Title: Falling For Her Hair
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Penelope Clearwater
Summary: How Draco Malfoy fell in love with Penelope Clearwater… especially with her hair.
Author's Notes: Takes place during Draco's third and Penelope's seventh year at Hogwarts. Draco apparently has sort of hair fetishism in here. Thanks to M. for the beta read!
Draco Malfoy's hair needed special attention. It was already extraordinary blonde, silky, shiny and glinted magnificently in the sunlight, but to achieve this result he had to spend hours in the bathroom, taming that particularly stubborn cowlick that tried to ruin his life every morning. He did not care that everybody told him his hair would already look perfect when he got up in the mornings. A Malfoy's view of perfect distinguished from that of the normal people.
The Prefect's Bathroom was normally Draco's preferred place to comb his hair until it was closer to perfect than it already was. Sadly, he was not alone in the room today, noticing the sobs immediately as he entered the bathroom.
Draco wanted to turn around and let the apparent girl cry in peace, but as he saw the slightly curly, golden hair in contrast to the white marble of the walls he could not leave. Mesmerised by the long strands highlighted by the afternoon sun's rays, Draco stood still for a moment, staring at the fragile figure that sat on the floor.
Of course he could see people cry. He made them cry often enough, but to see a girl crying, when it was not his fault, made him feel the insatiable desire to sit down next to the girl and stroke her back.
Gulping hard, Draco turned to the mirrors and tried to focus on his hair, but he could not concentrate on anything else than the soft sobs in the background. He cleared his throat and faced the girl, who looked up as she realised that she was caught. Wiping the tears off her scarlet red cheeks, the Ravenclaw girl flashed Draco a small smile before she stood up.
"I'm sorry, Malfoy, but you shouldn't be in here. Only prefects and Quidditch captains are allowed to use this bathroom. Who gave you the password?" Penelope Clearwater asked kindly. Draco knew from Marcus Flint, who also gave him the password, that she was easily convinced to not deduct points from him, but he did not know if he could be very convincing with tears glittering in that girl's eyes. Normally, his puppy eyes could soften up anyone, and as long as he was still young and innocent he planned to take advantage that he did not look stupid when he pursed his lips.
"I heard someone crying and the door was open," Draco lied, shoving his hands in his pockets before he gave into the urge to pat Penelope's back. He fumbled with the comb and suddenly wished he had tamed his hair before he had entered the bathroom.
Penelope gazed at him with a tranquillity that made him shift uncomfortably. "Oh, really?" She probably knew that Draco was lying. Draco had chosen the worst lie in his entire life. Every student in the castle knew that Draco Malfoy did not care about crying people; he had made sure of that.
"I didn't want to comfort you," Draco told Penelope's mouth he had focused on because her tear-filled eyes hurt him somehow.
"So you wanted to laugh at me?" Penelope asked, her lips still curved in this small smile. Draco immediately shifted his gaze to the wall as he realised that this smile was pure poison. It was embarrassing that she did not take him seriously and it was even more embarrassing that he liked to watch her smile.
"I…" Something buzzed in Draco's mind and he could not think straight. "You have beautiful hair."
Penelope blinked at him. "Thank you," she said, running a hand through the long strands.
Draco wanted to run away and jump from the Astronomy Tower. He just behaved as stupid as Pansy Parkinson as she asked him to accompany him to Hogsmeade, although she was a girl. Girls did not ask boys out on a date. And Malfoys did not tell other people that their hair looked nice. Losing all of his Malfoyness felt like he was suddenly only two inches high and this smaller version of him wanted to hide his burning face behind his shaking hands.
"You should leave now, Malfoy," Penelope said after an eternity of uncomfortable silence.
Draco nodded and wanted to turn around, but stopped immediately as Penelope sniffed barely audible. "Why are you crying?" he asked, wincing under Penelope's eyes that widened because of his inappropriate question. He should not ask that of a girl he did not know. That was ruder than rude, and Penelope would probably kick him out now before she would tell everyone in the school that Draco Malfoy made a fool of himself when he saw girls with beautiful hair crying.
Merlin's pants, but she really had gorgeous hair… Draco wondered how it would feel to touch it. Was it perverted that he desperately wanted to smell the golden locks? Probably not, but he had never felt the urge to do that before.
"It's nothing serious," Penelope said, placing her slender hand on Draco's shoulder and exerting slight pressure, but Draco did not move.
"Are you crying because it's fun or something?" Draco knew that he was not meant to be a comforter because Penelope looked like he had punched her in the stomach, although his question was serious.
"No, I'm not. I'm crying because my boyfriend left me," Penelope told him, rubbing his back as though she had to comfort him. Nobody would ever dare to leave him. "Are you happy now?"
"That's nothing serious?" Draco asked, confused by the goose bumps that appeared on his entire body just because a girl touched him. He was still fumbling with the comb in his pocket, trying hard to concentrate on something else than the hand that rested on his back. "If he makes you cry he isn't worth your tears at all. He should feel ashamed that he hurt you so deeply."
"Oh, I didn't know that you can be so cute, Malfoy," Penelope said, apparently stirred.
Draco shrugged that compliment off, but he could feel a blush creeping up his neck. He imploringly hoped that the blood would not make it into his cheeks to paint his whole face deep red.
"I… I wouldn't do that," Draco said, pulling his hand out of his pocket and scraping together all of his courage to pat Penelope's shoulder. He made the older girl cough because he was too eagerly in his attempt to pat her back, suddenly feeling like he had inherited the insensitivity of both Crabbe and Goyle.
Penelope chuckled as Draco hastily pulled his hand away. "Really sweet, Malfoy," she said before she leaned forward and brushed her lips over Draco's cheeks, creating a blush that blossomed over Draco's whole face. "If you want to you may use this bathroom just this once and don't tell anyone." Draco could feel the cool, velvet hair on his burning skin as Penelope whispered into his ear. The smell of her hair reminded him of entering Honeydukes on a cold winter day and immediately being enveloped by toffee-scented air that warmed his body again.
Draco sighed as Penelope stepped back. He wanted to say something cool and make her stay, but apparently a kneazle had caught his tongue. Penelope waved at him and left without another word.
It felt like an eternity before Draco found the power to move his feet again and turned around, facing the closed door. He would have to ask Marcus Flint if Penelope liked younger boys with perfect hair, and if she did not, he would make her.