melon_and_naga (melon_and_naga) wrote in dhr_valentine,

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Fic Request #60


Title: Only The Beginning
Summary: Hermione and Draco used to hate each other like there was no tomorrow. Until one day, when Hermione discovers Draco's hidden talent and he wins her over. Where will this take the two? Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship or a nasty rivalry?
Rating: PG
Author's Note: I'd just like to say I'm so very sorry for having kept you so long from the story, but I wanted to make it as good as possible, considering I wrote the entire thing through a terrible writer's block. Anyways, I will be re-writing this story so that it's not so fast paced. I will also write a sequel if you'd like. Just email me to let me know and I will get to it as soon as possible. Thank you again for your patience and enjoy your dose of upcoming Draco/Hermione shipping!


Chapter 1

Staring deeply into his eyes, Hermione gave a small, happy sigh. She smiled as he wrapped his arms tightly around her waist, pulling her closely against him. He kissed her softly on her cheek as he held her there. Slowly, he leaned in to kiss her more tenderly on the lips. The closer he got, the more Hermione suddenly realized how wrong the situation was.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!" she screamed as she shot up in bed, covered in sticky sweat. She gave a small shudder at both her dream and the chill she received when her blankets fell to her lap. Her eyes ran around the room, pulling in the familiar objects and colours. Her eyes soon swept over her roommates quiet figures as they continued to sleep. Finally sure she was still in her room, she sighed and climbed slowly out of bed. She padded to the little washroom next to her dorm room and shut the door with a small click. She snapped her fingers and a few candles around the room came to life with a pop, emitting a soft glow throughout the room. She made her way to the basin and mirror set on top of a small countertop and leaned heavily over the basin. Preparing herself for the sudden jolt to wake herself up, she splashed her hands into the basin and threw some cold water over her sleepy face. Groping to her sides for a clean towel, her hands finally found one and she patted her face dry. After she placed the towel back down, she stared into the mirror, wondering where her dream had come from. She had no idea who the boy was, never saw his face, and she couldn't figure out why she had liked him so much. Shrugging her shoulders at it, she quickly extinguished the candles with another snap of her fingers and opened the door before she made her way back to her room and changed for the day. Glancing at the magical clock on the wall, she saw students would begin getting up soon anyways so she made her way to the common room to read as she awaited her friends. She grabbed the small stack of books she had pulled out of the library on the previous night for homework and climbed down the stairs to the empty common room. She put her books down on a table and made herself comfortable in a large, over-stuffed chair in front of the fireplace. She curled up into a small ball and reached for the top book in her pile. She flipped through the pages of the book until she came to the chapter she needed for Potions class and began to read as she waited.

* * *

She sat there for what seemed like hours, before anyone joined her.

"Morning 'Mione," Harry mumbled as he attempted to stifle a yawn. Ron just grunted in greeting. She smiled at her friends and greeted them both with a cheerful hello. Both boys looked at her suspiciously.

"What are you up to?" Harry asked.

"Nothing," she said innocently. They continued to eye her suspiciously. Hermione rolled her eyes at her friends and closed her book.

"Breakfast then?" Ron asked immediately after the book was closed. She chuckled slightly to herself and gathered some of her books for class. The three friends made their way from the common room to the Great Hall, chatting as the walked through the halls. Taking a seat at the usual end of the Gryffindor table, the boys’ conversation quickly turned to the upcoming Quidditch game versus Slytherin. Bored with the continuous talk of Quidditch, Hermione pulled open her Potions book again, flipping carelessly through the pages. As she stared at the pages, her eyes slowly began to flutter. Shaking herself awake, she flipped to the next page and something caught her eye. She focused in on the name of a potion. Vision Recall Draught. She quickly scanned the ingredients before making her way down the page to its summary. Will allow the drinker to relive dreams from the past from start to finish vividly. Side effects of drowsiness, headache and disorientation may occur. Hermione read intently, then quickly surveyed the ingredients list again.

“Hermione?” She looked up to find Harry and Ron both looking at her.

“What?” she asked them.

“You were mumbling to yourself,” Harry told her, Ron nodding in silent agreement.

“I was?” she asked them. The both nodded this time. Hermione formed an ‘O’ with her mouth and tapped her fingers on the table, in thought.

“Sorry about that then,” she told them as if it was nothing important at all. The boys continued to look at her for another minute before turning back to their Quidditch conversation. She stared at the book blankly for a few more minutes before deciding she couldn’t sit around any longer. She placed a loose leaf of parchment in the book to mark her page and stood up, gathering all of her other books at the same time.

“I’m going ahead to class,” she told the boys who barely noticed she had said a word. Ron nodded absentmindedly while Harry just waved his hand in her general direction, instead confusing Neville by making him think he was waving at him. She grabbed the last of her things and quickly made her way out of the Great Hall, throwing a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure Snape was still at the High Table. Taking the stairs two at a time down to the dungeons, she was soon standing in front of the door to the Potions classroom. Breathing quite quickly, Hermione silently let herself into the room, careful to leave the door open a crack to hear approaching footsteps. She placed her books and other things down on a desk near the Potions supply cupboard and slowly opened the cupboard doors. She stood in awe for a brief second and the vast amounts of potions ingredients lining the shelves before her. Shaking herself slightly, she turned around to consult her Potions book for the ingredients she needed, filling flask after flask of the necessary items. Just as she was reaching for the armadillo bile, she heard the sounds of shuffling behind her. She quickly shut the cupboard doors and pushed her books onto the floor as quietly as possible, carefully placing her bag on top of her books. Before she was able to conceal herself, however, Draco Malfoy poked his head into the classroom.

“Granger?” he said when he saw her standing in the middle of the Potions classroom, alone. She almost snorted aloud when she saw his unkempt appearance. His hair was messy and standing at awkward angles, like Harry’s, and his robes were wrinkled. She also noted that it looked like he’d just woken up.

“What did you do Malfoy, have a romp in the bushes with your cronies before breakfast?” she asked him in a dry tone. Draco frowned at her for a fraction of a second, before replacing it with his usual smirk.

