I Love the Way You Hate Me
I, Hermione Granger, have lived an extremely eventful life. I started off as an ordinary girl from Muggle London. There was nothing special about me or my family. Or so I thought. Both my parents were dentists and I was probably going to be one too. I was always the ideal child, with my perfect grades and mannerisms. Everyone loved me. My parents, my friends, and even strangers I smiled at on the street.
The day I got my letter from Hogwarts, I knew it had to be a mistake. Magic didn't really exist, did it? Of course it didn't. So I wrote it off as a prank and ignored it. Then came the second letter. This time I asked my friends about it and told them to stop with the owls and the letters because it annoyed my mum.
They all swore they had nothing to do with it. So I decided to go along with it and wrote back to this 'Dumbledore' person.
The reply I got shocked me. He gave me enough proof to believe in what he said and a week later, I boarded the Hogwarts Express, with no idea as to where I was going and what I would do when I got there.
I busied myself with my studies and spoke very little to anyone except when it was about homework. The teachers all loved me, even though my peers didn't necessarily feel the same way. But after befriending Harry and Ron, that changed completely. People started to give the bookworm a chance to prove herself in things other than academics and finally started to see that I wasn't a walking talking textbook after all.
But of course, being friends with Harry Potter came with a price. In between fighting the forces of the dark and correcting Harry and Ron's homework every night, I also had to fend off remarks from Snape and the Slytherins. One Slytherin in particular, actually, and I think we all know who that might be.
Draco Malfoy was by far the most annoying problem I had ever faced, and that was saying something. He never did any serious harm to me, but he was always there, like an itch that just won't go away. No matter what I did, he just found another fault in me. Whether it was about the way I looked, the way I dressed, the color of my hair, the length of my teeth, the way I talked, the books I read, he always had something unpleasant to say about me. And even though I told myself I didn't care, I found myself unconsciously trying to make myself more appealing to him. Not because I was attracted to him, don't get me wrong. It was because I just had to be liked. I had always been liked, always been perfect. And the knowledge that there was someone who didn't think of me as perfect was almost unbearable. Not that I would ever admit this to anyone, of course. For everyone else, I was just a girl who couldn't care less about the way she looked and was looked upon.
One of my most memorable days at Hogwarts was the day Viktor Krum asked me to be his date for the Yule Ball. I still remember how he came up to me one day in the library and sat down next to me. I knew perfectly well who he was, but chose to ignore him. A minute later, I saw a note being pushed towards me. It said,
My name is Viktor Krum and I am from Durmstrang. I hope you don't mind, but I asked one of your schoolmates to tell me about you. I think you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my life and from what I hear, you are the most intelligent also. And as far as I know, you are not currently seeing anybody. Will you do me the honour of accompanying me to the Yule Ball?
I almost laughed at how formal he was being, but instead, just jotted down a quick 'yes' and got up to leave.
I didn't have the slightest interest in Viktor Krum, but I saw this as an opportunity to show everyone that I could look just as good as any other girl in school. As since Ron still hadn't bothered to ask me, I accepted.
I spent hours getting ready for the ball, especially while trying to tame my unruly hair. But in the end, it was worth it. For the first time since I joined Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy didn't have an insult to throw at me.
This didn't, of course, change his opinion of me. In fact, it made him even more determined to prove to me how worthless I was. His remarks still hurt, but the memory of the way he'd been staring at me during the ball made them easier to deal with.
I hated him. I hated him completely. He was arrogant, rude, spoiled and had no respect for anyone except those he was afraid of. He thought he could get away with anything just because of his fathers contacts at the ministry. And true as this was, it annoyed me a lot.
The first time I realized that there was an actual person underneath that cold exterior was sometime in my sixth year. I had been walking along the school grounds after another fight with Ron. He'd been parading Lavender around all week, even though he knew perfectly well how I felt about him. I'd been frustrated and was trying to clear my head.
Ahead of me, I saw a bunch of Slytherins sitting in the grass. I wasn't afraid of them, but I knew perfectly well I didn't have a hope against them all. So I started to turn back before they spotted me, but it was too late. One boy had already recognized me and shouted, "Look, its Granger!"
Before I knew it, they'd surrounded me. I whipped out my wand, prepared to do my best, even though I was well aware of the fact that my best couldn't possibly be good enough. They were all laughing and taunting, throwing insults at me. They knew there was no way I could beat them all alone. They knew they had me.
"Afraid, Mudblood?" one of them said.
"Look at her, she's almost crying!" Laughter.
"You're pathetic!" someone said and spat at my feet. More laughter.
"What is going on here?" a voice cute through the noise like a hot knife. The crowd parted and in stepped Malfoy, who took one look at me and said to everyone, "That's it. Leave her alone."
"But Draco-" one of them protested.
"I said leave her alone."
Reluctantly, they all left except for a few other sixth years who must know Malfoy pretty well to dare linger.
"Go Granger," Malfoy quietly told me.
I looked warily at the remaining people, afraid that they might try to follow me if I left. This was their one chance to put me in my place and they weren't giving it up that easily.
