Title: Unworthy Author: DebC E-mail: debchilson@yahoo.com Rating: PG Disclaimers: The books, movies and characters which make up the Harry Potter universe belong JK Rowlings, the publishers, movie makes et al. Not mine. I get nothing out of this but the chance to get rid of this plot bunny at long last. Category: het, UST Timeline: CoS, mostly the movie

"Unworthy"

The first time Draco Malfoy'd said it, he'd meant it with every fiber of his being. He hoped Hermione Granger was the first one killed by whatever creature lurked in the Chamber of Secrets.

Then she'd be gone, and he'd never have to think on her again. Filthy Mudblood, that's all she was. Not worth the time or energy it took to so much as utter his wish aloud.

And certainly not worth the great lengths he went to sneak into hospital while Madame Pompfrey was elsewhere, just to be sure the rumors were true. Not worth the risk of getting caught being someplace he was not supposed to be--breaking the new, heavier student restrictions--just to see her frozen in mid-motion. Just a Mudblood, his brain repeated as his mouth curled into a sneer.

But not just *any* Mudblood, he contradicted. Granger... the one who showed up every other student at the school by knowing too much. The who all the teachers praised. Pretentious, uppity dirty-blooded Granger.

The one who infuriated him so much with her self-righteous attitude. The one who mocked him by associating with Potter and Weasley--breaking rules but never getting punished for them.

He'd watched them, laughing and happy, and wished for this day--the day he would see her put in her place. Immobilized, helpless. Dull, vacant expression on her face.

Pathetic.

He could do *anything* to her, anything at all. She was totally at his mercy. Completely within his grasp, and without Potter or Weasley to stand in his way.

The only trouble was, she wasn't even worth the effort.

"You're not, you know." He leaned in, face scant inches from hers, hoping maybe for some fear behind the vacant mask she wore. "Not worth it at all."

She made no reply--not like he was expecting one anyway--and he was a little disappointed. He'd come to expect the sharp lash of her tongue over the past year and a half. Granger had pluck... even if she were Muggle- born.

An annoying, pathetic Muggle who couldn't even die properly. He glared at her, then straightened up, robes whirling around his body as he hurried out of the room.
He was glaring again the day Hermione was released from the hospital wing. She made such a production out of it, running across the room only to throw her arms around Potter. Disappointment tugged at Draco as he pretended not to watch them. Now that insipid, pathetic Weasley was greeting her. "Why couldn't you just die?" he muttered in hushed tones before turning his head so no one could see the look of longing that flickered briefly across his face.