Okay, okay, I know, my previous chapter 5 sucked, since I got like… 5 reviews? I'm so sorry. Please forgive me.

I re-did chapter 5.

I really really have no time, but I managed to squeeze this out for you guys. My teachers are gonna kill me because I haven't done a single bit of homework, having used all my homework time to type this out. And no, I refuse to sacrifice my sleep for homework.

So my writing style is kinda screwed for this chapter because I rushed it out. Please, just for this chapter, look past the writing and try to just erm picture the stuff going on?

So sorry. Hope you like this.

Chapter 5

Draco Malfoy was in horror. Pure, utter horror that left him staring at himself with his mouth wide open in a silent scream.

This was the result of an experiment gone very, very wrong.

The day had started off simply, with him waking up to a glorious dream about H-… some girl. He'd gotten dressed while humming to himself and been on his way to the Great Hall for breakfast when he had heard several muffled cries from a classroom nearby.

The door had been left ajar, and he took it as an invitation to have a peek.

So looked inside.

And he very nearly fainted.

There stood Hermione in lip-lock with the weasel, their arms wound round each other. He had felt hurt. Betrayed, even. It had been two weeks since the fairy incident, and they had only gotten closer. Hadn't she told him she didn't love the weasel anymore?

He was bursting with emotions, but he shut himself down, and forced himself to walk away. Having lost his appetite, he decided to return to his room to wade in his new-found misery.

So here he stood in front of his mirror, at a complete lost.

He had been irrational, he had to admit. It was that little thought he had planted in his mind the other day in the Great Hall- the one about Hermione liking red-heads.

Yes, he had, in his greatest moment of folly, turned his hair a fiery, Weasly-red.

"What have I done?" He shouted at his own reflection, eyes ablaze with anger.

Some years ago, he had walked into his Common Room to find Pansy asleep by the fireplace, a book in her lap. Amazed- Pansy reads?- he had taken a look at the book, which had been flipped to a page with a spell to change the colour of your hair.

So that's how Pansy keeps turning up with weird-coloured hair every week.

He had looked through the spell, and even used it several times on himself just for the fun of it. However, he must have done something wrong today because the spelling wasn't undoing itself at his command. Trying to change the colour of his hair again was also failing.

I'm screwed.

Hermione's mind was reeling.

She had always wanted this, hadn't she? Then why had she ended the kiss? Why had she pushed him away and fled?

She entered the Great Hall and spotted Harry in the middle of his breakfast.

"Harry, I need to talk to you."

Harry was about to protest, but seeing her expression, he cast a wistful sigh and a last, longing look at his breakfast before he stood up.

They walked in silence to an empty corridor nearby.

"Ron kissed me."

He stopped in his tracks.

"W- what?"

"He kissed me. Earlier this morning."

Harry glanced warily at her. She was unusually calm about this.

"Is that a good or a bad thing?"

She shrugged.

"I don't know. I kissed him back."

"You're really starting to confuse me, 'Mione."

She closed her eyes for several seconds, gathering her thoughts.

"I was waiting for you in the Common Room when Ron came down and told me you'd left early to meet one of the instructors. So we walked to the Great Hall together. And he suddenly grabbed my hand and pulled me to him and… and kissed me. Here." She pointed to her lips, looking sombre.

"Did you… kiss him back?"

She scrunched her nose in disgust.

"I did. I did, knowing he was on the verge of entering a relationship with that- with Astoria Greengrass. And that he was still flirting with Cherry. I just lost myself, I guess. Which is no excuse. But I didn't want D- anyone to see us, since anyone always comes by this way in the mornings, so we went into the nearest classroom to continue. Then I heard something like a gasp, and when I opened my eyes, I saw a flash of blonde, and I think anyone saw- I mean, someone saw us, Harry! So I pushed Ron away and ran out, but there was no one outside. Ron came and tried to pull me in again but I panicked and ran away and… well, here I am."

She slumped against the wall and let herself slide down so that she was now a pathetic heap on the floor.

Harry sat down next to her.

"That sounded like some sort of riddle, but I think I got it. Is 'Anyone' Malfoy?"

Her eyes widened and she froze.

"No." She said forcefully.

"Merlin's balls." Harry muttered.


But he wasn't staring at her. She followed his gaze and got the shock of her life.

