"There you are! I've been looking for you everywhere you idiotic – What the hell is going on here?"
Draco Malfoy looked up from his aviator sunglasses to spot a very angry Hermione Granger. He chose to ignore her, concluding that she was overreacting as usual, and decided to lie back again.
"Malfoy?" No response. "Malfoy." Still no response. "MALFOY!"
He sighed and lazily asked, "What's up your knickers, Granger?"
"Why are there two first years feeding you grapes and fanning you?"
"It's a rather hot day and I had a hankering for grapes." He said nonchalantly.
"And how do these two children fit in the picture?"
He looked at the two girls and said, "Well, they were following me around school for weeks now, trying to get a piece of The Malfoy. So, I decided to give them what they want – time with me."
"By making them your slave?"
He fake-gasped, "Granger! How could you say such things? I would never allow myself to be unwillingly served!"
"You have 10 house elves in your Manor."
"Haha, yeah, who was I kidding? I love being served! But seriously Grange – can I shorten your name to Grange?" She opened her mouth to protest but he just continued on, "Seriously, I never forced them to feed me and fan me. Right girls?"
The two giggled and blushed when Draco looked at them.
"Told you!" He gestured to the two, "Willingly making The Malfoy's life so great!" He then gave a relaxed sigh.
"Has anyone told you that 'The Malfoy' sort of looks like Cleopatra lying by the Nile?"
"The who lying by the what?"
"Never mind." She rolled her eyes. She watched the whole scene in front of her. Draco was lying down on a blanket under a tree by the Lake. On his left side, a brunette was feeding him grapes and on his right, a red-head was fanning her with what she could only assume was a giant leaf he conjured for his benefit. Suddenly remembering why she was looking for him she said, "We were supposed to meet in the library an hour and a half ago! We have a project, remember?"
"What project was that again?" He said, not even bothering to look at her while he spoke.
"Muggle Studies, you idiot! Remember? We were so unfortunately paired to report on a Muggle invention and present it to the class in a week. Ugh, you are impossible to work with!"
He smirked, "That's cause people usually work for me, Grange."
"Don't call me that." She said, sitting down under the shade near him. She suddenly felt the sun beating down on her and she needed to be cooled.
"Uh… You, Girl, fan Granger over there. She looks like she needs some air." He said, ordering the red-head. The red-head happily obliged.
"No, thank you very much." She said sweetly to the girl then turned to Draco and scowled, "Do you even know their names?"
He was silent for while, "Uh… This brunette over here is uh, Looly?"
"Lucy. I'm Lucy." The brunette said scowling.
"Right, Lucy! Lucy and – Brenda! Hah! I got the other one's name right. Right?" He asked the red-head. The red-head, well, Brenda beamed. She was nothing short of thrilled that Draco Malfoy remembered her name.
"Lucky guess." Hermione mumbled. "Seriously though! Malfoy, get off your ass and let's come up with a blasted report so I can leave you alone and you can go do whatever you want. And then we won't ever have to speak again until the day of our report." She beamed at that thought.
"Well not speaking to you won't be good for me. I enjoy out exchanges of insults. It's like my daily vitamins. Can't go a day without bugging Granger!"
"MALFOOOOOY. Can we please be serious now?" She then proceeded to bring out books she took out from the library, a parchment and her favorite quill. "What Muggle invention do we report about?" A serious tone in her voice.
"Ugh, fine. You take the fun out of bickering." He sat up, "Girls, you can go now. I need to 'be serious' with Granger over here. I'll call you if I need you." He winked at each of them and they both ran off giggling and blushing like mad.
Hermione rolled her eyes and muttered something under her breath.
"Jealous, Grange? You know you'll always be my favorite girl." He winked.
"I would rather get stomped on by giants." She retorted. "So, I was thinking we could dazzle the class with something extremely common for muggles but something wizards don't really understand. Like microwaves!"
"Miker-what?" He asked, confused.
"Mi-cro-waves." She enunciated every syllable. "They're these small metallic boxes that muggles use to heat food in." She then flipped her book over to show him a photo.
"Hmmmm… Nah. I veto your suggestion. It's too simple! So what, we bring a microwave and cook? BO-RIIIING! Next idea?"
"What is an iPod?"
"It plays music. It's this tiny metallic thing, some are even smaller than your palm, and it stores like a thousand or more songs that you can play anytime, anywhere." She fished her bag for her iPod and showed it to him. They tinkered with it for a while. "See? It's amazing."
