She ignored the voice at first.
"Seriously. I like your hair messy."
It was all too familiar.
"It makes me believe you are actually good at abilities you so prudishly seem to hide..."
But she couldn't help herself.
"Like, picture this. You are walking to the library, books stashed in your backpack weighing you down, with that normal, smooth, flowing hair. Someone grabs and pins you to the wall. The books fall. You protest. They hold you up, grind you against it, press their lips against yours. You want to resist at first, but you being you, you let that someone's hands snake down your back, lower and lower, over that satin skin, that soft flesh, their other hand goes through your mane, fingers through hair, over the neck, and they feel your moans reluctantly released into their welcoming ears, feel you pull them closer, damn them, they see you, hear you beg for more, feel you heat up..."
She felt that completely strange blush rise to her cheeks, as the familiar voice droned on about unfamiliar things.
In a soft, pensive whisper. Not in that irritating drawl.
"And all people notice is how you come in class later, with a frizzy dry mass on your head. Your normal, gorgeous, hair is ruined. "
No. Don't smile.
"People think the ruin is your natural hair. That your hair is always that way. I wonder about the history behind it. And how many times history repeats itself such that it seems that your hair is indeed always that way no matter what time of the day it is to be seen."
The voice paused. She didn't notice till then how much her heart rate had increased.
"Really? You like your hair messy too? Is that why you allow yourself to be handled in some certain ways, repeatedly? Or is it beyond your control how much some boys lust after you?"
He waited but she didn't answer.
"If it is beyond your control...and if you'd rather prefer your hair to remain straight in a while, call me. I'd handle those boys."
She laughed. "No. It's your stupid fantasy nowhere close to reality. I don't have anyone set my hair...except myself. It's been that way since birth."
She turned and stifled a slow gasp at his pale, unrealistic beauty. Wait, what?
“It’s all in your head.”
He regarded her.
She regarded him.
"But what if it is a lie?" He pressed. "What secrets do you have? How can I be sure of what you are capable of? The corridors are often empty and completely secluded corners are plentiful at Hogwarts."
She turned, and found herself smiling at that impossible, wretched boy.
"You can't trust the brightest witch of her age, you know." He said, locking his eyes with hers.
"Brightest?" She had to admit, it was his most charming card played till then. "You accept defeat?"
"Not yet." He smirked. "There are some things I'd like you test you on."
"Not fair. I hate surprise tests. How about some revision?" She tried, ignoring the steady pounding in her chest.
"But in my head, you already had revision." He stepped closer, lazily. Undoubtedly checking her patience.
Amidst wondering why she was tolerating him, why she was not hexing him yet, why she was continuously replying to him, encouraging him...motivating his sly ambitions, his deceit, his cunning, his mysterious plans to action...she decided that he was, grudgingly, handsome.
"Why do I trust your fantasy?"
"Tell me, Hermione. You don't have fantasies? And if you do, judging by the look on your face, would you like it when they are questioned incessantly just when they are about to be executed in reality?"
First, he called her Hermione. Second, he said whatever he described earlier to make her all flushed was about to be executed in reality. Third, he was walking yet closer.
Damn, nice hair. Why does he like mine again? Why on earth do I think he’s serious?
Last, he was Draco Malfoy.
Bullshit, sense screamed.
"Maybe the questions are to fill in the time taken by the delay in execution."
"Delay?" He said, putting one hand on her neck. "It is a necessary part of the execution. Do you have any idea how the tension building up helps?"
She was pulled in too deep anyway. So she decided to go with it, play along, and smile to that pale face, those ice-like eyes.
"But I am not tense at all."
"That's the test, Mudblood, that's the test."
And he leaned in.
For a frantic moment she didn't know which plane of existence she was sucked in. Everything was spinning but he held her in place; his one hand snaking down to the lower back, the other up. Just as the bastard had described. He smelled like darkness...like musk, wood and mint...he felt like stone wrapped in satin, and the defined lines of flesh, the ones she never knew existed, ran up his arms to his shoulders, running down his back, conjuring up a frame of both rigid and soft musculature. His touch was electricity. His eyes were open, staring at hers, also open, mischievously. She felt her coiffure get ruined, hair loosening out of the clips and falling to her shoulders and waist.
And maybe it wasn't just the kiss. Maybe it was the surreptitiousness of it.
So she waited till the very end, eyes open and challenging, into those of her only rival.
And when he pulled back, smirking at his success, she could only stare.
And give one tight slap across his face.
They stared some more.
And their lips stretched.
A smile at first, nervous and hesitant and mischievous, then a grin, wide and challenging and finally a giggle, rebellious and beckoning and unbelievable.
The Gryffindor lioness, the Slytherin serpent, sitting across one room, laughing at each other, together.
She didn't know when he went back, whether he apologised or not, whether he said anything after that. She didn't even know whether he had left or not. It’s all in whose head, again, you conniving little witch? But she knew he had promised to come back. And she would be waiting.
Nice of him to think that my real hair is like I go to the Yule Ball every day.
She had to do all the charms to set it back to gorgeous and unearthly again. For one day at least.
And he could live his fantasy the rest of her life.