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Friday Night and Quidditch Delight

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It was entirely her fault. She should have known this would end in nothing but disaster, yet she had been the one to suggest the whole thing. Granted, she hadn't actually planned for it to turn into what it had, but it was still entirely her fault. The three of them had been drifting apart for a long time when she finally realised their friendship was too precious to fall apart. She had been busy being a complete workaholic, Ron had been busy doing practically nothing (yet he was still always busy), and Harry was attending to his rather fragile relationship with Ginny. They had seen each other less and less, and it suddenly became normality to live separate lives.

She sat alone in her one bedroom flat in Muggle London after an exhausting day of work as it hit her; she missed them. And being Hermione Granger, she didn't just sit back feeling sorry for herself. Her idea was simple: they would meet once a week for a couple of hours, and the only acceptable excuse for bailing was death. It was a simple, yet brilliant solution. It was in the convincing of her two best friends it had gone horribly wrong. They had accepted the proposition, but on one condition: they would all decide what to do, one week each.

At first it had gone off without a hitch. Their meetings often entailed an after-work drink at a pub, a film at her flat, a meal of some sort or the occasional night out. Again, the change in their routine had been her fault. She had taken them to an art exhibit. To this very moment she could not understand how she could have ever thought bringing Harry and Ron to an art exhibit was a good idea. She should have known from the very beginning that it would turn into a war, and a war it was.

So here she was, standing in front of Harry and Ron as they snickered delightedly amongst themselves. She glared coldly at them as she slid her cloak over her shoulders, tucking her wand securely inside it. When they continued to chuckle gleefully, she turned on her heel, desperation now evident in her features.

"Look, guys," she said, in her most compliant tone of voice. "Can't we just head out for a drink? Something alcoholic should do us all good. It's Friday — the end of an exhausting week and we all need to rewind."

"Nice try," Harry told her, putting his hand against her back before pushing her relentlessly towards the front door.

She grabbed the door frame with both hands, clinging on for dear life, her knuckles whitening as she struggled against Harry.

"Harry, please," she begged. "I'll make you dinner. You can both just...relax. And I'll do everything."

"It was Ron's turn to decide, and we're doing what he wants," Harry reminded her, and then broke into a mischievous smile. "You know the rules, don't you, Hermione?"

She clung to the door frame by her fingertips now, clawing desperately for any hope to escape this dreadful fate.

"Oh, since when do you two follow rules anyway?" she said, feeling her fingertips slipping dangerously.

"Since when do you not?" Ron asked dryly.

With one final push from Harry she was out the front door and officially on her way to the worst afternoon of her life. She dragged her feet down the street like a criminal facing the Dementor's Kiss, cursing herself over and over for forcing them to come to that wretched art exhibit.

"Oh, come on," Harry exclaimed, rolling his eyes as he watched her dragging her feet theatrically across the pavement. "It's not that bad."

She glared up at him with menace, making even more of a show as she reluctantly moved towards her doom.

"It's a museum," Ron said, picking up where Harry caved. "You like museums! It's old and smells like mothballs. All the guides are whiny old hags who hate their jobs and take it out on you. There'll be lots of boring history to indulge in, and they probably have books in the souvenir shop."

Hermione slowed down and gazed up at him, pouting slightly.

"It's the museum of Quidditch," she whined.

Both of the boys rolled their eyes at her continuous theatrical attempts to weasel out of the visit and grabbed her by the arms on either side, pushing her along as her indignant shrieks rippled through the air.

When they reached the visitor's entrance to the Museum of Quidditch, Hermione had accepted her fate and stopped screaming for mercy. Instead, her face was now set in a permanent scowl as they moved casually towards the seemingly plain wooden door. To any Muggles, it merely looked like an abandoned old store, but the rusty sign above let every wizard know that they had come to the right place. Okay, so it did say Uncle Monty's Treasure Chest, but it was the Museum of Quidditch nonetheless. Hermione wondered what old Uncle Monty would have said if he knew that his beloved store functioned as a hiding place for the museum of flying broomsticks and accessories.

