Public Display of Affection
They weren't much for PDA – that is, Public Display of Affection.
After all, he was Draco Malfoy and she was Hermione Granger. He was the snotty little prat from Slytherin and she was the bossy little know-it-all from Gryffindor.
It would just be so wrong to see them coddling each other right in front of everyone who inhabited the castle of Hogwarts.
They were both intelligent, pragmatic, logical people who did not find much importance in flirting endlessly with each other or cooing so many sappy words of undying love. Whoever heard of Hermione Granger talking love-dovey nonsense to her best friend's enemy for many years anyway? And whoever heard of Draco Malfoy calling his Mudblood 'tart' or 'love'?
For this reason did no one actually believe that the Slytherin and Gryffindor indeed were together as a couple.
They did not believe that they weren't a couple because…
Well, they weren't acting like a proper one at all.
No one ever saw them holding hands in the hallway. No one ever witnessed them spending a lazy Saturday afternoon by the lake, holding each other beneath the cool shade of a willow tree. No one ever saw them speak any longer than ten minutes with each other, for crying out loud. They hadn't even progressed in calling each other by their first names. It was always Granger or Malfoy. Never Hermione. Never Draco.
Sure, there were subtle signs of changes between them. Draco surely stopped taunting her with insults after sixth year (of course that didn't mean that he stopped offending her two friends, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley); Hermione casually greeted him with a polite, indifferent 'good morning/afternoon/evening' every time she met him by the hallways; anyone who was present in any of their classes together could be held witness that Draco and Hermione usually sat beside each other or, at the least, a chair or two away from each other; and any time they'd talk, they'd talk civilly – which was rather strange and all the more shocking for a Gryffindor and a Slytherin.
Once even, Draco Malfoy had actually walked up to the Gryffindor table, approached the very girl whom he claimed to despise for the past six years, and coolly asked her if he could borrow her Ancient Runes notes. Everyone who had been there were all apparently stunned, especially Harry and Ron, who stupidly gaped at their nemesis with their mouths hanging open; all turned to look expectantly at Hermione, curious as to what her reaction would be.
And her reaction was as shocking as Draco's approaching the enemy table.
She simply nodded, took out the notes he'd asked for from her bag, and handed it to him unperturbedly. Draco lifted his lips upwards in what seemed like a smile, thanked her and went away. Hermione then resumed to eat her dinner. Both seemed to be ignorant and unfazed by what had just happened.
Well, that would have accounted for them being a couple, now would it?
But no; that couldn't possibly be. That was clearly not enough evidence to prove that Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were in love with each other! After all, the two were the seventh year Heads; it was natural that they'd share notes, seeing as they were usually paired up in classes anyway.
All of Hogwarts demanded more proof than that. Much more.
They needed something like a look, a smile, a hug, a kiss – at least even some words like honeybunch or sweetheart.
In other words, Hogwarts needed PDA.
Public. Display. Of. Affection.
Draco watched her enter the Great Hall.
He inwardly cringed in annoyance. Or maybe it was in envy.
Hermione, as always, was with her boys – the two bloody gits she called best friends. And to add to his aggravation, Potty and Weasel had thrown their arms around her, and she, as innocent as she was, didn't mind at all.
But Draco minded it, very much so, thank you very much.
How many times had he had to witness the three of them either hugging or tickling each other? How many times did he have to see either Potter or Weasley hold her hand or whisper in her ear? Many, many times indeed; what was worse, she always welcomed them with open arms. She'd laugh with them, chat animatedly with them, slap them playfully on the chest, ruffle their hair, and – bloody Merlin – she'd kiss them each in turn on the cheek.
Now that was enough for Draco to hate those two bloody idiots all the more. Now, he knew they were bloody best friends – after all, they'd all been attached to each other's hips since they were eleven – but come on. That was not bloody right.
The blessed Trio was now seated at the Gryffindor table, and Draco had lost all his appetite by now; all he could do was to glare at them and despise them (except that one certain bushy haired girl, of course) from this great a distance.
He was going to have to see her after lunch today.
History of Magic.
Hermione heard Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil talking about it.
According to them, Draco Malfoy had gone with some random girl up at the Astronomy Tower a few days ago; he was, in Parvati's words, definitely fooling around with her. When a reliable source saw him coming down from the Tower, he looked… disheveled. His tie loosened, his hair tousled, his face flushed. The girl he had gone up with was nowhere to be seen.
Hermione asked them what time this was supposed to have happened.
Just after lunch, they replied, and Hermione said nothing in reply.
She smiled secretly.
…Because she knew what Draco was doing right after lunch that day.
He sat two seats away from her today. He had come later than usual and it was just his rotten luck that Justin Finch-Fletchley and Ernie MacMillan were seated right beside her.
She didn't seem to mind. As usual.
It seemed that in every House, she had male friends. Hell, she didn't have much female friends – was there something about her that drew boys to her?
For the whole duration of the lesson, Justin Finch-Fletchley had been throwing rather suggestive glances towards her direction. Draco didn't like it at all – not one bit. Didn't anyone know that she was already taken?
In this class, he was fortunate enough to snag a seat right beside her. He didn't talk to her of course. He just liked to sit near her, and it wasn't as if she minded.
Unfortunately enough, Terry Boot took the seat on her other side. Draco glared at him, but he didn't seem to have taken notice. Instead, the Ravenclaw initiated a conversation about the latest text on the recent discoveries of a new set of Runes. Hermione participated rather eagerly; apparently, according to what Draco overheard, she had been wanting to talk about it with someone else ever since she finished reading the text.