“What’s this I see? Hogwarts top student, nicking things from the Potions classroom. Tsk, tsk, I’d have thought better of you Granger,” he said in an almost teasing voice. Hermione, too embarrassed to say anything, just stood there in dead silence.

“I’ll have you know, I was not nicking things. I was simply… taking inventory,” she told him. He laughed at her.

“Right, and I’m Dumbledore’s favourite student,” he told her. Hermione rolled her eyes at him. He was being his usual obnoxious self, but she was still surprised by him sometimes.

“So, if you’re not nicking things from Snape’s cupboard, then why are you really here?” he asked her after a small moment of silence.

“I told you,” she said, “I’m taking inventory.” He snorted this time, which really didn’t suit him at all.

“Fine, suit yourself,” he said. He opened his mouth to say more, but he never got the chance. They both heard the thumping of footsteps walking quickly down the stairs.

“Pray that’s not Snape,” he hissed at her as they both crouched behind separate desks. Hermione shot him a quick dirty look before turning her head back to the door. She watched tensely as the footsteps drew closer and closer to the door. But they continued to walk, right past the classroom. She breathed a silent sigh of relief and stood back up, straightening her robes in the process.

“Damn lucky, aren’t you?” Draco said, looking right at her. Trying hard not to appear bothered by Draco in the least, Hermione turned and gathered her things quickly.

“Where are you going?” he demanded as she made her way to the door.

“To class Draco. If you had bothered to take a look at the time, you’d notice
breakfast is just about over and class is starting soon. All that you still haven’t made a trip to the washroom to appear irritable, snaky, greasy-haired and oh so Malfoy,” she said confidently, before stepping through the door and making her way up the stairs. Hermione heard Draco curse as she rounded the corner at the top of the stairs. She glanced back at the door once more and caught Draco stomping up the stairs now. She picked up her pace as she climbed the stairs to her Charms class, trying to make it there before Draco.

* * *

Running breathlessly into the Charms classroom, Hermione quickly took her seat in between Harry and Ron, who hadn’t even noticed she’d been gone from breakfast. She took out her Charms work and placed the rest of her books on the floor next to her feet with her bag when she saw Draco pause outside of the room. His hair and robes were still messy. In the next moment he had his wand out and his mouth was moving. Quite suddenly, he looked like his usual greasy self. As he entered the classroom, he and Hermione glared menacingly at each other.

“What’s he want?” Ron asked, motioning with a jerk of his head at Draco.

“Ron, what does Malfoy love above all else?” Hermione asked him.

“Himself,” Ron answered.

“Besides himself,” she told him, impressed by his answer.

“Bothering us,” Ron answered this time.

“Exactly,” Hermione said, as she opened her book to the chapter they were working on in class. She saw Ron shrug his shoulders lazily out of the corner of her eye as Professor Flitwick climbed onto his pile of books in front of the class. As he began instructing the class on the latest charm they were learning, Hermione pretended to drop her quill on the ground. As she searched the floor for it, she quickly went over the potions ingredients in her bag.

'Damn!' she thought to herself, 'Malfoy made me forget the armadillo bile and the dried spider grass seeds.' She grabbed her quill and sat back up. All through Charms class, her mind seemed to be elsewhere. She continuously thought back to her dream and was anxious to discover who was kissing her. She only saw his mouth, nothing more. Just when Hermione thought she couldn't take it anymore, Charms class was finally over.

"Finally," Hermione said out loud as the class was packing up their books for the day.

"What did you say?" Harry asked.

"Uh, um, nothing," Hermione managed quickly. Harry gave her a funny look and went back to trying to stuff his books into his bag. She shot a cautious look at Ron, but realized he hadn't heard anything. Breathing easier, she finished packing her bag and stood up.

"Well, I'm off to Arithmancy," Hermione told them hurriedly. She grabbed her bag and joined the flow of students in the hallway. As she glanced back, she caught Harry and Ron looking at her with confused looks on their faces. As the sea of students carried her down the hall, she couldn’t help but feel guilty for leaving her friends so quickly without an explanation.

* * *

As Hermione left Arithmancy later that day, she realized her plans to make the Vision Recall Draught during lunch would have to wait until she’d collected the last two ingredients. As she dragged herself to the Great Hall for lunch, all she could think about was her dream again. Her head was in such a fog that she didn’t realize she was walking into someone until it was too late.

“Watch where you’re going next time!” she heard the voice growl. She rolled her eyes.

“Why should I, Malfoy?” she asked him. He looked at who he knocked over.

“Granger? I know you find me irresistible, but you really need to remember, I don’t like Mudbloods,” he told her calmly. She narrowed her eyes at him.

You’ll want to watch what you call me Malfoy,” she spat out. Draco laughed at her.

“Is that the best you can come up with Mudblood?” he asked.

“I’m warning you Malfoy,” she said angrily. Draco laughed again, harder this time, and rolled his eyes at her.

“I’m warning you Malfoy,” he mimicked her, “Really Granger, I thought Mudbloods at least had a sense of humour.” He stooped to pick up the books he’d dropped in the collision with Hermione. When he stood up, a fist collided with his right eye. Draco just stood there in a daze as his eye stung and pulsed with pain.

“Next time I tell you to stop, maybe you’ll listen,” Hermione said as she grabbed her books at her feet and continued on her way to the Great Hall. Draco just stood there in stunned silence for a moment longer, before gingerly touching various spots around his eye. Wincing each time, he eventually gave up and made his way to the stairs leading into the dungeons. As he passed the entrance to the Great Hall, he paused and caught sight of Hermione.

Stupid Mudblood, I’ll make her pay,” he thought before he continued on his way.

* * *

“YOU DID WHAT?” Ron yelled at Hermione. He soon noticed that most of the students in the Great Hall were now staring at him with perplexed looks on their faces. Turning a deep shade of red, he leaned in closer to Harry and Hermione, who were seated across from him.

“You did what?” he asked just above a whisper this time.

“I punched Malfoy,” she told him with the least bit of concern. Harry covered his mouth with his sleeve in attempt to stop his laughing while Ron just stared at Hermione in awe.

