Chapter 13

Silence. Silence with the occasional groan, that's what followed their first Occlumency and Legilimency lesson. Malfoy still lay on the floor seemingly too traumatized to move, that big wussy. She, herself, had flung herself on the couch with an arm draped over her eyes in an attempt to sooth her pounding head.

And so they stayed for the reminder of their two hours long lesson. Neither attempting to speak, neither even knowing what to say. How would she survive the rest of the term with lessons like this? This would be worse than a lesson with Snape in his foulest mood. Not only would she be required to be in the same room as the egocentric, spoilt Slytherin that called himself Draco Malfoy, no she would be required to allow his attempts at entering her mind and reversed. This would mean that todays embarrassing events would not be the last.

Another groan vibrated through her throat and made her head pound even more.

Just then an elf appeared with a small poof, but it was loud enough to make Hermione wince. God, it felt like she had a hangover with her pounding head being both light and sound sensitive!

"Sorry, Miss!" the elf squeaked. "Misty was asked to deliver a bowl of chocolate too sooth strained minds. Chocolate heals!"

Indeed the elf called Misty put a bowl down on the coffee table filled with a variation of dark and light chocolate. It was like looking at a bowl of heaven. Like Lupin explained to them in third year after the dementor-attacks, chocolate helps with everything.

"Thank you, Misty." Hermione said softly with a faint smile.

Misty flopped her ears happily for the nice comment and disappeared with another poof.

Hermione stretched her hand into the bowl and fished up some chocolate, devouring it like a starved man. Immediately she felt the chocolate sooth her taste buds and the feeling went straight up to her brain.

Feeling a bit better she grabbed a few more and tossed it at Malfoy, who still lay unmoving on the floor. The brown pieces of God himself hit him on the stomach and left a couple of brown imprints on his white shirt before falling off. "The lesson ends in ten minutes Malfoy, don't look dead when McGonagall comes." She said in a flippant tone as she reached for even more chocolate for herself.

Merlin, she loved chocolate.

She never thought she'd see the day when Malfoy ate chocolate that had been on the floor, but it seemed like the five-second rule applied for the wizarding community as well. Or the picture of Neville, naked, had damaged his brain somehow.

Hermione hoped for the latter. It would make her life so much easier, and more fun!

Slowly they both drew enough strength from the new added calories and managed to sit up on the couches.

They were silent this whole time and could easily hear the approaching steps of McGonagall coming to release them.

Hermione already dreaded the coming lessons; she didn't want to have this splitting headache ever again! "What about only theoretical lessons this coming month and minor exercises to strengthen our minds?" she rushed out before her head of house reached the door.

"Deal." He grunted out just as the door swung open and McGonagall entered.

"How did the lesson go?" she asked, clearly noting the exhausted looks on their faces.


"Tiring." They said at once.

"We were just testing ourselves out today, professor." Hermione explained pushing her headache away with sheer willpower. "We wanted to see where we stood, and then thought we would take the next month doing minor exercises and theoretical work."

Though they basically had to teach themselves, she wanted McGonagall to see that they weren't just messing around and that they had some sort of plan for all of this. Which they just made up…

The Professor looked at them with her piercing eyes and then nodded in acceptance. "Very good, now you are dismissed, but I expect you to be here 8 o'clock sharp on Thursday. Though none of us teachers will be here then, we will get a report from Knight Wellington after every lesson. Now off to your dormitories, it's already past curfew." And with that she opened the door wider until both the students had crossed the threshold and on their way to their dorms.

The following weeks flew by despite the dreaded O&L lessons. Draco, for one, was overjoyed that neither him nor Granger had brought up their first lesson. Draco had made some desperate floo-calls to his therapist (he'd received one after the war by the ministry, to talk out his "issues" and prevent further segregation.) to rid those images of that oaf Longbottom (his name had never been more accurate) from his mind. He had been quite fanatic when he did the first call, but had eventually regained sanity after about an hour of breathing exercises with Dr Green. Seriously for an old lady, Dr Green was fantastic.

He'd thought about revenge of course. He had this perfect image of when Pansy had tried to play "seductive" and lay stark naked in his bed after a Quidditch match in fifth year which Slytherin had won. That was her, "thanking him for a good game". The usage of quotation marks was necessary because it was her words, and he wasn't that thankful for it. But hey, he was a hot-blooded adolescent and she lay naked in his bed. Even with the pug face, refusing such a thing was quite difficult, and his mother had taught him to be polite and not hurt girls. Needless to say, turning down Pansy then and there would have hurt her – a lot. And why not go for it? One time was no time, he'd tried to convince himself before, during and after, but lets say Pansy had been of another opinion.

Anyway, he thought as he shook those nasty memories out of his head, those images would probably scar Granger as the Longbottom images had scared him. He shuddered at the thought. But still for him to play back with the same card he had to let her use Legilimency on him and he still didn't want to allow that. Anyway, their sort-of truce with the theoretical research the passing month had suited him just fine. No headaches, no horrific images. All was good in Draco-land except for four uncomfortable study hours each week with the occasional spat. But he would get his revenge, all in good time.

