Title: Sleeping Beauty

Author: Inell

Disclaimer: Rowling owns them all

Rating: PG

Pairing: Draco/Hermione sort of

Summary: Set during Chamber of Secrets, Draco thinks about his life, his Father, and Hermione.

SLEEPING BEAUTY (1/1)

"That should fix you right up. Now try to get some sleep. You can return to your classes tomorrow."

The only reply to her statement was a pained groan from the small boy laying before her. She tucked the cover around the youth before leaving the ward and going to her quarters for the evening. As soon as Madam Pomfrey was gone, Draco Malfoy sat up and smirked. The twelve-year old wizard was very pleased that his ruse had been successful, never imagining that he'd use a vomit inducing hex on himself, but knowing that his plan required drastic steps. Luckily, the hex was temporary and he had the foresight to happen to be passing the Gryffindor table when the hex went into effect, a gleam of pleasure flashing in normally cold pale gray eyes as he gleefully remembered the reaction of Potty and Weasel to his sudden illness.

The blond wizard quickly got out of bed and made his way to the other side of the infirmary, looking around to make sure no one was watching. If he got caught, he planned to claim that he was sleepwalking, a weak defense but something that no one could actually disprove so it would be sufficient, not that he planned to get caught. He might only be twelve, but he was all ready quite practiced at not being caught while being mischievous, rather proud of his stealth and sneakiness.

Draco entered the portion of the infirmary where the petrified students were being kept. His lips twisted into a smug smile as he looked at them. Walking past their beds, his amusement was obvious should anyone happen to see him. He found their predicament entertaining, believing that it was truly the only fitting existence for these worthless Mudbloods that refused to leave his world to the Purebloods that deserved it, his Father's words echoing in his mind as he gave the petrified students a look of utter contempt and disgust.

The look faded when he reached her bed. Confusion and annoyance flashed in his eyes as he moved beside her bed, simply staring at the petrified Gryffindor. He couldn't stand Potty's Mudblood, having disliked her since they met on the train last year and she'd dismissed him without hesitation. Draco hated being ignored, hated that this ugly, buck-toothed, bushy-haired, bossy know-it-all Mudblood refused to admit that she was inferior to him, refused to pay him any attention unless he was fighting with her or her stupid friends, refused to notice him at all. He couldn't stand Potty and Weasel, not because that ungrateful prat had refused his offer of friendship or because his Father had told him since he could remember that Weasleys were not their kind of people, but because they had befriended Granger.

For months during their first year, she had been alone, having no friends and losing herself in her books. He had quickly learned her habits and made it a point to tease her at least twice daily, forcing her to acknowledge him if only to reply to his rude remarks or begin a verbal battle. He had never wondered why he sought her out, knowing it was because she was an obnoxious Mudblood that refused to accept that Purebloods were superior. He loathed her because she made higher marks, his hand unknowingly moving over the cheek that his Father had hit and bruised during the Christmas holidays the previous year after Lucius found out a Mudblood was besting him in their shared classes. It had been the first time his Father had physically struck him, preferring to use magic to punish him, and it had been her fault.

His Father had given him a look of disgust after he struck him and then walked away. Draco could never please his Father, trying and trying but never succeeding. He had learned to fly by age six, remarkably early for any wizard regardless of blood, but his Father had merely sneered that he had expected better from the Malfoy heir. He had learned quidditch quickly, becoming good at every position, but his Father had such little faith in his ability that he had bought new brooms for the team to insure him a position, letting Draco know that he didn't believe he could have earned it without the expensive gift. He had become tops in all of his classes save the ones he shared with Granger, but he had been slapped for being second to a Mudblood.

The only other time in his twelve years that Lucius had struck him had been months ago, following their trip to Diagon Alley. When they had returned to the Manor, he had still been muttering about that ugly Mudblood after their interaction at the bookstore and his Father had slapped him again, his gray eyes cold and furious. Draco had been beaten that night, Father using his hands and his wand and magic, so much pain. Every word out of his Father's mouth had reminded him that Mudbloods were worthless and should be removed from their world and were ugly and unattractive and didn't deserve to be thought about at all and certainly not obsessed over. Draco hadn't understood his Father's rage, never seeing the cold and uncaring man in such a state, accustomed to being ignored by the man he so desperately wanted to please. He had been in so much pain that he had not left his bed for two days, laying there and hating her for being the cause of his Father's anger and disgust with him, even though he still did not understand why his Father had reacted in such a way.

Draco still had two marks on his lower back that would not be healed, small and crisscrossed, the result of a lashing from Father's cane, a reminder that Mudbloods were disgusting and not worthy of his attention. When he had arrived at school this year, he had vowed to remind Granger of her place, to surpass her in their classes and make his Father proud. She had scoffed at his threats, somehow knowing that his Father didn't believe in him and telling everyone around that he only had his quidditch position because of the expensive brooms, making him feel just as worthless and inferior as his Father.