“The slap was one thing, but a punch?” Ron said. Hermione just shrugged.

“I did warn him,” she explained. Ron shook his head at how calm Hermione was handling this. Hermione chuckled to herself at Ron. She then stood up and grabbed a sandwich off the plate in front of her.

“I have some work to do before class. I’m going to go to the library. I’ll just see you both in class,” Hermione told them before leaving. Ron called a good-bye while Harry was still trying to control his laughing. She ate the sandwich as she made her way up to Gryffindor Tower, where she quickly exchanged her Charms and Arithmancy books for her Care of Magical Creatures book. Once she had everything she needed for her next class, she walked as fast her legs could carry her back down to the dungeons and into the Potions classroom. She slid quietly inside the Potions room, checking twice over both her shoulders to make sure she was the only one still in the hallway. She pushed the door closed behind her this time and placed her book on the nearest desk. She pulled two small flasks out of her robe pocket and walked to the ingredients cupboard, where she filled the flasks as quickly as possible. She thought she heard a noise outside the door, so she quickly shut the cupboard doors and ducked behind the row of desks in front of her. Right after she was behind the desks, Draco walked in.

Damn it!” she thought to herself as he poked his head back out the door to check and make sure the coast was clear. While he did that, Hermione crawled across the floor behind the desks closer to the door. Draco pulled his head back in and made his way to the ingredients cupboard where Hermione had been moments ago. While he walked, she continued to crawl towards the door. He stopped in front of the cupboard for an unapparent reason and Hermione almost gave herself away as he’d stopped so abruptly and she wasn’t prepared for it. She was only a few feet from the door when he pulled open the cupboard doors. Bracing herself to get caught, she jumped up and ran while Draco’s full attention was still on the Potions ingredients in front of him. Hermione brushed the door as she left making it creak. It startled Draco, who jumped about a foot to the left of the cupboard. Once he’d normalized is heart rate again, something on a desk near the door caught his eye. He moved closer to the door again and realized it was a book sitting on the desk. He picked it up and thumbed through the book until he reached the ledger at the back of the book. Dragging his fore finger down the page to the last name, he saw who owned the book.

“Now now Granger, you’re just getting sloppy. I’ll just take this,” he said to himself. He tucked the book under his arm and quickly left himself out of the Potions room, making sure to shut the door behind himself. He smirked to himself as he made his way up the stairs and out onto the Hogwarts grounds for Care of Magical Creatures class.

* * *

“Now if you’ll just turn to page 476 in your books, we can read up on Knarls some more,” Hagrid told the class. Hermione looked up at Hagrid’s swollen face and managed a smile when he looked her way. Reaching to her side where she normally found her book, she discovered nothing was there. Looking to her other side and even behind her, she soon found out her book wasn’t with her.

Where on Earth has my book gone?’ Hermione thought to herself. Then, her heart suddenly sank to the pit of her stomach as she remembered she’d left it on the desk in the Potions classroom. Her eyes darted around at her classmates in a worried fashion. She knew no one could really help her, but she couldn’t maintain her calm. She became even more agitated when she realized Snape had a class at that very moment. Hermione panicked for the remainder of Care of Magical Creatures, sharing books with Ron and Harry. They both questioned her many times on her uneasy state and she just told them she was nervous about their big upcoming Potions test. Once Hagrid dismissed the class, Hermione ran for the castle while the boys stayed back to talk with Hagrid. She ran through the front oak doors, past the Great Hall and down the stairs to the Potions classroom. When she arrived at the door it was closed, and locked. She paced outside the classroom while trying to come up with any excuse in case Snape questioned her on it. Eventually, she felt a presence behind her. She turned to find Draco sitting at the bottom of the stairs, watching her.

“What do you want?” she asked him hurriedly. Draco gave a sly smile and rolled his eyes, unimpressed by Hermione’s tone.

“I find it just fascinating that I’m bumping into you again, at the Potions room. Do you always think things through clearly? Most criminals don’t return to the scene of their crimes,” Draco told her. She let out a frustrated sigh.

“That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” she asked him.

“As a matter of fact, no,” he said. He jumped up and reached Hermione’s side in less than three strides. Draco grabbed onto her wrist tightly. He pushed his fingertips into her arm, slowly bruising it. In her panic, Hermione forgot she had a wand, that she was a witch and that a few choice words could solve her problems at that very moment.

"Malfoy, you're hurting me. Let go!" she told him in an urgent tone. He sneered, tightening his grip a little.

"Malfoy, let go!" she said again. He didn't listen as he continued to tighten his grip on her wrist. Tears slowly began to well up in Hermione's eyes.

"Draco..." she said just above a whisper, her bottom lip trembling slightly. He tightened just a little more, and when he saw she was going to ask him once more, he let go completely. He glared at her for a brief moment before turning and walking away. Grabbing her wrist carefully, Hermione pulled it closer to her face, examining the five round bruises already appearing on her inner forearm, just above her wrist. As she let the tears slide down her cheeks, she sank to her knees and leaned against the cold wall to clear her head. Hearing students approaching a few minutes later, she quickly wiped the tears off her face and stood up just as they appeared at the top of the stairs. She sniffed once more before making her own way up the stairs to retrieve her books for her next class.

* * *

At dinner that night, Hermione joined Harry and Ron in the Great Hall only long enough to decide she wasn’t hungry and to tell her friends she’d be in the library if they needed her. She chose a small table at the back of the library where she had the privacy she needed. She pulled her hair back with an elastic band she borrowed from Ginny and pulled her sleeves up before she set to working on her homework set to he that day. She worked for an hour or so in silence and privacy before she thought she felt someone’s hot breath on the back of her neck. Shrugging it off as a draft of some sort, she continued to write her essay. She felt the same draft twice more before she turned to find the source of it and came face to face with grey eyes and white blonde hair.

“What do you want this time Malfoy?” she asked him in an irritated voice. He had his hand behind his back and it was making Hermione nervous. Draco gave a careless shrug of his shoulders and made his way around the table so he was seated across from Hermione.

“Just thought I’d come and say hello,” he said in a teasing tome.

