AN: Hello! First off, thank you very much for taking the time to check this out; it's my very first time writing for the Harry Potter fandom—a fandom I've long loved and adored but have never really stepped foot in it other than a few stories to read. As this is my first, please be critical for any mistakes. You see, not having been too big on the actual syntax of Mrs. Rowling, I would cheat and just watch the movies… (I know—blasphemy!) Only book I read all the way was the seventh and that brought the books alive for me so… there's some background. I'm finally reading! And I love it now. Yay! Again, criticize—don't be shy about it. Because LOTS of things, I suspect, are off. Especially the means of how the plot begins. XD And beware: this is basically PWP and a sort of rambling.
Oh, and to note… This is for a couple I do not support. I could learn to love it; however, for the time being, it's pretty much very low on my list of favorites so I want further critique how I write them, mainly because most of what I see and think of when it comes to Draco are his negative aspects. Also, the listings (aside from the very first made-up site I pulled from my head) are all true; I wanted statistics—I'm pretty crazy like that; I like my statistics… -nervous laugh- And, no, I am not trying to start a fight—this was just a way to sort out my thoughts regarding D/Hr. Thanks for taking the time to read and review (If you do anyway. LOL)! ^.^
Dedication: For Makenna. Because you asked; but mostly because arguing with you is too much fun. (This is my attempt to see from your perspective, though. I'm being pretty nice here! XD)
DISCLAIMER: If I owned Harry Potter… I'd be filthy, stinking rich.
Summary: Hermione and Draco learn a little more about themselves and each other… *Parody* (Of sorts. It's not really funny—it's more of an expository prose essay. LOL)
Discovery: The Wizard Channel
The air was crisp and cool, tiny white puffs flittering in the firm breeze. Winter had settled once more at Hogwarts and the holidays were drawing ever nearer. Harry crossed the threshold with his two dear, best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
Hermione was carrying a particularly heavy package in her arms; four owls had come to deliver the package while the trio had been walking back from Hogsmeade. It was an early Christmas present from her parents; in the letter, it had stated they were too excited to wait till actual Christmas to show her. They wished her the best and hoped she would enjoy their gift.
"What do you reckon it could be?" asked Ron, eyeing it and testing its weight in his hands.
"Well," Harry suggested to Hermione, "You could open it now. What did it say in the letter from your mum and dad?"
"Oh, let's see…" Hermione muttered, pulling it from the string and skimming through it again. "Oh, right, it doesn't say. It just says it's 'a surprise.'"
They had reached the Gryffindor common room in no time at all. Hermione settled herself in an armchair nearest the fire and gingerly unwrapped it, deciding anything this heavy must be pretty delicate indeed. The contraption was a peculiar looking square mechanical device.
"Oh!" she said, confused but delighted. "It's a laptop." She had been hoping for a book; however this was quite a pleasant surprise.
"Really?" Harry spoke up; a long time ago, this would have excited him—having never had anything for himself, especially not anything such as a laptop—but it merely piqued his interest. It was a very nice looking computer.
"A what?" inquired Ron, eyeing the device hesitantly.
Hermione spoke, "Well, it's a device that Muggles use to communicate with one another, but it's also for other uses: looking up events, storing photographs and videos—it's a World Wide Web, Ron, simply."
Ron, having no idea what in the world the World Wide Web was, stared at the brown wrapping with a grimace. For one, it had the word 'Web' in it and that reminded him of spiders… He felt a shudder coarse down his spine.
Hermione pressed a button; it changed to a brilliant orange and the dark screen flashed on, causing Ron to flinch in surprise. The word 'Welcome' was written upon the screen and an odd, deep jingle commenced for the briefest of seconds, signifying it was on.
Hermione reached into the package and found further contents; a pamphlet explaining how to work it properly and disks to contain Internet access and add protective aid against viruses. Ron, thoroughly perplexed, raised a brow as Hermione fiddled with it.
For one thing, it was difficult because Hogwarts held no electrical sockets whatsoever—at least none that they had ever seen. Hermione was relieved that the battery was full and, since it was a brand new computer, wouldn't be dying anytime soon either.
