Hello! I'm back for a little one-shot. This was thought up of when I was - once again - pondering something about the Golden Trio. This is, essentially, just letting out my thoughts! Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I own nothing at all.

X0X0

This is starting to become a little irksome, Hermione thought desperately, struggling to attach her eyes to her plate of eggs, instead of the oblivious group of three.

A little? she thought again, as her eyes betrayed her and strayed to that bloody table, where she blinked in dismay at how much… fun… they were having.

It was horrible, really, when Hermione realized the major problem. Ron and Harry were unmindful as usual, and carried on with their usual Quidditch lives as if nothing ghastly was encumbering their very existences.

And as soon as Hermione thought that thought, that thought that she very much would rather not think, she felt immensely guilty. Because who was she to think that, when Ron and Harry were the greatest friends one could have?

A giant clatter brought Hermione back down to Earth, and she glanced across the table, through Harry and Ron's shoulders, to heave a sigh at the sight that awaited her.

Blaise Zabini, the oddly nice Slytherin, and contradictorily Draco Malfoy's best mate, was roaring with laughter as the groaning man sprawled out on the floor below him, cursing up a storm that almost made Hermione's ears bleed.

Pansy Parkinson, who actually was not quite as pug-faced anymore, was snorting with giggles, nearly falling off her bench as Draco indignantly stood up forcefully, pulling out his wand and changing his hair from pink back to its platinum shade of blonde. Pansy's giggles abruptly cut off as he snapped out an arm as he sat down, effectively sliding Pansy quickly down three feet and essentially laying across Goyle's lap.

Blaise and Draco both raised their eyebrows at Pansy, both keeping exceedingly straight faces, as the tiny girl shrieked and scrabbled back, while Goyle smirked nastily and raised his own eyebrow, looking slightly more hungry than even Ron could be.

Pansy retaliated by chucking a plate of eggs at Draco, who ducked by actually grabbing Blaise's tie and yanking him in front of his face. Blaise screeched bloody murder, egg yolk dripping from chin, and launched at Draco. The two rolled around the ground, Draco laughing hysterically, Blaise slapping him and trying to fight the grin that threatened to spread across his high cheekbones.

Dumbledore merely raised his wand, used to the commotion, and gently pried the boys apart. Snape merely grunted from his chair, not even looking up, and McGonagall stirred disapprovingly, though anyone that was not awfully stupid could see that she was, in fact, pleased.

Hermione could see where that was coming from - a cheerful Draco Malfoy (while creepy but unrealistically real) was so much better than a brooding, Death-Eater-in-training-Draco-Malfoy, which he was last year.

Draco suddenly let out a high-pitched whine that he immediately blushed from, and Blaise ceased his tickles, his plan fulfilled.

"Bitch!" Draco said, loudly, and without a care in the world about who might hear it. Not even the teachers did more than roll their eyes, and some of them even smiled a little.

Hermione felt her eyes burn.

The 'Silver Trio', the rowdy three Slytherins, were better friends than the 'Golden Trio'.

It was… disgusting.

Harry was poring over the Daily Prophet, and Ron was (Hermione raised a surprised eyebrow) reading about Quidditch moves.

Boys, Hermione thought grumpily, her selfish side wanting them to maybe talk to her? But, Hermione mused sadly, it wasn't 'boys'. It was 'Harry', and 'Ron'.

Hermione never thought she'd truly be jealous of Pansy Parkinson… but, she was. The petite dark-haired girl was currently talking animatedly to Blaise and Draco, who - Hermione frowned - were listening. Bizarre. Hermione didn't think boys were actually capable of doing that. But then again, Hermione thought for the millionth time, it wasn't boys, it was-

"Harry! Ron!"

The three of them looked up and glanced towards Angelina Johnson, who was heading up the aisle and turning quite a few heads. She beamed at the two, leaning in.

"Today's practice starts an hour earlier, okay? We need to practice new dives."

"Mhm," Ron mumbled. Harry said a reply, and the two chatted for a couple seconds more.

"So-" Hermione started, but Ron interrupted.

"Sorry, Hermione, but we have Quidditch practice so we can't do your house-elf thing today, sorry-"

"Yeah," Harry fervently said, earning a small nod of approval from Ron, "We're starting just after breakfast… we won't be done until lunch-"

"Sorry, Flint," a cold, drawling voice overpowered Harry's feeble excuse, "I'm busy."