“What? You only come in the library when you’re forced to and you only do things that are in your best interests. So I ask again, what do you want Malfoy?” she said. He pulled his hand from behind his back to reveal Hermione’s Care of Magical Creatures book. Her eyes widened.

“Where’d you get that?” she asked him. He placed it on the table in front of him, out of Hermione’s reach.

“I found it in the Potions classroom, of all places,” he said. Noticing Draco admitted to being there again and trying to turn the tables on him, Hermione raised an eyebrow.

“What were you doing in the Potions room?” she asked. He obviously wasn’t
expecting her to ask because he squirmed slightly in his seat.

“That’s none of your business. We’re discussing why your book was in there, remember?” he continued. Hermione tried to hold back a smile as he squirmed a little more. Bored already, Draco pushed it across the table to her.

“If I find you or any of your belongings in the Potions classroom again, I’m going to report you to Snape,” he said with a hiss.

“I’ll do the same then if I find you there,” she told him, though she knew it was no use reporting any Slytherin to Snape. He turned then and left the library, Hermione’s eyes following him the whole way. As soon as he was out of sight, she reached into her bag and pulled out her Potions book, examining the Vision Recall Draught again. After re-reading the directions several times, she slammed her book shut, causing several students to jump and Madam Pince to throw Hermione a nasty look, and she made her way quickly as possible from the library to Gryffindor Tower. Once there, she grabbed her necessary supplies and pulled it all inside the little bathroom she shares with the rest of the 5th year girls. Making sure the door was locked, Hermione made the potion easily and quickly. Once she’d finished, she held up a small test tube of the draught and took a deep breath.

“Well, here goes nothing,” she said to herself before downing the entire contents. She coughed a little before falling slowly to her side and into a deep trance. She relived every moment of her dream. Every kiss, every embrace. Just before the boy tried kissing her lips again, she shot out of her trance, but not before she saw a small shock of white hair curling in towards his nose from his forehead.

Damn it,” she thought to herself. “Why him?” She cleaned her things quickly and opened the door to find two of her roommates standing with their ears pressed to where the door had been.

“Can I help you?” Hermione asked them. They both flashed her big smiles.

“What were you doing in there?” Parvati asked.

“None of your business, now leave me alone,” she told them. She stashed her potions supplies in her trunk and headed for the common room in hopes that she could sit in peace to come up with a solution as to why she was dreaming of Draco Malfoy kissing her.

* * *

Chapter 2

Stretching her cramped back in the small chair, Hermione dangled her legs over the arm and opened her eyes slowly. Bright sunlight greeted her, and she craned her neck to look at the clock on the wall. Realizing she was late for class, she jumped out of the chair, only to fall over.

“Ow, my head,” she said, picking herself up off the floor. Dizziness set in as she slowly made her way up the stairs to her room. Letting herself, in she soon saw that all her roommates were still sleeping. Throwing a glance at the calendar hung on the wall near her own bed, she saw it was Saturday. Cursing herself silently, she turned her sheets down and crawled into her comfy bed for a few more hours rest. Just as she closed her eyes, something jumped onto the bed and padded it’s way from her footboard to her face.

“Hello Crookshanks,” she whispered without opening her eyes. She reached out blindly and pet her cat as he purred up a storm. She continued to pet him, wishing for sleep to come again. As her hand began to fall asleep though, someone else grabbed it and held it close to them. Scared, she thought it best to not open her eyes right away.

“Um, hello?” she said in a raspy voice, thick with sleep.

“Hi,” a voice replied smoothly. Cautiously, she began to open her eyes. As black became fuzzy shapes, Hermione thought she was looking at Seamus. But as she slowly opened her eyes some more, the fuzzy shapes turned into solid objects and she was soon staring into the liquid mercury eyes of Draco Malfoy.

“How… how did you get in here? How did you get the password?” she asked him, pushing herself up into a sitting position.

“Shhh,” he told her, pressing one of his fingers to her mouth. When he was convinced she wasn’t going to speak, he pulled his finger away and pulled her face close to his. As a bead of sweat ever so slowly took shape on her forehead, Draco kissed her softly on the lips. Unsure of a reason, she began to kiss him back. As they shared in each other’s happiness, the fog in Hermione’s head began to clear.

“What are you doing?” she heard loudly in her ear. Hermione opened her eyes to find herself sitting up, kissing the air, with her roommates watching her.

“What are you doing?” Lavender repeated. Feeling her face heat up as she blushed, she looked at her roommates.

“Nothing, nothing at all,” she said quickly before jumping out of bed and running to the bathroom. She slammed the door shut and snapped her fingers at the candles. Inside the dimly lit bathroom, Hermione studied herself in the mirror for a moment. Leaning her forehead against the cool glass in the mirror frame, she began to calm down, asking herself an important question.

“What am I doing dreaming about Draco Malfoy?”

* * *

Shuffling her way to the Great Hall, Hermione felt both nervous and foolish for what had happened in her room before breakfast. Her eyes darted around nervously as she stepped through the doors, afraid Lavender and Parvati would do the typical thing and tell everyone they know. She sat herself down at the end of the Gryffindor table where she could be left alone and surveyed what was being served for lunch. After choosing just an apple, she collected the books she’d brought down with her and headed for the library, careful to have the apple finished before stepping into the library. Choosing the same table she had the night before at the back of the room, she quickly made herself comfy and set to work on her Transfiguration homework. Stretching her legs out in front of her under the table, she took a brief moment to research a fact for her essay when she heard someone in the row behind her. Turning her head slightly to see who it was, she cursed under her breath.

“Are you following me?” she asked Draco. He looked up from the book he was reading and flashed her a devilish smile.

“What would make you think that?” he asked her, putting his book down and coolly making his way to her table.

“I noticed you had the Vision Recall Draught book marked in your Potions text. What ever would you need that for? That’s a fourth-year potion and we all know there’s no need for you to do extra credit work from a lower year,’ he teased, taking the seat across from Hermione. She just watched with mild amusement as he reached for her Potions book and thumbed his way to the potion he was referring to. He quickly scanned the page once before reading the summary out loud to her.