Malfoy seemed to read my thoughts and wordlessly took my arm and started to lead me toward the castle. If he noticed me jump at the physical contact, he didn't show it.
I couldn't believe it. Draco Malfoy, the one person whom I most expected to take pleasure in my pain, was helping me.
"Where's your Common Room?" he asked, suddenly breaking the silence.
"Huh?" It took me a second to realize that as a Slytherin, he had no idea as to where he Gryffindor Common Room was located. "Oh. Right. It's behind the Fat Lady's portrait on the 6th floor."
He simply nodded.
After a few more minutes of walking silently, I couldn't take it anymore.
"Why did you do that?" I asked. "Get me away from them, I mean. Wasn't that what you would have wanted?"
He frowned and looked at me. "Let's get one thing straight, Granger," he said. "I hate you."
"Then why did you do what you did?" I asked again.
"Because it wasn't fair," he mumbled.
"What?" I pretended not to have heard him.
"Because it wasn't fair," he repeated, louder this time. "You were alone and there were tons of them. It's wrong to attack someone who's got no shot of victory. That's what cowards do. That's not winning."
"Then what is?"
He started to say something, but stopped himself once he realized who he was talking to. "Shut up," he said instead, with a frown.
I bent my head to hide the smile that had appeared on my face. He left me at the portrait a minute later, without turning back once, even though I stood there, staring after him until he was out of sight, thinking of what the hell had just happened.
But if I thought that things between Gryffindors and Slytherins would change after that day, I was highly mistaken. Everything went back to normal from the next day onwards and that was that.
Two years later, a year after we passed out of Hogwarts, he surprised me again. He fought for the Order alongside us. Malfoy killed many Death Eaters and even his own father (though he never ever talks about that). Harry killed Voldemort and we won the war. And somewhere along the way, Malfoy became Draco.
Now, don't get me wrong. He is still the most annoying person on planet earth. He never misses an opportunity to insult me and he never ever listens to me about anything. His ego is now about 5 times the size it was at school now that he has chest hair and devastatingly good looks. Not that I've noticed, or anything. It's just what all the other girls say. He still hates all Muggle appliances, but not because of his hatred for all things muggle, but because he's a bit afraid they're going to explode. This is because he saw this piece on TV about an air crash and now I have to constantly keep trying to convince him that the toaster will not set the house aflame.
The only reason I even endure him is because he's the only person I know who doesn't think I'm completely perfect. He knows my faults and he constantly keeps reminding me of them, hence letting me know how to improve. He jus
I looked up from my computer as Draco entered the room, taking off his robe and throwing it carelessly on the table. He kicked off his shoes and left them lying there on the floor as he went to get himself a glass of water. I narrowed my eyes at him.
"Are you going to pick those up?" I called after him angrily.
He poked his head out from behind the kitchen door. "No, I don't think I will, thanks."
And he disappeared.
"What?" he said, walking out of the kitchen with a donut in his hand. "You asked if I was going to pick them up and I said no."
"Well, you are going to if I have anything to do about it."
"I don't hear you."
"Look, if they bother you so much, why don't you just pick them up yourself?"
"Because you put them there!"
"Yes, but I'm not the one who has a problem with them!"
"See, this is exactly the reason you can never find your things. You throw them around and when I put them away, you go crazy looking for them. Why can't you just put your things where you're going to pick them up from the next time you need them?"
"Okay, so my shoes are on the floor. The next time I need them, I will pick them up off the floor!"
"But you won't find them there, because I will have put them away!"
"And whose fault will that be?"
"You just admitted that it's your fault I can never find my stuff."
"Just pick up the damn shoes."
"Don't project your OCD's on me. I will put up with them, i will not partake in this madness. Madness, I tell you."
"Malfoy, I'm warning-"
"Oh, we're back to last names now, are we?" he said, slightly amused. "Fine, then Granger. That's the way it is."
"Malfoy," I corrected.
"What?" he said, looking genuinely confused.
I sighed. "That's Malfoy now. Or did you forget that I married you 3 days ago?"
A smile spread upon his face as he seemed to remember something. "Oh, yeah, Wifey." he said. "I thought you looked fatter than usual."
I chucked a CD case at him.
"Okay, sorry!" he asked, peering at the screen over my shoulder. "Watcha writing?"
"Nothing you need to see." I said, minimizing the document. "Butt out."
"Fine by me." he said, shrugging. "Have you packed yet?"
"Packed? For what?" I asked, spinning around in my chair to face him.
"You didn't get the owl?" he asked and I shook my head. "We're flying to Paris tomorrow. Muggle style."
"Paris," Draco repeated clearly and slowly. "It's this really kick ass city I vaguely remember my wife telling me she's always wanted to go. You might have seen it on postcards with the big pretty tower and the all the lights and-"
I shut him up with a kiss. When I pulled away, he smiled. "What was that for?"
I grinned. "For annoying the hell out of me at school. I'd never have noticed your sorry ass if you hadn't."