A/n: Just a little something I decided to write. Chapters will vary in length. Again, AU-ish.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Only thing I hope to get out of this story is happy readers.

The air outside was pleasing; the cool breeze dancing over her skin. The grass gently swaying from side to side, as ventilation combed through its healthy vegetation; drawing forth the inhabitants that dwelled within its folds.

Trees, branches overstuffed with fresh, new life, danced as their leaves pulsed from the wind. Chipmunks scurried back and forth along the tree's trunk, ascending upward until they disappeared behind the wall of foliage; birds flew out from behind the curtain, only to return moments later, food in their beaks—perhaps to feed their young, diving back in.

And the sky, it helped set the scene even more.

Deep blues, boarding on purple, eye catching reds, yellows, and oranges filled the sky; each color vivid and utterly rich in its hue. Clouds, scattered amongst the atmosphere, only served to enhance the sight even more—the balls of fluff taking in the lights, soaking in them like steak cooked in red wine.

Hermione released a soothing breath as she sat on the fountain's edge, staring out at the area before her. Savoring the reprieve and tranquility that nature bought her.

Out of all the manors her parents owned, she liked this one—their summer home—the most. Narrowing it down, she loved the area around it; lush pastures, endless starry skies, and nearby lakes.

It all felt so…unconquered and untamable to her. It's why she loved it.

As with every summer, her parents annual Summer Ball was a part of it; something that had been held ever since she could remember. Even out in the gardens, she could hear the commotion drifting from the manor, more specifically the ballroom.

Only the top of the social elite were ever invited. They were those who held power and influence, wealth and prestige, strong belief in blood purity, and, above all else, those who supported the Dark Lord and his quest to create a world without muggles, treacherous blood traitors, and filthy mudbloods.

Wiping out the cancerous impure—for that is what they were, nothing more than a vile disease that contaminated everything they touched—leaving those only of pureblood.

The young pureblood went back to gazing out at the land her family owned; so at peace that she could easily have achieved nirvana. However, the hurried crunching of grass coming in her direction interrupted the ascension.

Looking over her shoulder, she saw a young man, a little older than herself, enter the area.

He was tall, with a muscular build, based how his attire hugged the upper portion of his body; not in a way that was too tight or small, but simply in a way that complimented his arms and torso. His black hair was cut low, the buzz cut helping bring out his strong facial features, and the small stubble encompassing his chin added to the effect.

All in all, Hermione had to admit he was quite handsome; his large curved nose and thick, black eyebrows doing nothing to take away from his features. Not even the frown he wore took away from his appearance.

She said nothing, simply watching as he let out a huff and began walking around the fountain. He jumped a bit when he stumbled upon her; proof that he wasn't expecting to run into anyone. It took a few moments, but he eventually regained his bearings.

"Hello Miss Lestrange," he greeted, bowing as all pureblood men had been taught. "I vos not thinking someone vould be out here," Came his confession.

Hermione gave a bow of her head in response. "It's quite alright," she assured him. "Beauty like this is to be shared," Tilting her head in the direction of the scenery before them.

"And please, call me Hermione," the young witch insisted. All her life she had been greeted formally, except when around family, but, she had never enjoyed such stiff, insipid greetings.

He nodded. An awkward silence existed between them. The brunette watched as the dark haired male shifted from foot to foot; he was nervous, that much was obvious, but as to why, she truly could not say.

"Would you like to sit down?" she offered, patting the space next to her on the fountain's edge. She noticed his hesitation, so she added, "The view from here is quite marvelous Master…" trailing as she did not know his name, having never seen him before, though she felt as she had seen his face before.

"Krum, Viktor Krum," he answered.

So that's why his face looked familiar, she thought. He was the Seeker for the Bulgarian National Quidditch team; she'd seen his picture in the Daily Prophet a few times, but never gave it much thought.

She enjoyed watching Quidditch, but anything beyond that, such as the mechanics of the game, and her interest was lost.