“I already know what it says,” she interrupted him. His eyes shot up at hers; angry he hadn’t been able to finish.

“So why do you need it then?” he pried. She narrowed her eyes.

“It’s no one’s business and even if it were, I would not be telling you!” she explained angrily. Suddenly, Draco’s eyes lit up like a child’s.

“So what you’re saying is that Potty and Weasel don’t know either?” he asked. When she didn’t answer and avoided his eyes, he rubbed his hands together in an evil fashion.

“Granger, there’s some Slytherin in you yet,” he told her. Hermione looked disgusted as she turned her attention back to her homework, hoping he’d leave. Fifteen minutes later, however, Hermione looked up to find him still sitting there, now doodling on a piece of parchment he’d stolen from her and using her extra quill and ink well. Hermione rolled her eyes and jotted down the last few sentences of her essay. As she shuffled her papers to switch subjects, Draco cleared his throat.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“What are you working on now? Defense Against the Dark Arts?” he asked, never lifting his eyes up from his page.

“No,” she told him plainly. “Why?” Draco shrugged.

Only because my grades aren’t the greatest and…” he trailed off, mumbling the last bit.

“What?” she asked him, straining to hear.

“I said I was wondering if you could help me out a little? You know, maybe just tell me what I’m doing wrong or something,” he said. Hermione considered it.

“But why should I? You’ve treated myself, Harry and Ron like dragon dung for well over four years and I’m sick of it. And then you expect me to forgive you at the drop of a wand just so you can get better grades? I don’t see any benefits in it for me. So tell me, Draco Malfoy, why should I help you out?” she said angrily. Draco sat back, stunned.

“You could’ve just said no,” he told her, pushing her quill and ink well back towards her. He began folding the piece of parchment he drew on. First in halves, then in quarters.

“Sorry,” she apologized quietly. Draco gave a lazy half smirk, as if to say ‘whatever’. He folded his parchment once more, into eighths and placed it down on the table.

“Bye,” he said quietly before leaving. Hermione stared after him a moment, shocked at how civil he was being. As soon as he disappeared through the library doors, she jumped up and grabbed his piece of parchment. Unfolding it quickly, she was surprised at what she found inside. He had drawn a rough, but beautiful sketch of Hermione’s hands, hard at work on her homework. Blushing slightly, she folded it back up and placed it between the pages of her Potions textbook.

* * *

Hermione spent the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening in the library writing essays and occasionally taking a break to look at Draco’s drawing. After stopping for about the tenth time around seven-thirty in the evening, she decided it was best to just stop for the night, as she couldn’t seem to concentrate much. She gathered her books and carefully tucked Draco’s picture in her homework before leaving the library. As soon as she entered the Gryffindor common room, she was hit with a wall of noise as some of the students had thrown a small party. Hermione waved to a few students as she made her way through the crowd, but at the bottom of the stairs to the girls’ dormitory, someone caught her arm.

“Hermione! Thank Merlin! Quick, I need helps with my Charms!” Ron practically shouted at her. Not in the mood to help or lecture, she simply pulled her Charms sheets out of the load in her arms and passed it to Ron.

“Just return it in the morning,” she told him, and she made her way up the stairs, leaving a baffled Ron just staring up at her. Up in her room, she pulled out Draco’s picture and tucked it into the top drawer of her bedside table before putting her books away in her trunk for the night. She walked over to the window and looked out onto the Hogwarts grounds, watching Hagrid tend to his garden with Fang, the boarhound, by his side. She let out a quiet laugh as she watched Fang bounce around at Hagrid’s feet while he tried to manoeuvre his big body throughout the small garden. Hermione sat in the window for hours, curled tightly into a ball. She was so quiet her roommates didn’t even notice her when they herded themselves into the room and into bed. When all the girls had finally gone to sleep, Hermione rose from her seat in the window and dressed in her nightgown to the sound of Parvati’s soft snoring. She climbed into bed and got comfortable, but before putting out the light, something made her stop. She reached into the top drawer of her bedside table and took one last look at Draco’s drawing, feeling an almost connection with him for a brief second. Smiling to herself, she placed it back in the drawer and put the light out.

* * *

Do I have to?” Hermione whined at six in the morning the next day. Harry and Ron had managed to drag her out of bed, with the help of Dobby, to come watch them practise some new Quidditch moves. Both boys protested that they wanted an outsider’s opinion on their moves. Eventually she got tired of hearing them complain and she just gave up and agreed to join them. After a very brief celebration in the common room that involved Seamus coming out of his room and throwing a lump of coal at Ron’s head, the three friends made their way down to the pitch. Hermione climbed the tall stairwell to the top of the stands while Harry and Ron went into the change rooms to put on their Quidditch robes. Shivering against the cold wind, Hermione tried to pull herself into as small a ball as possible. Soon the boys emerged from the change rooms and were quickly flying around in the air above Hermione’s head. She watched with little interest, commenting on what she saw and what she thought after each play or move as they floating in front of her. As Harry and Ron were demonstrating the hardest move they were trying out, Hermione heard footsteps on the stairs. Eventually, a blonde haired boy poked his head over the top of the stairs.

Not him again!’ Hermione thought. Draco stood at the bottom of the stands, watching Harry and Ron zoom around in the air. As they slowed their flying down, Draco made to move to the top of the stands this time. Turning to climb the stairs, he caught his first glimpse of Hermione. He managed a small smile as he took the stairs two at a time to join her.

“Hi,” he said softly as he sat down beside her.

“Hi,” she replied. “I…I liked your drawing. Thank you for…” She paused, a little embarrassed to continue. “Thank you for making my hands beautiful.” Draco’s hair fell into his eyes and Hermione had to resist the sudden urge to push it back.

“I was bored and I wanted something to draw. Your hands were the first thing I saw,” he explained. Feeling a little rejected that he only drew them because he was bored, she turned her head away from him.

“But I didn’t make them beautiful. They were already like that,” he told her as he stood up. Hermione felt her face grow hot at Draco’s last comment. She turned to face him but found he was making his way to the bottom of the stands.

