In The Name of Love
In The Name Of Love
“I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”
If there’s one thing the Paraninfos have always excelled at, it’s a flair for the dramatics. Of course, they only do it if necessary and love is always at the top of the list. So really, no one should be surprised at the show that’s about to unfold.
But then again, none of the students at Hogwarts have ever attended Acernis Academy except the three exchange pupils. So as they walk the halls from the class to class they share knowing grins and secret glints in their eyes, with the knowledge of what will be transpiring in two days’ time.
Now Victoria is in charge of setting up the event to unfold. She has to manipulate the blond to dance on her strings so that Hermione will realize how much he cares. And that meant speaking with the King of the Rats.
Theodore Nott is by far the least attractive boy in Hogwarts. Not physically, in fact he has quite the figure. It’s his personality that the brunette finds absolutely atrocious. He speaks ill of those around him, always flaunting his wealth and often can be found with Daphne Greengrass. The pair always speaks in carnal tones about other students and Hermione, unfortunately, is not immune to their eyes.
Victoria shudders at the mere thought of tempting Nott with the idea of Hermione having, dare she suggest, feelings for him of the evocative sense. But, desperate times call for desperate measures so she approaches the erogenous duo, with a challenge they simply can’t refuse. The Slytherin takes a moment to herself to catch her breath before placing in the sensual mask that so often sends the students spiralling out of control.
She slides in effortlessly into the seat across from her target and beside his sidekick.
“Victoria,” Nott purrs, “What brings you to this fine establishment? Interested in a little taste of the lavish lifestyle? Has Zabini gotten too dreary for you?”
Victoria’s lips twitch in amusement before spreading to a cat like grin. She refuses to rise to the bait.
“Daphne you look lovely this evening, what brings on the occasion? A date of finesse perhaps?”
She watches the blonde have blush rise to her cheeks and her eyes shoot to Nott’s who’s watching the pair with a unique interest. He realizes she’s not there for what he has to offer but for another reason entirely.
“Very well Victoria. What do you have to proposition for a poor bloke like myself other than your delicious form?”
“You went with Granger to the dance yes?”
The brunette gazes inquiringly at him, knowing full well the answer but she dare not say Hermione’s name out loud because then he’ll get suspicious and she certainly can’t have that.
Victoria grasps Daphne’s hand then, giving her a sensual smile causing the blonde to cross her legs and look away. The Slytherin takes her fingers to the girl’s chin, directing her green eyes onto her blue ones. She doesn’t look at Nott but keeps her gaze solely on Daphne, knowing full well that if Nott refuses her offer, she’ll fuck with his best friend, and not in the carnal way that the blonde would like, but in the mental way causing her only distress.
“Granger breaks out into sweats at night. At first I thought it to be nightmares, but I think it’s something entirely different. I think she wants someone to fuck her to the moon and back.”
Nott watches warily as Victoria plays with the blonde’s hair and her fingers that run up and down the woman’s neck. Daphne moans as her eyelids flutter shut.
“What does this have to do with me?”
Keeping her eyes on Daphne, Victoria speaks. “How about a bet? If you can get Granger to have sex with you before the sun goes done tomorrow, then I’ll reward your efforts. Thoroughly.”
“And if I don’t?”
Victoria whispers in Daphne’s ear and she blushes till she’s as red as a tomato and bites her lip, resisting the urge to moan once again. The brunette looks to Nott then, a gleam in her eye and he nods, holding out his hand.
“You’ve got yourself a deal Thompkins.”
Victoria takes it and shakes it, and leaves Daphne’s side immediately. The blonde then blinks, as if she just woke up from a dream.
“What the hell just happened?”
Nott shakes his head. “That witch is something else.”
As Victoria leaves the library she waves her wand, sending a message to Adonis that she’s done her part and now it’s his turn. Using that lust spell was exhausting for her and now all the brunette wants to do is have a nice long bath, rinsing off the stench of rat. She doesn’t however see the hand reach out and grab her, pulling her inside of a broom closet and locking the door behind her.
Adonis is sitting by the lake with Luna leaning into his chest. His plays with her hair while watching her make shapes from her wand. His wand vibrates then and he holds it tightly in his grip as a red glow erupts from its core. He grins, knowing that Victoria played her part and now it is his turn.
He gets up, grabbing his things to go and kissing his love on her cheek. Now he needs to get Draco to hear about Nott’s plan for Hermione. He walks away from the lake to the potions classroom where he knows the blond has class which will be ending soon. He leans against the wall, waiting for the bell to toll. It does and soon students are filing out of the classroom. Adonis adeptly searches for a head of blond and when he finds it he grins, catching up to the student he’s been seeking.
