Boring Classes & Consequences
After losing more sleep than he cared to admit replaying the conversation with Blaise and rereading Hermione's letter, Draco found it morning time quickly. It seemed to go faster than he had even blinked. His arms stuffed the Muggle book away and put the letter with the rest at the bottom of his trunk. While everyone slept and he readied for another Quidditch practice, hexing his belongings so that nobody would go snooping. He was particularly worried about Blaise, the cunning gentleman he was, and trying to figure out how deep this "fondness" was truly. Since he would undoubtedly be watching and reading Draco's every move now.
Practice was tedious. Draco was barely managing to complete the tasks laid out in front of him. When it was time for him to leave and go to History of Magic, Draco didn't even bother changing out of his uniform because he was viciously exhausted. He went directly to the classroom and found himself far earlier than he had anticipated.
Although, Draco had never before been so tired that he simply came to class without changing. He wasn't sure exactly what he might have expected, if he were honestly. Since there was nobody around, he went directly to his seat in the farthest right corner of the classroom and began shedding some of his unnecessary equipment.
Once Draco was more comfortable he turned around and let out a deep sigh. Just as he was ready to let out an unintelligible growl to release some of his pent up frustration he scans the room and sees none other than Hermione Granger gawking at him. His brows furrowed as words fell from his mouth without his permission, "What you starin' at?"
"You are never here this early." Hermione responded boldly. It was funny, actually. She was stern even when she was trying to be casual. Draco found it amusing enough to smile. It wasn't the cocky the way he usually did either. He could feel that much and he wondered if Granger did too.
"How would you know, nose in that book of yours." Draco descended the few stairs he'd climbed to get to his seat. As soon as he reached the lowest level, the base floor, he crossed his arms and stares hardly in the Gryffindor's direction. His attention was turned to a Gryffindor girl of all people and yet he found it deviously comforting.
"I have peripheral vision. I can still see things happening around me." While she was speaking in her low, sharp tone Draco hadn't stopped advancing on her. She doesn't notice him standing in front of her at first but when she does she frowns. Somehow he knows that it is not a frown at him so much at a frown to herself; seeing as she'd just been speaking about this peripheral vision while failing to see him.
"Oh, but you don't see everything. You don't really see like you think you do, Granger. I'll tell you what, though. You'll see, really see, properly one of these days." Draco thought that he sounded more masculine than usual. He surprised himself. There was a high level of confusion in Granger's expression but he had no way of telling from which part of their encounter it was originating. Since class would begin soon and others would be showing up soon, Draco bowed his head and silently went back to his place in the classroom. He didn't want to risk anyone else to see him interacting with Hermione Granger casually. Not to mention, he was doing it far more frequently. Draco had spoken to Granger in some form or another more times in the last two weeks than he ever had in the years before.
Barely five minutes had passed before other people began filtering into the room. Much like Hermione Granger, he had taken up reading fervently until class started. Draco actually knew everything these history lessons quite well, as it was a part of discussion at Malfoy Manor frequently. Everything from history tied into Lord Voldemort's plans. And if it weren’t that it was stories about the "old times" his father would tell to fill the gaps. Lucious and Narcissa, the good old days where pureblood status meant something; Lucious and Narcissa, the good old days when Slytherin was a house of riches and power; Draco had the heard stories from back to front and back again detailing all the "benefits" of his family. He still enjoyed reading from the textbooks, though, because the recollections were neutral. This is why his eyes were so immovably fixated on the pages, which flipped by quickly as he absorbed the information almost seamlessly.
"Mr. Malfoy!" Professor Binns very rarely ever raised his voice, which made this course even more boring to those uninterested by the material. So when his name was ringing loud and clear from the ghost's mouth his head snapped up unwillingly, breaking his attention to the text. "Tell me, young man, who was the general accredited for winning the first battle during the Giant Wars?"
Draco furrowed his brows and felt his body go slack. The Giant Wars covered such a vast period of time that it was the only thing they studied during the fifth year. There was going to be an end-of-year project where the students were expected to create a timeline for the entire bloody thing. Literally, from the first battle to the last! Fortunately, Draco knew exactly whom the professor was talking about.
"General Voro. He was known for his vicious regime." He sounded about as disinterested as any one student could be in History of Magic, which was actually quite the feat when you could look around and spot more than half the class dozing off. Some were even drooling on their notes.
