Author's Notes: Hello everyone! Don't have much to say right now. I hope you all enjoy my new story! Please review!

This story takes place in Draco Malfoy's seventh year at Hogwarts. For the sake of the plot, he did not become a Death Eater and Voldemort has not risen back to power yet. The war is not happening, and Harry, Ron and Hermione are not on the search for Horcruxes. Everyone from their year has been able to attend school through to their Seventh Year somewhat normally.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to it. The honour belongs wholly to J.K. Rowling. Bless her and her beautiful mind for giving us these characters to somewhat meddle with. ;)

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Chapter One

I never expected to be put into the position have making one of those ridiculously clich├ęd dramatic decisions. One of those situations that other people's lives could be at risk if I didn't play my hand carefully.

The funny thing is, even though I should be blaming Slughorn, I'm thanking him. I wouldn't change where I am for anything. And no one can do anything to make me want to change what's happened in the past three weeks.

Friday, January 30th, 1998

I was sitting in Potion's listening to Slughorn drone on and on about some sort of potion that he would be having us brew. I really couldn't have cared less. I did catch that he'd be putting us in partners before he started to list off the partners however.

"Finnegan and Parkinson. Weasley and Zabini. Potter and Bulstrode. Brown and Nott. Granger and Malfoy."

I didn't hear anything after that. I froze. I couldn't believe that he had paired me with her. The Almighty Mudblood Queen. I groaned a bit as Slughorn told us to meet with our partners before he finished explaining the assignment. Everyone around me shuffled about to sit with their assigned partners, but I stayed put. There was no way I was going to move to sit beside the Mudblood. She could come to me.

Sure enough, a moment later the bushy-haired bookworm sat herself down beside me. She didn't look at me or even acknowledge my presence for that matter. She simply opened her books and waited for the professor to finish explaining the project. I groaned and crossed my arms, leaning back in my seat. This was not going to be pleasant. Isn't it bad enough that as Head Boy and Girl we have to share a dorm? I really did not want to be working on coursework with her as well.

"Right everyone. I'm sure you all know who you are working with, now I will explain more of this. This potion is not simple, as I mentioned earlier. I will not be revealing the purpose of this potion and it will be up to you to figure out what it is meant for. And if you do know the meaning, keep it to yourself! I want everyone to figure it out for themselves. I will be giving you the ingredients needed and the instructions on the board in a moment's time and I expect one of you to write down the ingredients, while the other copies the instructions down. There should be enough time left in the class for you to get these copied down and then I'll expect you to meet after class hours to get it started. You will not be given any time during class to finish this potion. It is due by the thirteenth of February. That gives you two weeks. Begin now."

I sighed and glanced at Granger, who was already writing down the title of the potion while Slughorn waved his wand about to get everything written on the board. I looked up just as the title finished writing itself out.

"Amico Nemico di Rimedio," I muttered to myself, also writing down the title on the piece of parchment in front of me. It sounded familiar but I didn't dwell on it too much. I looked over at Granger again and saw that she was halfway down her paper in miniscule writing. She must have felt me staring at her writing because she shot me a dirty glare.

"Problem, Malfoy?" she hissed.

"Just that your dirty Mudblood stench is making me feel nauseous. Oh, and which would you like me to write down? I'm assuming the instructions since you have practically finished writing out the ingredients."

"Do whatever the hell you want, Malfoy. I'm writing it all out."

I rolled my eyes. I should have known that the little overachiever would be writing it all out. I figured that I could at least do the same, so I did. I focussed on writing down everything as fast as I could and just before the bell rang, I finished the last instruction. Good timing, if I do say so myself. However, Mudblood Granger had finished ten minutes ago and was going over it to make sure she hadn't missed anything or written anything down wrong.

I turned to her and poked her with the end of my wand. Once more she shot me a dirty glare and raised an eyebrow at me.

"As much as I hate saying this Granger, when do you want to get started on this?"

She gave me a look of annoyance and rolled her eyes. "Well, tonight, obviously. We can't very well put it off can we?"

"And why not? The later I can put off spending time with you the better."

"I always knew you only pretended to read. The first instruction says that this take fourteen nights to brew and mature. Ingredients must be added every night at about the same time and then in the mornings as well."