"Malfoy, how can you be busy? What are you doing, homework?" Flint sniggered, and Draco sighed loudly.

"I finished that. Anyway, I don't feel like practice today."

"Git," Ron said under his breath. "Stupid git, takes Quidditch for granted-"

"You don't feel like it?"

"Correct. And I have to actually have a life now, so I apologize," he sneered, sounding exceptionally not-sorry at all.

Flint was perhaps feeling a bit mild that day, because he just uttered a few swear words and stalked off, yelling, "Extra practice later this week, Malfoy! I'll hex you!"

"You do that!" Draco called triumphantly, grinning his mischievous grin with the prospect of an empty day in front of him. Hermione glanced away suddenly; she had just realized she had been staring raptly.

"Thanks, Draco," Pansy said, smiling softly at him. Hermione felt a little lurch in his stomach. He did it for her?

"Yup, thanks, mate," Blaise burped. "We never get you alone anymore… let's have some fun today."

Draco smiled a rare smile. "I have to go to the library for about thirty minutes, but I'll meet you guys in the common room later."

"Bye, Draco," Pansy kissed his cheek briefly, before turning her attention to her morning paper, which just arrived. Blaise punched Draco's arm as he stood, shoving more muffins into his mouth as he said cheerfully, "See ya."

Hermione watched him saunter out, feeling something empty in her stomach.

Pansy Parkinson… Hermione studied her. She was certain that Pansy had no feelings for Draco. Sure, Hermione amended, Pansy liked Draco first through third year, but now it was no more than she herself and Harry.

Blaise Zabini was quite a character. He was boisterous, loud, entertaining, and still a Slytherin with his cunningness and wit. He didn't seem to have an evil bone in his body, but Hermione knew that he did. It was probably his toe bone.

Those three… they were more deafening and obnoxious than Peeves. Blaise and Draco constantly punched each other, pushed each other down stairs, and threw insults across the Great Hall everyday. Pansy and Draco were always hugging, him giving her piggy-back rides and tossing her small frame up into the air. Blaise and Pansy were always talking, doing something together. They laughed, they took walks around the castle together. And none of them were romantically involved. Hermione once even stumbled across Draco, Pansy, and Blaise in the library, snoring away on a couch innocently. Draco was on the bottom, though he was thinner than Blaise, and Pansy, who had been clearly reading beforehand, was lounged on top of him, dark hair falling into her closed eyes. Blaise was on the other side, shoes off and socked feet inches away from Draco's unknowing face. This was probably when Hermione's obsession with the Slytherins began.

In other words, the three were perfectly comfortable with each other.

Hermione loved Harry and Ron dearly, but she couldn't see herself sleeping on a couch with them. And that's what she wanted, she realized. Not to sleep with them, per say, but to have that reassuring ease around each other to be able to act like teenagers who insulted playfully.

Hermione certainly didn't want Harry and Ron to be chucking each other off the Astronomy tower now, but she couldn't help but feel that she and them were… mild.

Now, Hermione understood the 'goody-two-shoes' role she had played for the better part of almost seven years.

Harry and Ron across from her were talking about - guess - Quidditch, so into the plays that they spared her no attention, even when she tentatively asked the time. Neville muttered a 'nine' at her, which she accepted and absently nodded.

Blaise and Pansy were making some sort of house with their pancakes, and three tiny stick figures of bacon acted as the Slytherins. Pansy distinctly mouthed 'Draco' to Blaise, who roared with laughter as she cut the bacon in half lengthwise, to make that one the skinniest.

Draco was kind of thin. More so than last year.

Hermione couldn't deny it any longer: she thought that the Slytherins were more fun.

Tame. That's what she was. Tame. Hermione groaned and clattered her fork to her plate. Harry looked up concernedly.

"Is everything okay, Hermione? Are you feeling alright?"

Hermione wanted to scream, but instead she just replied, "I'm fine, Harry, thanks."

Hermione bet if Draco groaned aloud, Blaise would snort and ask him if he was still drunk from the night earlier.

Hermione bet if Pansy swore, 'fuck you', Blaise and Draco wouldn't even bat an eye.

Hermione bet if Blaise suddenly wanted to sneak out to Hogsmeade, Draco would say, "We just did that this morning, mate".

If Hermione did any of those, she would be stared at for hours. She would be sent to the Hospital Wing, or confined to bed for the rest of the day.

