Disclaimer: I Do Not Own Harry Potter. Just in case anyone was wondering…
"Congratulations, Potter, you actually managed to stay on your broom during the match. I must say, I'm impressed," said the cold, drawing voice of Draco Malfoy the day after the Quidditch Final. "Keep this up and you'll lose your private bed in the Hospital Wing."
"Shut it, Malfoy," snapped Harry Potter. The dementor-induced fall from his broom (and its subsequent destruction at the hands of the Whomping Willow) was not one of his pleasanter moments.
"You're just sore because the Snitch was inches from you, but Harry came from several feet up and got it instead," Hermione retorted.
Malfoy's ears went pink. "No one asked you, you filthy little Mudblood," he said, echoing his words of the year prior.
Ron's hand immediately went to his wand and as he drew it, he said dangerously, "You'll pay for that, Malfoy!"
Malfoy sneered. "Yes, do help the situation by belching slugs again. It was ever so helpful last time."
Ron looked furious. He raised his wand, but Harry stopped him. "Remember what Hagrid said. Malfoy's dad'll cause trouble if we curse his son."
"But Harry-" Ron protested.
"I know. We'll get him back later. We can use the invisibility cloak or something."
Angrily, Ron pushed Harry's hand away, but did nothing.
Hermione, however, looked almost amused. "Mudblood? What is that supposed to mean? Is that your idea of an insult or something?"
"Poor Granger, no one bothered to explain it to you after last time?" Malfoy asked derisively. "It means dirty blood."
"Dirty blood? As opposed to-?"
Malfoy looked taken aback. "Non-dirty blood," he said lamely.
"So…clean blood, then?" Hermione asked, smiling sweetly.
"I never said-"
"Well, clean is the opposite of dirty, last time I checked. Or perhaps you have another definition you'd like to share?"
"And how exactly is your blood cleaner than mine? Unless, as the term you used, 'Mudblood', suggests, you think that my blood actually has mud in it, or perhaps that it is made entirely of mud. Well, Muggle-born or not, I would die if there was mud in my veins."
"Do us all a favor," muttered Malfoy, at a loss of anything else to say.
"Be that as it may, it doesn't mean that it will actually ever happen."
"I didn't mean it literally!" Malfoy was clearly getting frustrated.
"Then why use it to define 'Mudblood'?" Hermione asked innocently.
"Because-I just…never mind. Common blood," he said suddenly.
"Pardon?" Hermione raised her eyebrows.
"You heard me. Common blood. That's the definition of 'Mudblood,'" Malfoy said triumphantly, the expression on his face clearly said 'Dispute that.'
"What about dirty blood? I mean, if it is dirty and common that means that it would no longer be considered 'dirty', but the clean-blooded people would be considered strange and missing the attributes of normal blood, so thus-"
"Forget the dirty blood!" Malfoy said, perhaps louder than he'd intended.
"Fin then. But 'common blood' is okay to use?" Hermione asked, a glint in her eye.
Malfoy felt slightly uncomfortable with Hermione's clear nonchalance, but didn't see how she could possibly find a way around that definition. "Go ahead," he said coldly.
"Well, common blood means a majority of the population is similar, right?"
"If it is common, it's common for a reason. Presumably, it's because it is-not better, exactly, but more pragmatic."
"Pragmatic?" Ron asked.
"Practical," Hermione answered.
"Well, I'm a Malfoy! I don't need practicality! Magic's been in my family for generations and-"
"I said, 'So?' Is one of the attributes my so-called dirty blood gives me the incredibly power to comprehend normal speech and carry on an intelligent conversation? Because if so, then I would finally understand Ron."
"No! I-uh…" Malfoy trailed off, vaguely wondering if it would be worth risking another detention just to hex her. If it was a proper detention, sure, but last time Filch had made him clean the trophy room-by hand! Like a common house elf! No, wait, they used magic. Like a bloody Mudblood, then! But his use of that word was what had gotten him into this mess in the first place. Either way, just because he got some people to dress up as dementors and storm the field in the hopes of making Potter fall of his broom again way nor reason to have to suffer so.
And that one trophy, the one for special services to the school, took forever to clean! For four straight hours, every time he thought he was almost done cleaning it, he puked all over it! Filch may have claimed it was a coincidence, but he knew better-that Riddle guy was clearly sadistic.
"I could be wrong, Malfoy," Harry grinned, enjoying Malfoy's discomfort immensely. "But I think you're just proving her point."
"Well who cares what filthy little Mudbloods like her think, anyway?" Malfoy snapped back before he could stop himself.
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Mudblood again? Does that mean you've come up with a definition in the last two minutes?" she inquired innocently.
Malfoy threw up his hands in frustration. "You know what? Die. Just die." He stalked off, muttering about ways he'd like to help her accomplish this, but nonetheless resolving to use the term 'Mudblood' a lot less in the future.
At least until he could be bothered to define it.
"You. Are. My. Hero," Ron told Hermione, sounding awed, as they watched Malfoy walk away. Harry nodded vigorously in agreement. "It would have been better if you punched him, though."
Hermione laughed. "Maybe next time."
Note: Yes, Hermione knows what a Mudblood means. She had it defined for her in book 2. She understands metaphors. She's not actually confused here. She's JUST giving Draco a hard time. It's kind of ridiculous that I need to clarify that but...