"Hmmm, this is quite inventive. I gotta hand it to those muggles. But seriously Grange – ha, that nickname's growing on me – we need something bigger! Something that we'll have fun showing them how to use! Like… like… let me think first of the things I see in Muggle London."
He was silent for a while thinking. Hermione savored the silence and looked around at the scene before them. Hogwarts really is beautiful. She sighed happily and started to daydream of a handsome wizard who will sweep her off her feet and – "I'VE GOT IT!" Draco screamed excitedly, ruining Hermione's happy thoughts.
"WE SHOULD REPORT ON THOSE METAL THINGS THAT MOVE!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You are such a boy. And stop yelling at me. I am right next to you! Okay, why cars, then?"
"Well, because that way we can actually enjoy giving them a demonstration of how it works!"
"Do you mean to say we'll actually bring a car over here to show them?"
"Precisely! Good to see you catching on, Grange."
"And pray tell how are you going to bring a car to Hogwarts?"
"I can have mother send one over. It's for school so no one can object. I'll talk to Snape so he can give us the go signal and then boom! Best Muggle Studies presentation in Hogwarts history. We will teach our classmates how to drive! I've always been fascinated with how fast those muggles go with their cars. Plus, I like the fact that they're so shiny."
"Now, you're such a girl."
"Be thankful, Grange that I'm finally taking an interest in muggles. If it weren't for the mandatory Muggle Studies we needed to take after the war, I would never even breathe next to a muggle. No offense meant, though."
"None taken. Seriously, that's the nicest way you have ever reminded me that I am muggleborn."
"So… Cars! Lend me a parchment and a quill and I'll write to Mother right away." He started writing and called for one of the House elves to mail his letter.
"It's really that easy for you to have your way, huh?"
He cocked an eyebrow at her and said, "Malfoy. They call me Draco Malfoy."
"Fine." She said, giving up. "Let's get started, then."
A week later, in Muggle Studies, Hermione and Draco reported on cars. They showed them photos, talked about its history, how it is used and gave them some fun trivia about cars. All the boys in class, especially the muggleborns and half-muggles were excited. Those who knew about cars, racing and engines started to add a bit of insight to their report and everyone was bustling with excitement when Draco said,
"And now everybody, if you can please follow me and Granger outside, you will get to see how cars work and maybe even get to try driving one!"
The class jumped to their feet and followed the pair outside. What Hermione saw baffled her beyond anything in this world. Muggleborns, half-muggles and even the purebloods around them suddenly gasped in awe. Harry and Dean looked with excited eyes at the car in front of them.
"You got… a Ferrari?" She screamed in shock and amazement.
"Is that bad?" He asked, worried that their report may not go well.
"Malfoy, this is like one of the most expensive and probably the fastest cars in the world. This is insane! I can't believe you spent so much for our report!"
"Well, blame Mother. I told her to get the best and well, this was what she produced. You should be happy, look how awed they are!"
When Hermione and the rest of the class got over their surprise, she started showing them the parts of the car and explaining what each button did. The girls loved how red and shiny it was while the boys just marveled at how handsome it looked.
"Now, who wants to try driving?" Malfoy asked holding up the keys.
Around 20 hands shot up in the air all at once.
"Uh, Malfoy?" Hermione whispered, "You actually have to know how to drive a car to drive one."
"Isn't this just like flying? You sit on it, it goes and you enjoy the speed?"
"Uh no. Didn't you pay attention to the fact that muggles need licenses and lessons to be able to drive?"
"Well… Granger! Do something! We can't very well be embarrassed in front of everyone here! I don't know how to operate this bloody contraption." Draco squeaked.
She laughed. "Thankfully, Malfoy, I took driving lessons last summer as per my father's request. I have a license and I can operate this 'bloody contraption'." She said borrowing his words.
She then faced everyone and said, "Actually, we can't have you drive all at once. Unlike flying, this isn't a touch and go thing. Like we said earlier, you need lessons and a license to legally drive. So, I'll demonstrate and we can go for a ride later! Who knows, maybe some of you with previous experience can actually try driving."
She grabbed the keys, got in the car and started the engine. She drove around for a while and explained to them how to maneuver, park, reverse, etc. Everyone 'ooh'-ed and 'aah'-ed. Harry and Dean still gaped in awe. Hermione showed them how fast cars go, and because she was driving a Ferrari, she did not disappoint. Draco smiled as he watched Hermione drive around. Huh. That actually really looks like fun.