“Adonis. What do you need?”
“I need your help searching for a book in the library. I asked Madame Pince about it but she would not tell me. However I checked the registry when she left to berate some students for their atrocious volume and you signed it back in.”
“Hogwarts A. History.”
“Yeah sure mate. Follow me.”
Adonis then looks over to Yukino who shoots him a wink and dashes down the hall in the opposite direction. Part 2 is done, part 3 has commenced.
“What. The. Hell. Potter? MMPH!”
Harry covers the brunette’s mouth with his hand, his glasses slightly askew and his hair ruffled and all over the place.
“I’ll only let go if you agree not to talk and let me just say what I have to say.”
A slight nod is felt against his hand and Harry has to resist the urge to kiss the lips that send tingles down his spine. He needs to focus. The chosen one slowly removes his hand from her mouth which is set in a grim line.
“Okay. We fight. A lot. But…we had sex and I realize that you’re probably not going to make anything of it but it means something. Hell, it meant something to me. You’re under my skin Thompkins, it’s always push and pull with you and sometimes I just want to rip you to pieces and watch you squirm.”
“But other times…”
He goes silent then, trying to find the next set of words to say to convince her that maybe he’s worth taking a chance on.
“Other times, in the moments you let down the façade when you think no one’s looking, you seem tired, exhausted from carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. So I guess what I’m trying to say is…I want to try this and see where it goes.”
She remains silent, her eyes focused on him, sending him a stare that he can’t decipher.
“You can talk now.”
And so Harry takes a deep breath, and waits, hoping that whatever she says will align with what’s already been spoken.
Yukino peers around the corners of the library. She sent a note to Daphne to meet her in the archive precisely at the time Draco arrives. The goal? To have the blond overhear the other blonde confessing to Yukino Nott’s plan which will have the wizard protect Hermione’s honor.
And after hearing from Victoria how well Daphne respond to her advances, the Gryffindor should have no problem getting the Slytherin to confess. After all, love is a battlefield and the Paraninfos are playing to win.
It’s then that Yukino spots Daphne who’s looking around for her. The Asian takes a deep breath and then leaves her hiding spot to approach the blonde.
The Slytherin raises an eyebrow and purses her lips before speaking. “Yukino. What can I help you with?”
“You’re the only one I know who has all the gossip. Can you tell me something?”
Adonis then walks in with Draco by his side so Yukino looks around the library before grabbing Daphne’s wrist and dragging her into one of the aisles.
“What the hell?”
“Sorry I just don’t want to be overheard. I haven’t really told anyone about this.”
Yukino spares a quick glance with her eyes landing on the boys as Adonis leads them closer to her aisle. She has to stall.
“Why are you telling me then? We’re not friends.”
“Because I need to know if I have a chance.”
Daphne rolls her eyes and huffs. “Fine. What is it you’re dying to know?”
One more glance at the Greek tells the Gryffindor that they’re in place and listening.
“I want to date Hermione.”
At that Daphne roars in laughter. “Oh this is just precious!”
“Because Theo is totally into her.”
“I thought Nott just wanted her for her body.”
“Oh he does. He wants to fuck her senseless and then crush her pretty little dreams. It’s a little fucked up but it’ll be entertaining as hell. But from what I’ve heard she’s into dicks not chicks. However, I am always interested in pursuing the female variety. Give me a letter if you’d like to get together sometime.”
With that Daphne flips her blonde hair over shoulder and walks away leaving the Asian alone thinking about how speechless she must be. Rather though it’s the opposite as Yukino turns to peer her eyes through the shelves to spot Draco’s hand curled into a tight fist, becoming incredibly white while Adonis’s eyes drift to find Yukino’s and the pair share a knowing glance.
The job is well done which means it’s onto the next step.
However as Yukino turns around she sees Ginny standing there with a furious look on her face and the Gryffindor’s heart drops because she knows that the redhead probably heard a lot of that conversation.
“It’s not what you think.”
“That’s what they all say.”
“That bloody wanker!”
“No. No! He does not get to treat Granger like she’s the scum underneath his shoe every day and then go and use her for fucking. No. He must be stopped.”
“Draco you cannot take on Theodore Nott all by yourself.”
“Oh? Wanna bet? That bloody prick won’t be alive when I’m done with him. Bastard. The whole lot of Notts are bastards. I have no idea what made Granger want to go with him to the ball…UG. What an idiotic thing to do. Smartest witch my ass. No intelligent woman would go with a wanker like Nott for ‘companionship’.”
