Authors Note: For all those nervous and angry about my story On Her Own, I am planning to finish it, I just had a bit of writers block right now, I know what I want to write but can't put it into words. So I'm dabbling with one shots for a bit.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any about Harry Potter yada yada yada. I merely own this lovely plot.
It had been four weeks and already I was sick of this arrangement. I had to share a common room and bathroom with Granger of all people. Did I hate her? Yes. Did I hate her for the same reasons I used to? Not really. I cannot lie and say I didn't once believe wholeheartedly that mudbloods were filthy, with blood the color of dirt and they couldn't be trusted, but I was falsely brought up to believe that. Don't believe I just woke up one day and decided to be best mates with Granger or anything, but I have changed my views on her background.
I was travelling with Blaise in Italy when it happened. A maid, I never asked her name, working at the wizard hotel we stayed at was a mudblood and Blaise was horrible to her, based on that fact. I laughed along at first and even joined in occasionally, until one day he took it too far. She had just finished cleaning our room when he thought it would be funny to teach her a 'lesson' for being what she was. He pushed her down the stairs. Even before what happened next, I was disgusted. I was disgusted that he could even fathom doing such a violent thing. I immediately swore at him and ran down the stairs to see if she was alright. She wasn't. She was dead. At the bottom of the stairs, in a pool of her own red blood, was a woman who had died simply because of prejudice.
Blaise, of course, wasn't convicted of any crime. He simply said 'I didn't do it.' and who would dare argue with a Zabini. I knew he did though and he swore me to silence and I obliged, simply because I was a loyal friend. However, since that day, I have never spoken the word 'mudblood', dare I say even thought it.
I still hated Granger though. Not for her blood but simply because she is insufferable. Four weeks and I had been nagged to no end about my duties as Head Boy and how I was cruel to people and how I was jealous of her. That had been bullshit. She declared one night in one of our more heated battles, that I was simply jealous of her intelligence. It sounded like something her mummy told her to say.
'There there sweetie, he's just jealous because you're so smart.'
Lately, however, there hadn't been any battles or smart remarks. Merlin knows I tried to insult the girl and spur up a fight but all I got was ignorance. I felt as though something was wrong with her, but neither cared nor bothered to ask.
Until one night, a night that changed events drastically.
I was sitting in the common room finishing up a particularly nasty potions essay when she came through the portrait and frantically ran up to her room. I'm not really sure what spurred me to follow her; I think it was the way she was running. She looked like she had been scared to death.
I climbed up the stairs, brushing my shoulder along the crimson Gryffindor banner that hung there. I rested my hand on the door-knob and turned it, expecting it to be locked and quite surprised to find it wasn't.
I didn't see her at first, only heard her. She was breathing heavily and I could tell she had been crying. I found her behind her bed with her arms locked around her knees, rocking herself back and forth, with her head buried.
"Granger?" I whispered, hoping to get her attention, but she didn't hear me. I bent down to her level and rested a hand on her shoulder. Her head shot up. She looked terrible, with her eyes red and puffy but the pout she was sporting was rather adorable.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" she asked, in what I expected to be a malicious tone, but sounded rather defeated.
"Are you okay?" I asked, in the nicest voice I could muster.
"Why do you care?" she said, once again in that defeated tone.
"I don't like to see girls cry." I responded. Merlin knows why I shared that information with her. It was my one weakness. Pansy knew it and used it to her advantage, but I could always tell the difference between her fake cries and when she was genuinely upset.
"You wouldn't care." She answered, wiping her nose on her sleeve, leaving a damp trail behind.
"Try me." I said simply.
"I'm so stupid…" she muttered. I laughed slightly.
"I doubt that, you being the brightest witch of our age and all." I smiled at her and could see her eyes light up just a bit.
"Yes I am." She whimpered, being to cry again.
"Tell me what happened." I had sat down next to her now, my hand still resting on her arm.
"That horrible Lavender told me..." she paused to let out a sob. "that Luke Pincer wanted to ask me out on a date on the next Hogsmeade trip and that I should go ask him about it.."
Luke Pincer, a Ravenclaw who was just as studious as Hermione herself. It didn't come as much of a shock to me to hear she liked him. I had heard he was quite a player though and well, an arsehole at that.
"Yeah?" I responded, she had paused again.
"I don't know why I trusted her, she's been horrible to me for weeks and made it so Ron barely speaks to me, but regardless I went to talk to him and asked if he wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me and he just laughed and told me…" She began to sob again.
"It's okay Granger. What did he say?" I asked.
"He told me that I was ridiculous and even he had better taste than that. And so I talked to Lavender and she just laughed and said that's what I get for trying to steal her precious Won-Won away…" She was getting angry now, and the tears had stopped. "when I did no such thing."
She started crying again and I could tell that wasn't all.
"Then what?" I asked.
