Bathwater

Hermione 'The Child' Granger

"Alright, listen up you lot!" Professor Sprout, the Herbology teacher, entered the classroom with an excited face and a cheery voice. She looked around at the students, gave Neville and Hannah a giant smile, and proceeded to the front of the room. "The Headmistress had some matters to attend to, and seeing as Professor Flitwick does not wish to continue with these lessons, I am in charge for today."

"…I bet he was scarred from the first time you and Granger decided to pull out your wands," Blaise Zabini snickered from Draco Malfoy's left. His fiancée, Cho Chang, was busy taking out a roll of parchment and her bottle of ink to listen to his remark. "I wouldn't want to teach a lesson with both of you in it either."

"And you won't be able to produce children if you don't shut up, Zabini." Hermione, who copied Cho's actions, glared at the dark Slytherin; being able to hear everything he was saying from a few inches away.

Blaise cleared his throat awkwardly. "Stick up for me, mate," he whispered at Draco, nudging him. He gave the brunette Gryffindor an uneasy stare, remembering the damage she can inflict from all the spells she must know.

Malfoy snorted. "What am I, her husband?"

"Now marriage is a beautiful commitment," Professor Sprout began, interrupting the chatter from the two middle tables. "It is a ceremony that one wishes to create when one has found their true love. The Ministry will only allow the marriage to be proceeded if they are certain the two people are meant for one another. Soul mates, if you will."

Hermione's hand shot up in the air, looking at the professor with confused eyes. "Excuse me, Professor, but how can the Ministry be sure of that? That two people are right for one another? It seems to me that they wouldn't know what 'soul mates' actually are if they tossed us all together." She pointed a thumb at her partner.

"Amen," Ernie Mcmillian commented in agreement, scooting his chair away from Millicent Bullstrode as she tried holding his hand. "It's all rubbish. I say the Muggles had the right idea when they created divorce."

The professor gave him a glare and turned back to Hermione. "Well, Miss Granger, to answer your question, there is a way to find out whether that person is the right person for you." She smiled at the student, then turned to look at the Slytherin boy next to her. "With the magical-essence that runs in our veins we are able to conjure up the strong bond between two mates. For example, if Mister Malfoy, after accepting you as his fiancée, starts to feel a certain pull towards you even if he wishes he wouldn't," she gave the two a knowing stare, "means that the connection is in fact there. And if he starts to feel like he can't be without you at a point, then the soul-combining method wouldn't be a problem, since his soul already belongs to you."

Draco tried not to gag at the words the Herbology teacher had just spewed out. "And how can the Ministry verify that?"

"Simple." The Professor smiled. "The truth-telling serum."

"…Bastards," Malfoy muttered angrily.

"Professor," Pansy Parkinson raised her hand in the air, copying Hermione. She looked bored and indifferent just as Ron Weasley was, his tall body spluttered on the chair beside her. "I'm sorry, but don't you think we should get taught by someone who has actually gone through this? I mean, it's a bit foolish to have professors who have dedicated their lives to teach and live in this castle and don't have a clue about a marriage to do this."

Millicent Bullstrode laughed roughly at Pansy's remark.

"Well, Miss Parkinson, just because you've decided that you're far better than everyone else in this castle, and decided to have your nose stuck up in the air and not notice that the professors of this school are actually people as well, that is on you." Professor Sprout frowned at the Slytherin girl. "And just to clarify it, I've been married for fifty years now. I think I have experience in this field." She smirked triumphantly. "Now, if you don't wish to ruin your marriage before it begins, not that it would be a surprise to anyone, please pay attention."

Hermione giggled softly at her best friend's fiancée. "Two sickles that Molly will beat the smugness from Parkinson," she muttered to Luna Lovegood, who sat on her left.

"Mrs. Weasley?" Luna shook her long blonde hair, which Dean Thomas had his fingers through. "I doubt she'll be the one. Look at Ginny's face." She pointed a discrete slender finger at Ron's sister. The latter's freckly face was knitted up into a deep frown.

"Anyway, children," the laughter resided as Pansy began to glare at those who were mocking her, "today the Ministry has decided to give you a different task to fulfill before your marriage ceremonies take place."

"Sex!" Theodore Nott chuckled, high-fiving with a nearby Ravenclaw.

"No." The professor looked momentarily shocked. "We will begin to introduce you into the life of living together."

"Living together as in…..?" Blaise raised his eyebrow.

"As in living together, you thickhead," Malfoy responded, growing a bit sweaty around the forehead.

"You are planning to make us live together? On our own?" Hermione gawked at the professor. "I demand Professor Flitwick to come back."

"Don't be silly, Miss Granger," the elder woman rolled her beady eyes, "you will be living together in the castle, in your own chambers."

A round of groans and complaints broke out in the classroom.

"Well aren't we fortunate to live in a castle, then?" Hermione muttered without emotion, dropping her head on to the tabletop to wallow in her misery.

She didn't have enough space in her head to count all the chambers in Hogwarts.

X

"This wont be that bad, Granger." Draco Malfoy smirked up at the Gryffindor as he dropped his body on the nearby and only bed.

Hermione pressed her back on the closed, almost hoping that she would sink inside of the old wooden door and disappear forever—seeing as that was her only option for freedom because nothing else worked. She had already tried to make a run for it before Professor Sprout handed them the key to this chamber, but Draco was a fast runner; earning him ten points to Slytherin for catching his 'bride'.

"They've got to be kidding me," she muttered frantically.