“Draco. Would it not be good to speak with Hermione about this?”
“Psh. No. That’s such a Gryffindor thing to do. Adonis…I’m a Slytherin. I’m going to use this to my advantage.”
“Be her knight in shining armour obviously.”
And with that Draco turns and walks away, confident in his steps. Adonis simply smiles and waves his wand. The final piece is in place. Now to set the stage.
“I thought you left for the Academy.”
“I hadn’t said goodbye to you so I was coming to say that but apparently I don’t really need to.”
“It really isn’t what you think it is.”
“Oh? And just what am I supposed to believe? I heard it from your own lips Yukino…you like Hermione and I was just…a fling.”
“That isn’t true!”
“Then what is?”
Yukino briefly looks around before grabbing Ginny’s arm and dragging her out of the library and into an empty classroom.
“You’ve heard me mention The Paraninfos right?”
“Yes it’s your little matchmaking group back home. What about it?”
“We’re setting Hermione up with Draco and in order to do so we have to do a little manipulation.”
“Look, Hermione won’t date Draco unless she knows he’s committed and will treat her right. So we’ve set up a little trap for them that involves Nott.”
“But where does liking Hermione fit into this?”
“Because the only way for Draco to overhear about Theo and Hermione was through Daphne. And Daphne will only give out gossip in return for gossip.”
Yukino steps up to Ginny then, her hands embracing the younger girl’s biceps. Her thumbs rub gently over them and she gives the redhead a sincere look.
“I don’t do casual flings. I am interested in you and you only. If I wish to set up Hermione with Draco, why would I like her? I’m afraid I only have a thing for gingers.”
Ginny purses her lips, feigning anger a bit longer. “Prove it.”
A slight smirk begins to appear on her face and Yukino grins before leaning in right before Ginny’s lips.
Victoria stares at Potter with wide eyes.
“I’m sorry…what did you just say?”
“Go out with me…on a date.”
“You hate me.”
“There’s a thin line between love and hate.”
Victoria narrows her eyes. “Adonis says that…he put you up to this…didn’t he?”
The Slytherin scoffs. “Damn him. Of course he thinks because he’s in love everyone else should be too. And this is him probably trying to get back at me for my earlier remarks about Luna. Sanguineum asinum. De naribus eius, aut ne aliquis refert opus. An hoc futurum est. Pungunt.”
“So that um…date?”
“Fine. But don’t get any ideas. This is simply to prove a point to Adonis that I’m not a horrible person like he implies. Are we clear?”
Harry simply nods.
“Good. Now if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got a stage to set.”
The rest of the day passes very quickly as The Paraninfos finalize the event that will be occurring tomorrow. Everything is in place. Draco is aware of Theo’s intent towards Hermione and when given the opportunity will strike. A public display of affection will confirm his goodness towards Hermione and that he has changed allowing her to be willing to be his girlfriend.
And with Potter now occupied by Victoria…he won’t be getting in the way.
Once the plan had been established, The Paraninfos nodded their heads and headed off to bed. They needed a goodnight sleep for the performance tomorrow.
Draco awakes bright and earlier the following day, his eyes alight with determination. He can feel in his bones that Nott is going to try something today…what…he isn’t sure but whatever it is he’s going to be there, protecting Hermione from the rat not matter what the cost. Even if it includes his rich and snobby persona. He can drop that and suffer the consequences later. Granger is worth it. However he can’t hold back if he sees Nott. The bloody bastard as a nice punch coming to his cheek the minute Draco sees him.
The blond swiftly through his room, throwing on his uniform and grabbing his book bag filled to the brim with notes and textbooks. He slips out of his room quietly only to be stopped by the sight of a certain bushy haired Gryffindor slipping out of her room. He hasn’t talked to her since that fateful night and he figures, in that moment, if he’s going to be her knight in shining armour he ought to be chivalrous.
And that meant saying her name.
It comes out so tentatively as he’s afraid of how she’ll react. She pauses, turning to him with wide eyes and clutching onto her book even tighter. “Did you just…say my name?”
He walks towards her, embracing the confidence that seems to fall upon him from nowhere, not that he’s complaining, until his hands rest on her arms. He helps her let go of the book, removing the shield she has place in front of her and putting in her bag. He’s gentle, incredibly slow, because Hermione Granger is no normal witch and therefore should not be treated like one. She’s, to him, exceptional, bright, beautiful, stunning and full of light.
He was a fool in the past but no more.
“You look stunning Hermione. More so than before.”
