Just Pretend

Shock at the Ball

The days passed in a blur, Hermione thought and analyzed her options. She was not about to loose her one chance of staying here with her friends. She had decided to play along with what ever happened. She was going to be the loving girlfriend in front of everyone, but she would also be herself. If Draco needed to be pulled down from his pedestal every once in a while, she would be there to do it. He was going to find out what it meant to have an engagement, even if it was somewhat fake, with Hermione Granger.

The day of the ball soon arrived. As promised Pansy and Ginny helped her get ready. They all decided to get ready at Pansy's manor and not at Hermione's flat. She was the one to suggest it and her friends questioned her decision. After all Draco had said he was going to pick her up at her flat. She just brushed them off and told them that he knew where she was and that they had decided to arrive separately. It was obvious they didn't believe her but they didn't say anything. Hermione knew that he would be mad that she was not at her flat. But she also knew that he would not create a scene at the ball. She was going to teach him a lesson and this was just the beginning. She was not going to let him run the whole show as he planned.

Draco looked appreciatively in the mirror. He finished putting the final touches to his attire, which consisted of a midnight black dress robes. He checked himself again to make sure nothing was out of place. He reached into a drawer and took out a velvet ring box and opened it to make sure the ring was still there. A smirk appeared on his face, this was going to save him from all simpering idiots the ministry had suggested. This ring held his future. He walked to the entrance hall to apparate to Hermione's flat. He had five minutes to get there to pick her up. Guests were beginning to arrive and he didn't want to be late.

"There, you are done Hermione." Ginny handed her a mirror to see the results.

Hermione was surprised, she almost didn't recognize herself. "Wow, is that really me?"

"Of course it is silly." Pansy smiled. "All you ever needed was a little makeup. And your hair looks great straight."

"Malfoy will be surprised when he sees you." Ginny grinned.

"As well as everyone else. I'm sure some men wont be able to look away from you."

"That is what I'm counting on." She whispered to herself.

"Well come on. We don't want to arrive too late. It's is already nine o'clock."

The girls left on the waiting carriage. Hermione was a bit nervous but managed not to let it show. She would just have to hide from Malfoy until the time was right. It wouldn't do for him to see her before she saw him. As soon as the carriage arrived at Malfoy Manor she saw him standing at the door. He looked angry and glared at any one that crossed his line of vision. She tensed and her friends noticed.

"You didn't tell him did you?" Pansy crossed her arms.

She looked at her friends and saw them amused at her predicament. "Well he deserved it. We got into a fight a few days ago. He was a real prat again and I just wanted to get back at him."

"We should have known your relationship had a few bumps. But he seems really angry. At what time did he say he was going to pick you up?" Pansy shook her head.

"He said eight sharp." She received two shocked faces. "Please you have to help me. I don't want him to see me yet. I'm still a bit angry and I don't want to cause a scene. At least not yet, please?" She begged them.

"Okay, Mione. We'll distract him for you until you get in." Ginny sighed.

"I wouldn't want to be in your shoes right now. If there is something Draco hates is not being on time. And you are one hour late." Pansy patted her hand. "This should be fun."

Draco was furious. He had gone to Hermione's flat only to find it empty. He had waited thinking she would return but she never did. Now here he was at the entrance of his home waiting for her to show up. He knew that she was at either Pansy's or that Weasly girl's home. If there was one thing he hated the most was being late. And she was very late. He saw Pansy's carriage and knew that she was with her. All he needed now was to wait for her to go up the stairs. Next thing he knew he was flat on his back with something holding him down. He was so dazed that he didn't even notice when Hermione went in.

"Oh, Draco! How clumsy of me. Here let me help you up." Pansy grabbed his arm and pulled him.

Draco brushed himself and checked to make sure his suit was alright. "What in Merlin's name is wrong with you Pansy?!"

"I'm sorry Draco I tripped on the last step." Pansy apologized.

"Come on Pansy, Ron is waiting for you." Ginny pulled her away before he could say anything.

Draco glared at them and resumed his post at the entrance to wait for Granger.

After thanking her friends for their help, Hermione walked around the ballroom. She was stopped many times by friends and Ministry officials. Many men complimented her beauty and many women looked at her with envy. She had spotted Draco between his parents and Snape an hour after she arrived. She was talking with Harry and Ron when she saw him headed her way.

"Harry would you dance with me?" She said desperately.

"Umm. Sure Hermione." He sounded rather uncomfortable.

They headed to the dance floor and she kept a watch on Draco. She wasn't even paying attention to what Harry was saying. "I am sorry Harry. What did you say?"

"I was saying that I only like you as a friend Mione. I love Ginny and well I don't want to hurt your feelings or anything." His face was red with embarrassment.

Hermione stopped dancing in the middle of the dance floor and laughed. Everyone looked at them. "Oh, Harry, I love you too. But only as a friend. What could have possibly made you think otherwise?"

"Well, we were talking about how we were going to miss you. And that if there was something we could to have you stay we would do it. And then you asked me to dance rather desperately."

"I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression." She hugged him.