Ron and Harry watched her for a time, but, eventually, both became rather bored. Hermione was, surprisingly, enraptured with it. There were so many books online! It had been a long time since she had read anything by Muggles so she was more than excited.
The common room was beginning to fill up with rowdy, cheery people. This was immensely pleasing to Harry and Ron, who had been looking for something to do. Having dealt with much over the past six years, it was perturbing to them when it was too quiet.
Hermione, however, had been looking up Muggle perspectives on witches and wizards, deep in thought and interested. So, being peeved, she excused herself and headed downstairs to the library. People questioned her about her and the 'weird grey box thing'. Knowing none were really interested in her lengthy explanations—though it would have helped them understand better—she merely said, "Oh, it's just a Muggle thing."
That seemed to be enough; their faces looked relieved at the brevity of her reply.
So, with that, Hermione found a table and commenced back into the Internet. She continued to search, astonished at all the viewings of witches and wizards. Of course, it should not have been so surprising—seeing she was the daughter of Muggles—but some aspects she certainly had had no idea. Then, curious about interactions, she typed into the search box.
Hermione's eyes widened a fraction at the first link. It read: Venom in the Heart: A Draco/Hermione site! The description said: Love this couple? Join us and see how much love stings, like a snake's bite (but it's so worth it!). Read the Web mistress' and our favorite fan fiction and look at the beautiful fan art! Especially the ones with sexual—
The description cut off there. Thank God…
"What is this rubbish?" she murmured to herself. Despite the protests in her mind—along with a mountain's worth of revulsion—she clicked on the link. In an instant, the screen had altered to one of green and black, the site's title a silver colour in a sharp, cursive font; a boy with blonde, slicked back hair—presumably Malfoy—had his arms about a girl, the two staring out at the audience with blank yet sensuous expressions.
"Is that… supposed to be me?" the young witch uttered in disbelief, "I do not look like Emma Watson!" She scrolled down the webpage, looking at all the different links leading to other pages of the site; there was so much: Fan art, Fan fiction, music videos from a place called YouTube, LiveJournal communities—the list went on...!
Bewildered she absentmindedly continued to scroll downwards, and there came a list of common tropes for the Draco/Hermione fandom. One popular plot was making the two of them Head Boy and Head Girl, often with adjacent bedrooms, but, typically, sharing one. Hermione felt her eyes bulge; then there was the subversion of the Snape/Hermione ("I'm paired with him too?" she cried out, frightening a few passersby.) Marriage Law Challenge: this was used in some fics where the Ministry of Magic enforced a decree that all Purebloods must marry Muggleborns to preserve the wizarding race; Hermione was incredibly glad that the actual Ministry had no inclination to perform such a law. The last trope involved a morbid future with Voldemort reigning after the war and Draco would be forced to use Hermione as a concubine to keep her from being raped and tortured. All of these tropes led to eventual romances.
Hermione's eyes were bulging so badly they hurt. The first two were downright ghastly but a concubine? To Draco Malfoy? The thought of it was like a splash of cold water; even being under the reign of You-Know-Who sounded like something she could handle much better.
Near the other links was one called: FAQ—Reasons For Our Support.
And, upon clicking that, came a list of actual manifesto, essays: Of Mudbloods and Ferrets by Wynn, An analysis about how the books support fanfic explorations of the relationship; Why Draco Hermione? Canon Provides Proof! By Bohemian Vixen; DHr Moments in OOTP by Pixyzombie (being intelligent, Hermione gathered it was the acronym for 'Order of the Phoenix'; she was extremely worried now… these stalkers.); D/Hr is Possible by Tripsy; along with a link to another site that supports her and Malfoy's supposed relationship.
"Oh my God…" she breathed incredulously, "We even have terminology?"
Leaning forward, lost in her musings, she had not felt the presence of someone behind her. A cold, mocking voice snapped, "What are you doing here?"
Flinching, Hermione held her anger in check. "It's very much like a public library Malfoy. Anyone can come in here."
