A/N: I don't know. Just…here. *shoves fic at you*
Disclaimer: Not mine, not for profit, not the most productive way to spend my time, not complaining.
The Whole Truth
(And Nothing But)
Pansy sat herself primly at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall and was immediately inundated with hushed questions from her surrounding housemates.
"For Salazar's sake you idiots, act natural." She waited long enough for her friends to regain their composure while casually filling her breakfast plate.
Across from her, Draco leaned in under the guise of reaching for the sausages. "Well? Did Mitsy come through?"
Pansy replied with a sly smirk. "Of course. Every beverage at the Gryffindor table is now thoroughly laced with veritaserum. Should make for interesting dining conversation, no?"
Draco leaned back in his seat, eyes pinned expectantly on the golden trio. "Excellent."
Hermione rushed out of the hall, cheeks flushed and eyes flashing, with Ron and Harry following close behind.
"Hermione, wait! I don't know why I said that—"
She cut Ron off with a wave of her hand as she spun around to face him. "You said it because you're a shallow, thoughtless, insensitive jerk who cares more about the size of a girl's tits than the kind of person she is!"
Harry stared at Hermione wide-eyed, his shock only increasing as he opened his mouth. "That's true. You should hear the way he talks when you're not around. Oh bugger."
"Shut it, Harry! You're just trying to sabotage me so everyone will like you better, even though they already do! Why do I keep saying this stuff?"
The light of recognition dawned in Hermione's eyes. "Boys, I think we've been fed truth serum. In fact, I think our whole house has been fed truth serum. I mean, did you hear what Parvati said to Lavender back there? That was brilliant."
"Oh hell," Harry muttered as the full implications began to sink in. "This could be really dangerous!"
Ron let out a whimper and hurriedly slapped a hand over his mouth, just as the sound of footsteps caught their attention. They all watched with wide eyes as Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini rounded the corner behind them, each wearing suspiciously mirthful expressions.
"Oh, this can't be good," Harry said as Ron mumbled his agreement behind his hand.
Hermione whipped out her wand and cast silencio at the two boys. "Run! Split up, we'll find each other later!" They didn't need telling twice. Harry took off up the main staircase, Ron headed down towards the dungeons, and Hermione fled to the main entrance, darting outside and down the front steps.
The three Slytherins exchanged glances and then split ways, Blaise and Pansy chasing after the boys and shouting incriminating questions down the corridors. Draco took off after Hermione, following her through the grounds toward the lake. He reached a cropping of large, mossy rocks and stopped, having lost sight of her.
"Oh Granger…where are you hiding?"
"Over here, near the water—damn!"
Draco followed the sound of her voice and stumbling footfalls as she clambered and climbed over the rocks, finally clearing them and heading for the forest. Draco caught up with her just before she darted beneath the trees, lunging forward in a burst of speed and tackling her to the ground.
They scrambled and tussled as she tried to squirm out from under him, but he used his weight to pin her down, now lying on her back with her clothes and hair an absolute wreck around her. She looked up at him with wide eyes and hastily slapped both hands over her mouth.
"I don't think so, Granger," he huffed, yanking her hands away and pinning her wrists to the ground. "Now, whatever shall we talk about?"
"Get off me, you little sociopath!"
"No not that; that sounds boring. Let's see…what would be the most embarrassing thing to a swotty little bookworm like you? Oh, I know…sex!"
"Oh please, Malfoy!" She scoffed. "Don't try and pretend there's ever anything else on your mind other than sex or your unending inferiority complex."
Draco narrowed his gaze and tightened his hold on her wrists until she yelped softly. "Right. So, is the great Gryffindor Princess still a virgin?"
"Yes, and that is none of your business!"
"Quelle surprise. Hmm, well, in that case, when was the last time you wanked?"
"Aargh! You are the most vile, horrible little pervert—last night in the prefect's bath."
"Really? Now we're getting somewhere. Were you thinking of anyone in particular?"
"Ungh, yes, please don't ask me…"
"You know I have to."
"No, you don't! Just leave it alone, Malfoy please!"
"No, no, now I have to know." He smirked down at her as she started singing some muggle song at the top of her lungs, eyes pinched shut, obviously hoping she could drown out the sound of his question and thus not have to answer it. Unfortunately for her, Draco was much too determined for that. He leaned in until his mouth brushed the shell of her ear. "Who were you thinking about, Granger? Who did you think about while you were touching yourself, all hot and wet and wanting it so bad?"