"That's it." She replied, sniffling softly before burying her head and sobbing.
"I may be an arse but I'm not stupid. What else happened?" I asked, hoping for a true response this time.
"His friends had laughed at him after I left and when I was coming back from class he cornered me on the fourth floor by the tapestry of Salazar Slytherin," I knew the tapestry, and it hadn't been far from our dorm. Only a few feet away actually. "he threw me against the wall and told me if I ever embarrassed him again then I'd regret it. He was holding me by the neck…" I couldn't help but look at her throat as she said this and saw red marks, my anger automatically rose. "so I spat in his face and told him to fuck off…" That's the Granger I knew. "and he slapped me and let me go." I couldn't see marks on her face due to how red and swollen it was because of her crying but I believed her. She had resumed sobbing and I was beyond furious.
"What a slimy little fucker." I seethed.
"Why do you care? I'm worthless." She said, staring at the floor and I could tell she truly believed that. I took her face in both hands and raised it to meet my eye.
"Granger, you are not worthless. We may not get a long too great but that's just because you're stubborn and I'm a bastard. You are attractive and incredibly smart. Luke Pincer is an arrogant twat and I'll deal with him." I said, staring her right in the eye. Her eyes lightened again.
"It is NEVER okay to strike a woman, especially not someone as brave and brilliant as you."
And with that I stood up, prepared to leave to deal with this child.
My stomach fluttered hearing her say my name but I couldn't tell you why.
"Yeah?" I said, my voice shaking slightly.
"Did you mean that?" She sounded so unsure. My back was still towards her but I turned my head slightly.
"Every word." And I left.
It was dinnertime. I had planned on going right before Granger came in so I was now a tad late. That suited me fine though. I wanted an audience for what I was about to do.
As soon as I entered the Great Hall, I strode purposefully over to the Ravenclaw table, picking out the black locks of Luke himself.
I picked him up by the collar of his shirt and turned him to face me. Fear, written across his face. Good.
"Uh, hey Malfoy, whats up?" He asked, his voice shaking.
"WHO TAUGHT YOU IT WAS ACCEPTABLE TO RIDICULE A WOMAN?" I yelled, so everyone in the Great Hall heard. We were the center of attention now.
"WHO TAUGHT YOU IT WAS ACCEPTABLE TO STRIKE A WOMAN?" I yelled louder.
McGonagall rose from her seat and strode over to us.
"Mr. Malfoy, what are you doing?" She asked, flabbergasted by my actions.
"THIS LITTLE GIT HERE SEEMED THAT HE WAS WELL WITHIN HIS RIGHTS TO CORNER THE HEAD GIRL IN THE HALLWAY AND NOT ONLY THREATEN HER BUT SLAP HER ASWELL!" I was fuming now.
McGonagall stared at him in shock.
"Mr. Pincer, is this true?" She said, astounded.
"No! I would never…" He started to say. I shook him as hard as I could.
"TELL THE TRUTH!" I screamed. McGonagall put a hand on my arm and I released Pincer.
"It's okay Mr. Malfoy. I believe you. I'll handle this. Please go make sure Miss. Granger is okay." I nodded and walked away, risking a glance at the Golden Trio only to see Potter and the two Weasleys smiling at me. The Weaslette even gave me a thumbs up. I was too shocked to respond in any manner so I just walked out.
When I reached our common room, Granger was asleep on the couch. She had a book, The Golden Compass, I had never heard of it, resting on her chest. Her hair had fallen in her eyes and she had that adorable little pout on again. I reached forward and brushed the hair away, my thumb rested on her bottom lip. I thought at that moment, I don't think I can hate this girl anymore.
As that thought left my mind, her eyes fluttered open and instead of freaking out or running away, she smiled.
"I hoped you'd come back." She whispered.
"Why?" I asked, terribly confused.
"So I could thank you." She said, her bottom lip rubbing against my thumb.
"You're welcome. And I'm sorry." She gave me a questioning look. "For being so horrible to you."
She laughed softly.
"I actually kind of enjoyed our little spats." She replied. She sat up, pushing my hand so it rested on her cheek. I don't know why I hadn't removed it yet. I ran my thumb along her cheek bone and voiced an unthinkable thought.
"Hermione," I began. She looked startled, yet happy at hearing her name on my tongue.
"Yeah?" She whispered, moving her face closer to mine by less than an inch. I could feel her breath on my face and I closed my eyes.
I whispered back, "Can I kiss you?"
I never got an answer. She merely closed the distance and pressed her lips against mine. I responded instantly and placed my other hand gently on her neck. She parted her lips a little, allowing my tongue to glide over hers and nothing had ever felt more natural. But as fast as it happened, it was over and we were staring one another in the eye, each asking the same question: what now?
I could only think of one thing to say.
"You are far from stupid, Granger."
And placed my lips on hers once more.
Authors Note: So what did ya think??