Chapter One: Conversation
"Malfoy?" came a voice from down the corridor. Draco was entirely ready to ignore it, as it was Saturday, and he was planning on working on the cabinet and getting smashed again. But the voice came from Weasley, a friend of Hermione's, so he turned.
"What do you want, Weasel?" he asked, venomously.
Ron seemed unabashed by the tone of voice. In fact, he seemed to become tougher.
"Just stay away from Hermione, alright? Leave her alone." He quickly turned and hurried away. Draco carried on to the room, fully intending to keep away from her anyway.
He missed the Quidditch match, but he heard the outcome, and was shocked that Weasel had done so well. He was in a foul temper, sitting under a desk in a disused classroom, when Hermione came bursting in, crying, a solitary bird following her.
"Want to talk about it?" asked Draco, staying hidden under the table. Hermione, her back pressed against the closed door, stiffened.
"Who's there?" she asked, quickly wiping her eyes and looking around the room. Draco almost cursed for his stupidity.
"Never mind," he said. "I'm a friend, I can help." Hermione took a deep breath, and poured out her story. Each word she said about feeling hurt by what Ron had done stuck a dagger through his chest. She didn't have to feel this way, the Weasel didn't know how lucky he was that this beautiful witch wanted him. He was just throwing it back in her face. He wouldn't be so stupid.
"But the thing is, I shouldn't be upset. I like Ron, sure, but I don't love him... It's just a passing crush... I love someone else..."
Draco hardy dared hope. It seemed it could be too much.
"Who?" he asked, despite himself.
Hermione paused, then let out a shaky laugh. "I don't even know why I'm telling you all this. I don't know who you are, I don't know if I can trust you..."
"You can trust me, Hermione," he said, his heart skipping a beat as he spoke her name. He heard footsteps.
Hermione began walking towards the corner of the room the voice was coming from. "I shouldn't like him, that's the thing... He's a pureblood... I'm just a muggle born, a mudblood, he called me. That's what I'll always be to him. You can probably guess from that."
Still Draco didn't dare to hope. Many purebloods had referred to Hermione as a mudblood.
"But I think I trust you enough to tell you." Her voice was closer now, and he could see her feet next to the desk he was under. He could also see her legs, and his breath hitched in his throat.
"It's Draco Malfoy," she said, as she bent down onto one knee to look under the table, into his face.
Silver eyes met hazel, each full of wonder. Hermione was shocked, and blushed furiously. Draco's mouth was slightly open.
He didn't know why he did it, it might have been because he was drunk, but he leant forward and put his lips firmly on hers, before almost immediately recoiling.
"Hey Her-Granger." He tried to cover up that he had almost said her first name. Hermione's mouth was parted slightly, and he looked in fascination at them, seeing the way her now perfect teeth went to bite her bottom lip, yet refrained. Her tongue licked it instead.
"Hi, Draco..." she responded, her voice barely more than a whisper.
Then she was gone, rushing out of the room, slamming the door behind her. It was quite a while before she realised she'd left her bird there, but Draco immediately noticed the chirping noise.
He crawled out from under the table, as the clock struck half eleven. He held out his open palm, and the bird hopped onto it.
"Come on," he said, and left for the Slytherin common room, smiling slightly on his way there.