“Draco, wait!” she called out. He stopped and looked at her. When she said nothing else, he started to turn again, but something made him stop.

“That’s the first time you’ve ever called me by my first name without me hurting you in any way,” he told her. He then finished his descent down the stairs. Once he’d disappeared from sight, Hermione realized she’d been holding her breath. Exhaling, she saw Harry and Ron flying over.

“What happened? Are you okay?” Harry asked, manoeuvring his broom so he was able to land in the stands.

“What did Malfoy do?” Ron asked angrily as he followed Harry. Hermione held her hands up defensively.

“Nothing! Nothing! He had to ask me a question about a homework assignment” she explained, hoping they’d buy it. Both boys stared at her for a second.

“Fine, but he’d better watch his step,” Ron warned.

“Sure, whatever you say,” she told them. “Now, if you don’t mind, I have my own homework to do so I’ll just see you both later.” She pushed her way past them to the bottom of the stands, Harry still holding a sceptical look on his face.

* * *

Later that night, after dinner had been served and eaten, and after everyone had settled into their evening activities (or homework), Hermione was hard at work in the library, researching the Vision Recall Draught and what her dreams meant. She now knew just about everything on the potion, but none of the books she read about dreams seemed reliable enough. Sighing heavily, she placed a book back in its spot on the shelf and decided to try just one more. She ran her finger along the bindings as she read the titles. Her finger stopped at one titled Behind the Meanings: What Your Dreams REALLY Mean. Interested, Hermione picked it up and carried it to her table. Flipping to the index, she read the title of each chapter until she came to the one dealing with people in dreams called People and What They’re Doing Inside Your Head. She flipped through the pages until she came to it and quickly scanned the entire chapter. Finding it more useful than the Muggle trash she had been reading, she went back to the beginning to read the chapter more thoroughly. At last she came to a part of the chapter she thought was most helpful. As she began copying out some points she thought were most important, her eyes slowly became heavier and heavier.

I’ll just rest my eyes for a second,’ she thought to herself. She put her quill down and rested her head on the book. An hour later she was still asleep and the only student left in the library. Tucked away in the back corner, Madam Pince, the librarian, had forgotten she was there when Draco walked into the library.

“I’m sorry but I’m about to close up. You’ll have to come back tomorrow morning,” the older witch told the Slytherin.

“I’m only here to get on book, I know what it’s called and I even know where it is. I’ll only be a minute,” he explained quickly. Madam Pince thought a moment then waved him off in search of his book. In one of the last rows, Draco pulled a book off the shelf and started walking to the end of the row when something caught his eye. He turned to see Hermione asleep at a table by herself. He moved closer and put his book down on a nearby table. Taking his school cloak off, he draped it over her shoulders before he caught a glimpse of her work. She had her Potions text open to the Vision Recall Draught, another book was opened to a page dealing with people in dreams and a piece of parchment lay next to her head, covered with scribbles of notes and questions he figured she had that needed answering. His eye caught his name in one of the questions, but he never had a chance to read it.

“Mr. Malfoy? Are you just about done?” Madam Pince called.

“Sorry. Yes, I’m coming,” he called back. He took one more look at the sleeping figure before grabbing his book and heading to the librarian’s desk. As he left the library, closely followed by Madam Pince, Hermione pulled Draco’s cloak more tightly around her shoulders in her sleep.

Hours later, Hermione awoke in the empty, dark library with a sore neck. She sat up and rubbed it.

“That’ll teach me to fall asleep at a table,” she told herself. She closed all her books and piled them up. As she rose from her chair she felt something fall off her back. She looked at her chair to see a Slytherin robe bunched up in a ball. With a small smile she picked it up and folded it into a tiny bundle before grabbing her books and leaving for Gryffindor Tower.

* * *

“Harry, can I borrow the map for a moment?” she asked just before lunch the next day.

“What for?” he asked her.

“I just need to return something to someone and rather than run all over the place looking for them, I thought I’d make it easier on myself,” she explained. Harry nodded in understanding and opened his bag, soon producing the Marauder’s Map. She muttered the activation charm and scanned the parchment for Draco’s name, which she spotted out on the Quidditch pitch.

“Found who you’re looking for?” Harry asked as Hermione wiped the map clean. She nodded and waved to him before leaving Gryffindor Tower at a quick paced walk. She soon arrived on the pitch to find Draco practising with a Snitch. He spotted her down on the ground and lowered his broom to land beside her. He gave her a smile as she reached inside her own cloak and pulled out his.

“Thank you,” she said as she handed it back to him. He took it gratefully and snapped it on.

“It was no problem. You looked cold anyways,” he explained. She smiled at his answer before turning to leave. He watched her walk back up to the castle, her hair dancing around in the wind. Once she was safely inside, he turned his attention back to his hunt for the Snitch. Back inside the castle, Hermione stopped in the Great Hall for lunch before heading off to Potions. Since she was one of the first people to arrive for class, she pulled out her homework and double and triple checked her work before handing it in to Snape. Soon, students began filing in for class and Draco came strolling in alone shortly after Ron and Harry. He tossed a small roll of parchment on her desk as he passed and luckily no one, Ron and Harry included, saw it before she snatched it off her desk. Looking at her friends to her left, she unrolled the parchment.

Were you researching the Vision Recall Draught because of a dream you had involving me?

A little conceited, aren’t we Draco?’ she thought to herself as she rolled it back up and tucked it into her cloak. She looked at Draco, who was staring at something off to her right and shook her head. He motioned for her to write back but she shook her head again and motioned that they would talk later. He gave her a thumbs up as Snape began the class.

* * *

After dinner that night, Hermione was already working on that day’s homework in the library when Draco approached her.

“Mind if I sit with you?” he asked. She shook her head.

“As long as you don’t mind the funny looks we’ll probably get,” she said as Draco took his seat. He shrugged and pulled open his books. They worked in relative quiet, save for the soft voices from other students, quills scratching and paper shuffling, for a good two hours before she heard soft singing. She stopped writing, quill poised in mid-air, trying her best to listen and find out where it was coming from. She looked all over the library but it didn’t look like anyone was singing when she thought it was coming from Draco’s side of the table. She looked directly at him and saw his lips barely moving, but moving nonetheless. She leaned in closer, straining to hear.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, so please don’t take my sunshine away.” Hermione snorted with laughter, unable to hold it in anymore. She laughed behind her book while Draco just stared at her like she was crazy.

