Author's Note: This is my first shot at fan fiction, so if you read and decide to review, feel free to tell me if you think it sucks - just so long as you let me know exactly what sucks. This is just going to be a short story, with only either one or two more chapters.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing related to Harry Potter.
"What's a mudblood like you doing in a place like this?"
Hermione Granger sighed and looked up at the blonde boy who seemed to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere beside her table. "If that's the best pickup line you can think to use, Malfoy, then perhaps you should consider taking dating advice from a five-year-old."
Draco Malfoy scoffed. "Sorry to disappoint you Granger, but the only reason I would ever 'pick you up' is if I was going to throw you into the lake."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Great. Well, it was nice chatting with you Ferret," she said, sarcasm dripping from her voice. She ignored him and turned her attention back to her book She was hoping that he would take a hint and leave, but she forgot for a moment that he was Malfoy. One of the biggest pleasures in his life seemed to be tormenting her.
He took a seat across the table from her. "So where's Potter and Weasel?"
She sighed once more, against her better judgment. In the case of Draco Malfoy, when he was annoying you it was best to just ignore him. "How should I know?"
Draco smirked his famous smirk. And if she wasn't mistaken, Hermione could have sworn she saw a slight twinkle in his normally dead gray eyes. "Do I sense trouble in paradise? Is the Golden Trio breaking up?"
"Yes, Malfoy," Hermione said dryly. "We're breaking up. But for legal reasons, I am not allowed to discuss it. Although," she said, leaning over the table and lowering her voice to a whisper, "just between you and me, would you believe that Ron actually has the nerve to request custody of Crookshanks?" She sat back in her chair and shrugged. "Although I really have no right to complain. I'm fighting for custody of Harry's Quidditch broom."
Draco chuckled. So the mudblood had a sense of humor. Not much of one, but still. "I get it, I get it. It's Valentine's day, and they're both off having snogfests with their girlfriends, leaving you to sit all alone in a bar reading a book, pretending like you couldn't care less."
"Something like that," Hermione mumbled, trying to sound as disinterested as possible. She continued reading her book.
"Hey," Draco called over to the barmaid, who acknowledged him with a smile and a blush. He had that effect on women. "Can we get two butterbeers over here?"
"Sure thing," the waitress said with a wink. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Who says I want a butterbeer?" she asked.
"Who says I care whether you do or not?" Draco smirked.
Hermione sighed again and slammed her book shut. She glanced around the bar. "Surely they must have a 'No Ferrets' section here. I think I'll just move over there."
She got up to leave, but was stopped by Draco grabbing her arm. "Not so fast, mudblood. Where are your manners?"
"I don't know, Malfoy. Probably off somewhere with yours," she shot back. "Now get your dirty hands off of me."
Draco snorted. "You want to talk about dirty, mudblood? You're the one who's got dirt running all through her veins."
"That's an old routine, Malfoy. You ever think of coming up with something new?"
"And waste all that time and effort on someone like you? Nah. I'm content with the mudblood remarks. Especially now that I know their redundancy annoys you."
"Smart," Hermione said sarcastically. She glanced down at her arm, which was still held tight by Draco's hand. She knew there was no way she would be able to escape from his grasp, so she just gave up and sat back down. The second she did, he removed his hand.
"So," she said, eyeing him suspiciously. "It's Valentine's Day, and we've already established why I'm here-"
"Because you're just a know-it-all-bookworm with absolutely nothing to offer anyone? Because you're horribly unattractive and no guy in his right mind would ever dare to touch you, with fear that you might give them some sort of deadly muggle disease?"
His words, as usual, stung. She opened her mouth to let him have it, but was interrupted by their waitress setting their butterbeers down on the table. She smiled and looked at Hermione, then at Draco. "Enjoy your drinks, kids." She winked again at Malfoy, and then walked off, probably aware that he was staring at her ass the entire time.
"Ugh!" Hermione threw up her hands in exasperation. "Must you always be an insufferable git?"
"Oh please, Granger. Just drink your butterbeer and shut the hell up. Has anyone ever told you that when you whine, your voice slightly resembles nails on a chalkboard?"