He had called her a Mudblood, annoyed that she hadn't even realized she had been insulted, knowing that was one of the worst words to use. However, she'd soon found out what it meant so he'd used it again when he'd come across her in the library, watching with satisfaction as tears had sprung to her dark brown eyes even as she tried to pretend it didn't bother her. Draco had realized that there was finally a way to get to the bane of existence just by using that silly word. He proceeded to taunt her with the name in much the same he used to tease her about having no friends and only her books for company, something she had ignored and never caused such a brilliant reaction.

He had found a way to get to her, finally, seeking her out when she wasn't surrounded by her stupid friends, engaging her in arguments because she was the only person in this entire blasted school that wasn't afraid to stand up to him and tell him what she honestly thought and it infuriated him at the same time he almost, only very slightly, respected her. Potty was nothing more than a lucky bastard, not a particularly good wizard at all and quite brainless when it came to his subjects. Weasel was a waste of oxygen, having little purpose in life so far as Draco could see save for being easily angered for entertainment.

Granger, though she was a Mudblood, had knowledge and used it in the way some people used their wands. He loathed her and hated everything about her and wanted her to run back to her Muggle parents and leave his world because she didn't belong, but he found her fascinating despite his dislike for everything regarding her.

His Father had always told him that Mudbloods were worthless and useless, but Granger was probably the most brilliant witch of their year, something he would never admit to anyone and he still believed he was the smartest student of their year, she was just the smartest witch. She had a knack for magic that the Purebloods in his own House did not possess. She was annoying and smug in her intelligence and she contradicted everything he had ever heard about Mudbloods. He didn't pay attention to any other Mudbloods at Hogwarts, his entire focus being on making Potty's life miserable, taunting Weasel, and trying to best Granger and force her to admit he was better so she would have to respect him.

Draco had been delighted when she'd been petrified, finding it very fitting for the opinionated witch to be frozen, not being forced to see her every day and hear her whining voice answer every single question correctly. His enthusiasm for her being gone from his daily life lasted nearly a day. He was able to tease Potty and Weasel, both boys completely lost without their Mudblood to tell them what to do and how to think and give them her knowledge and he was able to smugly answer the questions in their combined classes and earn points for his House. But, it hadn't been nearly as fun when she wasn't there glaring at him for besting her to answer a question.

He could easily make the highest marks in the classes he'd been second, but the challenge was gone when Granger wasn't there with her know-it-all smirk. It had only been a few days since she'd been petrified and he had little doubt her stupid friends weren't trying to figure out who had done this to her and, knowing the lucky bastards, they'd probably find some solution eventually, but he'd had an inclination to see her. His plan had been created to gain him admittance into the infirmary and now here he was, beside the bed of the ugly bushy-haired Gryffindor that he hated.

Draco frowned as he looked at her, wondering why he had wanted to see her. He'd thought he just wanted to gloat over her state of petrification even if she wasn't aware of his smug glee over her fate, but he didn't feel very triumphant seeing her laying so still and pale on the bed. He moved closer, looking around once again to make sure no one was watching, and then he poked her arm with his finger. "Granger," he hissed quietly, "you need to wake up now."

She didn't move, which wasn't unexpected. He'd not paid much attention at all to the events around the school, having no interest in them unless they directly affected him and actually finding it all rather amusing. Then she'd been struck and he realized that he had no idea what was causing this or what it was exactly so he'd gone to the library and found a book. He still didn't know exactly what was happening, but he'd received a note from his Father expressing pure joy that Granger was one of the victims. Father had also told him that maybe he'd finally be able to be top student now, insinuating that the only way Draco could achieve such an honor was if Granger was gone. Draco wanted his Father to be proud of him, wanted to succeed in any way necessary, but Lucius would not be proud if he got top marks by default.

Draco studied her as he poked her arm, realizing that she didn't really feel any different from Greg or Vince when he'd poke them to get their attention during class for whatever mischief he had planned. He had thought she might feel different since she was a Mudblood, realizing now how stupid such an idea truly was, knowing that they were still human, just inferior to Purebloods. He made a face as he whispered, "Granger, you stubborn damn Gryffindor, why are you letting this curse best you? I thought you were better than that."

Still nothing. He knew it was an intricate petrification and that a potion would be created soon, but he had thought that maybe challenging her abilities would somehow cause her to overcome the curse and wake up. He sighed in annoyance, used to having what he wanted and he wanted Granger to wake up! It wasn't any fun when she wasn't around to challenge and tease and annoy. He had never realized what a large part of his life was spent watching her and trying to best her and teasing her whenever she wasn't surrounded by those two morons she called friends. It was boring without her around, no one bothering to fight with him and arguing with Potty and Weasel was even dull because they were both hapless without Granger.

