(6 months ago continued)
Hermione sat down after collecting an array of books and pulled out a quill. She began to take notes from one book "Transfiguration: Transforming Mundane into Magic by Wizelda Hopkirk" when she thought she heard a noise behind her. Hermione hated being disturbed when she got into the studying zone, and a part of her she really wanted to ignore was a little scared. Harry and Ron wouldn't expect her back for hours yet, and if anything was to happen to her, it would be until morning before anybody thought to question why Hermione didn't return to the Gryffindor dorms.
Hermione listened out for more noises, but none came.
"You are getting paranoid, Hermione, get a grip." She thought to herself, returning to Wizelda Hopkirk.
A few minutes passed, and Hermione sank into the information, finding comfort in the scratching of her quill on the parchment. She had no idea how many minutes or hours had passed before she heard another noise. It had sounded like a footstep and breathing. Someone was in the room with her. Somebody who didn't want to be seen. This made her nervous, but she tried to ignore it.
"Who's there?" Her voice came out high-pitched and nervous. She tried again.
"Who's there? It isn't funny or clever you know. Whatever it is you are trying to do. People know that I am here you know. So you really should give up." Definitely an improvement.
A voice Hermione really didn't want to hear came out from the shadows beyond the lamp light.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Granger, poring over a book yet again. You know, you should really vary your routine a little bit you know. It makes it all too easy to follow you. Almost takes the fun out of it."
"What do you want, Malfoy?" If anybody else had been in that section of the library, it would have been crystal clear to them that Hermione Granger was not happy. The white- blond Slytherin standing in front of her was not a person particularly high on her "People I Want to See List."
"Now, now, Granger, no need to get all prissy about my being here. If I am honest, I prefer you so much better when you are just plain enraged. You look almost...dateable. Wouldn't have thought it from a...Muggle-born"
This just made Hermione's blood boil.
"Are you just here to insult me, Malfoy, or are you actually here to study? You know, if you did a bit more, you might actually come top of the class for a change."
"You know Granger, being a know-it-all isn't really a turn on. That cold demeanour, the 'I have to be the best attitude'. You will never get a man like that."
"And what makes you think I am looking for a man? More importantly, Malfoy, what business is it of yours?"
Malfoy's grey eyes flashed with an inexplicable expression, just for a second.
"You would actually be surprised, Granger. You see, I have been watching you for quite some time. Since you...punched me in the face, in fact. If you had been a boy, I would have sought after revenge. Extra detention in potions, sabotage a broomstick, the usual. But you, Granger, you got me thinking. You see, Granger..."
Here Malfoy paused, and Hermione began to wonder where this conversation was going. He could have hexed her by now because the library was virtually deserted, or simply done something Slytherin like to humiliate her. Instead he was standing over her, engaging in almost civilised conversation.
"You see Granger, a lot of the girls in our year don't fit the Malfoy standards. I look for a girl who is smart, independent, loyal and not afraid to stand up even when she is the only one doing so. Girls like Pansy who hang on to my every word bore me. I need a challenge. And I actually began to give up on finding such a girl here...Until you punched me in the face."
Hermione almost couldn't believe what she was hearing. She had punched Malfoy out of hate, annoyance and sheer fury, and it turned out he looked at her as an attractive challenge? If she was reading this in a Muggle novel, she would laugh out loud.
"I have no idea where this insanity is coming from, and I wouldn't be surprised if you had hexed me into this madness, but I always like a bit of an adventure... there is a trip to Hogsmeade in a few days time. I won't ask again, because I don't beg, but I want you to go with me. What do you say, Granger?"
A/N: There we have it, the second chapter! I'm going to try and get back to present day as soon as possible, because it will get even better, but I promise the trip down memory lane is worth it.