A/N This is a sequel to my one-shot 'Hermione's Hair', also available on my fanfiction profile. I would advise reading that first before beginning this fic.
Please insert usual disclaimer that these are not my characters and this is only written for fun.
Hope you enjoy.
It was a few weeks since the incident in classroom 1B, and Draco was fixated.
And what was Draco fixated on? Granger.
More specifically, Granger's hair.
(Yes, he was just as surprised as anyone else would be about this.)
He really didn't want to be fixated on Granger's hair, but apparently he didn't have a choice in the matter.
But that wasn't even Draco's problem.
The problem was, having noticed how incredible Granger's hair was, he couldn't stop noticing. And this led to other unwelcome realisations.
That was the blasted thing about Granger: she wasn't beautiful, but no sooner had you detected one attractive feature then another would jump out at you.
Like how her curling dark lashes were gold-tipped so you didn't realise how extraordinarily long they were until you got up close (when he squared up to an irate Weasley and Granger stepped between them), or the creamy perfection of her skin which candlelight revealed was totally without mark or blemish – not a freckle, not a mole. (That one was Potions' flatteringly lit fault.)
Worst of all was the day Ancient Runes revealed that Granger's lower lip was ever so slightly fuller than the upper one – when she started nibbling on it in frowning concentration. On a less intelligent girl he would have characterised it as a pout, on Granger…
Well, on Granger it felt like a challenge.
The day Draco noticed that was the day the scarcely acknowledged desire to kiss her became an obsession.
Draco was sat at a study desk near the entrance of the library, scribbling on a piece of parchment.
One of the reasons Draco was so good at torturing the less fortunate (i.e., everyone) was because of his attention to detail; he was willing to put the effort in to figure out his prey's weaknesses.
So when it came to his intense desire to kiss Granger, he began the way he began every project: brainstorming.
Draco reviewed his list:
~ Spike her pumpkin juice with Ogden's firewhisky.
Hmmm. Effective, but lacked finesse; and there was always the possibility that she would vomit on his dragon-skin shoes. No good, he decided. He wanted her responsive, not comatose.
~ Duplicate the smell of Amortentia
This one had promise. There was a fundamental sneakiness to it, he could appreciate. He already knew what two of her preferred fragrances were since she had blurted them out in class. Parchment and grass cuttings would be a cinch to recreate, and it shouldn't prove too difficult to discover what the third fragrance was; he was good at winkling out secrets.
But… what if one of the fragrances she was attracted to was Weasley? Or – Merlin forbid – Potter? No – no, he decided. Infatuated he might be, but no power on earth would compel him to smell like Scarhead or the Weasel King.
~ Hit her with the Petrificus Totalus spell – immobilise her, and then kiss her as much as he wanted.
But that would be like kissing a statue. Literally.
~ Use the Imperius curse on her – could end up in Azkaban.
None of these were any good: he wanted her warm and willing. Draco studied the last entry on the list.
~ Walk up to her and ask, "Granger, fancy a snog?"
It was shudderingly upfront. Not Draco's modus operandi at all. But then, she was a fundamental, straight-as-a-wand Gryffindor. They liked things to be upfront and simple – mostly because they were about as bright as concussed trolls.
True, Granger was more intelligent than your average Gryffindor (or, truth be told, the average Slytherin; not including Draco, of course – Draco was anything but average), but she was still a Gryffindor – truthful and noble, and other vaguely nauseating things.
Could he… could he perhaps try being nice to her? His brow creased at this hitherto unconsidered notion (not just in conjunction with Granger but with, well, anyone ever).
She was a bleeding-heart elf-lover after all, so perhaps if he just started a civil conversation with her… wouldn't her intrinsic Gryffindory-ness require her to speak to him? And once he got her talking, a request for a kiss should be well received, surely?
As fate would have it, the object of his obsession chose that moment to walk into the library, lush hair bouncing in time with her tread. Draco grinned. This was kismet.
Or rather kiss-met!
Risking the wrath of Madam Pince, he raised his voice to a loud whisper to hail her: "Hey! Hey, Granger!" Granger either didn't hear him or chose not to respond, continuing to make her way towards the stacks. Draco belatedly remembered the second component of his plan. He raised his voice again: "Looking good, Granger!"
Granger's answering look could have put an Avada Kedavra curse to shame. Raising her chin, she swept out of sight.
It was only then that it occurred to Draco that she might not have thought his comment was sincere.
Apparently memories of every other time they had interacted were clouding her judgment.
Ah! Now there was a possibility – he could Obliviate her!
But no – no: the professors might get a little suspicious if she suddenly ceased to remember entire chunks of previous years at Hogwarts.
Dispirited, Draco returned to his actual reason for being in the library: his History of Magic homework.
His assignment was to produce a foot-long essay on how the wizarding world's relationships with magical creatures had changed over the last century. It was dry-as-dust stuff, but at least he got to choose which creature he made the centre of his study.
Stuffing the parchment and quill into his school bag, he got up and began the long walk to his chosen subject.
Hogwarts Library made a rabbit warren look linear. Its seemingly higgledy-piggledy layout was a total head-scratcher for new students. Thankfully, Draco had spent enough time there to know how to head straight for the Dragon section.
Sure it was a little on the nose for Draco to choose a dragon as his subject, but who was he to fight fate?
Unbeknownst to Draco, fate had other ideas.
His route to the Dragon section took him through the serpentine shelves of the Manuals; an alphabetised collection of treatises, manuscripts and books which taught the reader how to do anything from understanding the rules of Quidditch to making No Melt Ice Cream.
Such guides were of course extremely popular as homework aids, but there were so many of them, and they covered such a diverse range of topics, that a student could spend days looking amongst them and come up empty-handed. Unless they were able to guess or surmise the first letter of a relevant title, there was a good chance they'd never find a Manual to match their desired subject.
Draco slowed thoughtfully and started skimming along the titles as he walked.
The Manuals filled long curving cases with books lining either side. This meant if an overzealous student plied too much energy when they put a book back, it would send its counterpart perilously poking out the other side. (Merlin help you if plied enough force to make the book fall to the ground and Madam Pince caught you.)
As he walked a slim, red volume with gold lettering in just such a precarious position caught Draco's eye. Draco paused and tilted his head to read it.
One pale blond eyebrow shot up; he plucked the treatise from the shelf and opened it to the first page.
"The Granian are grey, winged horses. Equally fast on foot or by air, they are extremely hard to catch. Even if you did manage to capture a wild Granian, it would never accept you. Force is not the way to tame these creatures."
Intrigued, Draco skipped a few chapters ahead, then a few chapters more. Homework forgotten, an idea began to coalesce in his mind.
This was going to take time; this was going to take cunning.
This was going to take stealth.
If there was one thing Slytherins were good at, it was playing the long game.
Game on, Granger.
A/N 2 'Granian' are winged horses mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The name comes from the Norse/Germanic legend. Norse hero Sigurd (Siegfried in the Germanic version) had a horse named Grani ('grey') that ran more swiftly than the wind. Grani was the foal of Sleipnir, the steed of Odin, who was in turn the foal of Loki, when he assumed the form of a mare.
With thanks to the Harry Potter Wiki for this information.