Draco rolled his eyes. If she had wanted to talk about it with someone, she could have just gone to him. Draco had read it too, of course!
But then again, they didn't do that.
Damn it. One day, he was going to come out in the open and finally talk to her about everything.
The Library. Free period.
He sat right across her, his work apparently abandoned out of lack of concentration. His attention, instead, was on her, as it always was.
She was sucking the feather end of her quill, obviously deep in thought about her Charms essay. Her brows were furrowed together in focus, her bushy curls up in a loose bun held together by her wand, loose tendrils of curls framing her face. Her cheeks were of a warm color and her eyes a lovely shade of dark brown.
She looked delectable now as she sat before him. Draco wanted nothing more than to give her a kiss right then and there.
"Malfoy," she started. She caught him by surprise and he nearly fell of his chair. "Stop staring at me."
She smirked as well. "There's a rumor going on that you had a recent trip to the Astronomy Tower."
"Who was it this time?"
"Why, Granger, I believe you'd know," he replied coolly, "And besides, I only go up there with one girl."
She raised an eyebrow and her smirk grew wider. "Lucky her."
Pansy and Millicent were talking about it.
And it was just Draco's luck that he heard them.
A certain Michael Corner was flirting with Hermione just outside the Charms classroom a while ago. According to Millicent, the Ravenclaw fancied the Mudblood since sixth year and it was only now that he finally had courage enough to show her just how much he liked her; he had offered to walk her down to the Great Hall, which she (as usual, blindly) agreed to.
According to Pansy, she'd seen him keeping an arm around Hermione's shoulders along the way, and it was quite obvious that she didn't feel any comfortable about it. By the time they'd reach the huge doors to the Great Hall, Michael asked her out.
At that point, Draco disappeared from the Dungeons with a goal to search for a certain Ravenclaw.
First floor corridor. Just five minutes before dinner.
He found Michael Corner with two or three friends. The Ravenclaws looked at him questioningly and he, fueled with much energy, glared at them all.
Scowling pointedly at one boy with sandy-colored hair, he asked, "You Michael Corner?"
He nodded, eyeing Draco suspiciously.
Draco nodded back in return.
Seconds later, Michael Corner was on the ground, clutching at his jaw, staring at the Head Boy in evident shock. Draco glowered at him in contempt, muttered something in the lines of "She's mine; back off." and disappeared into the Great Hall with a swish of his black robes.
Great Hall. Dinner time.
Hermione was with Harry and Ron again. They were teasing her about that Ravenclaw she entered with just earlier, asking her if he was a prospective boyfriend in the future. She blushed and shook her head.
Of course not – she remembered Michael Corner – Ginny had gone out with him back in fifth year and Hermione had heard enough that he wasn't exactly what she was looking for.
Besides that, she was already committed.
But of course, she wasn't going to tell that to either of her two friends or to the rest of the school population; imagine the field day everyone was going to have, especially if they found out who it was she was already committed to. Not that she minded, though (it was better to finally have it out in the open). Still, everyone calm and ignorant was better than everyone inquisitive and stunned.
Just at that moment, Hermione glimpsed a blonde Slytherin coming through the great doors of the Hall on his way to his rightful table. He was looking… flushed. Irritated. Adorable. She grinned.
He paused, looked thoughtful, and then changed his direction. Instead of walking towards the Slytherin table, he was making his way towards Gryffindor. Hermione let out a quiet, surprised, "Oh!" when he stopped right in front of her.
Suddenly it seemed that the Great Hall had gone quiet. Still. As if everyone was watching the two of them. Yet another surprise, they all seemed to think, remembering that one day when the exact same thing happened and Draco borrowed Hermione's notes. Perhaps he'd ask her a question about a certain lesson? Or tell her that Professor McGonagall was looking for her? Whatever it was that he was going to do or say, it was certain that it wouldn't be much to fret about like the last time.
Oh, were they so stunned when what indeed happened was something they'd talk about for weeks.
Harry and Ron demanded to know why he was there in the first place, but as always, Draco ignored them and kept his eyes on Hermione, who, like everyone else, thought that he was going to ask her for something unimportant.
Hermione thought that he seemed… determined. But determined to do what?
She eyed him curiously and then -
"I've had enough," he simply stated.
And what happened next took her and everyone else by surprise.
He pulled her up, placed both his hands onto the sides of her face and kissed her.
Right then and there in front of everyone.
It definitely took her breath away, considering the fact that he was kissing her like he never did before, a hand buried deep within her hair, and another around her waist pulling her closer to him. And to think that he was doing so in public!
And when he finally did pull away, he grazed her cheek with his thumb, gazed at her so ardently, and said in a ragged, deep voice, "Everyone should know by now that you're mine."
And she smiled – she smiled so happily that she leant in and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek.
As the two ambled out of the Great Hall with entwined hands, everyone else was still in a state of shock of what had just happened. Then –
A sigh of relief.
Finally indeed. Hogwarts had seen enough proof that Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy indeed were an official couple.
Public display of affection was all that they needed; and at long last, they witnessed it between the two most logical, intelligent people in Hogwarts.
Author's Note: Yippee! A new one-shot. Haha. I got the idea when I was lying down in bed, waiting for sleep to come. Hope you enjoyed it. Rather uneventful and senseless, I know. But I did really want to write about Draco kissing Hermione in front of everyone. Haha. Hope you review!