Hermione gaped at the boy sitting across from her. Was he for real? "If you find me so annoying Malfoy, then why don't you go be a prick somewhere else? I'm sure I don't need to remind you that you were the one who so rudely invited himself to sit with me."
Draco grinned and took a sip from his mug, making a face. "Hmm."
Hermione gave him a quizzical look. "What?"
He shrugged. "I dunno. Tastes different."
Hermione took a sip of her own butterbeer. The ferret was right – it did taste different. A little too sweet. Nevertheless, she took another sip. This time, it seemed less sweet, but she couldn't help but notice the strange tingling sensation on her tongue. "Weird," she muttered. She glanced back up at Draco. "You're avoiding this discussion."
Draco took another sip of his butterbeer. "You call this a discussion?"
Hermione smiled at him. "You don't even want me to ask the question."
He furrowed his brow at her. "You're delirious Granger. I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Sure you do, Malfoy." She sat back in her chair and folded her arms across her chest. "We've – I mean, you've – already figured out why I'm here alone on Valentine's Day, but what about you? How is it that the Slytherin Sex God is spending the most romantic day of the year in a bar, bickering with a mudblood, instead of out somewhere shagging the daylights out of some poor, innocent, lovesick bimbo?"
Draco raised an eyebrow. "So you think I'm a sex god?"
"Ugh," Hermione groaned inwardly. "Get over yourself, Malfoy. And just answer the question."
"Fine," he said. "If you really want to know, I got so many requests to be my valentine, I couldn't possibly choose one. So, I chose none."
"Right. And what stopped you from choosing all of them?"
Draco thought it over for a moment, and then replied, "Well to be honest, most of the girls who wanted me to be their valentine were horrid. Granted, not nearly as horrid as, say, you, but still none of them were worth my time."
Hermione ignored his insult. "Then why didn't you just choose Pansy? I'm sure she would have dropped dead with excitement."
"Hmm…well now that you put it that way, I wish I had chosen her."
Absent-mindedly, Hermione giggled. Pansy Parkinson has been in love with Draco Malfoy since their first day at Hogwarts, but he never exactly returned her affections. Hermione couldn't blame him – Pansy was clingy and whiny and pug-faced. Even a low-life such as Draco deserved better than Pansy Parkinson.
Draco smiled what almost appeared to be a sincere smile. "Actually, surprisingly enough, Pansy already had a valentine. Zabini."
"Blaise Zabini?" Hermione laughed. "Talk about a match made in heaven!"
"Yeah," Draco chuckled softly. He took another sip of his butterbeer. He was beginning to feel weird. He looked up at Hermione and noticed that the feeling of repulsion he usually felt whilst looking at the mudblood had dissipated, and was suddenly replaced by…warmth. He began to panic. What the hell is going on? He wondered to himself. This was Granger sitting across from him – the filthy mudblood; one of his worst enemies, and he was having a hard time mustering up disgust. Not knowing what to do, he thought quickly and blurted out, "So I couldn't help but notice that you received nothing by Owl this morning. Big surprise. Krum finally came to his senses, I see?"
Hermione's smile faded. Just when she thought maybe Malfoy was attempting to be civil, he had to go and ruin it. She should have seen it coming. She opened her mouth to retort, but he quickly continued before she could get a word out.
"It must suck for you, Granger. I mean, this day – the most romantic day of the year as you put it – only comes once a year, and once again you are spending it by your lonesome. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? Surely, you can see what everyone else sees, right?"
A lump began to form in Hermione's throat. She knew where this was heading, but she was suddenly without words. So she just let him continue.
"Take, for instance, Potter and Weasley. They have been your best friends for seven whole years, Granger. You three have spent every waking moment together at Hogwarts. You've been through thick and thin with both of them, yet…neither one has ever looked at you as anything other than a friend, right? Or someone to borrow Potions notes from. But you don't seem surprised in the least. Could it be that you've finally accepted the fact that you're nothing more than a worthless mudblood? Are you finally beginning to see yourself how everyone else sees you? It must be hard, every time Valentine's Day rolls around. It's just a harsh reminder that no one will ever love you."