Hermione let out a growl of frustration, and he could clearly see the battle raging behind her panicked eyes. She was fighting it hard, but not hard enough. Her mouth opened as her eyes slammed shut, entire body tensing beneath him as she let it all out in a breathless rush.
"You! You, goddamnit I was thinking about you, you hateful, arrogant, malicious, bigoted—"
"Woah, really?" Draco stalled, his waiting taunt forgotten. "That's, erm, I wasn't expecting that."
"I hate you." She trembled slightly beneath him, eyes still tightly closed.
"Not entirely, it seems. Why don't you tell me what you really think of me?"
Hermione sucked in a great breath and dared to meet his eyes again, her expression fierce. "I think you're horrible. You're arrogant and cruel to anyone too frightened to stand up to you. You may be clever, but you never bother to apply that cleverness to anything even remotely worthwhile, and you're not half as good-looking as you think you are. You try so hard to be the person your family wants that you haven't bothered to develop an actual personality of your own."
Draco's eyes were big as saucers, but she seemed to be just gearing up.
"I hate the way you treat my friends, I hate the way you call me mudblood, I hate the way you strut and prance about the castle, and I hate the way you're always on my mind, the way your taunts and insults hurt so much even when I know I shouldn't care." Her chin was trembling now, eyes filled with tears that were just starting to spill over her inky lashes. "I hate that it had to be you, today, finding me like this. I wish it was anyone else but you!"
She was crying in earnest now, and Draco found his voice softening, even as he tried to inject real venom into it. "If I'm so horrible, then why were you thinking of me last night?"
Hermione turned her head away, giving him what he considered a fascinating view of her pale neck, all tense and stretched as she tried in vain to move away from him. "I can't help it—it's my nature to see the good in people, to judge them based on their potential, and not the mistakes they've made, and you have so much potential. It's enormously frustrating to see you waste it the way you do."
Draco didn't really know what to say to that. Part of him was angry, but mostly he just felt…wrong. All cold and heavy and not at all how he should be feeling. He was jolted back into the moment, however, by a far-off voice calling for Hermione. It sounded like Potter, and Draco knew his time was almost up.
"Quick, Granger, what's your deepest, darkest secret?"
She turned back to him, brows raised and clearly caught off guard. "I destroyed Snape's private study last year."
"That was you?" he asked, just as surprised as he was impressed.
"Yes. He'd just been especially horrible that day—I found Neville in tears after class and Harry wasn't speaking to anyone at dinner. I went to confront him, but he wasn't there, and I just sort of snapped. It felt really, really good."
Draco laughed, loud and honest, before shaking his head. "Merlin, Granger. Alright well, meet me at the Room of Requirement at ten o'clock tonight, alone, or I'm telling everyone."
"You heard me. Later, bookworm." With that, he rolled off of her and took off, leaving a dazed Hermione staring up at the sky and blinking away the last of her tears.
Dinner at the Gryffindor table that night was a tense affair. The veritaserum had worn off long before the first classes were over, but the damage done in that short amount of time was not insignificant. Quite a few relationships, friendly and romantic, were suffering considerable rocky patches. Hardly any of the girls were speaking to each other. The boys, generally less sensitive about such things, fared little better. At the center of it all sat the trio, awkwardly pushing food around their plates and eyeing each other nervously.
Ron was the first to break the silence, throwing his fork down noisily. "Alright Hermione, that's it, I can't take it anymore! Tell me what happened with that slimy little ferret today, or…or…"
Hermione sent him a stony glare. "Or what, Ronald? You'll move me down the list of 'Hogwarts' Tightest Arses'? What was my current ranking again?"
Neville spluttered and choked on his pumpkin juice beside Ron, but the angry redhead hardly noticed.
"Oh come off it, Mione. It's not like I was saying anything bad about you. You should be flattered, really."
Neville's eyes widened as he surreptitiously scooted down the bench away from Ron, while Harry shook his head slowly and murmured "Oh, Ron, no…" under his breath.
"Flattered." Hermione's expression was worryingly blank, a clear warning sign to all present, except, it seemed, for the one person who should have taken notice.