Draco sneered and glared at the back of her head, "Scum like you shouldn't be allowed here, in my opinion."
"No one asked for your opinion," she replied in a clipped tone, "And if scum isn't allowed, perhaps you should leave."
His eyes bore into her scalp; she could feel it. But what she could feel the most was the hot flush of her cheeks; if he saw what she was looking at…
"You Muggles and your odd contraptions…" he muttered to himself, offhandedly whacking it with the back of his hand. Hermione rounded on him, angry that he would even dare to touch her possessions. Though her hair had covered the screen, as it fell back upon her shoulders, the Slytherin's brows rose at the title.
"What is this?"
Scarlet dusted her pale cheeks and she hurriedly attempted to cover it. "It's nothing!" she yelled.
There came a loud "SHH!"
Draco and Hermione froze; she clutched the shut laptop close to her chest, but it didn't seem as though he was going to leave anytime soon. Exasperated and desperate she hissed, "Aren't you supposed to be with your cronies Crabbe and Goyle?"
"They left for the holidays," he, surprisingly, replied in a nonchalant voice; cautiously, the girl raised her head. Pale orbs were fixated upon her Christmas present; she hastily turned away. The heat of his gaze made her uncomfortable.
Still unsure, she placed the laptop, slowly, back upon the wooden table. Draco was determined to see what it was that she was hiding. Promptly, he took a seat beside her, causing the young woman to shift away from chagrin, apprehension and anger. She could never understand why this always was—he was always able to send a torrent of volatile emotions through her, as tumultuous as a sea.
"Well?" he remarked, his voice aloof. "Aren't you going to continue?"
Licking her lips nervously, she sighed. "All right… but, believe me, you're going to be just as upset."
"What are you—?"
She opened it, and the screen was crystal clear; after a few seconds, Draco did nothing but absorb what it was; it was quite an abnormal piece of equipment. The content, withal, hit him hard and he rose to his full height, filled with an unquenchable rage and nearly toppled over from both shock and nearly tripping over the bench. "Me? With you? And that's who portrays me? I'm much more of the Legolas looking type with my features—that is absolutely ludicrous!"
Scoffing indignantly, she replied, "And you think I am happy about this? The last person I would want to be paired up with is you! As if Snape with me was not bad enough…" Though both men were quite even on the scale of who she would prefer never to go out with…
Watching the laptop's screen with a completely baleful expression, Draco's brows furrowed together. Hermione lowered her head, hands folded in her lap. He wasn't saying anything else. Choosing to ignore him, the girl tentatively scrolled downwards once more; she noticed Draco's eyes rise a fraction at the movement, blue optics following the peculiar rectangle that controlled the page's direction.
"Go there," he said suddenly. She halted and he pointed at a question that said, Why Dramione?
Acquiescing, Hermione clicked on it and it showed an entirely new page, and a lengthy one at that.
"Canon proof?" murmurs the blonde, a derisive sneer on his face. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"The books are their proof."
"Books? What books?"
"It's a long story—quite literally in fact."
Draco's face became extremely perplexed, and Hermione couldn't help the fleeting thought that he looked a lot less arrogant… Turning her attention back to the page, she skimmed down till one line in particular caught her eye: Similarities.
"I do not have anything in common with you!"
Draco turned back to the laptop. "Of course you don't! I am far superior to you, for one thing."
Rolling her eyes, she read silently. "Bossy? I am not bossy!"
The boy next to her gave a small chortle.
"Well, apparently, you are too! It says so right here!"
"I already know I am. At least I can admit it."
"Oh, really?" she inquired, pretending to ponder something. "Then I suppose you agree with the part about you being cowardly."
"What!" he bellowed.
There came the "SHH!" again.
"I am not cowardly," he whispered harshly, glaring at her as though she personally stated it to his face.
"It says so right here."
He suddenly smirked. "Is this still under similarities?"
"No, I accidentally went back up with the mouse pad and landed on that for Differences."
