"I feel it's my duty to point out," Draco sighed, sitting with his back against the carved wall, wrists resting on his knees as he passed the ancient wand between his long fingers, "that the glowy pictures don't appear to be working, and somehow, I don't think staring at it, is going to make any difference whatsoever."
Hermione shook her head, hands planted firmly on her hips. "I don't understand."
"And Merlin forbid that should ever happen." Hermione crossed her arms, scowling slightly at the blonde's words.
"I mean it, why isn't it working?" Draco shrugged, picking up the large tome of Old Magic that Hermione had brought with her, beginning to flick through with vague interest.
"We did everything right, I'm sure of it. We came through the steps, although even they haven't closed." Hermione wandered over to look at the gap still looming above her, willing it to shut. Draco glanced up at her once before examining the house-elf summoning spell that he'd managed to find.
"Perhaps we need to be arguing?" She speculated, tapping her chin. "Maybe it's because we don't entirely hate each other anymore."
"Accerso, Willow." Hermione paused, glancing down at Draco who was pointing his ancestor's wand at the silver ring he had found which was sitting in the middle of his palm. He glanced around the room, grumbling under his breath when everything seemed unchanged. "Accerso, Willow."
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing, Granger, just trying out some new spells." He tried to close the book conspicuously, but she swooped down with lightning speed, snatching it out of his hands. Her eyes widened in shock as she read the spell.
"I cannot believe," she knelt down to his level so she could beat him with the book, "That you would attempt a spell as atrocious as this." Draco tried to protect himself.
"It's just a summoning spell."
"A summoning spell for House-elves considered little more than slaves."
"Okay, okay, Granger, I get the point, no summoning the pointy-eared suckers-for-punishment. I get it. It didn't even work anyway. Logic one, Liptious nil," He sighed, looking down at the wand in his hand, rolling it between his fingers. It was pretty there was no doubt, but since he'd cast the first Lumos spell it appeared that decoration was all it was useful for.
"Only Old Magic can summon a house-elf properly, once cast they have no choice but to obey, that's terrible."
"Like the Imperius Curse for house-elves," Draco muttered in agreement, only to regret his words when he saw Hermione's eyes shimmer with tears.
"I wonder why only Old Magic can summon them that way?"
"Who knows," she sighed, seating herself against the wall next to him, doing her utmost to stop herself from crying. The thought of the poor creatures being treated so poorly all through the years made her feel terrible. To her annoyance she found herself distracted when Draco leant closer to examine the book with her, breath catching in her throat as his arm brushed hers and she felt his warm breath ghost her cheek. She was getting fed up with her own reactions to his proximity, hoping above all things that a trip to the Sensieve would calm everything down. She secreted a glance at the side of his face, wondering if he felt it too and if he did, why he never seemed to be even the slightest bit bothered by it.
Draco reached across, turning the page, pointing at a particular paragraph, before leaning back. Hermione quickly turned away, realising with burning shame that she had been staring.
"It says something about the bond made between wizard and house-elf, the bond of magic and blood, yada yada yada. Years later it was found that same or similar spells could be cast, without having to slice yourself open."
"Hmm, I wonder if that's where blood prejudice comes from?"
"You think so." He coughed, the subject somewhat uncomfortable.
"Well, I don't really know for sure, but it would make sense, considering how important it seems to some people." He did not miss the insinuation in her voice. The little reminders of the world outside their room, made him want to scream into his palms. If anyone found out about their tentative friendship, he would be forced to decide between what he had always been brought up to know and believe, and what Hermione was making him believe.
"Ooo look, music," Hermione chuckled with delight, her thumb hovering over a musical note that danced its way across the top of the page.
"What about music?"
"Erm," she drew the book closer to her face, practically burying her nose in the tome and began to read, "Old Magic, was the connection of all magic, from the power of a witch or wizard to the power of everything else. This meant that many spells incorporated the elements as we know them today; fire, water, air and earth. The Cantiaer is the more playful of the spells used by practitioners of Old Magic, used at parties and social gatherings as a way to impress and titillate...Oh grow up," Hermione scowled as Draco burst out laughing.
"I'm sorry, but what kind of parties were they going to?" Hermione rolled her eyes, before turning back to the book.
"The more complex the music, the more powerful the witch or wizard. It was seen in some circles as a courting ritual."
"I bet it was, bet they found it a most titillating experience." Draco wiggled his eyebrows, laughing as Hermione slapped his arm.
"You boys are all the same, disgusting the lot of you." Draco calmed himself down, fighting back a grin as he spoke.
"So, let me get this straight, a witch or wizard, way back when, would use magic to conjure music, to get laid?" Hermione hit him again. "No... they...when you put it like that it sounds terrible." Hermione muttered, watching the drawing of the couple at the bottom of the page, dance beautifully.