Harry pressed the loose brick under the window, and was immediately pulled inside. Ron and Hermione followed his lead, but the crowded Muggle street sensed nothing out of the ordinary from the anonymous and slightly hidden shop. Hermione stumbled slightly as she appeared in the large entrance hall of the Museum, and she grabbed onto the nearest thing for leverage – which happened to be Harry's robe. He gave a less than manly squeal, and had to fight to stay upright. Hermione let go of him and dusted invisible dust off of her robe.

"Oh great, there's a line," she said, moving towards the twenty or so people in front of the ticket desk.

"Will you shut your mouth for one bloody second?" Ron groaned from behind her. "This is three times shorter than the line at the art exhibit, and I definitely remember you twittering about how charming it was to have to wait for the experience – to let the excitement build up."

She should have known that would come back to bite her in the arse.

"This is war now, Hermione." Harry grinned. "And you started it."

She glared in his direction and settled into the queue, not planning to tell them she did quite like to spend some time letting 'the excitement build up' as she had rambled so eloquently last week. Harry and Ron began their ritual, discussing the Canon's effort this year, followed by Ron's daily rant on how unfair it was that the Falcons were leading the league due to their rather harsh tactics. In the meanwhile Hermione yawned a dozen times and a group of fifteen people were lead out of the line by a guide – who was exactly the old hag Ron had promised her.

They stepped closer, one small step at a time, and it seemed their wait was drawing to a close. The girl behind the ticket desk informed the couple in front of them that a guide was available in about five minutes, and would be taking another group of fifteen. Hermione turned towards the boys and beamed.

"We'll be going in soon," she said, cutting into Ron's second rant about the Falcons.

"Too bad, since you seem to love the queues so much," he told her, making her roll her eyes in an exaggerated manner as she handed over the two Galleons it cost her to enter the museum.

"Everyone paid their tickets?" a male voice asked just as Harry handed over his two Galleon fee. "Great. Welcome to the Museum of Quidditch, wizards and witches. Whether or not you're a fan of Quidditch itself, I'm sure you'll all find something to enjoy."

Hermione had been studying the points of her shoes intently, figuring it'd be the most interesting thing she'd see for hours. She looked up, prepared to roll her eyes at the idea that she'd actually enjoy this, only to freeze in shock with her jaw halfway down her chest and her eyes staring unblinkingly at their guide.

He pushed his glasses up onto the bridge of his nose before he waved for them to follow. The crowd of about fifteen trudged behind him, but Hermione remained frozen in place, her heart doing the conga up into her throat – or so it seemed.

"What are you just standing around for? You look like you escaped from St. Mungo's," Ron commented, grabbing her by the arm after the crowd.

"Are you two absolutely blind?" she asked incredulously, finally remembering how to move her tongue towards her palate to make sounds.

"I'm pretty sure I can still make out certain shapes."

"Oh, for Merlin's sake. Haven't you noticed? It's ..."

"— Draco Malfoy, and I'm your guide for the evening. If you have any questions, just shout."

Hermione threw her hands out, telling the two guys a silent 'exactly!'.

Harry's eyebrows had disappeared into his unruly (purposely messed up for the ladies) hair and the trio nearly walked into the people in front as they made their first stop.

"Draco Malfoy..."

Ron looked like he was caught somewhere between fleeing in desperation or jumping forwards sending their guide crashing to the floor.

"...working at the Museum of Quidditch..."

Harry was staring openly at Malfoy as the latter spoke animatedly, gesturing towards a leather ball with finger holes – which rested behind a sign reading Quaffle, 1711.

"...wearing glasses..."

