The First Time

Summary: The first time Hermione Granger kissed Draco Malfoy, she knew. She knew that no matter how this ended, she would remember it for the rest of her life. It was like he was branding her – like something basic and elemental within her was suddenly so fundamentally altered that she'd never be the same again. Dramione Muggle High School AU

Disclaimer: All these characters are the creation of JK Rowling. I own nothing.

The first time Hermione Granger heard of Draco Malfoy, it was as the new boy in school. Almost every girl was talking about how good he looked, and how rich he was.
She couldn't be less bothered– she'd seen enough of the snobbish, egotistical variety of boys with large bank accounts and an even larger sense of entitlement to know to stay away.

The first time she saw him, however, she felt a small twinge of sympathy for him. Hogwarts High was not known for being welcoming; the last new kid – Neville – was bullied mercilessly until Hermione stepped in.
She couldn't deny Draco was handsome - somewhat annoyingly so, actually – but he seemed so alone as he walked to the class they shared. He had the arrogant air of someone who couldn't be bothered with what other people thought, but she wondered how long that would hold up.

She should never have worried.

The second time she saw him was two weeks later, and he seemed to have already gathered a posse of his own. Apart from Zabini and Nott – who were the only ones Hermione got along with and knew to have some sense – the rest, like Crabbe and Goyle hung onto his every word and laughed at everything he said.

In class that day, she watched him flirt with Lavender Brown and wondered why she felt disappointed. After all, he was nothing to her.

The first time Hermione Granger talked to Draco Malfoy, she wanted to do nothing more than slap that stupid smirk off his face.

She was organising the play she'd co-written with Theo Nott for drama class, and Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson had been chosen as leads.
She was trying to explain the scene to him but it was the third time she'd repeated herself and he was far too fixated on Pansy to pay attention.

"Malfoy, could you just keep it in your pants for ten fucking minutes? Some of us actually have better things to do than watch your pathetic attempts at flirting."

"Jealous, Granger?" he smirked.

Hermione had never felt a stronger need to do bodily harm. "Hardly, Malfoy. You're not my type," she said with a sickly-sweet smile.

"Oh, that's right. That's Weasley. Or was it Longbottom?"

Pansy giggled at that, and Malfoy's attention was diverted.

Hermione gritted her teeth and stalked away to where Theo was talking to another group.

"Theo, if your darling friend does anything to sabotage this play, if he so much as coughs when he's not supposed to, I swear I will not be responsible for my actions."

Theo took in her flaming cinnamon eyes and angry scowl, and simply sighed. "What did he do now?"

"Nothing. That's exactly the problem. He's too busy trying to chat Pansy up to rehearse."

Just then Pansy's musical laugh broke out and Hermione turned to glare at Malfoy. He was looking back at her and smirked when he saw her expression.

Hermione felt something wild rise inside her. She had never been more irritated with Pansy in her life. Sure, Pansy was haughty – she was one of the most popular girls and knew it - but Hermione had known her for years now and they'd always gotten along before. Both girls had a no-nonsense sort of frankness that they respected in one another. She tried to remind herself that she liked Pansy, but she wasn't so sure of that right at that moment.

Malfoy was still smirking at her, except now there was a knowing look in his eyes that Hermione hated. She turned away and tried to ignore Theo for the rest of the day when he looked at her too closely.

Over the next few weeks of rehearsals, she learnt things about Malfoy she wasn't sure she wanted to know. He was very smart; he was sarcastic and witty, sometimes bitingly so; he didn't care about how bad people felt when he made a particularly mean joke about them; he had the general air of someone who believed the rest of the world was beneath him; and worst of all: he knew the effect he had on girls. And Hermione hated him. She did.

The feeling was mutual.

He never spoke to her if he could help it, and even when he did, it was in sharp, brief sentences. The only time they conversed was in the middle of their shouting matches, which were so legendary by then that the whole team knew enough to disappear as soon as Hermione glared at Malfoy or he sneered at her.

