"So where do you propose we start?" Hermione asked Draco curtly as she re-checked that she had everything in her little bag.
Draco didn't reply. He was lying in his bed, staring up at the ceiling in deep thought. He had the worst nightmare last night, about his father finding out about his betrayal to the Dark Lord. He was absolutely positive his father was the one who sent those DeathEaters after him. He would not be surprised if Lucius was even part of the attack on the Muggle plane.
Hermione's annoyed tone made Draco snap out of his train of thoughts.
"What!" He grumbled in irritation as he pushed himself to sit up.
"I said, where should we start looking for the First Coin?" Hermione spoke in exasperation.
"You think I know? You're supposed to be the brightest witch of your age. You figure it out!" He exclaimed as he stood up.
Hermione grunted in frustration.
"We're partners in this, you dolt! We're supposed to work together!" She grumbled.
"What is this?" Draco asked out of the blue, with no relevance whatsoever to the current situation. He was referring to the small black box with a glass screen on it, and an antennae sticking out of the top of it.
"Unbelievable! We're in the middle of a war and you're asking what that is? Oh Merlin!" Hermione exclaimed as she smacked her palm against her forehead.
"So what is it?" Draco asked, sort of in a daze as he ran his hand over the box.
"It's a television." Hermione sighed, massaging her temples.
Draco continued running his hand over the screen, wondering what on earth the purpose of this 'television' was. He noticed a small button at the bottom of the screen and hesitantly pressed his finger against it. Suddenly, there was a sound and surge of static which made the hairs on Draco's arm stand. Within 2 seconds, bright colours popped from the screen, causing Draco to jump back a bit in shock.
"I never knew Muggles also used magic!" He gasped as he watched the moving pictures on the screen. As he continued watching it, his brows furrowed and a frown embraced his features.
"Oh, for goodness sake's, Malfoy, will you..." Hermione trailed off as she noticed what was being depicted on the screen as well. She went to stand beside Draco as they both watched the Chinese news reporter talk solemnly with the picture of a crashed plane depicted beside her head.
"The plane crashed in the middle of the dessert and there has so far been no trace or sign of survivors."
Draco and Hermione stared at the dismantled plane on fire. There was no doubt about it, that was the plane they had travelled in. The damage was horrifying. It was split in two, with a wing missing and the tail on the other side of the desert. Everywhere, metal gears and gadgets were strewn haphazardly and various parts of the plane were on fire. It was impossible for anyone to have survived through all of that.
Tears pricked Hermione's eyes as she felt the knowledge weigh down on her shoulders that she was in that exact plane, with her wand, and yet did nothing to help those innocent people. The DeathEaters were after her and Draco, not the Muggles, yet in the end she was still alive, and those clueless humans weren't. If only she helped them...wait...
Her head snapped to Draco who was watching the screen solemnly. This was all his fault. He was the one who apparated her out of there before she could do anything to help the Muggles. If it weren't for him, she could have found a way to save everyone and escape the DeathEaters in time. It could have been possible. But Malfoy just had to be his usual selfish way and think of himself first.
"I hope you're happy." Hermione's voice was low and shook slightly as she glared at Draco.
Draco didn't reply. He simply stared at the screen as he watched the flashing images of the crashed plane and even some dead victims found. There were no expressions on his face at all, which made Hermione's blood boil even more.
How could he not feel anything at all?
Didn't he feel even the slightest bit gulity or ashamed?
Hermione squinted in confusion as Draco gasped and his eyes widened.
"I think I know where the First Coin is." He replied disconnectedly as he paid close attention to the screen.
Hermione turned back to the television and noticed the news had switched from the plane crash to some tycoon's biography. Images of his lavish house was being flashed and even some pictures of the tycoon himself.
"What makes you think he has it?" Hermione murmured, as perplexed as ever.
"Look at him closely." Draco instructed as a clip of the tycoon during an interview was shown.
"Hermione looked closely and scruinised every detail of his suit until she found it.
There it was.
On the chain hanging around his neck, tucked into his jacket...
But no ordinary pendant...
With the top of a snake imprint visible.
"That's it!" Hermione gasped.
It had to be it.
It was too much of a coincidence that this man had a chain with a Coin on its end with a snake imprint on it.
More images of his home was being flashed, though the voice-over narration was all in Chinese. His mansion was gigantic, with a fountain in the front, and the living room nearly the size of the Great Hall back in Hogwarts.