Hermione watched the much more mature Draco Malfoy push his glasses up once again, his grey eyes slightly hidden behind the spectacles. She didn't notice her friends look at her incredulously due to her rather dreamy tone of voice as she studied the blond. She didn't think his pointy features had changed much, even if his appearance had matured, but the glasses gave him a quality she never knew he had. He looked worldly. He looked intelligent. He looked...nerdy.

She licked her lips absently, her lips remaining slightly open as Malfoy signalled for them to move again.

"Oh, Merlin's underpants, she did not just lick her lips," Ron cried, waving his hands wildly about (including what Harry deciphered to be an imaginary choking hold on Malfoy or Hermione – or both).

"Shouldn't he be running an underground Death Eater Revival organisation or something?" Harry asked, giving the glazed Hermione a few worried glances.

"Maybe this is the underground Death Eater Revival organisation," Ron whispered with slight panic in his voice. "Oh fucking hell, Harry, we're being recruited!"

"He wouldn't try to recruit the people who brought down Voldemort, you nitwit," Hermione said. "Plus, he's wearing glasses. Death Eaters don't wear glasses. It wouldn't go with their masks."

"It's a disguise," Ron whispered intently. "He's a Slytherin, disguise is what they do. You know... cunning and ambitious and all that other bullshit that is really just synonyms for evil elitist."

"If he was actually trying to disguise himself I think he would've gone a bit further than just putting on a pair of glasses," Harry pointed out, straightening his own. "A few spells and he could've changed his hair colour, eye colour and other distinctive features."

Malfoy stopped in front of a 1901 Moontrimmer, giving a small smile in response to a question from the group. Hermione wrestled with her beating heart and tried to keep her slowly increasing blush at bay.

"Maybe he's just...embracing his inner Ravenclaw," she suggested, the heat in her cheeks rising as she swore he made eye-contact with her for a brief second.

"Oh yeah? Just like you're embracing your inner witch in heat?" Ron replied dryly.

Harry snorted violently, directing the entire group's attention towards the two snickering boys and the furiously blushing girl.

"Potter," Malfoy commented in recognition. "Never one to pay attention, were you?"

Harry pursed his lips in an attempt to stop the laughter bubbling in his throat.

"Did you have anything to add about our sample of the 1901 Moontrimmer?" he asked, raising a pale eyebrow.

"Hermione would like a ride," he said before falling into stitches of laughter, followed immediately by Ron.

The rest of the group looked onto the two boys wheezing for breath with annoyance as Hermione wanted nothing but to combust on the spot.

"Honestly!" she cried indignantly. "Sometimes I swear you two are still eleven!"

She glanced over at Malfoy who had the corner of his mouth turned uncharacteristically upwards into a half-smile. Oh, Harry was in for it now. Once it was her turn to choose again she was taking them shopping – that's right, shopping! And they were going to carry her items as she went through every clothing store London had to offer.

"I know your attention span is about as good as that of a Pygmy Puff, Potter, but these people have actually paid for a full tour, not for your sexual innuendos, so we would all appreciate it if you could shut your mouth."

Harry had the decency to look mildly ashamed of himself while Ron was struggling to get a grip.

"I'm terribly sorry," Harry said to the rest of the group, his voice faltering slightly from amusement.

Malfoy diverted the attention back to himself as he lead the group through more of the broomstick models, each model getting newer as they continued. Harry and Ron didn't dare look at each other for the fear of falling into another fit of laughter, while Hermione pointedly ignored them both and focused her attention on Draco Malfoy's deliciously nerdy appearance and cute bum.

She didn't understand why he was suddenly so attractive to her. The sharpness of his features, especially emphasised in his narrow chin, had always made him look cold to her. His eyes had always reflected the same coldness, but behind the glasses they looked less intimidating, and they also seemed to soften his entire expression. Or maybe the way he was behaving was the true reason he seemed so much more appealing to her. After all, he hadn't put up that incessant smirk once yet.

