/ OKay, so as promised a long chapter. No, there are no "scenes", sorry to disappoint, BUT do not fret my dears, its coming in the next chapter, which features the anticipated Halloween Ball! I hope you like this, let me know if you do/don't! I would also like to thank ! They gave me my first review! You will never be forgotten :D You made my day! please review and let me know what you think! I'm looking for a bad guy in this...if I can't find anyone else, you may not like who I choose...Enjoy! Cheers! -K. /

Chapter 7

It was Monday morning and Hermione was making her way down to the Great Hall a little earlier than usual. The weekend passed quickly for Hermione. With planning the ball and making sure the Prefects had all of their specific duties finally figured out, she was going to pass them out to everyone at the meeting tonight. When she entered the Great Hall, she found, to her surprise, her two best guy friends already there, dramatically talking with their hands about, Hermione could only assume, Quidditch.

"Morning," she said cheerfully, smiling at them both, but they seemed to have not heard her.

"I can't believe you mate! After everything you saw over the summer, how can you say Krum could beat Britain?!" Ron demanded. Harry shook his head in anger at Ron.

"That isn't what I meant. Besides, you loved Krum when they played Ireland. You know he's a great player. All I was saying is that Britain could probably learn a thing or two. He's got great tactics and strategies." Ron gaped at Harry. "And, the only reason you can't stand him anymore is because of fourth year!" Harry added, then glanced up at Hermione. Ron's ears turned red.

"I don't know what you're talking about. I just didn't like him because he was going up against you in the tournament," he muttered and turned his attention to his roll in front of him. Hermione smiled.

"Is there anything you two can talk about without bringing up Quidditch?"

"Ya know, 'Mione, I bet if you'd give the broom a chance-" Ron started. Hermione held up her hand.

"No. Merlin no. I hate heights, you know that Ron. I will never," she shuddered at the thought.

"But you rode Buckbeak!" Harry insisted. Hermione gave a sarcastic laugh.

"Yeah, I also screamed every foot he decided to drop. No. Near death experiences aren't exactly my thing." At this, the two boys laughed. Hermione smiled. "I mean, besides Dark Lords trying to kill all the non-purebloods." she said, joining in laughing.

"Oh sure, because the dangers in that are nothing compared to flying on a Hippogriff," Ron said pushing her gently. Hermione rolled her eyes.

"It's like you and spiders Ron. Or do I need to turn your goblet into one for you to understand?" she raised an eyebrow at him and laughed as he turned pale.

"R-right. Point taken," Ron whispered. Harry laughed and shook his head, turning back to his breakfast. Hermione took a drink of her orange juice and noticed the Great Hall was filling up. Muggle Studies first, she thought, mentally making sure she had her homework and book with her. From the front of the Hall, she heard Professor McGonagall cough, waiting for the students' attention.

"Good morning! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend," she started, all the students were looking at her waiting for her to continue her speech. It was odd for it to not wait until dinner. "I have a little bit of an announcement to make this morning. Firstly, students fifth year and up with have no classes today." she paused has murmuring and cheering sounded from the four houses. She held up her hand asking for silence. "An unplanned Hogsmeade visit will be today. This is for the purpose for Halloween's event. But this isn't an ordinary event. In light of the war being over, this year and many more years to come, we here believe it is important for all to lose their prejudices. We want house unity, no matter what family or blood status you are. Pureblood or muggle born. So, in saying that., I am please to let you know that on Halloween we will be hosting a masquerade ball!"

Instantly people stated talking. Boys groaning and girls whispering excitedly. Again, Professor McGonagall raised her hand for silence. "You do not, or shall I say, cannot bring dates. The point is to make new friends. There will be a catch, however. In order to attend this ball you will need a mask and before entering the ball there will be a charm placed so you cannot take it off until the stroke of midnight. I think we will all be very surprised who we can befriend when we aren't judgmental." With that, student started exiting the Hall, many confused and excited at the news. Ron groaned.