"Yeah well, on the one hand, you've got, check out the sheer magnitude of my musical prowess and on the other hand, you've got, check out the sheer magnitude of my…"
"I think it's quite romantic," Hermione cut in, more to herself. She was shocked when there was no laughter, not quite used to a Malfoy who didn't take every available opportunity to ridicule her.
Draco lifted himself onto his feet, walking to the middle of the room. "What's the spell then? I can't guarantee it will work, the other one was a complete failure."
Hermione opened and closed her mouth a couple of times in surprise, before turning to the book. "Erm, well, it's quite simple really. The witch or wizard in question, that's you.' she gestured to Malfoy.
"The one and only," Draco muttered, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, rolling his shoulders. Hermione let out a chuckle before continuing.
"Should think of a piece of music, a melody that they know well."
"Got it," Draco muttered. The lullaby was a pretty famous one amongst most witches and wizards usually coupled with a good little rhyme about how to avoid giants. But the tune always made him think of home.
"To cast the spell, the wand should be pointed upright."
"For extra titillation." Draco wiggled his eyebrows suggestively as he raised the ancient wand till it was pointed at the ceiling. Hermione rolled her eyes but couldn't help the light blush that coloured her cheeks.
"And held loosely in the spell caster's hands." Hermione glanced up, checking to see if the Slytherin had listened. "The melody should be pushed into the air, using the bond between blood. Once the bond is strong utter the magical word Cantiaer and that's it." Hermione looked up, "What?" Uncertain why he looked so incredulous.
"Push the melody into the air? The bond between blood? I tell you what, while I'm at it, I'll fart rainbows using the bond between trapped wind and my perfectly formed arse." Before Hermione could stop herself, she gave the 'perfectly-formed arse' in question a quick glance, and had to admit, it was pretty nice.
"It's probably very simple." she sniffed matter-of-factly, trying to pretend she hadn't just checked out Draco Malfoy's backside.
"Fine, then you do it," Draco held out the ancient wand to her, giving her a meaningful look.
"You know that won't work, it says the bond between blood," she lifted the book up off her lap to reiterate her point, "it's not by blood in that wand."
"Well technically, Granger, it isn't mine either," He said, crossing his arms.
"Yes, but it is your family's blood. Blame the Malfoys for keeping the line incestuously pure."
"Watch it, Granger." Draco bit out, feeling the anger bubble in the pit of his stomach at her disrespect for his family.
"Either way," Hermione continued, waving away his warning, as if it were an annoying fly, "It's your family's blood, it's you who has to perform the spell."
"I don't have to do anything, Granger." He spat, her know-it-all voice was back and going straight through him.
Hermione rolled her eyes, climbing to her feet and brushing the dust off her skirt. She walked into the middle of the room, standing before him with a determined lift of her chin.
"Try it again, how difficult can it be?"
"Well I don't know, Granger, when the instructions are as vague as using the bond between blood, I'd say pretty darn difficult. Unless of course, little miss bookworm, has managed to snuffle her bushy-haired way through a book on blood bonds, I'd say we were pretty…"
"I have," Hermione stated simply, shrugging her shoulders. Draco reeled slightly, still stumbling over whatever he'd been about to say.
"I have. Well, not blood bonds per se, because that's not actually a thing, but I've read up on Old Magic. It was the- in a book I found, tucked down the back of one of the shelves, couldn't find any reference to it in the catalogue. But it seems to be a student's guide to Old Magic, or what was just magic then." Draco could barely process the information, blinking as Hermione reeled it all off.
"Woah, Okay, Granger, slow-slow down. You found a probably ancient book, tucked behind the shelves at Hogwarts? A library whose system of cataloguing books is meticulous, without flaw, Ooo I'd even go as far as to say, magical," Draco drawled sarcastically.
"You finished?" Hermione asked, meeting his gaze with a disapproving look.
"Maybe, I just…when did you find it?" Hermione wandered over to her bag and began digging through it.
"About a week ago, you know when you were being a child."
"But how mature of you to not bring it up."
"Anyway, I was in the Library trying to find some more about old magic,"
"Knew you couldn't stoop as low as Lipitiboo, your conscience just won't allow it, will it?"
"I like to be as prepared as I can."
"Look if this is all real, which for argument's sake we sort of know it is…"
"That was almost a sentence, Granger."
"Well, we need to know as much as we can and Liptious, though thorough…"
"Talks out the hole in his…"
"Will you focus. Anyway, I was in the library…"
"When I felt a shift in the Sensieve's magic, it felt like it was pushing me. Well, it led me to the shelf and," Hermione lifted her head up, turning to face Draco, a small worn book in her hands, "this was tucked behind one of the shelves."
"What just sticking out?" Draco asked, taking the book from her. It was small and delicate, Magic written across the front in decorative calligraphy. Draco opened the cover and sucked in a breath. In neat handwriting was the name of the student that had owned the book, all those years ago.
"Oh yeah, and it kind of belonged to your ancestor," Hermione added with a nervous grin.