But damn it, she wanted to - to - have fun. She wanted to sneak out sometimes, she wanted to just be a freaking teenager and swear. She wanted to be playful, and joke around with her friends instead of 'business affairs'.

She tried.

"So… Harry, since you have your invisibility cloak and all, I was thinking we could go to the kitchens today-"

"What?" Harry cut in, looking astounded. "Hermione, you're Head Girl!"

Hermione resisted punching him. Draco Malfoy was Head Boy (somehow), and even the teachers didn't exactly try to stop him from sneaking around. "Well-"

"Are you okay?" Ron said.

"Yes, Ronald, I'm fine," Hermione said through gritted teeth. "Excuse me for wanting to have a little fun-"

"Fun?" echoed Ron. "Hermione, since when did you think sneaking out was fun?"

"Yeah," Harry smiled, "I thought homework was fun." Ron chortled, and the two exchanged amused glances, not even thinking for a moment that Hermione might be serious.

Hermione stood up. "I'm going to the library," she said.

"Bye," Harry and Ron chorused. Hermione stalked off, noticing that Blaise and Pansy were leaving at the same time she was.

She caught Blaise's eye for a split second, and he gave her the most peculiar look. But then she tore her eyes away, and fumed all the way to the end of the hallway, where she paused.

The kitchens are off-limits, she thought smugly. I'll visit Winky and Dobby. And Kreacher, I guess, she added as an afterthought.

"Granger?"

Hermione, who had tickled the pear and walked in absentmindedly, now stood rooted to the spot, staring at Draco Malfoy, who was shoveling down some sort of cake. A house-elf sat across from him.

"Malfoy?" she asked uncertainly. Something flickered in his eyes.

"What're you doing here?"

Hermione felt a flash of irritation. "Can't I go in here?"

"No. Technically, it's off-limits to students."

Hermione frowned. "So then, you're not allowed either."

"Oh please. Like the teachers care if I'm in the kitchens, as long as I'm not trying to kill McGonagall now." He seemed pretty damn jovial for someone who had almost killed himself after the war. "But you, Miss Head Girl, will be in trouble, because you have a record to keep up."

Hermione felt the familiar, aggravated mood of the usual jab at her 'perfect record'.

"Shut up, Malfoy," she snapped, looking around. "Dobby? Winky?"

Two elves appeared in unison, flashing bright, toothy smiles and beaming at her. "Miss Granger!" squeaked Dobby, patting his bobble affectionately. "What can I get for you?"

Hermione smiled back. "Just some cookies and milk, please." Hermione had finally gotten that house-elves liked to cook and clean, but she still avoided ordering vast amounts of food, unlike her two best friends.

Winky hugged her legs briefly before disappearing alongside Dobby.

"So, Granger, may I ask why you're eating dessert right after breakfast?"

"I can ask the same for you, Malfoy."

"Not really, because it's standard for me to break the rules, even if the rules of meals."

Hermione snapped like a dry twig. "What? Am I so damn prudish and good-two-shoes that I can't even go to the kitchens without someone questioning my state of mind? Maybe I want something that's exciting, and maybe I want to do something that breaks the rules!" she heaved out, glaring deeply at Draco, who had the nerve to look amused. "I still love school, I still love books and homework," she bit out, well aware of how she was confessing everything to her arch-nemesis, "but why can't I just do something fun for once and not be chastised about it?"

Draco's eyes glittered. "Going to the kitchens is exciting for you, Granger?" he smirked.

Hermione felt her face heat up. "I didn't mean this," she grumbled, waving a vague hand.

"Potter and Weasel too boring for you?" he sneered.

Hermione froze. "No," she said. "…people think I am."

"Can't blame them."

Hermione shot him a look of pure loathing. She stared at him, in his elegantly rumpled clothes and mussed hair, grinning wickedly and still eating that cake. The house-elf had long disappeared.

Perhaps they were such good friends because nobody had ever had a crush on another in the group. The Ron fiasco still burst an uncomfortable feeling into her stomach. But what about Pansy? Hermione sighed to herself. She liked Draco - even if it was four years ago - and now they're still the best of friends.

I want friends like them, she realized with a pang. A revolted pang. Why would she want to be friends with Blaise? With Draco? With Pansy?