"Blimey, another one?!" he put his head in his hands "It was hard enough last time!" Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Oh, stop being so dramatic. It'll be fun. Besides, all I have to do is look at both of your hair styles. Your unbrushed mess on both your heads will be a dead giveaway," she teased them. Harry smiled at her.

"Are you planning this one?" he asked her. Hermione nodded.

"Me and Dra-… er…Malfoy, yes…" she shook her head. Something told her telling Harry and Ron that they were friendly would result in rage. Let alone their two…incidents. Hermione couldn't help but smile at herself. Ron looked at her questioning.

"What are you so happy about?" he asked suspiciously. Hermione just shook her head.

"Nothing, I'm just really excited about this ball," she said smiling. Harry laughed at her.

"You are such a girl." Hermione hugged her books tighter to her chest and skipped to the Head's common room.

"Oiy! 'Mione!"

Hermione turned around and say Ginny running up to her.

"Can you believe it?!" she squealed. "This is perfect. All I have to do is 'accidentally' spend time with Blaise and when the masks come off, feign surprise and just tell Harry and Ron that passed the whole 'Death Eaters and Voldemort taking over the world', he's such a great guy!" she said excitedly. Hermione laughed and held the portrait open for her to walk inside.

"And just think, it'd totally work with you and Draco!" she added. Hermione froze and flushed as she saw the platinum blonde Ginny was talking about looking at them both, knowing he had heard at least the last part of Ginny's idea.

"What would work with me?" he asked. Hermione shook her head and hurried off to her room, leaving a confused Draco standing in the common room. Ginny scurried after her, trying to hide her giggling.

"Sorry about that," she said as she sat on the bed as Hermione closed the door. "What's going on with you two anyway?" she asked, helping herself to one of Hermione's chocolates on the side table next to her bed. Hermione shrugged and dropped her bag on her desk.

"I really don't know. I'm so confused. He was a dick all through our six years here. And all of a sudden," Hermione snapped her finger, "He's different. He's…well, he's sweet actually…" she trailed off, smiling at the memory of his lips brushing against hers.

"You are SO in love," Ginny teased her. Hermione shook her head, although she felt her face flush.

"No, I'm just not used to the attention."

"Oh rubbish!" Ginny declared. Then held up one finger. "My brother, Krum, Seamus, Neville, and I don't know, half the guys in the Gryffindor tower!" she said making all ten of her fingers wiggle as she smiled at Hermione.

"Oh, now that's rubbish," Hermione said laughing.

"Whatever, think what you want. Now let's go to Hogsmeade! McGonagall officially became my favorite professor after canceling school to go shopping!" Ginny clapped her hands. Hermione shook her head and laughed at her friend. But, she couldn't help herself getting a little excited too. Hopefully, Draco would go too.

Draco had called in favors the night before and decided to skip breakfast that morning, waiting on returning owls. He was sitting on the couch in the Head's common room when he heard the portrait open. He stood and saw the Weasley girl and Hermione walking through.

"And just think, it'd totally work for you and Draco!" the red head said. Draco was intrigued.

"What would work with me?" he asked. He saw Hermione blush and smiled as the two girls rushed off to her room. As the door clicked shut he her a tap at the window and whipped around quickly to see the owl he had been waiting on. He took the letter from the extended leg and he gave the owl a treat. With a hoot, it flew to the table in front of the couch. Draco ripped open the envelope anxiously and read the contents.

Mr. Malfoy,

We are very pleased you thought of us for your Halloween ball! We would be delighted to perform that night. However, due to the large charitable donations made in the Malfoy name, we decline any offer of pay. Just send the owl back with the times and any further requests! Looking forward to seeing you at Hogwarts!


Mimsley Trinket

The Snidgets

Founder of Blasted Productions

Draco smiled triumphantly. It may not be the Weird Sisters, but it's pretty damn good. He scribbled the times and thanks and sent the owl back on it's way to London. Draco took a deep breath. He felt really good about himself. Hermione is going to love this, he thought. He still found it hard to push the 'Mudblood' thoughts from his mind, but he was trying to accept the rather unusual turn of events in his life.

