By She's a Star

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is J.K. Rowling's. Ya know, in case you live in a rock and don't know that already. In which case you probably don't even know who Frida Mahoney is, and then, well . . . you're a bit of a lost cause, aren't you? (Don't ask.)

Author's Note: I wrote this awhile ago for a challenge, in which you were to write a pairing that was new to you in a fic inspired by 'Baker Baker' by Tori Amos. Now, this one took me awhile to think up what to write, and then, oddly, Draco and Hermione popped into my head. I've never, ever been able to understand this pairing, and I've wanted to try it just because it's truly a challenge for me.

And this is for Finding Beauty, as she always seems to make me want to do the whole D/H-attempting thing.

But fear not, for I shall never be converted. The day I ship anything but R/H is . . . okay, I can't even think of anything ludicrous to compare it to. Let's just leave this with a hearty 'Horray for R/H, shippy love of my life!', shall we?

This is set sometime during 7th year.


            When Hermione was thirteen years old, she slapped Draco Malfoy across the face.

            She remembers thinking that she hates him so much it burns, that she wishes him dead, that she wants to do something, anything to make him feel as dreadful and insignificant as he's made so many people feel.

            Now she's seventeen, quite grown up, but still sometimes she'd like nothing more than to slap him. She understands him though, she thinks. More than she did when she was thirteen, anyway. He isn't very happy - that's become increasingly more obvious over the years, the nastier and nastier he gets. His family mustn't be very pleasant, though that much is to be expected. She hates thinking what it would be like to have a father like Lucius Malfoy, and decides that she wouldn't give her own father up - with his corny jokes and aversion to sugar and the way he teases her about things, like books and Ron - for anything.

            Maybe he's not entirely cold. Maybe some part of him wouldn't quite mind being nice to people once in awhile. It's not a strong part by any means, of course. She knows very well that he isn't just a tortured, tragically misunderstood soul. He's spoiled and nasty and completely disregards the feelings of everyone around him, but still, sometimes, she wonders.

            She is wandering through the stacks in the library; Ron and Harry are sitting at a table, moaning in agony over their Potions homework. Really, if they didn't procrastinate so much . . .

            She wonders if Ron has sneaked a peek at her essay yet. She left it out intentionally, in plain sight, just to test him. Maybe he won't look at it. He really has matured quite a bit, after all.

            But all the same she put an easy little shock charm on it, so if he touches it his hair will stand on end. Just in case.

            She approaches a shelf partly filled with the complete works of Gilderoy Lockhart, and can't help but smile a little. She really had been terribly infatuated with him. She recalls herself at twelve, absently doodling hearts all over her schedule.

            --Still lusting after Lockhart, are we, Granger??

            Hermione rolls her eyes.

            --Ooh. Going to play the mature adult Head Girl and ignore me, are you?

            --Actually, she replies primly, I just don't see any point in wasting my time on you.

            He laughs coolly, but she knows the comment annoyed him.

            --Hardly, Mudblood. I don't see any point in wasting my time on you, if anything.

            She looks away from the sparkling spine of Voyages with Vampires and meets his gaze, placing her hands on her hips.

            His grey eyes are sparkling angrily back at her, and it strikes her all at once how very pathetic he is.

            --What?? he demands. Why're you looking at me like that?? I don't want your filthy dirty blood eyes on me, Granger. No thanks.

            She smiles, approaches him silently, and kisses his cheek.

            He stares at her. She looks back, utterly composed.

            --Wha--why--why did you just--

            --Because I see through you perfectly well, she responds matter-of-factly, and feels for some reason a little bit as though she's answering a question in class.

            He sneers at her.

            --Like hell you do.

            --Oh, but I do. You're really very simple, you know that?

            He opens his mouth to answer, but she simply brushes past him, heading back toward Harry and Ron.

            Ron is muttering frenzied curse words as he struggles to flatten his hair. Harry, meanwhile, is in hysterics; Ginny's come over, and she's laughing so hard that she has to lean on Harry to keep from toppling to the floor.

            --...should have known she'd . . . damn it, Hermione . . .

            --Trying to cheat, then? she asks loftily.

            Ron stares furiously up at her.

            --Of course not. I just wanted a look, was all, and then you, you . . .

            --Oh, shut up. I'll fix it.

            As she rummages through her bag for her wand, she looks up briefly to see Malfoy storming out of the library alone.

            And really, things do change, but sometimes it seems as though they don't and never will.