They fought over everything. Anything.

Malfoy wasn't saying his lines right, or "God, Granger, this is such garbage, have you ever even heard someone say this in real life without being shot at the next minute" and "It's called being overwhelmed, Malfoy. Maybe, if you weren't an asshole completely incapable of human emotion, you'd know –" and "Tell me Granger, how much emotion do you feel while having that stick shoved up your – "

On the other hand, Malfoy and Parkinson – Pansy, Hermione had to remind herself more than once – got along very well. Too well. He was always teasing her and she was always giggling at him and Hermione – Hermione didn't care. She didn't.

If there were times Hermione felt Malfoy's gaze linger on herself for a little too long, times when she caught herself staring at him, she ignored it.

Once, she saw him look at her after cracking a particularly good joke, and though she rolled her eyes, she couldn't help a small smile. Malfoy caught it, and smiled back.
She realised with a jolt that it was the first time he'd ever smiled at her. It made him look different. Sweeter, somehow. She shook her head as if to clear it, and tried to ignore the warm feeling that was bubbling up inside her.

She learnt to ignore the twinge of something she felt every time he kissed Pansy. It was a play, they were acting, she knew that.

"He likes you, too, you know," Theo said after one such rehearsal.

Hermione's heart skipped a beat. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Sure you don't," Theo rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "Mind letting go of my script before you tear it to pieces?"

Hermione looked down at the piece of paper she'd been clutching and wringing. She smiled sheepishly and gave it back to him.

The play was a huge success.

Everyone commended her and Theo for writing and setting it up. But the real stars of the night were Malfoy and Pansy, and Hermione knew it. Theo and she couldn't have found anyone better to have brought their characters to life.

She looked over to where Malfoy was already surrounded by twittering girls, and snorted. Theo followed her gaze and smirked.

"So, aren't you going to congratulate him?" he asked, his eyes dancing with amusement.

"Yes, of course. Like I already did Pansy," she replied with narrowed eyes.

"Damn it. I can't even hope for a small congratulatory kiss then?"

"Exactly what are you implying, Nott?"

Theo laughed. "Have you ever noticed that you only ever call me Nott when you're really irritated?"

Hermione just raised an eyebrow expectantly.

"Hermione, we've been good friends for what, three years now? And in that time, I've seen you go through that disastrously ill-advised crush on Weasley - "

"What the - "

"- And before that, through a week of indecision of 'Oh my God, if everyone thinks so, do I actually like Harry – '"

"Is there even a point to this conversation?" Hermione asked, clenching her jaw.

"So basically, I'm the first person who knows when you have a crush, since your other two best friends are quite alarmingly oblivious," he continued as if she'd never interrupted.

"I don't see how that's relevant, Nott."

Theo sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Really, Hermione, Draco is a great guy –"

Hermione scoffed at that.

"He is," Theo said, glaring at her. "He can be a total prat sometimes, no doubt about that, but he's not a bad person. I've spent enough time with him to know that. And I've seen multiple girls throw themselves at him, I've even see him be halfway interested in some of them. But I've never – not once – seen him look at any girl the way he looks at you. He really likes you, you know. He thinks no one's noticed – like you do – but I have. I just can't understand why you're both so determined to convince yourselves – "

"He hates me Theo. I don't know why, but it's like it pains him to hold a civil conversation with me. You weren't there the other day – we were all discussing something and the only empty seat was beside me. He stood for an entire hour, as if it would offend him to even be in the same vicinity as me. The only time he'll acknowledge me is when we're fighting. It's not even like he has a problem with girls in general, he has no problem with the rest of the female population of Hogwarts. Just me."

She considered what she'd just said with a small furrow between her eyebrows as if it was a Math problem she couldn't quite figure out. Then, realising that she'd almost agreed with Theo, she added hastily, "And I don't have a crush on him."