Striding towards them with his long, lean legs, and dressed impeccably in a dark, black suit and polished shoes was Draco Malfoy. His silver eyes were trained on her, and his mouth curved in a wicked smirk.

But his hair! It. Was. Red!

His hair was styled devilishly in accordance to its devious red. He looked like the sexiest, 'bad-est' bad boy on the planet.

The smart clacking of his shoes against the floor slowed and he towered over them, although he took no notice of Harry.

"Done gawking at me, Granger?"

She blinked, and shut her mouth.

"Your. Hair." She said stupidly.

"Well, today is the day of the first selection. I heard those selected for the next round of training will be visiting the ministry, so I'm making an impression. Wouldn't want to wear what Potter's wearing."

He sneered, and Harry's stare turned into a glare.

Still, Hermione was speechless, her eyes glued to him.

He looks… edible. Delicious, even.

She gulped at her thoughts, and shook them away, blushing.

Draco caught her blush and got onto one knee so that his eyes were level with hers. She was holding her breath, and her brown eyes were wide with unguarded emotions.

"I got something for you." He said softly, the ice in his eyes being replaced by boyish excitement.

He took her hand in his large warm one and placed a box from his pocket.

"Wear it." He said, before straightening himself, and leaving a dazed Hermione Granger and a shocked Harry Potter behind.

She's definitely infatuated with me. Trust a Malfoy to turn something ugly into something beautiful. That weasel stands no chance.

But no, Draco was not content with the mere infatuation of Hermione Granger. He wanted much more than that.

There was only one place left in the selection, and she crossed her fingers.

Please let him be chosen, please.

"Draco Malfoy."

Her tense body was flooded with relief, and she smiled at him when he caught her eye. A part of her was fuming, however. They had called his name last, although they had called the rest of the names in alphabetical order- a sure sign that many of the aurors were still prejudiced against the Malfoys. They had, however, no doubt that he deserved a place as an auror ability-wise.

His jaw was clenched and his body tightly wound, but he maintained his composure, and strode over to join the rest of the trainees who had passed the first round.

She went to meet him, and they both stood beside each other, waiting for their instructions.

"You're wearing it." He said, a small smile playing on his lips.

She fingered the ruby-stone of the necklace he had given her. Coincidentally, it complimented the dress she had chosen. It was green- a shade of that was very Slytherin- but Hermione would never admit she'd bought the dress because of its colour.

"Thank you, I like it very much. Why'd you get it for me?"

"So that at least one part of you will match my hair today."

The two of them laughed quietly.

"What did you do to your hair?"

He remained tight-lipped.

"Congratulations!" The head-instructor boomed. "To the thirty of you standing here, you are now an auror."

He gave them a moment to cheer before he continued.

"The training only gets harder from here. So far, we've been focusing on your magical ability. Now, we are also going to include a physical training regime that will put your bodies in good shape."

put your bodies in good shape.

Draco swallowed hard, his thoughts wandering to Hermione.

"Never underestimate the importance of keeping fit. Moving on, you may wonder why you've all been asked to dress so formally for this occasion. You have a test. Right about… now."

The instructor looked smug and smiled at the groans.

"The objective of this test will be to obtain as much information as you can. Also try to get evidence to support the validity of the information you've obtain. This will be difficult, so as far as you can, stretch yourselves. Remember the people, their voices, and what they say. Be observant. Submit your report by two am. You will be assigned new partners. Portkeys will be given to some of you, and will only be activated if both you and your new partner are in contact with them. They will transport you directly into a stimulus-room. The test will be based on the memory of one of our aurors. No more information will be given. You have five hours. Good luck."

Immediately, the other instructors began passing labelled portkeys to some of the trainees.

She chanced a glance at Draco, and saw that he was looking at her, a disappointed look on his face.

"I hope we're partners." She said, her sad eyes boring into his from under her long lashes.

"I don't dare to hope." He said in response, running a hand through his red hair.

She laughed a little.

"It's still funny seeing your hair red-"

Suddenly, she burst into laughter.

Ron had come and was now standing beside Draco. Seeing the two of them side by side with the same shade of red hair had proved too much for her, and she doubled-over, laughing hysterically.

At least I look better than the fool, Draco thought irritatedly.