Looking annoyed, Draco quickly turned the laptop in his direction; Hermione protested but was cut off when he suddenly went paler than usual. She leaned closer to see what he was staring at, her hair lightly brushing against his skin; Draco didn't bother to move—he was too stunned by the short paragraph his eyes had fallen on.
Hermione's jaw slacked, and she gave a shocked huff. "'Dripping with sexual innuendo?'" she gasped, looking as though she was hit by a Stunning spell. "My 'Twitchy little ferret, aren't you, Malfoy?' comment was not meant that way!"
Looking away, Draco's pallid expression became a rosy hue. His eyes actually hadn't fallen on that paragraph in particular, although he had read it. What unnerved him greatly was the paragraph directly above the one she read aloud and the one below. In the one above, he saw what he had not done—insulted her looks. Pansy had done so, especially on the 'stunningly pretty' remark by Rita Skeeter and he had not made fun of her for being Potter's girlfriend either. Then the one below—oh that one was awful! He had not only admitted that she was smart, but pretty and brave, especially because she stood up to him.
Well, it was true… he reasoned. The girl was brave—either due to stubbornness, lack of sense (though he knew that she was the most sensible of the three misfits he attacked daily), or simply because she is. And… she really was pretty… Her hair was not as bushy—it just looked soft to the touch, just like her skin, flesh always tinged with color, and her eyes were fathomless dark orbs.
Stopping himself, he watched as she scrolled down the contraption again. She even had dainty, slim digits…
Her expression was suddenly red, but the small smile that curved her lips was what really caught his attention. Propping his head up, he felt his eyes narrow. "You kissed Weasley?"
"Oh, um," she slightly stammered, the crimson stain flowing further. "Well, yes… I had almost forgotten about that."
"Well, it was a good luck sort of thing." Hermione stated, brushing back a stray lock from her face. Still, the blush had not left.
"According to the quote, yes; but you certainly seem to like Weasley now."
Noting the acrid tone, Hermione sent him daggers. "I don't see why it's any of your business why I like Ron or not."
"So you do. Don't deny it," he added when she opened her mouth to protest.
Hermione heaved a sigh; it was not one of annoyance, but almost of utter defeat. "I don't know what to do about him sometimes…"
"Thick in the head is he?"
"And you're any better?" she challenged, ornery at his silent insults of Ron, "Unlike you, he doesn't feel the need to hide behind others and faces his challenges head on."
"Even so, he's always scared when he goes to fight."
"Despite the fact he can be fearful of the situation and insensitive and immature, he's always come through for me and Harry in the end and he is beginning to acknowledge his weaknesses—that's what makes him a man, and a better one than you."
Draco suddenly snorted, rolling his eyes and commented, "You are awfully emotional when it comes to that useless git."
Hermione suddenly smacked him on the shoulder, and Draco felt a throbbing sore, withal, made sure not to rub it. She hit quite hard though…
"You are a spoiled, arrogant and conceited little cockroach, aren't you?"
The words actually hurt and the Slytherin was at a loss how to retaliate. It wasn't his fault he was like this—it was just… shoved down his throat for sixteen years. Still, he was able to muster a glare, telling himself that she didn't know, and he looked down at the rest of the page.
"The Parallel of James/Lily-Hermione/Draco?" he asked.
Hermione decided to let this one go—seeing as how he had done it himself—and looked at what he stated; she sighed. "Just because James and Lily—well, at least Harry's mum—had disliked and quarreled with each other doesn't mean that everyone who argues is meant to be instantly. There has to be some likes in personality and taste otherwise it's not completely balanced."
"Like trying to pair a dog with a cat," Draco murmured.
Hermione nodded and hummed agreement.
Draco and Hermione sat there, not sure whether to continue looking or if they'd been destroyed enough mentally by it all. When she decided to wander briefly into the fan art section and bombarded by several images of sexual content, she finally shut off her laptop, face scarlet. She glanced at the boy who stared blankly at its surface, unmoving and features just as red.
"That was…" he fumbled for a proper word. "Well, absolutely horrendous."