"Tell me," Draco started, jerking Hermione out of her reverie, "why you, Weasley, and Potter are so… kind." He actually looked interested. "It's absolutely bizarre. I've never seen friends so civil. The only time I've seen you get past those uniform faces is when you fight, and that's about once every two years." He licked frosting off his fork. "I've been meaning to ask this."

Hermione twisted her lips. "That's what I've been wondering since the beginning of the school year."

Hermione tried to picture Harry and Ron mock-fighting at lunch, laughing and punching each other, rolling off the bench onto the ground, while onlookers smiled-

The image vanished as quickly as it was conjured. That wasn't them. It was Draco and Blaise and Pansy, who were notoriously… bad, Hermione mused lamely.

But then again… maybe they weren't such best friends after all, Hermione speculated sadly. Draco and Blaise were quite obviously almost brothers, so… relaxed to the point of being homosexual.

Hermione cracked a grin at this.

"Fred and George!" Hermione thought suddenly - and apparently saying suddenly as well. Draco quirked an eyebrow.

"What on earth are you talking about, Granger?"

Fred. George. They were like the Slytherin group, only redheaded and Gryffindor. Hermione was stunned she hadn't realized this at all. Fred and George - they fought everyday, they played pranks on each other, they were like brothers.

They were brothers, Hermione reminded her stupid side.

So why didn't she feel inclined to dash off and have some fun with Fred and George? It would without doubt be easier than dashing off and having fun with Pansy Parkinson, Blaise Zabini, and-

Slowly, tortuously, Hermione rested her eyes on Draco, who had somehow gotten another piece of cake.

It was him.

The bastard.

She didn't want to have fun with their 'Silver Trio'. She wanted to… Hermione gagged internally… have fun with Draco.

She wanted Draco to give her piggyback rides, and she wanted him to hug her goodbye like he did Pansy. Only this time, she wanted him to do it with affection. Love.

"Granger, I have to say, you are kind of creeping me out here."

Hermione reeled back, horrified, wondering if he had somehow read her mind. Then, she realized, after her outburst on Fred and George, she hadn't spoken once.

And then she had just stared at him.

"Ah," Hermione muttered, accepting her cookies from Winky - why had it taken so long? - and sitting down.

"I'll trade." Draco offered a forkful of cake. Hermione's eyes widened. She gazed into his grey, almost light blue eyes, which were sparkling sprightly. Uncertainty also traveled around the irises. Hermione could see her reflection: stunned, eyes wide, with her head cocked to the right.

Now, Hermione had no inclination whatsoever to find Blaise and Pansy and go sneak into Hogsmeade. She even apologized to Ron and Harry in her mind, thinking, I'm sorry, I really love you guys.

Because now, she was sitting across from Draco Malfoy, him giving her a forkful of cake and smiling ever so slightly.

Slytherins weren't more fun than Harry and Ron, Draco Malfoy was more fun.

Because she had never liked Harry and Ron in that way before.

Hermione chewed thoughtfully, eyeing Draco as he raised an eyebrow, still smirking as he downed her milk in one huge gulp.

"Thanks," Hermione said sarcastically. "Fair trade much?" She realized now that her heart didn't pound in hatred, it pounded with-

Draco grinned. "Don't worry, I'll give you more."

And he stood up, walked to the other side of the table, just like that, and kissed her smack dab on the lips, her emitting a gasp.

Who cared that Ron and Harry weren't Draco and Blaise? Who cared that they didn't poke fun at each other, playfully punch each other? Who cared that Harry and Hermione didn't give friendly hugs?

Hermione didn't care. Not anymore, that is.

Because she was hugging Draco instead, who was currently hugging her in a way that she would have kicked Harry to the moon if he had done that.

Harry and Ron were her best friends. Blaise and Pansy would, no doubt, be her new friends. And Draco… well, he was the middle of it all.

Hermione was wholly grateful that her little irksome thought had bothered her.

Draco kissed her again.

I didn't want to sit at the Slytherin table to laugh with Pansy and Blaise because I wanted to be friends with them instead. I didn't want to walk around the castle with them and joke around because I thought they were more fun.

I wanted to because Draco was there.

And now… she could.

X0X0

I had always thought that the Golden Trio were so - dare I say - NICE to each other. My best friends taunt each other, and get into mock fights.
But they are just so damn nice. Maybe it's just me that thinks that? Either way, I hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers,
Glalie773