A sign board which was titled 'Lotus Estate' was shown, beside the Gates of the mansion.
"That's it. That's where he lives. Lotus Estate. We can try to take a cab there." Hermione spoke enthusiastically as she grabbed her bag and wand.
"Cab?" Draco asked in confusion.
"I'll explain later. Right now, we need to hurry. Come on!"
"Wow." Draco breathed as he stepped out of the cab and looked up at the mansion. It was more like a freaking castle! This was definitely at leat twice the size of Malfoy Manor, and Malfoy Manor was huge!
Hermione stood next to Draco as she stared in awe at the mansion as well. She had never seen a house this big and she was pretty sure the inside would be as impressive as the outside.
It was a white mansion with golden gates and a red-bring path leading from the gate to the front doors, through a huge yard. In the midle of the yard was a Fountain, where a dragon was spurting out water through its mouth. This made Draco smile at the thought of his name meaning Dragon.
"How are we going to get in?" Hermione finally asked once she snapped out of her stare.
Inside, she noticed several posh cars parked outside the front doors. She could hear some music coming from the mansion and she noticed lights were put up in some trees in the lawn.
"There's a party going on inside." Draco said, voicing out Hermione's exact thoughts.
Suddenly, a honk made Draco and Hermione jump in shock. They turned to find a big black car behind them with a young, Chinese lady poking her head through the window. She was looking at them annoyed and opened her mouth to say something. However, before any words could come out...
Hermione gaped at Draco as he pointed his wand at the lady and yelled the spell, causing her to freeze and fall back into her seat.
"What the bloody hell is wrong with you!"Hermione shouted. She was appaled that Draco would just hex a Muggle like that.
"Calm down, Granger. I have a plan."
"How do I look?"
Draco turned around and his jaw dropped, literally.
Hermione. Was. Breath-taking.
She was in a long cocktail dress which flowed gracefully until the ground and hugged her figure perfectly, showing her soft curves. The deep velvet maroon of the dress contrasted her pale skin greatly, making it look like as white as milk. The dress had a sweetheart neckline which even showed a bit of cleavage, causing a heat to rise within Draco slightly. It was strap-less, which meant her creamy shoulders and arms were bare, making Draco so tempted to touch her skin which appeared as smooth as silk. Her hair was in a bun and small ringlets framed her gentle face perfectly. She wore dark red lipstick which made her lips look so desirable and golden eyeshadow which made her deep brown eyes stand out even more.
The Slytherin Prince could not believe this was the Gryffindor bushy-haired, know-it-all bookworm Mudblood he had known for the past 7 years.
She looked so different.
She looked so beautiful.
But this did not make Draco fall for her in any way. This was not infatuation or love. This was just pure, raw lust. The desire to lavish this perfect angel was too much for Draco to handle, and he knew if he didn't take his eyes off her soon, it would become very obvious just how turned-on he was.
"Y-You look great." He answered as smoothly as possible as he cleared his throat.
A blush crawled up Hermione's chest and neck, making Draco's pants even tighter.
"I don't know about this Malfoy. What if it doesn't work?" Hermione mumbled nervously, pushing a ringlet of hair behind her ear.
"It will work. I'm sure of it. Now come on." Draco quickly replied, not wanting to look at this perfect creature before him any longer. He was so afraid he might just prance onto her and take her then and there, which was completely absurd.
It's just the dress which is making her look like this. Nothing else. This is just for the plan. This is the same old Mudblood we're talking about. You don't want her. This is just for the plan. She's still disgusting Mudblood Granger on the inside.
All these thoughts kept replaying in Draco's head. He could only pray she could get the Coin quickly so that she could get rid of that stupid dress which made her look so damn good.
"So you know what to do right?" Draco asked Hermione as he handed her the invitation card they 'borrowed' from the Chinese lady who was still unconscious and in Hermione's clothes now.
"Get in, seduce the tycoon, get the Coin, and get out." Hermione spoke firmly.
"Right. Do it fast. I'll be waiting here." Draco instructed curtly as he struggled to keep his eyes on her face instead of her chest, which was rising and falling greatly as she breathed deeply to calm herself down.
"Alright. I'm going in."
With that, Hermione muttered a spell which made the Gates open and walked in, hoping she could execute this plan effectively.