When everyone got to have a ride and their other classmates who knew how to drive actually drove, the bell rang and classes ended for the day. At dinner, the seventh years were still bustling with excitement at what happened earlier in Muggle Studies. Harry was beaming when he told Ginny that he drove a Ferrari. Ginny didn't share his sentiments nor understood why he was bustling with excitement but pretended to be awed. She didn't want to ruin Harry's happiness.
Hermione was beaming, too. She and Draco aced their report and earned 50 points each for their houses for a job well done. She was basking in the attention of everyone who wanted to hear more about cars and driving and gladly answered all questions. ("If I drive really, really fast then hit the brakes suddenly, can I send someone flying off?", "So you just sit there and press stuff and turn the wheel to get to places?", "Do people really use that car thing as a sport?") To top it off, they were serving her favorite dessert – apple pie! Suffice to say, she was having one of the best days.
She was humming to herself as she walked out of the Great Hall. She wanted nothing more than to be rid of Malfoy. For a whole week, they spent every night together, working and arguing. Now, she just wanted a quiet evening to relax. She was close to her dorm until someone called her. She turned around to find Malfoy with Lucy and Brenda (who she secretly called Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee) trailing behind. He waved them off and ran to her.
"So, our report was a hit! I believe you owe me a 'thank you'."
She rolled her eyes, "I was part of this whole project too, you know. You should thank me too."
"Yeah, but it was my idea." He winked.
"Yeah, but I saved our report by actually knowing how to drive."
"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have anything to drive."
"But you would have crashed and burned if it weren't for me."
"I spent around a huge amount of pounds for that car, Grange. I have the upper hand here." He winked.
"No one told you to spend that much for a bloody report. You could have just rented one." She scowled.
"Still, I got us a Frari."
"Fe-rar-ri! Honestly, you spend so much on something you can't even pronounce right!"
He smirked. "Whatever. I'm still waiting for that thank you."
She was tired of this so she gave in. "Fine, thank you Draco Malfoy for your brilliance and your millions of galleons, or pounds in this case! Where would I be without you? Oh Draco, you make my life so much easier!"
"No need for sarcasm, Granger. But you're welcome. I know deep inside you meant all of that."
She rolled her eyes and turned around to walk away.
"Wait!" He said. She turned around. He was fidgeting.
"What do you want, Malfoy?"
"I…" more fidgeting. "I wanna learn how to drive."
Her eyes widened. "You wanna learn to drive? You want to learn an actual muggle thing?"
He nodded. "I… I really was fascinated with cars and well, seeing you drive today, well, it looked like fun and I… I wanna learn too. Can you teach me?"
She sighed. "Aren't you sick of spending so much time with me?"
"No." He almost whispered. "I kinda like it."
And so for the next few nights, Hermione taught Draco how to drive. It wasn't very hard. He was a fast learner. He only needed to work on his control of the gas pedal. Hermione swore they moved faster than light whenever he got so excited and accidentally floored it. He also needed to work on stepping on the brakes gradually. She had to heal several bumps and whiplashes. All in all, though, it was an experience that she can describe as… fun.
After a couple of weeks, they were driving around the grounds again. They had to charm the grass so as not to leave horrid-looking track marks that drove Filch mad. Hermione was observing Draco drive. He was more relaxed and in control now, thank Merlin. She did not want any more whiplashes and bumps on the head.
"What's your favorite about taking drives?" He asked.
"Huh?", a confused look on his face.
"Unlike apparating or traveling via Floo or Portkey, driving buys you time. When I was growing up I played so many car games with my parents whenever we went on road trips. I always loved sitting in the backseat and just watching the world go by. I loved the music we played and I just enjoyed the company they provided. Driving buys you time with the ones you're in the car with. And if it's someone you like then it's definitely enjoyable. That's the best part for me."
They were silent for a while.
"Of course, boys will disagree." She continued, laughing, "For them, speed is the best part. Why boys like to fast forward everything is beyond me."
"I disagree with only your last statement."
She looked at him in disbelief. "Oh, so you expect me to believe that Draco Malfoy likes driving because of the time you spend with your passengers and not because you go very fast in a shiny car that attracts so much attention?"
"Why do you think I wanted YOU to teach me to drive?" He asked, turning to look at her and smiling at her. "I could have asked someone else. Blaise knows how to drive."
She didn't think he was saying what she thought he was saying. "Are you saying—"
"I like the time." He said softly then turned to look her in the eyes. "I like the time I get with you."
A/N: Hahahahahaha. There. I dunno why but I love making short stories of possible ways Draco and Hermione can fall in love. It's my new addiction. Oh, this story was inspired by my very own love who just said he loves taking drives with me. That was where I got the idea.