Besides he had had more on his mind the last month than his extracurricular activities on top of his ordinary schoolwork and Quidditch. He, Blaise and Theo had threatened, cursed and hexed their housemates who dared to take their reserved couch group in the common room. This involved a stinging-hex that lasted for a week (and made it excruciating to sit, fuck or even take a dump) to whoever sat on the couch or armchair without permission from the three of them, and a boiling- curse that made boils appear on ones genitals on those who tried to take away the before mentioned hex. On top of all that they had started with terrorizing the whole student body, mostly the older years, leaving the younger to more inexperienced wrongdoers. All of this from the sidelines of course, so not to risk exposure and get them expelled.

They didn't play any horrible pranks though, just small ones on those too stupid and too unaware to see the danger ahead. They had for example hung Longbottom upside-down from the chandeliers, more than one time. Okay, Draco could perhaps have selected him those two times, cough-five-cough, as a little revenge for the ghastly image.

The biggest change was in the insult throwing. From being able and used to throwing racist insults they had gone over to (for obvious reasons, neither of them fancying a trip to Azkaban) insulting intelligence, clumsiness etc. stuff that's just the persons fault and not their background. It actually made it all the more fun because they themselves had to stay on their toes and not just say the same thing all over again.

Needless to say, the weeks went in ultra rapid speed and suddenly it was the end of October and Halloween approaching quickly. And with that – the first Quidditch match.

As Captain for the Slytherin team this meant an enormous amount of studying of each player on the teams playing. This time it was Ravenclaw vs. Hufflepuff. He was determent to win the cup this year, and to win you had to be the best. Draco knew this of course, but to be best you have to be better than the opposite team, and if you know your opponent you can calculate what moves there are going to make and then best them. Simple as that.

This was the reason Draco Malfoy sat under the stands that Thursday late afternoon with a dictaquill (like the one Rita Skeeter used) ready to document everything. He had also placed Blaise and Theo around the pitch as well to get all the angles, much to their dismay but they both knew the value of good knowledge.

One and a half hour into the game with neither of the Seekers even remotely close to catching the snitch (bloody peasants) and Draco was running out of things to document about the players. He already knew that the Ravenclaw Keeper favoured her right side, their star Chaser being ambidextrous whilst the two of the Hufflepuff Chasers favoured their left arms. The Seeker of the Hufflepuff team was incredibly fast in changing her directions, which could be dangerous if she had a better overview of the pitch. The Ravenclaw seeker was good at the visual but slower in the turns, which is probably why the match was still dragging on.

He was about to check his facts once again when he hear a feminine voice speaking in a harsh whisper.

"No, Nate. You certainly cannot come and visit me at school."… "We're not even dating! And I thought you had moved on to that Sarah girl."… "What do you mean she was nothing? So you just shoved your tongue into nothing?"

It took some time before Draco could put together that it was Granger who talked and that she mentioned a boy and dating in the same sentence. It took him a minute more to comprehend that she was actually talking to someone and not just yelling at empty space. She must use what muggles called a cello-phone or something, he'd read about it in muggle studies.

But electronic equipment don't work at Hogwarts because of the abundance of magic, a little voice whispered in his mind, sounding suspiciously like the muggle studies professor. He pushed away that thought together with the thought that wondered what she was doing under the stands, and concentrated on the conversation.

"Really, you're trying to cover that up? I saw you for crying out loud!"… "Why I am so upset? I'm not upset! I just don't understand why you are trying to contact me. Did Sarah refuse to spread her legs as well?"

Ouch, poor guy, Draco thought. He probably deserved it but Granger did not hold back even a little bit. She said exactly what she thought, and her thoughts weren't pretty.

"Apologizing will not work Nate. I can forgive you but I won't date you, not now not ever."

Draco saw that Granger was starting to get exasperated, the guy seemed not to be willing to let her go.

"If I have a boyfriend that's why I won't se you? Eh… yes… that is exactly what's happened."

Draco raised an eyebrow. If she was going to lie, she had to do it properly. A guy as stubborn as this Nate was not going to let her of the hook with that fumbling statement.

"What do you mean you don't believe me?"

Told yah.

"His name? He's called…"

Now, Draco had no idea why he thought this was a good solution but he did it nevertheless. He walked out of the shadows, approaching a mildly (read greatly) chocked Hermione Granger and took the cello-phone thing from her hand and pressed it to his ear as he'd seen her do.

"His name is Draco Malfoy, and if you try to call my girlfriend again I will personally castrate you." And with that he gave the thing back to the still chocked girl who seemed to turn it off automatically.

He was watching her gaping like a fish, not able to articulate a full sentence.

"Wha-… How-… Why-…"

He raised an eyebrow.

"… Umm… Thanks?"

"Once more with feeling Granger."

A/N: Ummmm… Hi! Remember me? A new chapter, surprising huh?

I don't know what happened. This story has been in the back of my head for the last few months, but nothing – and I do mean nothing! – wanted to come out of my fingers. Between a full-time job and trying to find time to be with friends who are also working, I haven't had time to be creative! I will try to change, I promise, but whenever I'd sat down to write I've cringed away from the screen, my whole being demonstrating of some sorts. I think that it's writers block but I'm not sure… I will force myself to write though and hope that it will eventually be easier, like training (or so I've heard. Me? Training? LOL).

Anyway I hope the holiday will bring me some inspiration! So Merry Christmas (or to those who celebrate it anyways!) and see this chapter as a holiday teat to you all!

Love Ella