Hermione tried to blink back her tears. She was not going to give Draco the satisfaction of seeing her cry. But it was too late – a tear had already escaped and traveled down the side of her face. Quickly, she wiped it away and stood up, collecting her things. "And you really think anyone will ever truly love you?" she said softly, putting on her jacket, refusing to look at him. "At least I have friends. At least I have a family who loves me. You don't even have that. Everyone hates you, Malfoy. They may act as though they like you, but really it's only because they're afraid of you. Or, more accurately, they're afraid of your father." She stopped and glanced at him. His eyes were wide, and his expression was a mix between shock and anger. She knew she would regret pissing him off, but he deserved it. "Even your own father hates you, Malfoy," she whispered. "So don't talk to me about love. You wouldn't know what it was if it was standing right in front you snogging you senseless."
Draco's mouth dropped. Part of him was impressed with Granger's fearless outburst, but a bigger part of him wanted to jump up and wring her neck. But it was too late to do so…through his shock, he hadn't even noticed that she was already gone. Quickly, he got up from the table to follow her. She couldn't have gotten far, at least he hoped not. He wouldn't let her get away with talking to a Malfoy like that. The girl needed to learn some respect, and he was going to teach her. And he was pretty sure she was not going to like the lesson.
On his way out the door, he bumped into the barmaid who had served their drinks. He didn't even bother to acknowledge her before running out the door. The barmaid just smiled.
"What's that goofy smile for, Geniva?" asked Markus, the bartender.
The barmaid turned around to face him and grinned mischievously.
Once outside of the bar, Draco stopped and glanced around. Hermione was nowhere to be seen. "Granger?" he called out. "GRANGER!" Stupid little mudblood was probably on her way back to Hogwarts right now. It wasn't safe for a young woman to travel alone late at night. Not that he really cared. If she were attacked, she would be getting what she deserved. Stupid mudblood witch. He turned to go back inside the Three Broomsticks, but a sniffling noise made him stop in his tracks. It was coming from the side of the building. Sure enough, Hermione was sitting on the ground, her back leaned up against the side of the building. Crying? Big surprise.
"Granger," Draco said, in a voice that was a little too soft for his liking.
Hermione looked up him through clouded vision. She quickly wiped away her tears and got up. As she quickly brushed past him, she said, "Sod off, Malfoy."
Draco caught her arm. "Not so fast, mudblood."
"Let go of me, ferret!" she screamed, trying with all her might to pull away from him. It was no use.
"No. Not until you apologize."
"Apologize!" she spat. "For what? Defending myself? Sorry, but I really don't think I have anything I need to apologize for."
"Oh, you have plenty of things to apologize for, Granger," Draco growled. "Starting with being born."
Hermione scoffed. "Oh, good one, Draco."
Draco blinked in shock. What did she just call him? "What did you just say?" he demanded.
She must have caught that slip as well, and was doing a lousy job pretending like she didn't notice. "I said 'good one'."
"No," he said, stepping closer to her. "You called me Draco."
Hermione glanced up at his eyes. She could see the hatred burning inside of them. She couldn't help but be a little afraid. But she wouldn't let him see it. "So?" she asked calmly. "It is your name, isn't it?"
He took another step closer to her. "Yes, mudblood, it is my name. But who gave you permission to speak it?"
Hermione snorted. "Merlin, Draco," she said, putting an emphasis on his name just to piss him off even more, "it's just a name. Get over it. And while you're at it, get over yourself. You think you're so high and mighty that you cringe at the thought of the little people speaking your precious name? Draco. Draco. Dracodracodracodracodraco-"
"SHUT UP!" he screamed.
"MAKE ME!" she screamed back.
Neither of them could explain what happened next.
Without warning, Draco slammed Hermione up against the side of the building. She had only a moment to let out a slight "Oof!" as the wind was knocked out of her, before suddenly a pair of lips came crashing down on hers…Draco Malfoy's lips.