My Ferret and I
Teaser: Draco gets turned into a ferret and Hermoine takes him home not knowing the truth..
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Rowling. This is just for fun.
Author's note: I'm not sure if anyone has ever done this before or not, but I had this idea for a while. Not sure if it'll be humor or angst or , but here it is.
Hermoine Granger rested in the empty train compartment of the Hogwarts Express, her chocolate brown eyes gazing sadly out the window. Another long year at Hogwarts had just ended and they were on the way home. In a few short hours she and her good friends would part again for the too-long summer. She supposed she'd see Ron soon enough, as most summers she visited the Burrow and Harry would no doubt come over as well once he had spent enough time at the awful Dursleys. But there was one person she wouldn't see until next September. A loud sigh escaped from her lips as she thought of his soft cornsilk hair that hung into his amazing silver eyes.
Yes, she, Hermoine Granger, the Know-It-All of Gryffindor had fallen in love with none other than Draco Malfoy.
Not that she would admit it to anyone. No, it was clear people wouldn't understand. The Gryffindors loathed the Slytherins for no other reason than they were Slytherins. And her two best friends, Harry and Ron, especially hated them. Draco was their rival and they seemed to enjoy making his life miserable. They hexed him and shot curses whenever the teachers weren't watching, saying it was fair for all the insults that came out of his mouth. And Harry, Harry enjoyed using his fists. It was a nasty habit he had picked up from his cousin Dudley and she wished he'd realize what he was doing was wrong. But he didn't. He seemed to think in some twisted way that a beating was equal to insults when it just wasn't. And Draco, thin and tall, didn't stand a chance. He didn't know the first thing about fighting with one's fists and Harry seemed to strike when the Pureblood was laughing at some childish remark. But seeing Draco lying on the ground, red blood streaking his platinum hair and bruises forming on his fair skin was no laughing matter. If things didn't stop, Harry just might kill him one of these days by sheer accident. And so she had started sticking up for Draco a bit, telling them that it was wrong and that Draco wasn't really learning anything from the beatings. They were just becoming worst enemies. And so it had been quite a shock when Ron looked at her weirdly and had admitted they simply enjoyed tormenting the Slytherin. That had shaken her to her core. How could Ron say such a thing and yet say that Draco was the evil one?
And somewhere along the line she had fallen in love with him.
Realizing she had sighed out loud, her eyes darted quickly to the closed compartment door. Harry and Ron had gone off together to the bathroom down at the end of the train and she expected them back soon. The last thing she wanted was for them to catch her sighing like some dumb love-struck teenage girl, even if that's what she was. That might lead to awkward questions, questions she didn't want to answer. Still, they were both thick enough that they hadn't noticed her fascination with a certain Slytherin. She'd kept it hidden very well. The thing is, Hermoine didn't know what to do about the odd situation so she did nothing.
/Still, it would be nice if I had a photograph of him…/
Hermoine had spent the last two months of school raking her brain on how she could do exactly that and had utterly failed. She had tons of pictures of Ron, Harry and the other Gryffindors but not one of the dreamy, silver-eyed Slytherin. Nor could she just go up to him and take one. That would lead to too many awkward questions. The same reasons prevented her from asking Colin to get her one. She glumly sunk lower in the cushioned seat as she realized she'd now have to face three long months without even a photo. The time seemed to stretch out before her like eternity and she was sure it'll never end, just keep dragging on day after day.
Although Hermoine didn't want to admit it, inside she was just like other girls. She wanted to have a handsome boyfriend someday and for some odd reason her heart had picked Malfoy. She knew it was incredibly stupid. There was zero chance of sparks flying between them. He hated her and her dirty blood, yet Hermoine couldn't accept that as the absolute truth. Never once had he really tried to harm her. He was still a kid playing kid's games, mistaking insults for threats. She suspected that his arrogant act was just that: an act. He was trying to copycat his father's behavior and pulled it off well enough that Harry believed it, but inside he was quaking within his shoes.