“What the hell is so funny?” he asked her finally. Her body racked with giggles, it took her a while to get out a sentence that made sense.

“You…you were singing…a Muggle nursery rhyme,” she managed finally, still giggling.

“What? I was not singing!” he protested but Hermione just nodded. He leaned in close.

“Which one?” he asked in a whisper.

’You Are My Sunshine’,” she told him, and for the first time in her life, Hermione Granger watched as Draco Malfoy blushed a shade of red that would have put Ron to shame.

“Okay,” he said quietly before turning back to his homework. Hermione, too, went back to her work, but occasionally had to stop to fend off a case of the giggles where Draco would shoot her a threatening look When Madam Pince announced the library would be closing, both Draco and Hermione gave up early and closed their books.

“My father is coming tomorrow. He made a big donation to Hogwarts for…something. There’s supposed to be some sort of presentation at dinner tomorrow,” he told her in a very bored voice. Hermione was less than happy as every encounter she ever had with Lucius Malfoy had ended, well, badly.

“That’s great Draco,” she lied.

“Not really. He’s going to find out my grades have been slipping lately,” he told her. She saw the disappointed look on his face and reached out to pat him reassuringly on the arm.

“Thanks,” he said. She just gave him a small smile. As they left the library, side-by-side, many of the pairs of eyes still in the room followed them until they were out the door. Outside the library Draco turned to Hermione.

“I’ll try my best to keep my father away from you tomorrow. I know you two don’t have the best of a history,” he said.

“Thank you, but it’s not necessary,” she told him, but he held up his hand.

“I insist,” he replied. “I also insist we do this again.” He motioned to the library doors.

“I’d like that, a lot,” she answered smiling.

“Great!” he said, now smiling too. They said good night to each other and went their separate ways

* * *

The next day, it was rainy and dreary outside. Many of the students’ moods matched the weather outside by being abnormally quiet, sad and sluggish. One of the students that didn’t let the weather get to them was Hermione as she kept running last night’s studying with Draco over and over in her head. She walked to class with a bit of an extra jump in her step, and luckily, no one seemed to notice as they were all preoccupied with themselves. As she, Harry and Ron entered Defense Against the Dark Arts that morning, she looked for a set of desks close enough to Draco. She saw his cronies, Crabbe and Goyle, took one set but he was sitting by himself and the only other set left was in front of him. Hermione lead the way to the desks and was about to sit next to Draco when Harry stopped her.

“Hermione, why don’t you let one of us sit with him? I don’t want him bothering you,” he said. She shook her head.

“If either of you sat with him you’d cause more trouble than I would. Besides I can handle myself fine. I’ll sit with him and you two can sit in front of us. There won’t be any problems that way,” she explained. Harry opened his mouth to protest but Hermione shut him up by dropping her books on the desk and sitting in the chair next to Draco. Harry could do nothing else because their professor walked in just after she took her seat so Harry and Ron sat in the set in front of her. Draco smiled at Hermione after the boys were facing the front again.

“I’m here to help you out for the day. Hopefully we do something that will let me help you,” she explained quietly. He nodded as they both turned their attention to the professor who announced they would be working with their seating partners on a small project. Both Harry and Ron looked back at Hermione, but she just motioned for them to turn back around. The Professor turned the chalkboard around to reveal a list of things they could do their project on and they were asked to pick on of the topics. Chatter began throughout the room as the pairs began discussing which topic they would research.

“Which one do you want?” Draco asked. Hermione craned her neck to get a better view of the chalkboard.

“I actually like a lot of them,” she told him. “There’s the history of Azkaban one, and the unicorn one, the dragon one and the history of the Ministry of Magic. I think the Azkaban one would be interesting to do.” She looked at Draco who was playing with his fingers and she realized what she did.

“Oh, I’m sorry. We can do the dragon one instead,” she told him.

“No no, it’s okay. I kind of like the Azkaban one too. Sadly, I don’t think my father would be too interested in it,” he explained.

“It’s okay. Don’t worry about your father for now. Are you sure you want to do the Azkaban one?” she asked cautiously. He nodded.

“As long as you’re okay with it Draco,” she said. He nodded again. As the professor walked around the room, asking for everyone’s selection and handing out instruction sheets, Hermione and Draco thought up a few ideas they might be able to use for their project. Harry and Ron watched them closely as the Gryffindor and Slytherin acted as enemies as best as possible. Once they’d given their selection and been handed their sheet, the boys turned around to discuss their own project.

“And yours?” the professor asked.

“The Azkaban history,” Draco said. With a nod from the professor, their selection was written down and they were handed a sheet with instructions on certain things they had to cover in their report and presentation. After close to an hour of planning and discussing, class ended. As Harry and Ron tried to pull Hermione away, she and Draco agreed to meet later for research, though neither of them looked pleased about it in the boys’ eyes. Hermione spent the rest of the day in the protective custody of her friends, much to her annoyance, even during lunch. When dinner finally rolled around, she was grateful for the break as they both had a quick Quidditch meeting at the beginning of dinner. Squeezing in between Ginny and Seamus, she ate dinner as she spoke with Ginny about her courses. When Draco entered the hall, closely followed by Crabbe and Goyle, he gave Hermione a quick wink before replacing his normal scowl on his face as he took a seat in between Crabbe and Goyle at the Slytherin table. From her seat, she had a perfect view of Draco in his spot. She gave a wink back, but Neville caught it and questioned her on it.

“Just an eyelash in my eye is all,” she told him quickly, turning back to her food. The students ate their meals like normal, chatting as they ate. Eventually, Harry and Ron joined them, but because it was so cramped near Hermione, they had to sit a ways down the table with Dean and Colin. Not long after they sat down, Professor Dumbledore stood up and held his hand up for silence. Soon, the Hall was filled with nothing but the echoing sound of burning candles.