He studied her face, realizing that she actually wasn't that ugly when she wasn't talking in that bossy voice of hers that was so smug and whiny. She might actually be almost pretty, his eyes widening as he frowned at that thought. No, she wasn't pretty. She was that loathesome bushy-haired Mudblood. He was only twelve but he could recognize beautiful. His Mum was beautiful. Serena Wirington, a seventh year Slytherin with long brown hair, was beautiful. Hermione Granger was not beautiful. She was plain and ugly and her hair was messy and her teeth were too big and she was not at all cute so he had no idea where that thought had originally come from. With the decision firmly in place that Granger was not nor would she ever be pretty, he poked her arm again, "Granger, I'm bored. You need to get up so I can amuse myself by reminding you how worthless Mudbloods are and fight with you."

With an annoyed sigh, Draco realized that his efforts were for naught. The spell was too strong and she wouldn't be able to be taunted into overpowering it. Looking at her, he recalled a story his Mum had told her as he was growing up. A story about a beautiful Pureblood witch and an evil Mudblood that cursed her, his eyes growing thoughtful as he remembered the story. Sleeping Beauty, a ridiculous story about romance and other girly things that had not interested him at all, but it had been the only time his Mum ever touched him. When she was telling him some story from her own childhood and looking out the window, always kissing his forehead before she'd leave him, the only sign of affection he received from the beautiful blonde witch. He knew his Mum loved him, just as he knew that his Father was disappointed in him and thought he wasn't good enough to be a Malfoy, but she was not at all affectionate, buying him whatever he wanted but never holding him or hugging him.

Sleeping Beauty. Granger could very well be the girl in the story except she was a Mudblood and not at all beautiful. His gray eyes moved over her face. Okay, maybe she was a little pretty though he'd curse himself before admitting that to anyone. In a few years, she might be beautiful, he realized. There weren't many witches his age that were pretty, Draco paying more attention to the older witches at school when it came to appreciating beauty, but he guessed that Granger had potential. She didn't know it, of course, having no interest in tarting herself up like some of the other witches in their year, trying to look like fifth years instead of second years. He had only just begun to notice her looks, not finding such things of interest until after his last birthday when he had begun to pay more attention to the witches at Hogwarts.

Draco scowled at her, hating her even more for beginning to become pretty. The blond wizard continued to look at her, his mind on that story his Mum had told him, wondering if it would work on Granger. He nervously licked his lips, contemplating his latest idea, slowly leaning forward until his lips were above hers. He had never kissed anyone before, his Father refusing to display any signs of affection and his Mum never allowing him to even kiss her cheek. Did he want her to wake up badly enough that he'd actually kiss her? Draco closed his eyes and lowered his head, his lips gently touching hers before he quickly raised his head, eyes open and confusion in their depths as he ran his finger over his lips. He'd just kissed Granger. Merlin, what the bloody hell was he thinking?

She still didn't wake up, oblivious to sharing her first kiss with Draco, not aware that she was his first kiss. Draco was annoyed with himself, wondering what had possessed him to actually kiss Granger. It had been a brief kiss, quite different from the kisses he saw the older Slytherins engaged in with their respective witches, but it had still been a kiss. He ran a hand through his blond hair, backing away from her bed, his eyes bewildered and a bit scared as he stared at the pretty brunette witch. He started to turn to go back to his bed, knowing his efforts were pointless. She would remain petrified until the potion was complete, which meant he wouldn't have her around to tease or argue with, a prospect that made his life seem rather dull. Draco was rather annoyed that he had not gotten what he wanted after working so very hard to create his plan and even reading a dusty old book to help him figure out what was wrong with her.

Draco hesitated a moment at the end of her bed, looking back at her and frowning. Without thinking about it, he walked back beside her and kissed her forehead, his fingers brushing her hair away from her face. He whispered, "I miss you, Granger. There isn't anyone fun to argue with since you're here so they'd better hurry up with that bloody potion and fix you!"

With that declaration, Draco turned and walked back towards his bed, ignoring the petrified students he'd previously taunted. The twelve-year old wizard got into bed, snuggling under the covers, his eyes thoughtful as he wondered if there was a possibility that his Father was wrong about Mudbloods. And, if so, what else was his Father wrong about? It was the first time in his life that he'd ever questioned anything his Father had told him, always eager to accept everything Lucius said because he was constantly seeking approval and wanted his Father to be proud of him. But, what if his Father was wrong? With that thought in mind, he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

the end.