"Crush on whom, Granger? Surely your standards can't get lower than Longbottom?" drawled a familiar voice behind her.

Hermione felt something in the vicinity of her stomach jump.

"I'll leave you two love-birds to it then," Theo grinned.

Hermione looked sharply at Malfoy to see his reaction but he was steadily avoiding her gaze and glaring at Theo. "Fuck off, Nott," he growled. She saw colour rapidly rise in his cheeks and stared, transfixed – was he blushing?

Theo gave her an amused glance before leaving.

"Sorry about that, Granger. Theo's a bit of – "

"An idiot. I know."

She looked up at him and saw him rubbing his neck. How had she never realised how tall he was? And his eyes – had they always been so light? His pupils were wide, surrounded by molten silver colour and Hermione felt herself falling, falling –

"Why do you hate me?" she blurted out abruptly, and then mentally cursed herself for her inability to hold her tongue.

He seemed taken aback. "What?"

"You're always so dismissive and – and blunt – and you can't say that's how you are because I've seen you with Pansy and Lavender and countless other girls and you like them just fine – "

He placed his finger on her lips. "Do you ever stop talking?" he smiled at her fondly.

Hermione froze.

"Have I really just managed to silence the great Hermione Granger?" he smirked. Seeing her beginning to scowl, he started hastily, "I don't hate you, Granger. I just – do you know the number of times I've been second in class before I transferred here?"

She shook her head silently.

"Zero," he said. "And then I met you, and I was consistently second to you. But it wasn't just that – it wasn't just that you can be quite an annoying little know-it-all and bossy and – "

"I'll have you know you aren't any less of a prat yourself, Malf – "

"– frankly quite difficult in general, you know. No, it was the fact that you're also really kind, and you defend people like Longbottom, and you don't back down from a fight, and you're insanely loyal to the people you care about and, and I - I just wanted to be one of those people. So, Granger, I don't hate you. I've had a stupid crush on you since that day you came up to me all flustered and fuming, and warned me to leave Longbottom alone."

Hermione felt her heart stutter, stop, and then restart at twice its normal rate. "Hermione."


"My name is Hermione, Draco."

He smiled at her then. A small, secret smile she'd never seen on him before, and she had to drag her eyes off his lips with a lot of difficulty.

He noticed though, the prat. "If you want me to kiss you, Granger, all you have to do is ask," he smirked.

"Oh, shut up," she said, before grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him down.

The first time Hermione Granger kissed Draco Malfoy, she knew. She knew that no matter how this ended, she would remember it for the rest of her life. It was like he was branding her – like something basic and elemental within her was suddenly so fundamentally altered that she'd never be the same again.

She'd been kissed before, but it had never been like this. This – whatever this was – was nothing short of magic. His lips were soft and smooth, and as his tongue slipped over her lower lip, she sighed slightly and granted him entrance and it was beautiful and she could do this forever –

A wolf whistle rang out, jerking her back to her surroundings. Theo was looking at the two of them with a smug expression, while Pansy handed over something to him.

"Honestly, you two, couldn't you have waited until tomorrow?" Pansy asked with a disgruntled expression. "Theo and I were betting on when you would both finally come to your senses, and he said it would be by the time the play went up, but I thought you'd take some time after that – "

"What? You bet on us?" Hermione asked incredulously, but if they felt at all ashamed, they didn't show it. Finally, she just shook her head with an exasperated smile and said, "You're both hopeless."

Theo smirked. "At least we didn't spend the better part of two months mooning and moping – "

"Shut up, Nott," Draco said good- naturedly, before turning to Hermione and taking her hand. "Now, we have somewhere to go."

"About time," Theo said, before smiling at Hermione.

She smiled at him, then scowled at Draco and said, "You're supposed to ask me if I want to go somewhere, not dictate my every move. God, Malfoy, you're such a dick– "

Draco simply leaned down, and shut her up in the way he liked most.