He places a gentle kiss on the corner of her lips before brushing past her, leaving her to her own devices for the remainder of the day (unless Nott pulls something). He only hopes she will respond in kind and understand that he wants this, them, more than anything he ever has in his shitty existence.
She means more to him than he could ever say. He only hopes she returns the sentiment.
Hermione stands there with her mouth wide open as Malfoy (o0r is it Draco now?) moves past her out of the dorm. Her head turns as the door shuts and she collapses onto the couch in shock.
He just kissed her lips. Not fully but…a kiss is still a kiss. What does it mean though? She looks around the common room in despair. None of those pesky exchange students are around to offer her advice and analyze the situation. For supposed matchmakers they are terrible at it.
Hermione bites her lip. He was utterly tender with her, gentle like a dove and sweet like honey. Maybe he wants something more with her than just sex. Maybe he does like her…it’s possible isn’t it? She certainly isn’t as hideous as she was younger…she has some curves.
But maybe he’s attracted to her mind and intelligence. He certainly isn’t stupid, he is right behind her in grades after all, and he wouldn’t date someone without a bit of intelligence right?
Then again, he did date Parkinson so maybe he is just in it for the looks. But there’s so many other good looking people out there! Why her?
“Why me? Why kiss me?” she whispers to the air. Of course, the air does not respond back so Hermione simply sighs and shoves her school necessities into her bag before heading out the portrait hole leaving her mind in disarray over one, simple action.
As she exits the portrait hole and makes her way to class she senses and odd presence near her. She pauses and looks back but sees no one. The brunette shrugs and turns around only to crash into someone’s chest. She appears to be doing that quite a bit lately.
Hermione scowls as she clears up her things that spilled to the floor and shoves them into her bag as quickly as possible.
“Honestly watch where you are going you absolute buffoon. It’s like you have no sense of direction or what not. People are walking here. Honestly.”
“But Hermione I thought we had such a great thing going.”
That voice stops the Gryffindor in her tracks. She looks up from the floor only to spot Nott standing there with a strange grin on his face. Whatever. She can deal with him quickly and move on to class. No need for anything dramatic.
“Here, take my hand.”
Hermione sighs and takes his hand, clutching on tightly as he lifts her from the ground. However instead of letting go Nott pulls her in closer, wrapping his arms tightly around her so that she can’t escape.
“Well isn’t this cozy?”
“Nott…let me go.”
However cheering erupts from beneath them and the pair looks over the railing only to see an audience of Slytherins standing there, whooping for Nott. Some make crude remarks that make Hermione cringe while others watch on amused. They’re waiting for something.
“Nott. Let. Me. Go.””
“See, I don’t think so. A little birdie told me you want it and you want it bad. So I’d thought I’d be your prince charming and come to save you.”
“Don’t lie to me Granger. I know you want me. So come and claim me.”
Hermione sputters like a fish. “I…what? NO! Let go of me this instant!”
She struggles against his grip but fails to get out. Nott only tightens as a response. “Why are you trying to get away?”
“Because you’re absolutely filthy.”
Nott only smirks and leans in as Hermione leans away. “Only because you like it you dirty, dirty girl.”
And with that he forces his lips onto hers. The brunette struggles to remove herself but once again Nott proves to be significantly stronger than her. She tries to grasp her wand but his hand comes down and grabs hers, unwilling it to move. She tries to bite his lip but he only grins and deepens the kiss. Out of nowhere though Nott is blasted off of her and she whips her head around to see it. A large gasp erupts from her mouth as well as the crowd beneath them.
There before her standing as a knight in shining armour (not literally of course) is Draco Malfoy with his wand pointing straight at Nott who’s currently slumping against the wall. He lowers it, his face changing from furious to concern as soon as his gaze lands on her.
He rushes over, checking her body for marks. “Are you okay? He didn’t hurt you did he?”
“No…no. I’m fine. Thank you Draco.”
He pauses then; his eyes alight with an emotion that Hermione could only define as hope.
“You called me Draco.”
“You called me Hermione.”
They simply stare at one another, unable to form any words. Sliver clashes onto gold, brown onto grey and both wonder what the other is thinking.
“Just kiss already you fucking saps!” shouts Nott as he slowly comes to. Draco growls and Hermione flicks her wand at his direction which sends a nice hex to the rat rendering him unconscious once more. The blond laughs while the brunette turns to face him, grinning brighter than before. However, the joy doesn’t last as the pair turns somber once again.
“You didn’t have to do that Draco.”
“I wanted to. He shouldn’t have been doing that. It was absolutely prickish of him to. What a wanker.”