The trouble is, Hermoine wasn't very good at being a girl. She was uncomfortable with wearing make-up, jewelry and such that attracted guys. She was far more comfortable being the bookworm and wearing baggy clothes that hid her figure. Perhaps she just wasn't ready for a real relationship. Still, she found Draco incredibly attractive and wouldn't mind being seen on his arm, even if it would make her blush. And maybe, just maybe, he'd try to kiss her…
/A real kiss…/
Hermoine had never experienced a real kiss before and she idly pondered what it would be like. That professional Quidditch player who had taken her to the Yule Ball in Fourth Year had only kissed her briefly on the forehead. She had heard from her giggling roommates that a kiss was supposed to be thrilling, to make one's knees go weak. She wasn't exactly too sure what that meant yet, but she hoped that she'd find out one day. Not that she was what boys went after, no. Not even Ron and Harry looked at her that way and secretly that made her glad. It would be just too strange to date either of them, as they were like the brothers she never had. But a kiss from Draco, that would really be magical!
/If only Draco would notice me!./
He noticed her all right, but in all the wrong ways! Closing her chocolate eyes for a moment, she once again found herself outside the train in Hogsmeade. People were busy boarding; the sidewalk cluttered with baggage and owl cages. She had just been ready to step onto the train when someone cut her off, rudely stepping in front. Hot indignation flashed through her and she had opened her mouth to tell the person off when she noticed the familiar white-blonde hair. Draco had turned to face her, the usual sneer fixed to his face. She noticed how smooth his hair laid on his head, the fine strands gleaming in the sunlight as his bangs dangled in his eyes. And what eyes! They sparkled and shone like liquid silver and she could easily understand why half the girls in school were in love with him. His clothes were as spotless as usual, perfectly tailored. He stared at her for a long moment, their eyes locked together. Hermoine had realized her mouth was hanging open and she quickly closed it, heat rising to her face. He smirked at her and then had disappeared into the train, vanishing from sight.
/And now I won't see him again until September!./
She knew it was dumb and hopeless. He'd most likely marry Pansy someday or one of the other girls just like her. Merlin knew the school was filled with brainless, giggling girls that were Purebloods. Most of them were in Slytherin as well. A lot of them only seemed to care about clothes and who was dating whom. It was all very boring really and Hermoine had no idea how he could stand such giggling gits. In her opinion, grades and knowledge was far more important. They had their entire future to look forward to and it was best to be prepared. Not that Hermoine was that dumb. No, only a total fool would be dreaming of marrying someone they didn't even know. But she would like to get to know him better, the real him. But how could she do that when everyone in her house was convinced he was evil incarnate? Why, she couldn't even talk to him! If she'd try, no doubt Ron and Harry would gang up on him and say he was up to no good.
/It's utterly hopeless…/
Hermoine sighed again and turned her attention to the window. Outside, the green countryside was sweeping past at a fast pace and she secretly thought that it would be wonderful if Draco would be here with her. But that was just a dream. He was off with the Slytherins no doubt…
The thing was, Draco was not off with the Slytherins. He was, in fact, emerging from the bathroom when he ran into two very specific Gryffindors in the hallway. He had wanted to bring Crabbe and Goyle with him, but the two plump boys were busy packing their faces, as usual. They had somehow smuggled a huge load of chocolate cupcakes from the school onto the train and the feast covered one entire seat. Draco had frowned at the disgusting display of gluttony and he idly wondered for the thousandth time why he even bothered with the two. Then he thought of Potter and he remembered. With a nutcase like that at school, it was good to have a pair of goons on his side. But he had drunk too much pumpkin juice that morning at breakfast and so he had set off towards the lone bathroom by himself. He had been cautious on the way, his wand out in front of him. But now they had him cornered, his wand stuck in his back pocket. He had very stupidly forgotten to pull it back out after he had washed his hands in the sink. And now he was going to pay the price. His parents hadn't been exactly happy last year when he came off the train badly hexed, his face distorted from curses. In fact, his father had been livid.
"You'll pay for what you did this morning, Malfoy!" Ron threatened, his wand pointing right at the blonde's pointed face. "I saw you cut Hermoine off, you stinking snake!"