Draco rolled his gray eyes. "They're preparing us to be a married couple, Granger. Sleeping in the same mattress is required."

Hermione narrowed her eyes, stepping away from her door as soon as the Slytherin suggested she was stupid. "Oh really, you bloody ferret? So you're absolutely comfortable with having me sleeping right next to you? Occasionally bumping into you in the night? Hearing me breathe in my sleep, so close to your perfection?"

"You are making me want to hurl out my chicken dinner, Granger." Malfoy scowled back, sitting up on the bed. "Look, I can understand that your little prude self hasn't shared a bed with anyone who hasn't been the Weaslette for a sleepover, but you have to make an effort to accept this. We are sharing a bed and a room, like it or not."

"Aha!" Hermione huffed, throwing her arms dramatically in the air. "I knew I was forgetting an important detail!" She walked over to Malfoy and pulled on the metallic-silver sheets of the bed to then toss them on the marbled floor.

"Granger, what are you doing?" Malfoy asked as he scooted away from her, watching her throw some pillows on the floor now.

"Arranging your bed, Malfoy," she snapped, patting down the sheets on the floor. "You just reminded me that you were known as the Slytherin Whore, and I will not have you and your critters roaming around my mattress. I have kept myself away from your filthiness all my life, I will not start putting up with them because Kingsley decided he hated me."

"You cannot make me sleep on the floor!" Malfoy hissed.

"Want to bet?" She glared at the blonde.

"You're impossible." He glared, sitting himself harder into the mattress and holding on to the ends of it.

"And you are unpredictable!" She shouted. "I don't know what you smoked to have you agreeing with all of this rubbish, but I suggest you get off it!" Her voice was thick with warning. "Cooperation my ass! You're probably planning my death!" She grabbed the handle of her trunk, the one that had magically appeared inside of the chamber as soon as the door closed behind Professor Sprout. It was a signal that the Ministry had decided to make them 'live together' a lot sooner than they were making them believe.

"I'm trying to be civil, Granger, just like we agreed!" Draco stood from the bed, glaring at the Gryffindor. "I'm trying to make this go as smoothly as possible!"

"Well, stop it!" She yelled. "It's freaking me out!" She frowned at him and began to wheel her trunk towards the restroom at the far end. Although she was royally pissed, she had to admit that the Ministry had provided them with great living facilities.

The chamber had been bewitched into a small apartment, with a kitchen, living room, and a bathroom. (Just more places for Malfoy to murder her in, she expected.)

"I suggest you make yourself cozy on the floor before I get out," she added, shutting the bathroom door behind her.

Draco glared at the back of her bushy head. "Bloody know-it-all," he hissed to himself, waving his wand at the sheets on the floor. "Does she honestly think that living with her is going to be easy? She'll be lucky I don't leave her a widow three days into our marriage!" He cast a levitating spell on the sheets and had them float their way back on to the bed. "She wants that Brown girl? Merlin, I'll be lucky if the Ministry decides to give me Filch," he scoffed, gripping the blankets and shoving his wand underneath his pillow.

"Malfoy." The bathroom door closed with a loud BANG. "Your place is on the floor." She glared at his hold on the blankets.

"And I told you, Granger, I'm not sleeping on the floor. If sleeping next to me disturbs you, then I suggest you sleep on the—" He was cut short when Hermione pulled on the blankets. "What are you doing, woman?" He gripped harder.

"On the floor, Malfoy, now!" She bellowed.

"You're such a child!" He growled, trying to mentally figure out how the bloody hell she got so strong.

"I am not a—" THUD! "Ow!" Hermione groaned from the floor. She landed with her cheek plastered on the marbled ground, half of the blankets scattered on top of her.

"Oh, shit," Malfoy snickered, tossing his half aside and knelt forward and looked down at the lump of his fiancée. "Are you okay, Granger?" He asked, a giant smirk on his face.

"You threw me!" She groaned from beneath the blankets.

Draco rolled his eyes, not dropping his smirk. "You're the one who pulled the sheets." He outstretched his arm and pulled on the ripped blankets; pulling them off of her. ( Who said he wasn't considerate?) "It's not my fault your weight out-balanced you."

"Ugh," she gasped, pulling her cheek from the floor. "Are you calling me fat?" She peered up at him, her face immensely red.

"Of course not," he extended his hand out to her, "I'm just simply saying you lost balance."

Hermione stared at the hand with a raised eyebrow. "You know this is considered abuse, right?" She gripped his palm, attaching hers to his; allowing him to pull her off the ground. Their hands clasped together for a second time.

Malfoy grunted. "Granger, living with you for a lifetime will be considered abuse and I'm not whining about it." He fixed her pillow, fluffing it as he let go of her hand. Reminding himself he must cast an antibacterial charm over it later. "Now if you please, we've lessons early tomorrow and I really don't want to waste my precious sleeping time." He scooted back to his place, taking his half of the ripped sheets. "And since sleep will be the only peace in my life from now on, please shut it."

Hermione glared at him, patting down her plain white tank-top. Noticing that Malfoy was still dressed in his school robes, and wishing him to sleep uncomfortably, she gave him her back. Her eyes looking towards the right side of the room. "….You're the child," she mumbled, sending a back swing with her leg and kicking him.

AN: So, it's currently Feb. 29th 2012. I published this story God knows how long ago, but now I'm currently in the process of re-editing. I'm doing as much as I can, but for those who are starting to read for the first time, I apologize for the chapters that are still in their original state. I have school now, and I'm using my computer never now. So bare with me.

Thank you(:

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