Shit, well she had me there. That was for sure.

"Fine," I told her. "Our common room at nine o'clock tonight. Sharp."

"It would be better if we could meet at seven thirty. Then we could make it for eight. It has to be twelve hours apart every day."

It was my turn to roll my eyes. "Fine. Seven thirty then. You get the first half of the ingredients, I'll get the second." Without another word I stood, grabbed my bag and stalked out of the classroom. I began making my way to the Great Hall, thinking about how much my life sucked at this particular moment, what, with having to work with Granger even more now. Was it not enough that I do patrol with her (not that we ever stay together, she always goes one way and I another.), I have to share a dorm with her and we are in almost all of the same classes. I was about halfway up the stairs to the entrance hall when my thoughts got interrupted.

"Draco, mate, wait up. How shit is this? I can't believe he stuck me with the Weasel, but I must say it's a lot better than having to work with the Mudblood," Blaise Zabini chuckled as he approached me.

"Shut it, Zabini." Blaise and I have been best friends since our first year. And best friends in Slytherin are basically just the people that you can tolerate the most, but I always felt that Blaise and I had an understanding. Don't piss the other one off and it will be all good.

"Oh come on, mate. You're seriously going to let this one go? Amico Nemico di Rimedio? This is a good one."

I gave my friend a confused look that he laughed at once more before proceeding to walk to the Great Hall.

"Why are you laughing Zabini? I fail to see how this is funny."

Blaise shook his head and smirked at me. "You'll see. I wish I could tell you but it's against the rules. Let's just say I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing how yours turns out. Not so much mine, but yours, definitely."

Before I could say anything, Pansy came up and began to complain about herself being partnered with the Irish Gryffindor.

"I can hardly understand what he's saying!"

I tuned her out as I sat down to eat my lunch. I didn't really know why, but the way Blaise had reacted to myself being paired with Granger on this project had unsettled me.

The rest of my day had gone quite quickly, which I was not happy about because the quicker time went, the sooner I would have to actually put up with Granger and work with her.

After dinner, I went to see my godfather and asked him to help me with the ingredients that I had said I would acquire.

"What potion did you say this was all for again?" Snape asked me as he led me into his private stores.

"I didn't," I replied shortly.

"Well?" he asked me after a moment.

I sighed in defeat before saying, "Amico Nemico di Rimedio."

My godfather stopped in his tracks and spun on his heel.

"You cannot be serious," he said in a somewhat amused voice. "And who are you working with on it?"

"Why?" I asked, shooting him a suspicious look.

"No reason," he muttered before turning back around and opening the door that led to a room full of all the potion ingredients you could think of, and then some.

In under a minute, I had gotten everything I needed.

"Why did you want to know who I am working with?" I insisted.

"No matter. You better run along. This potion isn't going to make itself."

"You're telling me. Now I have to go and put up with an insufferable know-it-all prude that's put on a pedestal."

Snape eyed me once more and one of those rare amused expressions came across his face. "You are working with Granger on this?" Then he did the most unexpected thing. He laughed. And laughed some more.

I was starting to get really fed up with this.

"What in Merlin's name is so funny?" I asked with malice in my voice.

"You'll see, my boy. All in due time. Good luck." With that, my godfather escorted me to the top of the staircase where he proceeded to make his way into the Great Hall for his dinner. I looked at my watch and realized it was already twenty past seven.

I slowly made my way to the Head's Tower and stopped outside of the statue the protected the place. It was of Aphrodite, I think. Granger told me who she was one time I think. I didn't listen to her explain any more after that. I had brushed her off and told her I really didn't give a fuck.

"Television," I muttered the password. I had no idea what it was or what it meant. Granger picked it out. The statue graciously stepped out of the way, revealing the door that led to the common room I was forced to share with Granger.

I walked in and noticed that Granger was already there, her share of the ingredients spread out on the table in front of her. She was looking over the parchments in front of her, but she looked up when she heard the door close behind me. She didn't say anything; she didn't even acknowledge me apart from a quick nod before turning back to the instructions in front of her.