"Hermione, I got my portkey! Why are you laughing so hard? Grab on to it! We could be partners!" Ron cried enthusiastically.

She choked and her laughter died.

She looked warily at the portkey with Ron's name scribbled on it, and looked at Draco with pleading eyes.

"'Mione! Take it!" Ron said impatiently, and shoved it towards her so that it was pressed sharply against her arm.

She yelped, and closed her eyes, but nothing happened.

She opened her eyes, and glared at Ron, who was still trying to get a reaction out of his portkey by jabbing her with it.

"Stop that, Ron. Go find Harry."

"He got partnered with someone else."

"Draco Malfoy? Your portkey." Someone said.

The three of them stared dumbly at the silver object grasped tightly in Draco's hand.

"Well, shall we?" Draco asked, holding it out to her, his voice quivering just a little from his nervousness.

"Y- yes." Hermione nodded.

Ron narrowed his eyes.

Gingerly, she reached out to touch it.

Please let it be him, please.

She wrapped her fingers around its cool, smooth surface, and waited.

And waited.


They weren't partners.

Her eyes travelled up to meet his deep silver ones, too disappointed to speak.

A sharp tingle ran through her from her fingertips.

Then another.

There was the familiar sensation of being pulled to another place.

"Ron, let go of me!"

There were standing in a magnificent ballroom filled with guests dressed in all sorts of expensive finery.

"I guess we're partners." She heard Draco whisper in her ear, making in shiver with the sensations he was inducing.

The place looked vaguely familiar to the two of them, but it was Draco who first realised where they were.

He started, and tensed.

"We're at Malfoy Manor." He told her. "The ballroom looked like this before I was I born."

"This must be the first war, then."

"Let go of Hermione!"

The two turned and saw that Ron Weasley had tagged along, but before they could respond, a voice from somewhere spoke.

"Ah, and who are our esteemed guests?"

From the crowd emerged Lucius Malfoy, and at his side, Bellatrix Lestrange. Her large, crazed eyes were riveted on Hermione, and immediatey, Draco moved closer to Hermione, body poised defensively.

Hermione was finding it hard to breathe. Her lungs were being constricted, and all she could do was stare wide-eyed at Bellatrix Lestrange, body rooted in terror.

Bellatrix smiled- a smile that sent chills up her back- and she opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out.

Bellatrix disappeared from sight as Draco turned to face her, his silver eyes filled with worry.

"Hermione, are you alright? We can ask them to stop the test. Hermione?"

"Don't touch Hermione, Malfoy!"

"Are you afraid of me?" A thin, cold voice asked.

Bellatrix came back into view, still smiling, as Lucius looked on in amusement.

She snapped out of her daze as Draco's body blocked Bellatrix from her view again.

She saw that in his frustration, he had cast a body-binding spell on Ron, and had now taken her face in his hands.

"Hermione, can you hear me? Hermione? Someone, please stop the test!"

She looked up and allowed her thoughts to be consumed by him.

"It's okay." He said soothingly, hugging her tightly to him with one arm, his other hand stroking her cheek gently. "It's all in the past. She's dead. She can't hurt you."

Something hot trailed down her cheek, and she panicked for a moment, thinking it was blood- like the warm blood that had flowed from her arm as Bellatrix carved into it- but Draco wiped the warm trail away, and she realised they were tears.

Draco tensed and looked at a spot just behind her ear.

"Boo." The thin voice whispered gleefully into her ear.

Before he could stop her, she turned and met the harsh, dark eyes of Bellatrix two inches from her. That look in her eyes-

And all she could hear were screams. Piercing, blood-curling screams that never ended. Her own screams.

I thank you- the 5 people who reviewed the previous chapter 5. With all my heart. I really really want to reply, but I'm running out of time so I'll reply you next chapter! I'm so so sorry, guys. I'm like dying from stress and work-overload here.

And to all my constant reviewers, thank you so so much for reviewing. You have no idea how grateful I am to you.

Cheers, and have a great day ahead for all of you.

P.s. Please be kind and review. I felt so sad I only got 5 reviews for the previous chapter ):

I feel so used when people just story-alert this and not bother to review at all, because I sacrifice so much time working on this. Or maybe it's not good enough for you to review? Please tell me how to improve

Thank you!