Title – Prince Charming
Summary –This Prince Charming may have found his Cinderella, but he will never have her. – Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy are, after all, Hogwarts' very own fucked up version of Cinderella and Prince Charming
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. The song belongs to George Michael, but was covered by Seether recently.
Warnings – Language, AU post fifth year or something.
This piece hass a companion written in Hermione's point of view called Cinderella. (It is not necessary to read one to understand the other, however.)


To the heart and mind, ignorance is kind

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i.

Dumbledore's finally lost his wits (or at least what few he had remaining).

Draco knows this because there is no other explanation for what the old bastard wants to do. Because he cannot actually believe that an (incredibly random) dance can possibly be a good idea. No bloody way. But the old croak continues to ramble on about a Halloween Masquerade as if it is an idea so grand that Merlin himself would have agreed to it.

"A chance to escape one's prejudices." He says, as if a bloody mask has so much power. "And perhaps even from one's self."

(And Draco's sure he must suddenly be imagining things, because there's absolutely no reason as to why Dumbledore should be looking at him.)

ii.

Halloween comes before he has a chance to blink.

He dresses in his new expensive robes (which he makes sure to emphasize loudly when he passes an awkward looking redhead that is so obviously Weasley), but not even that can keep his spirits high. Because it doesn't take long for him to spot Theo (his Housemate-slash-supposed-best-mate) dancing with Astoria (his date-slash-sort-of-girlfriend-slash-witch-his-parents-intend-to-arrange-his-bethodral-to). Not that anyone else can tell who they are, because of the bloody masks they wear. (But Draco just knows.)

He has half a mind to march over and separate the two. Not because he wants her for himself, but because she's bloody well supposed to be his (and Draco's always been a greedy bastard). But when he gets close enough, something in Theo's eyes (that really shouldn't be there), in Astoria's smile (that she never gave to him) that makes him stop, and Draco no longer wants to be anywhere near her.

(And suddenly, the night seems so much longer.)

iii.

It is just when Draco is certain that he's going to leave, he sees her.

Sitting alone at a table, dressed in pink robes and a silver mask, she watches everyone else with a slight frown on her lips. And even though she looks as if she is having as miserable of a time as he, the next thing he knows, he's standing in front of her with his most charming smile, holding his hand out. (He doesn't bother with the words that would be lost in the sounds of chaos that surrounds them.)

She looks up at him with the softest brown eyes he has ever seen, and he suddenly can't shake the feeling that he has seen them before. But he doesn't have a chance to think about it, because she smiles and takes his hand. And the next thing he knows, he's leading her to the dance floor.

(And for the first time Dumbledore's announcement, Draco thinks that he might actually enjoy himself.)

iv.

They've escaped from the Great Hall and out to the grounds.

(Which is supposedly enchanted to look like a Fairy Garden – or some rubbish – but he can't really be bothered to notice, because his attention is elsewhere occupied.)

Draco corners her against the wall of the castle with his hands on either side of her head, trapping her. His lips are on hers and her hands are running through his hair. (And he isn't sure how they got here, but he doesn't find it in himself to bloody well care.) He smirks when she gasps as his mouth moves to the arch of her neck. (And suddenly, hidden away like this, snogging a complete stranger, Draco's the most alive he's felt in years.)

But his fun is cut short when he hears the clock chime and she gasps again, this time not from pleasure, and pulls away. A smile (crossed somewhere between sadness and amusement) tugs at her lips and she mumbles something along lines of "Cinderella." Not that he really notices what it is she says, because Draco knows that voice anywhere.

(And suddenly what he thinks he knew before, but didn't want to accept, is too obvious to ignore.)

She ducks under one of his arms and slips past him. He hears a soft thus and looks down to find a small badge with the words Head Girl printed across. He picks it up and his mouth reacts before he has a chance to stop and think. (Because if he had, he would have just dropped it and walked away, pretending that the whole incident had never happened.)

"Granger!"

There is a falter in her steps and she stops for the slightest of moments, and he knows she's figured out who he is too. But she doesn't bother to spare him a second glance and is suddenly running is if she is trying to escape from him rather than to wherever it was she was bloody headed before. Draco doesn't miss a beat, however, and stuffs the badge in his pocket before he turns and takes a (different) route to the castle.

(And that his fingers are tightening around the badge means absolutely nothing. Really.)

v.

The next morning, before anyone else has woken, Draco goes to the library.

Despite the emptiness, he wonders from shelf to shelf at first, just in case somewhere is there to catch him. (He is a Slytherin, after all, one can't expect him to just barge – he isn't a barbarian like Weasley.) It is only when he is certain that not even Madam Pince is watching, that he slips into the Muggle Studies section. It doesn't take him long to find what it is that he is looking for and takes it to an isolated table.

Cinderella – A Muggle tale in which a peasant, with the help of magic, disguises herself to go to a ball. It is there that she meets and dances with Prince Charming. Upon her attempt to escape before the spell breaks, she loses her glass slipper, which is found by the Prince.

Draco shuts the book and leans back in his chair. (The button in his pocket suddenly feeling heavier.) He doesn't need to read any further to realize that she was right; Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy – Hogwarts' very own fucked up version of Cinderella and Prince Charming.

(He doesn't fight the bitter laugh that follows.)

vi.

It doesn't take long for him to see her again.

(She is, after all, glued to Potter and Weasel, who never cease to appear.) He's entering the Great Hall for breakfast as they are leaving. Weasley is rambling on about something idiotic as always. (And he honestly doesn't always try to insult him, but the buffoon makes it far too easy.)

He can feel Granger's (soft chocolate brown) eyes on him the whole time, and he guesses that she is probably wondering if it really was him the last night, but he doesn't once glance at her during his verbal exchange. It is only once he is walking away that he bumps into her, pressing the button against the palm of her hand. Draco barely has time to pull his hand away before Potter and Weasel have turned to face him, wands out.

His eyes meet hers for a moment. It isn't long, no more than half a second, before she breaks the gaze to tell her idiots to lower their wands. But it is enough time for some type of message – some type of understanding – to pass between them. He turns and leaves to meet Astoria before Granger's even finished speaking.

(Because this Prince Charming might have found his Cinderella, but he will never have her.)

---

There's no comfort in the truth, pain is all you'll find
Careless Whisper – George Michael


Note – This was actually my very first Draco/Hermione fic idea, but I never wrote it because I thought the story would take so long and so much explanation. I did write the scene where Draco looks up the fairy tale once, but it was lost in a computer crash anyways. I had given up any thought of actually writing it, until the other night when Careless Whisper (Seether cover) came on my mp3 player and I thought "hey, I could try this in this style…" and the next thing I knew I was out of bed and writing until one A.M. Oof. I actually didn't realize the connection between the story and Cinderella until it was almost done and then (even though I despise traditional Cinderella) I couldn't pass up the tie in. But I'm not sure if I like the way it came out. I've been writing humor Draco lately, so I'm not sure if I nailed serious Draco correctly.

Also, how's my British coming along? I've been getting "tutoring" by a friend of mine from England.

(Please do not ask me about Moment. I know I am supposed to be working on it, but inspiration isn't coming to me, so I have not been writing it. I haven't dropped it, but I do not know when it will be done. I don't have much more than a scene or two written.)

Review, please. =]