As she watched him lead the crowd steadily through the sections of the museum, she realised she hadn't caught a single historical fact or – for that matter – a single word he had said. By the looks of it, Harry and Ron hadn't gotten their Galleons worth either, as they were both occupied whispering amongst themselves.

"And lastly, here's our Quidditch Player Hall of Fame," he announced, gesturing towards a large wall with portraits of famous Quidditch players from past and present.

"Hey, there's your loverboy!" Ron exclaimed, pointing at a nearby painting, making absolutely everyone in the group – including Malfoy – whip their heads towards the portrait Ron was pointing out.

Hermione groaned, wondering how much more blushing her poor face could take before it permanently overheated.

"Viktor is not my loverboy; we don't even write to each other any more."

"Oh, please, he was all over you!"

"I didn't even like him all that much, he just asked me to the Ball and I agreed! You're still just bitter that you didn't have the balls to ask me before it was too late!"

"Now that we have all seen Hermione Granger's loverboy, Viktor Krum, and heard this fascinating story, I think that concludes our tour," Malfoy proclaimed, drowning out the two friends' bickering.

"She has a thing for Quidditch players, this wild little thing," Ron told the crowd, making Hermione's eyes widen in horror.

Ron was grinning madly at her embarrassment and the proud look on his face made her shake with fury. The bastard was actually going out of his way to make her look like an idiot. The odd looks she received from the rest of the group as they passed them sent her over the edge, and she stormed off leaving Ron and his stupid grin behind.

She threw the nearest door open, not bothering if she had to stand in a supply closet to cool herself down. Merlin, they were both so infuriating. What gave them the right to constantly humiliate her? Okay, so her sudden attraction to Malfoy was pretty ridiculous, and she would've found it hilarious if she was in their situation. But the fact that her heart sped up just by watching him talk made it even worse that they were teasing her in front of him.

The lights in the room she was occupying suddenly switched on and she realised she wasn't standing in a supply closet at all. The room was significantly larger and held several comfortable chairs placed around a table with two mugs of pumpkin juice and several cups, in addition to a dresser of some sort up against the wall. She was so preoccupied staring dumbfounded at the room now bathed in light that she was startled half to death when the door snapped shut behind her. With her heart racing in her chest, she turned around to come face to face with Draco Malfoy.

Ah, there came the infamous smirk.

"Uh..." she eloquently gurgled, wondering why the smirk that used to annoy her now made her brain ooze out her ears.

Malfoy slipped past her and ventured into the room, and for a second she wondered if he for some insane reason hadn't seen her standing there.

"Pumpkin juice?" he offered, picking up one of the mugs.

At least he had seen her.

When she didn't answer, he looked up and she nodded breathlessly, her mouth completely dry and useless for talking at the moment. He passed her a cup and she took a large sip, hoping it'd give her back the ability to speak.

"I...uh...went into the supply closet to hide from Ron," she explained, momentarily wanting to kick herself for saying such an idiotic thing.

"This is the staff break room, Granger." He smirked, and she stared at him mesmerized as he brought the cup to his lips.

"Um, right. I just opened a door and assumed..."

When he just pulled his lips into a smile at that, she began shifting uncomfortably, glancing towards the door.

"I apologise. I'll just go," she said in a thin voice, turning around to leave.

Why wasn't the door getting any closer?

Why did her wrist tingle?

Oh...

She turned to see Malfoy gripping her wrist, holding her in place while looking at her with his eyebrow raised in a perfect arch. She gulped.

"I can't let you leave with the cup. That would be theft," he said, and she looked down to notice the cup still in her right hand.

"Oh..."

She couldn't quite hide the disappointment in her voice, but she gave a small smile and stepped over to the dresser by the wall to leave the cup behind. When she turned around again, breath caught in her throat when she found Malfoy standing dangerously close, making her press her back towards the dresser. She squealed in fright when her feet left the floor, only to find herself seated on top of the dresser sending the cup crashing to the floor. It gave a sharp sound as it hit the wooden floors, but she hardly noticed due to the fact that Draco Malfoy was standing in-between her legs and she was currently staring straight into his eyes.