Hermione stood, "I'm not as happy with the notion either."
Draco continued to remain seated, face propped up by a hand; then, "Are you going to show your misfits that?"
"Not at all!" she cried.
Draco glared in the direction of the hush and cursed, "If they don't like it, they can just shove it."
"Oh, don't be like that;" she chided him, "It is a public place like I said before."
Draco waved offhandedly; she headed for the exit, slightly surprised that he followed. He kept pace evenly for several silent moments; why wasn't she telling him to get lost? Being near him was certainly discomforting but he wasn't being, as Ron put it, a complete prick.
"You're smiling again,"
Hermione blinked. "Hmm?"
"You were smiling stupidly again."
"Oh… was I?"
Draco shook his head in bemusement. "You're a strange Muggle Granger."
"You're no prize pick yourself Malfoy."
He laughed. "I'm a prize pick for anybody."
"Even for a Mudblood like myself?"
Draco halted and gawked at her, sputtering. Hermione fought the urge to laugh hysterically—his face was priceless and she suddenly thought it'd be perfect for a MasterCard commercial.
"You?" he finally managed to choke, "Absolutely not."
"That's precisely what I thought. But you left yourself open for that one."
The blond snorted indignantly and rolled his eyes, sneering. "Don't get smart with me."
"But I'm always smarter than you."
Draco's face darkened, a slight frown furrowing his brow and she noticed the slight flashing in those pale orbs, blending perfectly with the fine, almost translucent tendrils, high cheek bones and white features, tinted by the flush of anger; and suddenly she wondered…
"Hermione!" called a voice.
Draco's head snapped up as she turned around, shocked to find Ron jogging straight for her. He looked pleased and relieved to find her, but his grin was a bit turned down whenever his own cerulean oculars flickered to the Slytherin behind her.
Cautiously, he stopped a foot beside her, glaring at Draco. "What do you want?"
Draco scoffed, "Nothing at all. I'm afraid I'll waste my time trying to fight with someone with no brain cells."
"Everyone, for you, isn't worth your time." Ron fumed near quietly, trying to pierce through the other young man's skin with only his gaze. "If you're not going to hit us with anything, then piss off."
Hermione felt the air thicken and she suddenly wondered if they were going to duel right in the hallway. Ron looked absolutely murderous and Draco's confident, arrogant stare made her mind snap back on.
"Ron, what is it?"
"I'll tell you on the way up." He glanced at her briefly before turning back to Draco.
Hermione nodded and began to walk in the direction whence he came; she looked over shoulder at the blond continuing to stand there, an expression she'd never seen before on his features. Finally, it seemed, he was annoyed quickly, made a face of disgust, and turned around.
When they were far enough, Ron looked at her, "Was he bothering you?"
Hermione shook her head. "No, he was… just talking with me."
"Talking? About what—his fat head?"
She bit her lip, wondering if she should be truthful. Deciding it would only lead to problems between him and her, she kept most of the conversation under low key. "Yes, he was just talking to me about things I found on my laptop. Called it cruddy and a stupid Muggle contraption—those sorts of things. Now what was it you were looking for me for?"
Ron brightened a little, "My brothers sent me some really great stuff this year—you know, instead of the usual junk they give me."
"They don't always give you junk."
"I know but still…" and, with him too, an odd flicker of something went across his face but didn't pry about it. How was it to live in such a large family and know everyone was better than you in one way or another?
An awkward silence shrouded the pair and he cleared his throat, "Did you manage to find anything on your… laptop—is that it? Yeah, it is—with him bothering you?"
Hermione nodded, "Yes, and like I said, he wasn't being a complete pest today. It must be the holiday season getting to everybody—most people get just a little nicer sometimes when it comes to the holidays."
"Eh, that's a load of dung. Filch and Snape are as terrible as ever."
She laughed. "That's why I said most."
Ron didn't chortle or anything; this was the quietest she'd ever seen him and it was both fascinating and disturbing. "Ron, are you ill?"
"No, just… really, did he say or tell you anything?"