Harry also had his wand out, the long wooden rod pointing at his face as well. "We'll hex you so bad this time your parents won't even recognize you."
Draco gulped nervously, his gray eyes widening in fright. By himself he knew he was no match for both of them, especially since they had the upper hand. Still, he knew more curses and hexes than they did and if they wanted a battle; he'd give them one. His father wasn't a Death Eater for no reason, after all. Lucius knew Dark Magic and had taught him some of it. Oh, nothing like the really bad stuff but things to get revenge on Potter. Yet he hadn't dared use any of it at school for fear of expulsion. His hand quickly darted for his wand but before he could even grip it properly, a spell from Ron's wand hit him. A weird feeling shot through his body and he immediately felt himself shrinking, changing…
A moment later he found himself lying on the floor, a pair of tiny white paws sticking out in front…
/White paws… Oh no, not again!./
Draco craned his head upward and he spotted two towering figures laughing at him. Each appeared as tall as Hogwarts castle itself and he knew instinctively what had happened. Anger flowed through his body at the sight of their quivering bodies laughing at him, fingers pointing in his direction.
/That idiot Weasley! He turned me into a ferret!./
Draco hated being a ferret. It brought back the horrifying moment of being bounced about Fourth Year by that madman, Moody. The guy had given him the creeps with that freaky eye and ugly face. He really had thought that sorry excuse for a teacher was going to kill him! Worst, after that people had started to call him 'The Bouncing Ferret', a nickname he hated. He was a Pureblood and better than all of the other sorry people attending the school. How dare they treat him like that, like he was some kind of joke? And now that Weasley had made him into the animal again! How that dim-witted git even managed the spell was beyond him; they weren't even supposed to know it yet! Human transfigurations were only supposed to be for Seventh Years, but when did those two ever obey rules? They did whatever they pleased and the Headmaster allowed it, often giving them special awards to boot. It annoyed Draco to no end. If he were to even attempt one of the things the famous trio did, he'd be suspended in a heartbeat.
Furious, Draco darted forward and quickly scrambled up Weasley's dirty sneaker. Hating himself for what he was about to do, he sunk his sharp little teeth into the tender flesh of the red head's ankle. The boy's blue jeans were too short, a good several inches of skin stuck out between his shoe and the hem of his jeans. A vile, disgusting taste filled his mouth but he ignored it. This was revenge and his father had taught him sometimes one needed to do vile acts, to get one's hands dirty.
"Ooowwwww!" Ron shrieked loudly as he felt the teeth sink into his ankle. He quickly bent over and grabbed the long furry animal around its middle with both hands. Yanking it free of his ankle, he glared at it. "The little devil bit me!"
This news didn't surprise Harry one bit. "What did you expect? Slytherins like shedding blood…"
Draco squirmed frantically in Ron's hands, desperate to get away. The hands, however, was like a vice around his middle and he couldn't get free. His tiny claws uselessly scratched at the air and he tried to twist his head forward, hoping he could bite Ron again. Perhaps if he'd do so, the boy would drop him. Weasley was holding him at chest height and Draco's stomach twisted uncomfortably when he spied how far away the floor seemed. Thanks to his new size, what would only be a few feet suddenly seemed like hundreds. Still, dropping the distance was preferable to whatever Weasley had planned for him.
"I bet it's not the first time, either…" Ron sourly commented as he spotted an open window up ahead.
Draco squealed loudly in Weasley's hands as he continued to break free.
/That's not true! I never spilled anyone's blood before, you stupid Weasel! You're the very first!./
The vile, disgusting coppery taste of Ron's blood clung to his tongue and the roof of his mouth, making him sick to his stomach. He longed to spit it out and rinse his mouth out, but he couldn't. The stupid lout had him trapped and fear shot through his body. His heart beat incredibly fast within his tiny ribcage and he feared what the Weasel was up to. The two Gryffindor boys hated him and he feared the worst that they had this planned.
"He's just as bad as his father. They're all the same…" Harry commented, his voice booming loudly.