"Didn't you think I noticed you looking?" he asked quietly, his breath sending shivers through her.

"No," she said in a small voice and he chuckled in reply.

She felt his breath on her skin before his lips pressed a small kiss to the corner of her mouth. Her hands automatically came to rest on his waist, his shirt feeling crisp under her fingers. Impressions sent her senses into overdrive.

"Why are you wearing glasses?" she asked breathlessly, immediately realising just how stupid that sounded.

"To see you better."

"No, really. Why?"

"I'm serious." He laughed. "I can barely see without them. I'm getting old, you know."

"You're not getting old! And besides, I'm a year older than you," she reminded him sternly. "I know you're just wearing them because they make you look good."

He raised an eyebrow at her, and she immediately shrunk under his gaze.

"I think you're the only woman with that impression, Granger. I think Pansy's exact words were: 'Blaise, honey, don't you agree the glasses makes Draco look frumpy?'."

Hermione laughed softly at his impression of Pansy, but her laughter died quickly when he leaned forwards to whisper in her ear.

"Do you by any chance have a thing for nerdy guys, Granger?"

She had to suppress a shudder and she swallowed heavily.

"Does it excite you that you're in a museum, among all this history, and yet you're stuck in the staffroom with the museum guide?"

Whatever else he had prepared, he didn't get the chance to say. Hermione grabbed his white-blond hair and yanked him back, pushing her lips hungrily against his. He was prepared for her advances and returned her kiss, his soft lips pulling at her heart, making it beat at lightening speed in response.

She broke free, gasping for breath and still fisting her hands into his hair.

"Tell me historical facts," she breathed.

He gave a bark like laugh, and bent down to kiss her neck.

"The Snitch was invented in the 1300s," he muttered, nipping at her sensitive skin.

She whimpered, throwing her head back.

"The first Cleansweep model was released in 1926."

Again, she yanked his head back and kissed him fiercely. She felt the texture of his tongue against hers and hooked her legs around his hips as she was certain the room spun around in circles and the ground shook with a thud.

"Draco, you're up next," a voice suddenly said, and she realised the thud was the door slamming shut, not the ground shaking.

He pulled back from her lips and she freed him from the confinement of her legs. She burned in embarrassment at being caught doing something so wild in their break room of all places.

She jumped down from the dresser, her head spinning from the intensity of what her senses had just experienced, and she looked uncertainly up at Malfoy. He was wearing a small smile on his swollen lips and didn't seem embarrassed in the least by what had just happened.

Smoothing her shirt, she gave a short nod and moved quietly towards the door.

"I work all days except Sunday."

She broke into a wide smile and gave him one last, longing glance before slipping out of the room. As she came back out into the room of the exhibits, she took several large gulps of air and tried to calm her body – which was practically crackling with tension. She walked past the brooms, trying not to think of when the first Cleansweep model was released.

"There she is!"

Ron came sprinting into view with Harry in tow.

"We've been looking all over for you," Harry said, sounding slightly worried.

"Oh, I just had to cool down a bit," she said, her voice faltering slightly in the half-lie.

"You don't look very cooled," Ron noted, looking at her flushed cheeks and shallow breathing.

She didn't answer, she just lead the two boys out towards the exit before they started asking more questions.

The air outside felt soothing against her heated face, and her breathing started to normalise. They walked slowly side by side in the chilly autumn air, Harry and Ron being abnormally quiet.

"Look, we were thinking..." Harry finally said, "that since Ron picked the Museum of Quidditch, we'd let you pick the next one even if it's really my turn."

She smiled at them, and cocked her head to the side, pretending to think.

"I think I'd like to go to the Museum of Quidditch."

She sped up and left the two boys staring dumbfounded at her back as she walked ahead of them down the quiet street away from Uncle Monty's Treasure Chest.