Still smiling to himself, he picked up his book and sat on the sofa chair, propping his feet up on the table. He looked up as both girls came giggling out of the Gryffindor decorated room and noticed neither had their robes or books in hand. He slightly frowned.

"Don't tell me Gryffindors have taken the dark road of skipping classes," he said to them smiling. Ginny looked at him and nearly jumping with excitement exclaimed, "McGonagall cancelled classes today!" Draco raised an eyebrow.

"Why on earth would she do that?" he wondered. It was Hermione to answered, trying to keep herself from looking away embarrassed.

"It's for the ball. She's very keen to see that we are excited for our forced friendships. We are going to Hogsmeade to buy dresses," at the end of the sentence she looked him in the eyes and smiled sweetly. Draco, despite himself, felt the corner of his lip curve up at the thought of Hermione dressed up again.

"Well, I'd stick to periwinkle blue. It looked amazing on you," he commented before he could stop himself. The Weasley girl gaped at him while Hermione glanced away quickly. Draco could feel heat rushing up his neck. He cleared his throat, trying to look uninterested.

"Well, have fun I guess. The Prefect meeting is still tonight, right?" he asked Hermione, pointedly ignoring her friend's excited looks from Hermione to him. Hermione merely nodded and walked toward the portrait, practically dragging the red head with her. Draco shook his head and looked down at his book, mentally trying to picture Hermione in a ball gown that hugged her news curves. He could see her hair pulled up, in soft spiral curls and pictured her plush rosy lips showing under her mask…

Ginny laughed as Hermione swung the portrait closed and leaned against it.

"Wow, there is definitely something go on there," she said, pointed at the portrait, meaning Draco back in the common room. Hermione smiled and rolled her eyes.

"Stop it, it's nothing." But she even knew it was a lie. I can't believe he remembered what I wore three years ago, she thought happily, hell, I can't believe he even noticed. Half way down the corridor Hermione stopped and groaned. Ginny looked at her.


"No gold," Hermione said, showing empty hands. "Meet you down at the Hall, I'm gonna run back and grab it." she said already turning around.

"Alright, I'm going to tell Blaise bye!" Ginny called after her. Hermione waved a hand at her over her shoulder and jogged back to her dormitory. Opening the portrait, she saw Draco had left to his room. She went to hers and grabbed her purse, checking there was enough gold for a dress and walked back to the common room. To her surprise, she was face to face with Draco as she left her room.

"Oh!" she said in surprise. Draco smiled.

"Just wanted to let you know the music is taken care of," he said softly, gazing into her eyes. Hermione felt her heart quicken as she stared at him. His eyes looked so different than last year. They look welcoming, despite the grey color.

"How did you do it so quickly?" she asked, regaining her ability to talk. Draco shrugged as if it was of no importance and stepped closer to her. He cupped her cheek and brushed his thumb softly along her bottom lip. Leaning in close to her face he whispered, "I told you to trust me.." Hermione breathed in a closed her eyes at his touch, tilting her head up to meet his lips. Too quickly, he pulled away and stepped back.

"Have fun with Ginny," he said, smirking. He was teasing her, she was sure of it.

"Oh I plan on it. I main worry is whether I should wear a thong in case of a panty line," she declared walking past his shocked expression. She stopped at the portrait and turned around.

"On second thought, I don't think I'll wear anything. Then no need to worry. And easy access," she added with a wink. She turned around in glee, knowing she had effected him. Smiling like a fool she made her way to the Great Hall to meet Ginny, trying to figure out what was going on this year.

Three hours later, Hermione lost the excitement to go shopping. She forgot this morning that Ginny could turn into a monster when it came to finding the "perfect ball gown". Hermione sighed as she waited for Ginny to finish trying on the, what had to be, the 100th dress. It was the third store they had been too and slowly, Hermione was losing her cool with her best friend. The worst part was if Ginny absolutely hated it, she wouldn't come out of the stall to show Hermione.

"Oh Merlin, I look horrible," came Ginny's voice.

"I'm sure it's not as bad as you think. Let me have a look at it," Hermione said, although knew full and well what the reply will be.