I walked over and sorted out the ingredients I had gotten from Snape and went to my room to retrieve the papers from Slughorn's lesson today. I noticed that she had a cauldron set up in the middle of the floor beside the table and the fire under it was already lit heating up the cauldron. I had to admit that she was at least thorough. I could bet that I would be getting the best grade in the class and know that I would win. How could we not when we were the top two peoples in our class?

"Right, let's get this over with Granger. You stench is already making me sick," I pretended to be nauseated by her body odour.

"Nice to see you, too, Malfoy. Let's just get on with it. It says here that we will have to prick ourselves and put three drops of each of our blood in first. I got this to help us. I'll even let you go first," she smirked at me as she handed me what looked to be a small sewing needle. At least I assume that is what it is. I'd only ever seen the house elves use them.

I reluctantly took it from her hand. "Good. I don't want any of your dirty blood contaminating my pure bloodlines." With that I stuck my finger with the pointy end of the small silver object and held my hand over the cauldron. I set the needle back down on the table and squeezed three drops of my blood out into the cauldron.

A moment later, Granger did the same. I was astounded when I saw what happened. Her blood came out of her finger and into the cauldron as well. And it wasn't muddy. It was red. Bright, brilliant red. Just like mine.

I mentally smacked myself. Of course it was red. The term Mudblood was only metaphorical.

"Okay. Then essence of lavender, followed by essences of lily and azalea and then the three cups of pumpkin juice. Those are followed by the lemon and lime juice, the eye of toad and half of the toad eggs. Ugh, pleasant," she muttered as an afterthought. She set to finding the essences and began to slowly add them.

"Would you stir these together as I add them, please?"

I grunted my distaste, but set to stirring the mixture that was in the cauldron as she continued to add the ingredients.

After about ten minutes she sat back and smiled slightly.

"We have to wait for ten minutes before we can add the unicorn hair and dragon's blood. Then nothing until tomorrow morning."

I nodded to show I heard her and then picked up my transfiguration book out of my bag and began to read the chapter McGonagall had assigned us as homework.

The ten minutes passed slowly, and I couldn't help but notice the scent coming from the cauldron. It smelled of sweet strawberries and hot chocolate.

That's odd, I thought to myself. There's nothing at all that resembles those two scents.

I shook my head and looked at the instructions for the potion hoping it would give a clue again as to why Blaise and Snape had both laughed at him. It was obvious that they both knew something I didn't. And I can't really wait to find out. I'm not a particularly patient person you see.

"It's time," I said to Granger. She looked up and me and nodded. She went over and started stirring the potion. I took the unicorn hair and the vial of dragon's blood off of the table and went over to the cauldron. I watched as I dropped the unicorn hair in. The colour of the potion which was a dark mucky brown turned to a bright vibrant purple before I had to add the dragon's blood. I uncorked the vial and began slowly pouring it in. It turned to a darker purple now. Then to a deep reddish purple. Almost a mahogany colour. Granger looked at her notes on the floor beside her and nodded.

"According to the instructions, this is how it should look. Shall we meet at quarter to eight in the morning to add the next ingredients?" she asked me, looking up at me with her dark brown eyes.

I slowly nodded, wondering to myself when I had ever cared about Granger's eyes. I hadn't noticed before but they were warm and welcoming. Almost like a hot cup of steaming cocoa.

"Sure, whatever Granger," I muttered before hastily collecting my stuff and going to my room.

"Good night, Malfoy," she said as she collected her belongings when I had finished.

"Good night, Granger."

It wasn't until I had sit down at my desk and was halfway though my DADA essay for Snape that I realized that was the first time all year we had wished each other a good night.

I looked at the time and realized I was twenty minutes late to the Friday Night party in the Slytherin Common Room. I needed a drink and that's exactly where I was going to get it.

-.-

Saturday, January 31st, 1998

I woke up the next morning without a hazy head, which I was quite happy about. My pillow hadn't even buzzed to wake me up, which meant it wasn't even seven thirty yet. Why was I up this early on a Saturday? It was weird. I rarely wake up early unless I'm ill. But I don't feel ill. In fact, I feel far from ill. I feel almost happy. Is that the right word? I don't really know. Regardless, I didn't feel sick. I rolled over to check my time keeper on my bedside table and saw that it read six forty-five. I stretched and decided there was no point trying to go back to sleep, I would just have to get up in forty five minutes to go do that stupid potion with Granger. I rolled out of bed and made my way over to my chest of drawers. I got my clothes for the day ready and decided to take advantage of the empty bathroom.