Draco felt the air move past him quickly, ruffling his fur, as Ron moved his hand. Suddenly a huge open window loomed before him and he shrieked in terror. The idiot was going to toss him out the window of a moving train! The gap loomed closer and closer and then he was outside, only Ron's hand hanging onto his middle. The air blasted him in the face with the force of a hurricane, plastering his fur to his body. The quickly moving scenery made him dizzy as playing Quidditch never had and his stomach heaved upward. Sharp pebbles that lined the rail flew by beneath him and he could imagine dropping onto them all too easily. He would be killed for sure, hopelessly mangled! Frantically he squealed for help.
/Somebody do something! The Weasel is trying to murder me!./
Hermoine had heard a commotion out in the corridor near their compartment. It sounded like some animal screaming for bloody murder. Suspecting Crabbe and Goyle were up to no good, Hermoine heaved herself out of her seat and hurried out into the hall. But instead of finding the two fat Slytherin pigs, she saw her two best friends. Ron had his hand stuck out the open window, a small white furry rat grasped in it. She couldn't see the rat very well; as Ron's arm partly blocked the view, but it's frantic expression was clear. It's front paws waved helplessly in the air, its pink mouth open in terror. Righteous anger flowed through her veins and she wasted no time marching up to the laughing boys. "Ronald Weasley! What do you think you're doing to that animal? You give it to me this instant!"
Ron's eyes grew wide and he quickly jerked the ferret inside, his face growing red at being caught. "This bloody thing bit me! It deserves it!"
But Hermoine would have none of it. Reaching out, she snatched the white animal from Ron and cradled it against her chest. Her brown eyes flashed angrily at him, her face twisting up in anger. "How dare you treat any animal that way! You should be ashamed of yourself! Both of you! Harry, how could you let him do that?"
"I … I.." Harry stuttered, his face also reddening from embarrassment.
Hermoine could feel the poor thing trembling against her and she spun on her heel, her ponytail of wavy brown hair almost slapping the two boys in the face. "I don't care what it did to you, Ronald Weasley! You should never, ever treat any creature that way! Animals deserve our respect, not to be tortured. And if it bit you, you no doubt deserved it!"
"But look at my poor leg!" Ron's voice cried out from behind her.
Ignoring him, Hermoine returned to her seat in the compartment. Her entire body felt hot, as if her blood was boiling in her veins. If was rare when she grew this angry but the sight she had witnessed was just so horrible she couldn't stand it. It had been bad enough when they were picking on Draco and now on some poor helpless animal! If she ever saw Ronald Weasley's face it would be far too soon. She longed to slap him hard right across the face, so hard her hand would be red and stinging. Still, she wasn't out-of-control like the boys. If she did that, Ron would probably strike her right back. He had a fiery temper and the red hair to prove it. And she remembered all too well the fight Arthur Weasley had gotten into in the bookstore second year, shoving Lucius Malfoy backward into a bookcase. No doubt Ron was turning into a hothead just like his father.
/I pity any girl that ends up married to Ronald!./
Her nerves were jumping wildly and Hermoine ran her hands soothingly over the warm body cradled against her chest. Glancing down, she was surprised to see it was a ferret and not a white rat as she had thought. It had a cute pink nose and big gray eyes. The thing was just adorable and she smiled at it, making a soft cooing sound. She had no idea where Ronald had found a ferret and she pondered this a moment, her lips pressed together firmly.
Their big half-giant friend bred ferrets to feed to hippogriffs! Deciding Ronald must have stolen one just to toss it out the window of a moving train, Hermoine's opinion of him sunk even lower. She had thought Ronald was her friend, but if he really enjoyed doing these sorts of things…
/I'm not going to forgive him for this!./
"Hermoine," Ron poked his red head into the apartment, his eyes automatically landing on the ferret. At the sight of him, it hissed loudly and its whole body went rigid. "You still don't have that bloody thing, do you? Get rid of it!"
"I will NOT get rid of it, Ronald!" Hermoine wrapped her arm around its furry body, cradling it from his sight. "Do you think I'm dumb enough to let it go so you can grab it again? How dare you steal a ferret from Hagrid! He's our friend and you betrayed his trust!"