"And let everyone see me in the ghastly thing?" Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes.

About two hours later, Ginny finally settled on a sparkling green gown that fell to the floor. The back swooped to just above her tail bone. Ginny was holding the matching mask up to her face.

"I'm so excited!" she squealed. Hermione laughed at her, grateful she had finally chosen something. She checked her watch.

"We've only got about forty five minutes until I need to be heading back. Got a meeting to perfect," she said looking at her friend. Ginny nodded while staring at a display in a shop. Suddenly she grabbed Hermione's arm and gasped.

"What?" Hermione asked. Ginny said nothing but pointed at the witch mannequin in the window. It wore the most beautiful dress Hermione had ever seen. It was the perfect shade of blue, sequins wrapping around the bodice to the waist. The gown fit as a ball gown silhouette and was strapless. It was simple, yet breathtaking.

"You are so trying this on," Ginny said pulling her into the shop.

"Ginny," Hermione whispered at her. "It's probably too expensive anyway. I can just wear what I wore at the Yule Ball." she insisted. Ginny shook her head, pointing at the dress to have the witch behind the counter take down.

"Nonsense. You have been the top of the class every year. You've defeated a Dark Lord, even wooed the Slytherin God. I think you have a right to buy something absolutely gorgeous. Even if you'll only wear it once." she put the dress in Hermione's arms and ignored her protests as she shoved Hermione into the changing stall.

"Don't make me hex you, and I'll do it! Just try it on. What harm will it do?" Ginny reasoned. Hermione sighed and started to undress. Slipping the dress on, she opened the door and poked her head out.

"Zip me up, will you?" she held up her hair as Ginny zipped the back. Turning around she heard Ginny gasp.

"Wow, 'Mione. You look beautiful." Hermione rolled her eyes and laughed and stepped in front of a floor length mirror. For once, she agreed with Ginny's taste. The dress hugged her waist and lifted her chest. It wasn't as big at the bottom as Hermione had expected, but had just the right amount of curve without looking overdone. Ginny came up from behind and smiled at her in the mirror.

"I believe you are going to a ball," she said. Hermione smiled back at her.

"I believe you are correct." The girls laughed and Hermione stepped back into the changing stall. Her heart skipped a beat as Draco entered her mind. I hope he likes it, she thought, although she wasn't completely sure why.

Draco sat in the common room with two Slytherin Prefects who were talking about the Quidditch cup. He sat there listening to the argument, silently regretting ever leaving his position as seeker. He loves the sport. A great way to knock into Pothead and Weasel without getting detention. Slowly, the room began to fill and Draco wondered whether Hermione was going to show. A little before six, she hurriedly walked into the room with a large dressing bag, and another bag hanging from her arm.

"I'm so sorry, just a minute!" she called to the Prefects as she walked quickly to her room. A few laughed, muttering something about witches and their clothes. Hermione came back with parchment and a quill and started the meeting.

"As you heard from this morning, this Halloween we are hosting a ball. The decorations and organization naturally falls onto us. I have a few ideas and would like to run them by you. If you have any suggestions, feel free to say so," with that she launched into her presentation. Very few people opposed her ideas and when they did there was a swift compromise. At the end, Hermione, flushed and out of breath from talking so fast and so long, looked around the room expectantly. A Ravenclaw Prefect, whom Draco did not know the name of, raised her hand.

"What about music? Surely you don't expect us to host a ball without it?" she asked with a fake smile. Draco had a feeling she wasn't exactly Hermione's biggest fan. Draco answered before Hermione could even open her mouth.

"That is taken care of. I called in a few favors and I know they aren't the Weird Sisters, but The Snidgets have been making top singles…" the sudden excitement drowned his voice out as the Prefects started talking at once. Hermione hit a book on the table to get everyone's attention.

