Hurray, Chapter 10! I hope you enjoy it…
Draco quickly developed a routine for going about his, or rather Malfoy's day. He would get up at the crack of dawn, shower, and spend a ridiculous amount of time gelling his hair back in place flawlessly. After that was breakfast, where he stared fixatedly on his food, only making eye contact with the owls that brought him the Daily Prophet.
He'd go through his morning classes in a similar fashion, looking at nothing but the teacher and his quill. The Death Eater, Snape, often sent him odd looks, but never said anything to him. For that, Draco was grateful. He couldn't handle one-on-one conversations with Death Eaters, especially after Sirius. But his other teachers seemed to like him, and most likely thought that he was a good hard working student. The truth was, he spent all his time doing homework and studying in his room to avoid everyone else, namely a certain Gryffindor.
Lunch was the same as breakfast, but he ate hurriedly, and left before anyone could get a word in edgewise. Afternoon classes go by agonizingly slow, then dinner. He had Quidditch practice at least once a week, and he was rather proud of his improvements as a player. When he got home, he was going to give his Harry a much worthier opponent.
The monotony had lasted long enough that Draco was starting to get comfortable. He had spoke to Dumbledore a few more times, and the Headmaster told him that he was no nearer an answer than he had been to begin with. Though he had refined his theory on how exactly Draco had gotten there in the first place. It turned out that it was a sort of swapping charm, substituting one Draco for another, erasing the one that was there to begin with. As horrible as that sounded, Draco was rather glad that Malfoy wasn't destroying his home. And no matter how much Draco persisted, the professor wouldn't share what happened to his hand. It was rather frustrating.
But that didn't matter at the moment, what mattered was the odd situation Draco was in. He had been walking back to the common rooms after Quidditch practice, when none other than Harry came barreling down the hallway, gabbed him by the arm, and yanked them both into a broom cupboard, slamming the door behind them.
"Harry! What the bloody hell are you doing?"
The other teen answered by covering Draco's mouth with his hand, and made an urgent shushing sound. Draco instantly stilled. A few moments later, and rapid footsteps were heard storming past the door, with a rather angry sound to the way the shoes hit the floor. When they had long past, Draco raised an eyebrow in question.
Harry removed his hand, smirking, "Parkinson was rather keen on giving you a piece of her mind. I heard her telling a few other girls that you'd been neglecting her, and she was about to get you back whether you liked it or not. I figured I should at least warn you."
The blonde couldn't help the shudder that past through him at the thought of what Parkinson most likely had in mind, "Thanks…I guess."
"No problem," Harry said, winking, "See you later, then." And before Draco could say anything else, he was gone. That boy was really starting to get on his nerves. It wouldn't be so bad if they never saw each other, but no matter how hard he tried, Draco just couldn't seem to shake the brunette. It was almost as if he was stalking him…Oh, Merlin, he was. The 'Slytherin' groaned. Of all the things that could possibly go wrong, and the bloody idiot has to start crushing on him.
For probably the first time since he had arrived here, Draco wished he had Hermione with him. She was the only witch in existence besides Aunt Lily that could control Harry. But seeing as Harry's mother wasn't exactly accessible in this reality, Hermione would have to do. The trouble was that Granger would never listen to Malfoy, and would end up jinxing him if he even went near her. But nevertheless, he needed someone to keep Harry as far from him as physically possible, and the only people capable of doing that were Granger and Weasley. And while Granger would jinx him, Weasley would just kill him on the spot. So, Granger it was.
He found her in the Library, reading a rather formidable thick dusty tome. Draco approached her cautiously, "Granger?" Her head snapped up, and her eyes narrowed at him in suspicion, "Can I talk to you…please?"
It seemed to be the 'please' that won her over, because she blinked in confusion, before nodding tightly.
"Thanks." He sat down opposite her, gulping, "Okay, this is going to sound really, really weird." He took a deep breath, steeling his nerves, "I need you to keep Ha-Potter away from me."
She gaped at him, "What are you talking about, Malfoy?"
"This is impossible to explain, but Potter has taken a sudden liking to me, which is a very bad thing."
Hermione quirked an eyebrow at him, "Hate him that much, do you?"
"No, of course not! I –" He saw the corner of her mouth twitch up, "Granger, this is important!"
Now she really was smiling, "I'm sure it is, Malfoy…You like him, don't you?"
Draco spluttered for a moment. Hermione had always been too smart for her own good. He sat trying to think of what he could say to shoot her theory down, but came up rather short. Her small smile had grown into a grin by the time he answered, "It's complicated."
"I knew it! Is that why you've been acting so civil lately?" her stiffness was gone; in fact, Draco would go as far as saying she seemed to be enjoying the conversation.
"I have?" she nodded, "And here I was, thinking I was being mean."
Hermione laughed. They sat together in silence for a few moments, though not an uncomfortable one. But then Granger had to go ruin it, 'He likes you too, you know – Harry."
Draco froze, this was bad; this was real bad. "He – he does?"
The bushy-haired girl laughed again, "Of course he does. Honestly, Malfoy, are you that oblivious?"
"Apparently. Has he told you?"
"Not in so many words, no. But he's become rather obsessed with you lately…stalker-ish if you ask me." She bit her bottom lip, "But, if you like him too…why do you want him to stay away from you?"
Draco's smile was gone in an instant, "I told you, Granger, it's complicated. I couldn't explain it to you even if I wanted to."
She considered that for a moment, her face screwed up in thought, "Does this have anything to do with what happened in the common room the other week?"
The blonde flinched, "You could say that. Listen Granger, I have to go…do homework. Just keep him away from me, alright?"
Granger shrugged, "I'll try my best Malfoy, but no promises. Harry has this knack for going where he's not allowed."
Draco left the library with a frown on his face, Merlin's beard, the girl's right.
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