“Why do you care so much?”
His hands take hers and they aren’t cold like she expected but warm like the afternoon sun on a cool day. They were much paler closer up, with scars and callouses showing just how far he’s come and that he too was affected by the past. His fingers gently trace hers before he firmly grasps them. His grasp is different than Nott’s though. It’s loving and kind, a thumb gently rubbing hers as reassurance not demand.
“Because you mean more to me than I thought you would. I happen to have fallen for a barmy witch who fights me at every turn, wishes to strangle me any moment she gets and with hair like a lion’s mane. And honestly, I wouldn’t want you any other way.”
Hermione’s jaw drops and she simply stares at him in amazement. Did he really just say all those things to her? She wants to believe them, truly she does, but there is one more thing she has to know first.
“I’m not a one night stand then?”
Draco pushes some of her hair behind her ear before cupping her face and bringing it closer to him. “Hermione Jean Granger you could never have been a one night stand. Never for me.”
She stays silent as her eyes soften towards him and become a little bit wet from the emotions flowing through her as rivers flow through the land. “Hermione? May I kiss you?”
She only nods and Draco dives in, his lips tender and fond as they meet hers. There are no fireworks but there are sparks. There’s certainly something there as they kiss and it’s something that Hermione finds herself excit4ed to explore. A faint sound comes rushing towards them but Hermione ignores it, choosing to acknowledge the current feeling that she has as she continues to kiss Draco.
It’s not a perfect kiss, but for the moment it’s just right.
Beneath the hallway amongst the crowd stand three individuals who are smiling. Yukino grins at them with her teeth shimmering in the fire’s glow. She takes a picture quickly, excited to send it to Ginny who’s back at Acernis for the rest of the term. Her girlfriend (something that she adores saying about the redhead) will be excited to hear that her best friend has found the love of her life (because that’s exactly what Hermione and Draco are). Adonis stares on with joy as his arm wraps around Luna, his angel. He kisses her forehead with great affection and she tilts his face to her to capture his lips with her own. Merlin he loves this woman more than words can say.
And Victoria stands there smirking at the couple. Harry comes up beside her and takes her hand in his. She thinks about pushing it away but squashes down the feeling and embraces it. Maybe something good will come out of it. She can see him smirk out of the corner of her eye to which she rolls them. As she does so they land on a certain Italian who’s got his arm wrapped around another witch.
They had a brief exchange a few days ago, both agreeing that maybe this wasn’t for them. He had sex with Astoria and before Victoria came along, he liked the witch…a lot. So the Slytherin gave them the go ahead and they’re going strong.
Soon the couple pulls away and the audience cheers and begins to disperse. The trio let go of their significant others and begin to walk down an empty corridor, just the three of them.
“As usual, The Paraninfos were a success.” speaks Adonis.
“Was there ever any doubt?” asks Yukino, laughing as she puts her arms around her friends. “We know our stuff. And look, we each have our own romances too.”
“Indeed we do. If only we did not have to leave in a matter of weeks.”
Victoria looks to her partners in crime and shrugs. “We’ll make it work. If we can make others fall in love, we can certainly keep ourselves in it.”
“Look at you Vic, being all lovey dovey.”
“I am not lovey dovey. I’m just…trying something new in the name of love. I mean, that’s what we do.”
As the trio walk down the hall, Yukino glances out of the window and stops in her tracks.
“Oh look at her! I feel so bad.”
Adonis and Victoria join the Asian at the window. The trio stand there looking at a poor Slytherin girl by the lake all on her lonesome.
“We did lead her on.”
“Well, technically Vic did.”
“In the name of love.”
“I do believe we can help her find love. We do have a few more weeks.”
“Ooooo great idea Adonis! In fact, I think I know someone who will be an excellent match for Daphne.”
“Oh? And who is that Yukino?”
“Why Adonis, a certain Ravenclaw named Padma Patil.”
“Truly? I did not know she was into women.”
“Women and men. She’s…exploring.”
“Aka you helped her discover the female body in a new light.” says the ivory queen with a raised eyebrow.
“Victoria, what are the chances they will work?”
“Similar auras certainly. It will be easier than Hermione and Draco if that’s what you mean. Padma’s curious and Daphne’s needy. Theo will be the only issue.”
“So two again?”
And with that the trio give the Slytherin one last sparing glance before heading off into the sunset, planning the next escapade of The Paraninfos.
A/N: Oh my. I’m all done! I may write an epilogue…I’m not sure. Do you guys want one? I’m so on the fence about it. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed The Paraninfos! Defs an interesting write.