“Welcome to the Fifth Annual Leaky Cauldron Pumpkin Carving Competition,” Hannah Abbot said having transfigured her mouth into a truly terrifying megaphone for the announcement.
Hermione shivered at the sight and then gave an irritated huff as Draco Malfoy leaned over Luna Lovegood, who was the only barrier separating them this year, and said, “You’re going down, Granger!”
“In your dreams, Malfoy. I’m going to watch you cry into your jack-o-lantern and laugh!”
“Contestants! Pick your instruments up and start carving!”
It had become a point of pride to Hermione that she actually win this damn competition. It had been her suggestion in the first place. A way to bring some muggle tradition into the healing wizard community through a carving competition that allowed no magic whatsoever. It should have been a walk in the park for her to win the stupid little cheap trophy she’d found in a pound shop in Streatham, but it wasn’t.
Mainly because Malfoy had happened and she had become so obsessed at beating him each year that she’d let the competition on a whole slide.
This year, however, she was not going to let that happen. She was taking him out and winning the crappy little plastic gold cup.
An hour later, her hair was a frizzy ball around her head, the sweat was dripping down her temple and she had pumpkin guts up to her elbows. Yet, she was proud of the three witches who cackled around a bubbling cauldron that she’d come up with. She looked across to Malfoy, who true to form had carved a dragon, wings outstretched as it blew fire from its mouth. It was impressive, she’d give him that, but it wasn’t as cultured as her three witches from Macbeth and she was sure Hannah would notice.
Malfoy sneered at her pumpkin and hissed, “What’s that, Granger? You, Weaselette and Looney?”
“Sod off, Malfoy,” she replied.
Neither of them paid attention to the beautiful haunted house Luna had carved in between them so her victory completely blindsided them.
Three hours later, Hermione was practically propping up the bar after drowning her sorrows in Firewhiskey.
“That trophy was mine!” she whined. “That’s the third time Luna has won in just five years! I should be celebrating my sweet victory over you right now.”
Malfoy had his head resting on his hand as he surveyed her out of sleepy eyes. “Shut up about the bloody trophy, Granger,” he said.
“Make me!” she retorted.
“Fine!” he snapped, leaning forward and pressing his lips to hers.
Hermione did nothing for a split second, shocked that Draco Malfoy of all people was kissing her. Then she realised just how soft his lips were and how her knees buckled at the sensation. Her hand wrapped around his nape and tugged him closer in her quest to deepen the kiss.
“Finally!” Hannah exclaimed from behind the bar. “I’m fed up of the pair of you using my carving competition as some kind of demented foreplay.”
A raucous cheer went up from the rest of the pub and Hermione smiled against Draco’s mouth and asked, “Want to get out of here?”