When he still made no move to sit, the young Lestrange decided not to push further. "Well, my offer is still open if you change your mind," she said, her voice light, soothing, before going back to staring out at the horizon.

To say that Viktor was surprised was not the appropriate term; the young Bulgarian was completely taken aback by this interaction. He looked at her in awe from his position.

Normally, when he introduced himself—though in many cases it was unneeded, as people, females especially, knew who he was—he would be flocked upon, the moment he'd finish sentence. Girls would fawn over him, giggling, trailing after him, and doing anything they could to warrant his attention.

Boys would simply hassle him for his autograph and gave their thoughts about Quidditch matches and formations.

Those two courses of action always happened. Yet, she was not upon him like the girls he constantly ran into; in fact, she seemed completely uninterested in the fame he held.

Then again, she was the daughter of the Lestranges; one of the most prominent pureblooded families in the world. Not to mention the most loyal and faithful supporters of the Dark Lord. She had probably met people far more famous than himself no doubt.

Maybe because of her reaction to him, or rather lack of, the tall male slowly made his way over to her. Adjusting his shoulder cloak, he took a seat, putting half a foot's distance between them. Of which, Hermione did not mind, nor did she take offense to.

"…You are right," Viktor admitted after another bout of silence. "View is very beautiful," he clarified, when Hermione turned to glance at him, eyebrow arched in silence inquiry.

The teenage witch nodded in agreement. "And peaceful," she added, focusing her brown eyes back out onto the land.

Lightening bugs had come out and now danced within the air, creating a thousand points of light.

Viktor wholeheartedly agreed with that; being outside was exponentially better than being inside because it granted him deliverance from the languishing females inside.

"Relaxing," he commented simply.

"I hope you do not mind me asking this," Hermione began, her curious nature taking over. "But, I couldn't help notice that when you entered the garden earlier you looked…well…rather grumpy," Cheeks coloring slightly in embarrassment.

The athlete noticed, and found that she looked extremely cute with a small blush staining her cheeks.

"I was merely wondering if something was bothering you?" she inquired. "Are you not enjoying the ball?"

"No, am enjoying ball very much," he stated quickly and sincerely, hearing the worry in her voice when she posed the question. He then frowned, deeply. "Is the girls," came the confession. "They all vant my attention, vill not leave me in peace."

Hermione understood what he was saying all too well.

Viktor then went on to say, "They are not…" he paused and then turned to look at her. "Vot is English vord for people vho's vants are not pure?"

"Genuine," Hermione supplied.

He nodded sharply. "Yes, they are not gen-you-vine," he declared, referring to not just the girls at the ball, but all the girls and women had had met over the years.

A chuckle escaped the teenage Lestrange, earning Viktor's dark eyes upon her once again. He must have held a curious expression on her face because she responded, "Well, I can't say I do not know that feeling," she admitted.

"Boys chase after me all the time, men also, though I suspect it is simply because of my surname," she pointed out.

Every male that she had ever met desired her simply because of her maturing looks and surname. They didn't care about her interests, or intellect, they simply cared about bragging rights; the chance to be able to say that they had married the Lestranges daughter and related to such a powerful wizarding family.

Tonight alone, she had to deal with Adrian Pucey, Marcus Flint, Blaise Zabini, Argyle Yaxley, Theodore Nott, and a few others she'd rather not name. Each boy wanting a dance, pining for her like she was territory to claim. The boy's parents speaking with hers and trying to convince her parents of a union between their houses.

Thankfully, her parents had not given in—even though she was three years from being of age, and was at the point for suitors to be chosen; they were at least, giving her some say in who she wanted to marry.

Hermione then sighed, and Viktor noticed a look of sadness in her eyes. "It…is very hard to make friends" she confided in him. "Genuine friends I mean," she clarified.

The Bulgarian felt a pain in his chest at hearing the dejectedness in her voice. They had only just met one another and, while he didn't know much about her, he found himself wanting to get to know her; he also felt the desire for her to get to know him as well.