I'll admit that it's not particularly difficult to live with the Mudblood. She keeps to herself and doesn't interfere with much, but she likes to take her time in the bathroom. She seems to spend a majority of her time in there in the morning. Doing what, I have no idea. Perhaps she should put all the time she spends in there to good use.

I grab my towel from the back of my door and walk out into the common room. I stop dead in my tracks when I see the top of a head with bushy hair sitting in one of the chairs in front of the fire. If she heard me, she doesn't give any indication so I continue on my way to the bathroom.

Not half an hour later, I emerge from the bathroom all ready for the day ahead. I go back to my room, hang up my towel and then grab one of my favourite novels. It's sort of an adult version of the Deathly Hallows. I give myself a quick smirk in the mirror before I go back into the common room. I notice Granger is still sitting where I saw her the first time so I walk over to see if there's anything I can harass her about.

She still isn't indicating that she's heard me. I walk right over to the chair and stand about three inches behind her shoulder.

"Granger," I said.

I must have frightened her because she jumped nearly a foot in the air before turning to look at me.

"What do you want, Malfoy?" Her eyes don't quite meet mine which is odd because I've never known her to avoid eye contact. She did turn her head enough for me to notice that she had been crying. Her eyes were all red and puffy.

Eyes like that do not suit her, I wonder what the hell is going on, I thought to myself, furious. I then mentally smacked myself. Since when did I care about what was going on in her life? On the other hand, this could give me some leverage, which is what I was looking for in the first place, right?

"For the world to be rid of Mudbloods, if it's not asking too much. What's wrong, Granger? Weasley still snogging the blonde gossip senseless? Or is it the Bulgarian Seeker, has he finally realized that he's never going to get anything from you? Has he told you he won't wait anymore? Or has he already given up on waiting and picked up someone who's willing to please him in ways that you know not of?"

With each remark, I can see her jaw setting into her angry face. Good. Fight back, dumb bitch.

"For your information, you fucking ferret, not that it's your business in anyway, but I don't know what Ron is up to with Lavender these days. I don't get to talk to him much. And as for Viktor, I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven't spoken to him since last summer. Now, why don't you just leave me be until we have to add the other ingredients to the potions in half an hour?"

"What fun would that be, Granger?"

She finally turned to look at me, and I could make out that she hadn't actually been crying. It looked more like lack of sleep. There were purplish bags under her eyes and the puffiness reminded me of when Pansy used to get nightmares and wouldn't sleep. Her eyes would be red and puffy, which is how Granger's looked right now.

"Well, it would be fun because then I wouldn't be stinking you out of the place, would I?"

Her eyes narrowed at me, as if daring me to say something back. Well, Draco Malfoy is not one that will ever say no to a challenge.

I sniffed the air as if making to mock her but I froze for a millisecond. I could smell the same scent as I did from that potion the night before. Strawberries and hot chocolate. I began to wonder where the smell was coming from when I realized it was Granger. Fuck. She didn't stink at all. In fact, she smelled divine. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

I quickly snapped back to reality. "Actually, you're not half bad today Granger. All that extra time you've been spending in the bathroom must really be paying off."

I watched as her mouth opened slightly as her jaw dropping in shock. I don't blame her; I gave her a backhanded compliment. I immediately backhanded myself mentally. Why the hell had I said that?

"Right," she said slowly. "Well, when you come into contact with Malfoy, would you please inform him that I'll be back in twenty five minutes so that we can work on our potion? Thanks." She walked off then and I could help but notice the tanned bit of flesh showing from between her pyjama bottoms and the vest-top covering her torso. It wasn't white, but not quite tanned. Sun-kissed, perhaps.

Why the hell was I thinking about Granger like that? I sighed and sat down. I gazed into the fire and took another deep breath in through my nose. It stunk. The air around me was absolutely retched. It reeked with the sweet scent of strawberries and hot chocolate.

-.-

Well, I hope you all enjoyed it! What did you think! Compliments and constructive criticism are always welcome. And I'd also enjoy a few that say please update soon! Haha! Look forward to hearing from you all! xxx