Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. If I did, I'll be in a polygamous relationship with Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape, and Draco Malfoy, Sirius Black and possibly Remus Lupin would be my weekend side dishes to enjoy. Heh.
AN: What am I doing? I cannot believe I've yet to finish Debtors and Collectors, have just begun a new fic and I'm starting YET another new one? I know. Tengo muy loco, si? Si!
Hermione could not remember the specific day she'd become infatuated with Draco Malfoy. She could barely recollect the moment when they'd transitioned from bitter enemies to polite but awkward acquaintances. She remembered, however, that one afternoon after a very detailed, fairytale-esque daydream involving a date in Milan, a lovemaking session in Paris and a wedding ceremony in Britain, she'd considered that maybe, just maybe, she'd developed a crush of sorts on Draco Malfoy.
The realization had struck her with slight horror. A crush on Draco Malfoy was a very bad idea. There were several opposing factors involved that could not be ignored. Very first and foremost, they'd been longtime enemies forced into tepid acquaintanceship due to the demands of their close work environment. Secondly, his father despised her, had made several attempts to murder her and was currently serving life imprisonment in Azkaban due to her testimony against him. Thirdly, Draco Malfoy could not be trusted: he'd jumped sides when it was apparent who was to be the victor after the War and, subsequently, had escaped a sentencing to Azkaban. And fourthly, the most important of all, Draco Malfoy was gay.
Yes, Draco Malfoy fancied men.
The Wizarding community at large learnt of this the way things were usually discovered: through the Daily Prophet. Hermione, along with the rest of the Hogwarts professors, was having her breakfast when the owls had arrived to drop their post. She'd been trying her best not to sneak little glances at him but had failed. She was grateful for a distraction, and like the rest of the Great Hall, had immediately opened the Monday edition of the Daily Prophet to find on the front page a picture of Draco and an unknown fellow having a passionate snog behind the Leaky Cauldron.
The silence that followed was like a deafening roar. She couldn't even appreciate the irony of the situation.
Gobsmacked, her eyes uncharacteristically wide in amazement, she'd ogled the picture with a determination to eliminate the possibility that her secret object of infatuation was in a steamy lip-lock with a man. But no, it was Draco Malfoy indeed. The newspaper had made sure to spend extra money on ink to print it in vivid colour instead of the customary black and white. There had been no denying those shoulder length platinum locks he'd grown out, nor that tall, slim broad shouldered body, nor that strong, light-bearded jaw that was working furiously from the ardor of the kiss.
Merlin, why couldn't have that fellow been me! She'd thought.
All eyes in the Great Hall had turned to find Draco giving the article a very bored look. He did not acknowledge the stares but simply opened up the paper to continue his morning read. Professor McGonagall, current Headmistress of Hogwarts and seemingly the first to be shaken from her shock, had cleared her throat loudly and ordered the students to return to their meals less they find it had disappeared.
"Mr. Malfoy, a word?" she'd continued, standing so abruptly her chair had fallen onto its back.
Lazily, Draco had closed his paper and stood, briefly glancing about the quiet table. His gaze had momentarily connected with Hermione's still surprised one before he'd sauntered off behind Professor McGonagall, who'd already begun to lead the way out of the room.
And now it was Thursday afternoon. She'd just dismissed her second year afternoon classes and she was still reeling from the shock. The entire school was still reeling from the shock. How could this be? Why did Draco fancy men? Wasn't he always a bit promiscuous with the ladies during their Hogwarts schooling? Why had she not seen this coming?
Similar questions bombarded her and she tried to tell herself that she was not devastated but merely disappointed. She told herself that this was for the best. With the knowledge that her feelings would never be reciprocated, there was nothing left but for her infatuation to wither away as she'd longed for it to do. She'd had no right lusting after a man such as him and this revelation was like an awakening slap. Not only was he wrong for her, she was wrong for him…gender-wise.
Berating herself and thanking Merlin for her rude awakening, she began to tidy up her desk manually. When she was finished, she exited the classroom, turning left into the corridor and colliding solidly into someone. She was thrown to the floor, landing on her bottom harshly with a loud 'oomph!' and her briefcase flew out of her hands to spew all its contents on the floor.
"Watch where you're going next time, Granger," said a familiar voice in vexed tones. She whipped her head up sharply to meet the scowling gaze of Draco Malfoy. He'd not suffered a fall but was standing, arms folded and glaring down at her. He hadn't even the decency to offer her his hand in assistance.
Angered at this injustice, she rose to her feet and dusted her slightly sore bottom. "I hadn't seen you, Malfoy," she retorted defensively. His scowl dissolved into a smirk and Hermione's heart began beating a little faster. Hermione also could not remember the time when his smirk, an all-present expression that used to irk her beyond reason, had suddenly become an attractive-heightening feature on Draco.
He leaned closer, bending forward so his twin pools of sky-grey could meet her slightly widened chocolate ones and Hermione was sure her racing organ had skipped a beat. He was so close. Oh so close. If only she were brave enough to lean forward and steal a kiss from those smirking lips!
"Granger," he said, his voice low and soft.
"Yes?" she whispered, suddenly daring to hope he was moments away from requesting a kiss. A kiss she'd speedily grant without his asking.
"I think your vision needs to be corrected, you blind bint." And he righted himself before he sidestepped her briefcase and its spilled assortments to continue on down the corridor. He'd neglected to wear his teaching robes—a bone of contention between him and Professor McGonagall—so Hermione had time to admire his broad shoulders and long legs and his hair, mussed-up to attractive perfection.
And she sighed a deep, long-suffering sigh. She was hopelessly infatuated with Draco Malfoy even in the face of his mean attitude towards her. She'd longed for him to crash his mouth down on hers, snogging her as passionately as he did that man in the article. But, alas, it wasn't to be. It would never be.
Unless I do something about it.
But how? How could she make Draco Malfoy notice her? He didn't fancy her type. What was she to do? She couldn't just walk up and profess her admiration to him. She was not that brazen and his ensuing, belly-holding, knee-slapping laughter would be like an ax to her pride. No, verbal confessions would not work. So what was she to do?
And the answer came to her. There was only one person she knew who had the ability to solve such an enormous problem. Only one woman who knew about every aspect and kind of love and how to achieve it. Hermione sincerely believed that this woman, raised momentarily to the status of demigoddess in her eyes, would be the help she needed. Only she might have the answer to convert Draco Malfoy from homosexuality to returning Hermione's feelings. She glanced at her watch and nodded determinedly.
Yes, this was the answer. She'd better get moving before the Divination fifth years class had begun. After all, she had to speak urgently to one Lavender Brown: Love Mistress Extraordinaire.
AN: And we're off! Let's see what's going to happen next, shall we? :D Tell me what you think!