She had kept her eyes firmly on her plate, avoiding his accusatory stare. She felt terrible for running from him, for hurting his feelings. She realized now that he did have feelings, even if he didn't show them.
Had she not felt terrible last year when Ron had been parading around with Lavender. She had eventually gotten over it but it had still hurt terribly at the time. What was she supposed to do though? She couldn't ignore him forever. They shared a dormitory, for Godric's sakes. She had to patrol with him twice a week. They shared almost every class.
Rubbing her temples, she excused herself from her friends. She didn't notice her platinum headed counterpart rising after her. She left the Great Hall and headed for her dorm deep in thought. She needed to figure out how to handle Malfoy. Lost in her musings, she turned a corner and ran right into someone.
"Owww…," she cried out, landing on her arse with a thud. Looking up, she saw that it was the Slytherin Prince himself.
"I'm sorry, Granger. Here, let me help you up."
Arching her eyebrow at him, she reluctantly took his proffered hand. Dusting herself off, she said, "Thanks, Malfoy." She turned to leave but found that she couldn't move more than a step.
Turning around quickly, "What…?" Draco was looking above them. Following his gaze, her eyes widened in horror at the sight before her.
Dumbledore's damned mistletoe.
She cursed him silently. The man was a genius, but sometimes he just meddled too much. Focusing her attention on the triumphant boy. "Malfoy! You sneaky Slytherin snake! You did this on purpose!"
Smiling broadly at her, he said, "Well, being sneaky is our best quality as a house. And were not afraid to use that talent to get what we want. You are the object of my desires and you forced my hand."
Staring at the floor, Hermione whispered, "Why?"
Turning her to face him, Draco said, "I have had feelings for you since the third year, since you punched me. With the Dark Lord and my father around, it was too dangerous to do anything about it. Now they are both gone."
He tilted her chin up slowly so that he could see her eyes. "I've been wanting to do this for three years."
His mouth met hers in an instant and Hermione was held captive by the feel of his silky lips on hers. She forgot the terrible things that he had done to her and the horrible things that he had called her. She forgot about her friends and the division between their houses. The only thing that mattered was this moment. His tongue caressed her lip, silently asking for entrance. She parted her lips and allowed him entrance. He pulled her closer and his hands roamed over her curves greedily.
It was unlike anything that she had ever experienced. The heat between them engulfed her entirely, setting her soul ablaze. Biting her bottom lip gently, he finally pulled away. Breathing heavily, they stared at each other for a moment.
Startled, they immediately jumped apart.
"Professor Dumbledore!," Hermione squeaked out, her cheeks flaming bright red in embarrassment. Dumbledore had caught her snogging, with Draco Malfoy no less.
Looking at the duo over his half-moon spectacles, his blue eyes twinkling merrily. He said, "I think that was a bit more than was required to release the curse of my mistletoe, but I'm sure it will go a long way for inter-house unity."
Chuckling, he walked away from the embarrassed teenagers. Humming a cheerful little tune, he thought that his mistletoe had served its purpose well. The wizarding world could finally start to heal.
End Note: Well, what did you think? I don't write a lot of fluff. If you read any of my other stories you can see that what I usually write is quite dark. Let me know how I did. I'm trying to improve my skills as a writer. Merry Christmas! Reviews make great presents. ; )