“I hope you’ve all enjoyed tonight’s splendid feast. I know I certainly did. But that is besides to point. Last week, Hogwarts received a very generous contribution to our Potions section. And so, to celebrate the contribution, we have held this delicious feast and asked the contributor to join us for dinner. I’d like you all to please welcome Mr. Lucius Malfoy,” Dumbledore announced. The Hall filled with applause, the loudest coming from the Slytherin table.

“Thank you everyone. I’d just like to say that if it were not for a fine establishment like Hogwarts, my only son, Draco, would not be getting the education he needs. I felt it only necessary to contribute to his education and the education of his peers. With this money, I’m hoping all students will be able to learn and benefit more from the subject of Potions. Thank you again,” Lucius said as he stood up at his chair. The Hall filled with applause again when he finished his speech. Hermione looked over at Draco who rolled his eyes dramatically then laughed a little. She gave him a smile before turning back to Dumbledore, now standing up again, as he announced the upcoming Quidditch game, the Hogsmeade weekend on the following weekend and a few other minor announcements.

After dinner, Hermione, Harry and Ron were walking back to Gryffindor Tower when they passed Draco and his father in the hallway.

“Granger, don’t forget we’re supposed to be meeting up to do that stupid project later,” Draco growled.

“I wouldn’t be the one to forget,” Hermione said as she pulled the boys down the hall. Lucius watched the entire display with interest. Around the corner from the Malfoy’s, Hermione turned to her friends.

“I forgot something in the Great Hall. I’m just going to run back and get it. You go n ahead without me,” she told them. They agreed and headed off to the Tower. Once they were of sight, Hermione crept a little closer to where they last saw Draco and his father to find that they were still there.

“…But you never told me you were working with the girl!” Lucius said.

“Father, it’s for a school project. We were paired together by the professor for a boring project. I can handle her on my own,” Draco protested.

“I’ll have to speak to your Professor. Have you change partners. I’m sure you could easily work with Crabbe or Goyle and stick the other one with her,” Lucius told him.

“But Father, think about it. If I work with her, my grades will rise a little more. If I continue working with her, I’ll soon have grades just like hers. There will be no more low test marks,” Draco said, reminding his father. Lucius thought for a moment before replying.

“Maybe it is all for the best. I’m sure those lumps you call friends do absolutely nothing for your grades,” he told his son.

“Very well, I won’t do anything about it. I must be going now. I’m expected at the Ministry soon. Oh yes, and your mother says hello and gives her love,” he continued. His father bid Draco a goodbye and left his only son standing all alone in the front hall. Looking dejected, Draco stood there for a moment or two, before replacing his usual scowl again and angrily walking towards the dungeons. Hermione found the confrontation weird, but did nothing except head back to Gryffindor Tower on her own.

* * *

Entering the library again, later that night, Hermione wasn’t sure if she wanted to say anything to Draco about the fight between his father or if she’d rather let it be. She tried making a decision on the way to her normal table at the back of the room, but by the time she reached the table, she still had no idea what she was going to do. She was about to sit down in her usual chair when someone placed a hand on her back.

“Whoa there Hermione. There’s more than one chair at the table. Think you could use one of them?” Draco said. Jumping up right away, she fought to keep from blushing as she scooted over to the chair to his left.

“Sorry about that, a little preoccupied I guess,” she explained, pulling her books open.

“About what?” he asked her, pushing his books aside so he could lean in closer, in case it was a secret.

“Oh it’s nothing,” she said with a wave of her hand.

“Well, it must be something if you just about sat on me,” he pointed out. She sat back in her seat and thought about whether she should say anything. Sighing heavily, one side lost the battle.

“I was…thinking about the fight you had with your father earlier, right before he left. I overheard and…I was wondering how much of what you said was true?” she told him hesitantly. Draco eyed her suspiciously as he too leaned back in his chair.

“I didn’t mean any of it Hermione, none of it. I respect you too much now. Why would I mess something like that up?” Draco said, a hint of sadness in his voice. Hermione shrugged.

“I know, I just felt the need to ask. I’m sorry,” she said. The pair worked in silence for a few hours, before Hermione decided to call it a night.

“I’m going to head back upstairs now,” she told him, gathering her books and heading for the door. Draco grabbed his books quickly too and ran after her. Catching up to her just outside of the library doors, he held up a hand for a moment so he could catch his breath after running full speed after her.

“Hermione, listen. I meant it earlier. I respect you too much to mess anything up with you. You’re special, and I like that about you,” Draco said, pulling on her arm to bring her closer. She gave him a smile as he looked into her eyes.

“I know I’ve never been the best guy, but I’m saying I’m done with that now. Hermione…I like you, a lot,” he went on. Hermione continued to smile as she wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Thank you Draco. I like you a lot too,” she said. She stood on her tiptoes and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek, then unwrapped her arms from his waist and made her way to Gryffindor Tower, leaving behind a happy but shocked Draco Malfoy.

“Wait!” he called out making no attempt to move. Hermione turned and waved at him.

“Good night Draco! I’ll see you tomorrow,” she called back before turning a corner.

“Good night,” he said quietly to himself. He stood in the cool hallway for several minutes before finally making his way down to the Slytherin dungeons.

Tomorrow indeed,’ he thought to himself as he walked. ‘Tomorrow indeed.

* * * * *

The following fic is in response to Fic Request #60 which stated the following conditions:

Rating(s) of the Fic: G – PG-13

3-5 Things to Include in the Fic:
1. Draco singing “You are My Sunshine” (I don’t care to who, though Hermione would be nice).
2. Set any time after 4th year.
3. Lucius has to make an appearance.
4. They can’t like each other at the start of the fic.
5. Sirius has to be alive! (even if it’s set after the 5th book, make it AU).

What Not to Include in the Fic:
1. NO sharing a room, even if you have them as head boy/girl.
2. Slash.
3. Ron or Harry liking Hermione.
4. Blaise being a girl (if you include him).
5. Overly-nice Draco, he’s still Draco, even if he has a heart.

* * * * *
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