Nothing Hurts Like Love Chapter 3: To Malfoy or Not to Malfoy?

A/N: This chapter is slightly longer because we flick back to the present day for a bit and I introduced a bit of Draco's point of view. Hope it doesn't get too confusing flicking in between different times and people, so I am going to continue labelling it, just for you guys. 

Hermione could only stare back at Malfoy in absolute disbelief. He wanted to go to Hogsmeade with her? Had the world gone completely mad? There was no way in hell that Draco Malfoy would ever ask her out unless it was for a bet or a scam or some other Slytherin worthy activity. Her mind whirled with the possibilities that could be crossing through Malfoy's head. Out loud, however, silence reigned.

"Well?" Malfoy broke the silence with his questioning demand.

"I...I...I don't have time for your silly pranks Malfoy. I have far more important things to worry about. Besides, everybody knows you would never ask a...a...Muggle-born like me to accompany you to Hogsmeade. So, if you have finished, I have to head back now...Excuse me."

Hermione packed up her quills and parchment, aware that Malfoy's silvery grey eyes were on her the entire time. It made her feel uncomfortable and somewhat...bare. She wasn't sure how she felt about this new feeling. He normally just made her feel angry and annoyed.

"Well, when you change your mind, Granger, you know where to find me. I am not coming back again." His voice followed her through the empty library. Eurgh, how he irritated her.

(Draco's point of view, still 6 months ago)

He had no idea why he had just done what he had, but he felt rather good about it. Okay, so Granger was most definitely not the girl he would expect to ask to accompany him to Hogsmeade, but he could not ignore that feeling that there was more to her than met the eye. He still called her Mudblood when referring to her with the rest of the Slytherins, but somehow it didn't ring so true anymore. Malfoy stopped to think. Maybe he was asking her out to prove to himself that she was just a hot blooded little Mudblood who did not know who her superiors were. Malfoy nodded and smiled to himself...Yes that must be it.

(Hermione's view, 1st September 1994)

If she had known then what she knew about Draco now, she would probably have laughed and considered it impossible that Draco Malfoy was even human. Now, however, she knew that he was human and so much more. She smiled to herself. They had written coded owls to each other the whole summer, and if anything their love had grown stronger than anyone could have imagined. It was a shame that nobody knew of how passionate she felt about the Slytherin boy, but it couldn't be helped. They had both agreed not to tell anybody, because it would be tainted by suspicion and division. In a way, it would be even juicier now, sneaking around the castle to see her long-term boyfriend. Hermione smiled again.

"What's so funny 'Ermione?" Ron interjected into her thoughts through a mouthful of tuna sandwich. Inwardly, Hermione winced.

"Nothing, I was just thinking how good it would be to get back to Hogwarts and only have to worry about Transfiguration and essays, rather the World Cup madness."

"Oh...fair enough" Ron shrugged. Hermione sighed. Ron was her best friend, but he, unlike Draco, never paid much attention to what was below the surface. She missed Draco terribly. It was incredibly hard to keep up this pretence of hating each other, but needs must. She stared out of the window, wondering what Draco was up to.

(Draco's point of view, 1st September 1994)

Crabbe and Goyle were not improving Malfoy's mood at all. He craved some intelligent conversation, and he craved some time to think without Pansy simpering into his ear every five seconds. In short, he craved Hermione. They had only been dating for 6 months, but he felt the emptiness when she was not there. He never would have thought that the girl he used to call Mudblood would be the reason his heart pumped or the reason he woke up every morning, but he was so glad he had done what he had six months ago and asked her out. Yes, they still battled to be top of the class, and house rivalries made their romance difficult, but then they would not be Draco and Hermione as a slushy love card couple. Draco smiled. He was going to make sure his little Muggle born princess had the best year ever.

(Hermione's point of view, 6 months previously)

Hermione was still fuming about the audacity of Draco Malfoy in asking her out, but it was now mixed with a few other feelings.

Curiosity: why would he do it?

Indecision: Would she tell her friends that she had been offered a date...by a Slytherin? And...another feeling she didn't want to examine.

Was she excited about Draco Malfoy finding her attractive...Malfoy? She could not possibly be. The thought was absurd...Hermione changed into her pyjamas and climbed into bed. Today had been the weirdest day, and it was time to put a close to it.

Days passed, and still Hermione thought about Draco's proposition. They had had Potions together several times with the usual house rivalry, and she had come top of the class in the Transfiguration test, beating him, but she could not seem to forget the words "What do you say, Granger?". It scared her that she was even still thinking about the idea, but she could no longer deny that she wanted to find out what it would be like walking on the dark side, even just for a few hours. Malfoy intrigued her.

(Draco's point of view, still 6 months ago)

That Granger turns out to be a bit of a tease...It has been 3 days, and still she says nothing. Well, if she thinks I am going to ask her again, she has been drinking too much hexed pumpkin juice. She has probably run and told everything to Pothead and Weaselbee. Gosh that girl is so infuriating. Why did I even bother to ask her out...Mudblood...

Draco stopped. Somehow even thinking the word Mudblood felt wrong. He was sure he had been right and she had hexed him in some manner. Her and those friends of hers. They couldn't be trusted.

Malfoy continued to mull over the possible reasons for his predicament before looking up to see McGonagall looking at him quizzically.

"Mr Malfoy, is there a problem?"

"No." He replied shortly, before scowling and walking out of the room. He needed to think. He needed some common sense. He needed...

"Ouch" He had collided right into someone in his single minded determination to escape Hermione Granger.

"Why don't you watch where...Granger..."

"Malfoy..."

The two teens were suddenly rather shy. Which was a first.

"I'm sorry, I didn't see you there."

"Well, you wouldn't...off to terrorise some poor Hufflepuff no doubt." Hermione replied shortly, trying to disguise the fact that her heart was racing.

Strangely Malfoy did not retort. Or even reply. He just stared at her. The air sizzled around them.

"Erm...Malfoy...I think the idea of accompanying you to Hogsmeade is-"

The End

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