"I didn't steal that thing from Hagrid!" Ron protested loudly. Lifting his foot up onto the other seat, he pointed at the bite mark on his leg. It had stopped bleeding soon after Draco had bit him. In fact, it had bled very little; a fact that the red-haired boy couldn't understand. There were several deep punctures on the side of his leg, just above the anklebone. The skin around each bite was snowy white and slightly puffy. "Look what it did to me, Hermoine! It BIT me! I bet it has rabies!"
"If you were that lucky!" Hermoine shot back, her eyes flashing. She was really beginning to hate Ron. "You get out of my sight before I hex you!"
"But … but it's THUMPING!" Ron cried, his face cringing up in pain and fear.
Hermoine picked up her wand and aimed it at his started face. "OUT before I give you some real thumping!"
"Did you tell her?" Harry asked after he saw Ron dash out of the compartment as if Voldemort himself were in there.
"No, she wouldn't let me!" Ron replied, an angry expression on his freckled face. "Let her take bloody Malfoy home with her. What do I care?"
Hermoine exited the train with difficulty. She hadn't seen Harry or Ron during the rest of the trip, a fact that had pleased her to no end. She just hoped they weren't torturing some other little animal or some of the Slytherins. She had been so busy soothing her new pet that she had totally forgotten about Draco. Now she paused among the busy bustle of students exiting the train, her eyes scanning for a dot of whitish-blonde hair. Due to his unique coloring, he was generally easy to spot in a crowd. Still, the place was so crowded with parents and students that it was virtuously impossible to find anyone. Sighing, she returned her attention to the difficult job in front of her. She not only had her trunks of school stuff, but Crookshanks in a carrier as well plus the ferret that was wrapping itself around her neck. Half fearing it might leap off into the crowd and get trampled or lost, she clung to it with one hand. Spotting an empty luggage rack nearby, she dashed to get it and piled all her belongings on it. Once everything was secure, she struggled to push it one-handed, the other hand on the ferret.
A large group of redheads appeared in the crowd from up ahead and she bit her bottom lip, frowning. Hermoine knew it was the Weasleys and normally she was pleased to see Molly and Arthur. But Ronald was not her friend at the moment and she feared they'd take his side over hers. She clearly remembered that day when Mrs. Weasley had blamed her for cheating on Harry due to one of the fake articles that awful woman had written! It hurt that Molly would listen to outright lies from a newspaper article instead of bothering to ask if it were true. She had never even dated Harry to begin with! She had a right mind to march up to them and tell his parents exactly what Ron had been doing on the way home, but no…that would be tattling. Still, Ron did deserve it…
Utter disgust crawled through her. She was sick of the whole thing already and just wanted to get home. Pushing her cart to the wall, she easily avoided the clump of Weasleys. The large crowd surged between her and the family of redheads, shielding her from their sight. All around her parents searched for their children but Hermoine didn't bother looking for hers. Her parents were Muggles and couldn't pass through the barrier. She'd find them on the other side, in the Muggle part of the station. She was still amazed and didn't exactly understand how they could even enter Diagon Alley…
Pushing her cart through the crowd, Hermoine felt the ferret start to squirm. It dug its sharp little claws into the fabric of her Muggle T-shirt and partly into her skin beneath. Moaning slightly at the sharp pain in her shoulder, she reached up to grip it with both hands. Fear spiked through her as she felt it's slim long body sliding between her hands as it leaped to the ground.
Hermoine threw herself forward and she landed belly-first on the cold sidewalk that ran along the train track. Her hand snaked out like lightning and landed on the little animal's back. Quickly crawling forward on her knees, she gripped it by the scruff of its neck. Relief flooded through her as she picked it up and pressed it against her chest. Bending her neck, she pushed her face against its soft fur. "Don't do that again! Do you want to get lost and trampled in this crowd?"