She peered intently at him, "Are you… jealous?"
The young man suddenly picked up speed and she tried hard not to tease him and keep a straight face, "Wait, you are?"
Ron rounded on her, "No, I'm not jealous of that asshole— Maybe I am but… It's just, well— I don't like seeing him near you because you always wind up getting hurt or somethin' and I can't— I'm useless with protecting you— And… oh, forget it! A guy tries to be nice and it blows up in his face…"
Hermione tried to process it all quickly—he had spoken in such sharp, quick bursts that her mind found it difficult to compute, more so from the fact it was Ron speaking to her about all that. Even though he was now, undoubtedly, angry with her, she was touched by his raw concern. She hurried after him as he continued to stalk off.
"Hold on, Ron—" said Hermione, grabbing his sleeve.
"Oh, what?" he said, pulling away and jamming his fists roughly into his pockets.
"Look, there's no reason for you to be angry."
"Uh-huh, there isn't?"
"No," she told him, trying to make certain her sincerity reached him, "I'm very touched by your concern, honest."
Ron eyed her suspiciously. "Really? You're not just saying it so I don't feel like more of an idiot?"
"No, I'm not," replied Hermione, now grinning at him, "I don't see why you can't believe me."
He sighed, a small fog dancing in the frigid air, and hung his head while a hand ruffled through the flaming hair, brilliant and gleaming in the setting sun. "I don't know…"
And with those three words, she saw the glimmer of a boy struggling to become a man in the best way he can, trying to prove to the world his worth, that he wasn't just the third lame wheel in their trio of friends who can contribute as well, even if it was only a little.
Hermione was struck intently that that was the stark difference between him and Malfoy: both seemed to strive for something within reach, or even beyond that, but had their own method of going about it. They wanted to find their place in life—whether it was grand or not was all on preference. Ron was smart in his own way and Draco in his; but the latter was more cunning than anything and it didn't necessarily mean he was smarter. It just meant he was more manipulative.
Hermione's smile became gentle and she giggled, "Well, even if you don't believe me, I meant what I said."
Oceanic downcast orbs looked up, a tint of color dusting over his skin. "All right… I'll take your word for it."
She nodded, suddenly in a delightful mood and she held her laptop close as they resumed walking, this time, the silence was companionable.
"Hey," asked Ron, "What did you look up?"
She decided the heck with it and said, "Stuff about us,"
His eyes widened as his brows burrowed together. "You're lying."
"No, I'm not. It was quite interesting—I'll have to show you sometime. We're celebrities on the Web."
"Can you please not say 'web'?"
She laughed, "All right. But still, it was fascinating. There was even stuff about the end—" she stopped then, eyes wide with shock. "I could have found out the ending!"
Ron flinched at her high pitch. "Of what—our lives?"
"Yes! And I completely missed the chance! Oh, now I'm dying—not literally Ronald—to know what happens!"
He pondered for a moment. "Can't you wait?"
"Wait? Why would I want to do that?"
He shrugged broad shoulders that she never noticed before, "Half the fun. We'll find out together, won't we?"
She paused; he looked at her, staring, then suddenly beamed, eyes dancing in the dim twilight. "If you look up our future, you might try to change it—and we've seen how your little time thing-y is unhealthy for you. If it happens it happens."
"Right… time can't be altered, once you think about it. It really is set in stone either way."
"Exactly." He grinned wider.
She smiled back. "When did you become philosophical?"
"Reckon I'm just a closet genius." Ron joked, and held out his hand.
And as she grasped his larger hand in hers, warmth and a protective firmness reassuring her, Hermione realized that that was enough.
AN: I put in some hints of Draco/Hermione (-cough- MAINLY FOR YOU MAKENNA. –cough-) for people who like it but I HAD to put some Ron/Hermione in for me. Don't know whether they were in character—likely not—but still, I have to admit it was a little fun putting in a bit of the couple I support. It was interesting writing about Hermione and Draco but I do think it's overrated because... well, I've seen very bad ones. If there are good ones, let me know! I'm serious. XD