Draco had been watching her every move. He knew she was mad at him for the other night which was why she had stood him up. He had to admit she looked amazing in that dress and her hair and makeup made her look stunning. Many times he was tempted to just walk up to her and let everyone know that she was going to be his. He was about to do that when she was talking with her friends but stopped when she was led to the dance floor by Harry Potter. When he heard her laugh he decided to make his move. He was about to reach them when she hugged him. That ignited his anger again.

"Potter take your hands off her this instant." He growled.

Hermione and Harry let go of each other. Hermione slowly turned to face him. Every one in the room stopped what they were doing to see them.

"Why should I let her go? She is my best friend and I will never let her go." Harry glared at him.

"Harry please, do not pay attention to him." Hermione put a calming hand on his shoulder.

"Mia, I think this has gone far enough." His tone infuriated Harry.

"What gives you the right to talk to her like that?! You hate her!"

"Dragon, not yet." She said through gritted teeth.

"I think it is the perfect time. We have everyone's attention." He stepped towards her.

Harry pulled Hermione behind him. "I do not know what you are playing at Malfoy. But it would be best if you leave Hermione alone." He warned.

"Mia, you wound me. Have you not told your friends?" He smirked.

Hermione widened her eyes as realization hit. "You foul little ferret! As I recall there is nothing to tell them! You are too coward to do anything!" She stepped in front of Harry, who now looked very confused.

Draco had to admit she was smart. Catching on to his plan and twisting it to her advantage. This was not how he wanted everyone to know. But she gave him no choice. "I am not a coward. I keep my word, do you?" He challenged.

"Of course I do." She sneered.

"Very well, you win."

"Hermione what is going on?" Harry scowled.

"You wouldn't, not right now." She gasped ignoring Harry's question.

"Oh yes I would, and I will." He went down on one knee, he grabbed her hands and held them gently in his. He took out the black velvet box. "Hermione Granger, will you marry me?" His tone was calm and sweet but his eyes held the truth of their agreement and a challenge in them.

She could not believe he had done this. And if her ears didn't deceive her neither did anyone else. Some gasped, others dropped their wine glasses, and the rest were silent with shock and waited for her response.

"You are a complete and utter idiot! This was not the right time to do this!" She ranted which earned her some chuckles from some of the guests.

"Just answer the bloody question!" He demanded.

"Damn you to hell Draco Malfoy! Yes, I will marry you!" She glared.

"Hermione!" Harry and Ron exclaimed in shock.

All around the reactions were similar. No one could believe what was happening. Draco Malfoy had just proposed to Hermione Granger and she had accepted. Many glasses shattered from being dropped. Women fainted and others screeched with indignation. Men looked at the pair in astonishment. Everyone knew they were enemies and now they were engaged. As soon as the shock settled they were bombarded with questions and accusations.

"This has got to be some joke! Tell us you are joking Mione!" Harry looked at her desperately.

"What has he done to you?! Did he threaten you?! You can tell us Mione! We will protect you!" Ron shook her. "Snap out of it, Mione!"

"Ron, please let me go. There is no spell." She pushed him away as gently as possible.

"There must be, otherwise you would not have accepted his proposal." Harry took out his wand and pointed it at Draco.

The rest of her friends took his lead and did the same. Draco also took out his wand and many of his friends did the same. It looked like the beginning of another war and Hermione was the only one between them all. Lucius, Narcissa, Snape, Dumbledore and McGonagall were wide eyed along with all the Ministry officials.

"Stop this now!" She ordered.

"Not until he drops the spell he put on you." Ron and Harry glared at Draco.

"There is no spell! All of you put your wands away!" None of her friends listened, she turned to Draco. "Draco please, lower your wand."

"Get out of my way." Draco snarled. "If they want a fight they shall get one."

Hermione looked around her, at all her friends and classmates. Pointing their wands at each other as if they had never fought together. As if they were all still enemies. She looked at where Dumbledore and the Malfoy's were. They along with the other Order members and the Minister where too shocked to do anything. Anger began to fill her so much that those close to her took a step back. She slowly took out her wand. When they saw her wand in her hand, many of the former Hogwarts students lowered their wands and stepped back.

"Dumbledore do something."

"Do not fret Minerva. Everything will be all right. Hermione can take care of this." Dumbledore smiled as he looked at them all.

Lucius was impressed, her simple movements had alarmed most of the attendees. So much so that they had decided to leave the others to face her wrath. He noticed how she had encased almost everyone inside a shield that they had yet to notice. He shared a look with Dumbledore and he nodded. She had not even spoken the spell when she cast it. It was a very advanced protection shield used mostly on prisoners of war to prevent them from casting any spells even if they had their wands.

"Lucius, should you not help our son?" Narcissa looked at him with fear in her eyes.

"Nothing will happen to Draco. Miss Granger seems to have everything under control." He patted her arm and smirked.

Pansy and Ginny looked at their boyfriends and glared at them. How could they be so stupid as to provoke Hermione in such a manner? Why did they not listen to her? They should know her enough to know when she is serious. They both thought.

"You do know that she will most likely hex them into St. Mungos, right?" Pansy sighed.

"Bloody idiots, they haven't noticed that Hermione has lost her temper. There is no telling what spell she could do to them. And believe me that girl knows some pretty nasty spells." Ginny shook her head.

"Then Merlin help them." Pansy murmured and Ginny agreed.

Another chapter done. Hope you enjoyed.

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