The ferret squealed loudly, its mouth opening and sharp white teeth flashing in the light. She was amazed at how white its teeth were and she'd swear its breath smelled slightly like mint. But that was crazy! Still, she was highly impressed how well Hagrid took care of his animals. She knew he loved each one of them to pieces, even the vicious ones with three heads. Maybe he even brushed their teeth. She certainly tried to brush Crookshank's teeth, although her Persian didn't exactly care for it. She could feel eyes on her and she lifted her head from the ferret's soft body.
The Malfoys were standing there, equal expressions of disgust on their faces. Lucius had the same silvery gray eyes that Draco did, but his looked cold and aloof. His snake-headed walking stick was clutched in one black-gloved hand, its eyes glittering like green emeralds. Knowing the Malfoys, they probably were emeralds. They certainly were rich enough to have all the emeralds they wanted. He was dressed all in black except for the blood red lining of his cloak and the silver snake jewelry pinned to his chest. Narcissa stood beside him, her eyes staring at her with clear disgust. She was wearing an expensive green evening gown, the dress having an old-fashioned look about it. Hermoine actually thought it quite pretty. It was very Victorian and romantic, nothing like what Muggle clothing designers made these days. She wouldn't mind wearing a dress like that and being swept around a dance floor or standing on a balcony covered in roses…
/I'm a hopeless romantic…./
The thought was shocking to say the least. She had no idea where it had come from or why she was even thinking it. Why, she had never ever seen anything like it before. Suddenly realizing she was still kneeling on the ground, ferret clutched to her chin and literally staring at the Malfoys – who was now sneering – was too much! Red faced, she scrambled to her feet and pushed her cart to the magic gateway as quickly as she could. It was without doubt one of the most embarrassing moments of her life!
/It just had to be them! Bloody Pureblooded snobs!./
She passed through the gateway without incident, the trembling ferret still clutched against her chest. It was clear that the noise and bustle of the train station was bothering her new pet. Its entire body shook something awful and when she glanced down at it, she saw it's gray eyes wide with fear. The air rattled out of its pink little nose fast and quick, its mouth open partway. "Oh, you poor little thing! I'll have you home soon enough and then you can relax! Don't you worry about that mean old Ronald Weasley. I won't let him come near you any more…"
A Muggle train zoomed past at horrendous speed and she felt the ferret shake in her arms, its eyes wide in terror. She cooed at it softly and then heard Crookshanks start up a rumpus within the carrier. Her cat didn't like the noise of the train station, either. Nor did Crookshanks like the car or being in the carrier. To show his hatred of the current situation, he started to yowl loudly, the horrible sound attracting the attention of several passerbies. "Yes, yes! You'll be home soon and then I can let you out!"
Spotting her parents up ahead, Hermoine hurried over to them.
"What's that you have there?" Her father asked with curiosity as he spotted the white bundle of fur in her arms.
"A ferret." Hermoine replied, her face darkening as she remembered how she had came in position of it. "That awful Ronald was holding it out the train window!"
"No!" Her mother gasped, a hand flying to her mouth in horror.
"Yes, he was! But I was just lucky enough to rescue it before he dropped the poor thing." Hermoine glanced down at the little furry bundle in her arms. The ferret was looking towards her parents, a strange frightened look in its eyes. "Can we go, Dad? I almost lost him once. I think all the noise of the train station is frightening him…"
"Sure, honey." Her father pushed the luggage cart outside to their car and quickly loaded it in. Crookshanks carrier was placed on the back seat and Hermoine slid in next to it. Placing one hand on the top of the carrier to steady it, she held the ferret on her lap. It's little head turned this way and that, trying to see everything at once. Hermoine smiled, thinking it was the cutest thing ever. As her father was driving away from the train station, a thought flashed through her mind and her heart sunk. She hadn't gotten a chance to see Draco before leaving…
/Now I'll have to wait all the way until September!./
Sighing, Hermoine stroked the ferret's smooth white fur not realizing that Draco was sitting on her lap.
To be continued…
OK, I hope the characters are not TOO out of character. Normally I wouldn't have Harry or Ron do something awful like that, but I needed a reason for Hermoine to take the ferret. And NO, Ron was not going to drop it. He was just scaring him and being a git.