Viktor had never felt such an urge before, especially when came to a girl period—minus the fact that she was three years his junior. Still, while he didn't know where it had come from, he liked the feeling; causing his mouth to curve upward in a small smile.

"Hermy-own-ninny," he said, feeling utterly embarrassed at how he butchered her name. Silently, he vowed to learn how to properly pronounce her name. "Vould you like to be friends vith me?"

The shorter of the two was speechless. Her brown eyes staring into his darker ones, searching to make sure what he said was sincere; Viktor proudly held her gaze.

After a few moments, her eyes glazed over with tears. "Yes Viktor," she agreed voice raw with emotion. "I would like that very much," she added with a smile going along with her profession, showing off her healthy teeth.

The stubble bearded young man, for the first time since arriving at the ball, gave a bona fide smile.

Viktor then stood from his seat, placing himself before Hermione. "Then, first act as friend," he began before bowing to her. "Hermy-own-ninny Lestrange, vill you honor me vith dance?" came the request, as he straightened himself and held out his hand for her.

The young witch couldn't help the laugh that escaped her lips; it was not mocking. It was light and boisterous, and silently, the young wizard was pleased with himself that her mood had already begun to improve.

She placed her smooth hand into his larger one, feeling the calluses brush over her skin as he encompassed her hand with his own. "I'd be delighted," came her response, as she allowed him to pull her to her feet.

They spent the remainder of their evening dancing with one another; swaying to music that only they could hear.

And as they did, they also talked.

Both spoke of things that they never thought they'd be able to share with another person. Interests, hobbies, dreams…all these areas were touched upon; topics that others would have found boring.

But to them, being able to share their soul with another person—someone that was truly heartfelt, and was interested in them as a person, rather than a means to an end—felt absolutely liberating.

Like magic in its purest form.

"Hermione!"

The witch was broken out of the moment by hearing her name being called. She stopped her movements, which caused Viktor to stop as well; they remained in their position though.

"Hermione," the voice called out again, sounding closer.

The teen in question then turned to look up at her friend. "My mother…" she said, and Viktor nodded. "We…probably shouldn't be caught like this," Referring to their dancing position.

It wasn't distasteful by any means. However, she had been out here…alone…with a man…completely un-chaperoned. Not that they would have done anything.

The taller of the two understood; he had been raised the same way after all. With a bit of reluctance, he released her from his grasp; taking a few steps back for good measure.

And, not a moment too soon.

"There you are," Bellatrix stated, entering into the garden, and making her way towards her child. "Our guests are leaving and your father and I have…" The dark witch's words died on her lips, as she noticed that her daughter was not alone.

"Madam Lestrange," Viktor greeted the matriarch of the house with a bow.

The Dark Lord's second said nothing. She merely stared at him, as if he were a foreign object. Her dark eyes then began shifting between him and her daughter.

"It was nice meeting you Viktor," the brunette spoke up, stepping in before her mother's mind caught up with her. "I hope you enjoyed the ball?"

"Very much," he answered. "I must be off now. My Papa is probably looking for me as vell," catching on to what his friend was doing.

Then, in an extremely bold move, he approached Hermione, with Bellatrix mere inches from the girl.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips, placing a soft kiss to the back of her hand. "Vill vite," he told her. "Promise."

Releasing her hand, he bowed once more, before turning and exiting the garden.

Hermione's cheeks were stained red; his gesture caught her completely by surprise. Her heart raced in her chest. She had no idea why she felt this way, but she wasn't complaining, planning on savoring this new feeling as long as she could.

Fate however, had its over agenda.

"You…you…YOU WERE OUT HERE, THE ENTIRE NIGHT, WITH A MAN WITHOUT A CHAPERONE?" Bellatrix shrieked at her daughter, as her mind finally decided to work again.

The younger Lestrange sighed; she knew she had some serious explaining to do. A smile graced her lips as she thought of her newly formed friendship.

It was worth it.