"I take it you are all okay with this?" she asked, smiling. as everyone voiced their approval. "Great, in that case I'm all through. Do you have anything you want to add?" she said smiling at Draco. Draco shook his head. She turned back to the Prefects," Alright. Have a great night everyone. And don't forget! We start on the 29th to start decorating! I don't want it to look as if we hardly made an attempt!" some of the Prefects were listening, most of the others were already out the portrait, probably cursing the Heads for keeping them so late on a Monday.

Draco turned and saw Hermione gathering her things, looking pleased with herself. As the last person left, Draco sat down on the arm of the couch and looked at her. She looked up and saw him watching her.

"So, do you think it will be every thing you dreamed it would be?" he asked her teasing. He loved that she laughed at him and seemed to be at ease.

"It will be," she declared. After putting all her papers together, she sat down on the couch with a humph and lazily turned her head towards him. Draco had the sudden feeling to push her onto her back and kiss her for hours.

"What about you? The Great Malfoy!" she said sarcastically. "Will you be gracing us with your presence at the ball?" she teased him. Draco loved that she could be playful. He smirked.

"I don't think you could handle it, Granger." She laughed haughtily at him and stood gathering her things in her arms.

"Ill see you tomorrow," she said to him, smiling sweetly. Instead of walking away she stood there. Draco's eyes ran over her body and up to her face. He felt a stir in his pants as he saw she was biting her lip, looking at him thoughtfully.

"I bought my dress," she said quietly. Draco smiled, thousands of images running through his head, but he simply nodded.

"I saw," he said referring to the huge dress bag she carried in. "I bet you look lovely in it." he added, enjoying the way she looked away from embarrassment. He felt his heart quicken and butterflies in his stomach. He had no idea why she had this effect on him. He felt like a first year again who just saw his first pair of tits. He saw her take a shy step towards him. His breathing picked up as she took another and another, closing the distance between them. She dropped her things on the floor and, to Draco's surprise, wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into a long, deep kiss. She gently bit his lip, then pulled away breathing heavily looking into his eyes. Draco tried to catch his breath while he tried to figure out this creature in his arms. She smiled at him.

"I'll see you tomorrow," she repeated quietly.

Draco stood frozen, watching as she picked up her things and walked to her room, shutting the door quietly. He stood there for awhile, trying to realize what just happened and why it had stopped right there. He heard her moving around in her room. It didn't sound like she was getting ready for bed… He walked up to her room as quietly as he could and pressed his ear to her door.

He heard scribbling and smiled, knowing she was still planning for the ball. He held his breath and grabbed the handle, praying it would open for him. Slowly, and to his surprise, it turned fully and his pushed open the door a crack. He saw Hermione sitting at her desk, one leg on the chair under the other. She was lost in thought, twirling the quill's feather around in the air. Draco pushed open the door slowly and walked silently up behind her. He leaned down and placed a small kiss just below her ear. She gasped and turned around. Draco now say what she was wearing, and at that he raised his eyebrows and smiled in approval. She had on a very short pair of red short and a white tank top that stretched over (thank merlin for no bra!, Draco thought) her chest. She stared at him in shock.

Without saying a word he swooped down and kissed her. In her shock, she didn't respond, but then he heard the quill drop onto the desk as she stood up and grabbed the back of his neck. Draco wrapped his arms around her waist and started walking, and kissing, towards her bed. When the reached it, he gently pushed her onto it and looked down at her.

"You look beautiful…" he said gently. Hermione smiled at him. She sat up and crawled to the head of the bed and laid down. Draco, for some odd reason, stopped any sexual advances.

"Do me a favor tonight?" he asked her. She look at him, amused.

"Yes?" she asked.

"Let me hold you tonight," he said, grinning at the look on her face. He pulled off his shirt and climbed on top of her bed, pulling back the blankets, she slid in and he did next to her. He stretched out his arm and motioned for Hermione to scoot closer and lay on him. He sighed as he felt her body press up against his and wrapped his arm around her body. He could smell her strawberry shampoo and their first night together rushed into his mind. This would be the second time in his life he cuddled with someone. The first being his mother when he was a child. Seventeen years later it was with the last person he ever expected.

/ AW! Doesn't he just make your heart throb? Let me know what you think! Please Review! /