"Tell me then, Mr. Malfoy, why is this relevant to our current chapter? During our last meeting we discussed dwindling resources and the starvation of an entire species. What importance could a vicious general, like Voro, be in this particular text?" Professor Binns was usually very well tempered and calm. His droning and monotonous voice could literally bore someone to death, an actual death, if he didn't try hard enough. Irritated with the professor's sudden animation and fixation on him, Draco slammed his book shut to make his point even more clear. He didn't just know the material – he didn't need the book as a safety net when regurgitating such menial facts.
"Because during the famine it was General Voro's victory in Nottingham with the goblins that he was able to secure transportation so that he could get supplies to his camps and the major settlements. Reasoning with goblins is a very difficult task, impossible basically. General Voro not only being a vicious beast was also more intelligent than most giants. He was capable of persuasion." Draco paused to let Professor Binns to chime in and tell him he could stop. Shockingly, or perhaps it really wasn't when put in perspective, the teacher simply watched him. It was clear to Draco that he was supposed to go until he reached a stopping point, "So General Voro saved his people in more way than one. Feeding them allowed him to continue building his troops. His large army actually gives them a lead during the war for a very long period of time. Eventually dies in battle, though, when some of his commanders rebel against him for using questionable tactics and old age."
Professor Binns did not even acknowledge whether or not Draco was right, he simply continued through the lesson. A couple of his classmates grumbled or complimented his intelligence, but it wasn't this that captured his attention. It was Hermione Granger glaring at him from across the room, a glint so bright in her eyes the only thing that it could signify was untamed curiosity.
As soon as class was over Draco ensured he was one of the last students out so that he could avoid the crowds, and also so that there was no way Blaise could sneak up behind him. He arrived at Potions right on time. The class period was filled with tedious note taking and apparently note passing. A couple landed on his desk, one from Blaise mocking him for his spiel in History of Magic.
The other from Daphne Greengrass; it was a dainty sort of note telling him that she had a younger sister that was utterly fascinated by him. It also mentioned the "break up" of him and Pansy. Part of him wanted to turn and shout that they were never technically a couple anyway but he stopped himself. Regardless, Draco knew Astoria Greengrass and had met her on a handful of occasions during family outings, in the common room, trips to Hogsmeade. This was not the first time he had been told that Astoria was fond of him, unfortunately.
Then Draco stuttered in his thoughts. He realized that he used the word 'fond' to describe someone's attraction to him. Hermione Granger had said she was 'fond' of him. Here he was going right back to those words which had managed to consume in in just a matter of days. Luckily Professor Snape did not call on him during the hour to shed light on his distraction. Once class was over he did not hesitate as he'd done the class period before. Draco raced to Herbology so quickly one might believe h had illegally apparated there.
This class required hands-on activities today so Draco was able to successfully keep his mind occupied on the tasks in front of him. Of course, he was fraught with new worries when Herbology was over. It was his open hour now and if he didn't find something to do, well he would start thinking about that word again. Draco would drive himself mad rereading those words and imaging those words coming from her mouth directly.
Draco caught himself doing it subtly so he didn't allow for his mind to wander any more. His feet carried him directly to the library to start work on his assignments. There was plenty of homework that needed to be done for the week and with the level determination he was developing there was no way there would be even a moment to think about her.
"Mr. Malfoy." The dull, monotonous sound of Professor Snape growling made Draco jerk straight of his seat. He ran his hand through his hair and nervously scanned the library. The fact that Professor Snape was holding a lamp in his hands and was not wearing his normal robes meant that Draco must have fallen asleep and missed the rest of his classes.
"Yes, Professor?" Draco deliberated if there was any other appropriate response to the unspoken condemnation, which radiated from Snape's eyes. The Head of Slytherin House would likely punish him for being so irresponsible. It would probably be detention. There would be no way for him to catch up on his sleep now.
"See to it that this is the last time, Mr. Malfoy. If you are caught missing classes again due to a lack of sleep you will be removed from the Quidditch team. Is that understood?" Professor obviously had noticed Draco's severely depleted enthuse. He wasn't behaving as arrogantly as usual, nor was he behaving in any particular way at all lately. Actually, Draco simply went to classes and did his work with little-to-no expression whatsoever. His face contorted into a questioning look as he asked himself why Blaise was the only one noticing the sudden change.
"Yes, Professor." Draco's tone changed to match the severity of the conversation occurring. Relief did wash over him, though, as he processed the fact that he wasn't assigned Detention as a punishment. Snape then pivoted precisely and left the library, obviously trusting Draco to make his way back to the dungeons on his own. As soon as he had gathered all of his belongings he used the walk back to the common room to hatch a plan to read "Lucky Jim" before the end of the week.