Hermione stood slowly from her seat, took hold of her glass of milk, and threw its contents in his face. Ignoring his sputtering, she turned and strode from the hall, chin raised high and shoulders back.
Meanwhile, at the Slytherin table, Draco looked on appreciatively as his housemates broke down in laughter around him.
Ten o'clock found Hermione standing across from the hanging tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy, arms hugged tight around herself and lower lip pulled anxiously between her teeth. She was, for the hundredth time, attempting to talk herself into leaving when Draco rounded the corner and, without saying a word to her, began pacing in front of the blank stretch of wall behind her. After the third pass, a door materialized and he yanked it open, pulling her inside and closing it swiftly behind her.
He continued his pacing inside, expression thoughtful, while Hermione studied the room. There was a crackling fire across from a large settee, but by far the most prominent object in the room was a large, decadent-looking bed topped with countless fluffy pillows.
Her jaw dropped and she turned accusing eyes on the still-pacing Malfoy. "I'm not going to sleep with you just to keep my stupid secret, Malfoy, so just forget about it!"
He stopped his pacing to watch her, and she could clearly see some kind of resolve building behind his gray eyes. She flinched slightly as he reached into his pocket, retrieving a small bottle filled with clear liquid.
"Oh no." She said, shaking her head. "No more. Not happening."
He quirked his brow at her, watching her back away as he removed the stopper and, taking a deep, fortifying breath, brought the bottle to his lips.
She gaped at him as the potion hit his tongue, watched him swallow it down without breaking eye contact, and then replace the stopper and put the bottle on the table.
"Ask me anything."
Hermione's expression was full of skepticism as she inched forward, taking the bottle from the table to examine it. "How do I know this is even real?"
He shrugged. "You could take some yourself. Veritaserum has neither flavor nor scent, so it's really the only way to be sure. Or you could just trust me."
She sent him a pointed glare before unstoppering the bottle. "I must be crazy…" Bringing it to her mouth, she let just a drop fall onto her tongue.
Draco smirked at her. "What color are your knickers?"
"Blue. Oh hell."
"Go on, Granger. Don't you want to ask me anything?"
"I want to ask you so many things I can't even think where to start. Why are we here?"
"I wanted to talk to you."
"You realize this is not how people typically go about achieving such a goal, yes?"
He shrugged at her, just a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"Okay." She frowned. "What did you want to talk about?"
He took a seat on the couch, gesturing for her to do the same. "My potential."
She sat gingerly down at the far end of the couch from him and rolled her eyes. "Of course, how could I ever have thought you might want to be involved in a discussion that did not revolve around yourself? How silly of me."
"You know, this would be a lot easier without all of the antagonistic remarks."
She smiled sweetly at him. "Truth serum, remember?"
"Right. Clearly this was a bad idea." He started off the couch, but she reached out and caught his arm as he moved past.
"No, wait, I'm sorry. You've been perfectly, well, not-mean since we got here. I suppose I can extend the same courtesy."
He looked down at her hand on his arm and, with a slightly mischievous smile, sat back down, quite close to her this time. She inched away, but couldn't go far before she was up against the arm, and Draco moved in to fill what small space she'd left between them.
Hermione cleared her throat nervously. "Okay then. You said you wanted to talk about your potential? What about it?"
"Well, you said I had it, and I just wanted to know what you meant by that."
"Just that, you know, I um…"
"Yes?" He leaned in, and her eyes widened before blinking rapidly.
"I just think you could be a really appealing person. If you wanted. Which you clearly don't."
"Maybe I do. Tell me, Granger, just what qualifies a person as 'appealing' in your book?"
A faint blush was rising in her cheeks, and her hands were fidgeting on her lap. "Oh you know, the usual stuff. Smart, funny, charming, handsome…"
"You think I could be those things, or you think I already am those things?"
"Um…" He was seriously invading her personal space at this point, and she was looking more than a little flustered. "Both, sort of. You maybe are those things, but you seem to hide it well."
He laughed a little, and she shook her head in confusion.
"Why are you asking me all of this? Why do you care what I think?"
"Because I find you appealing…when you're not being a bossy little swot. Well, actually, I can work with bossy…"
"I don't believe you."
"Truth serum, remember?"
"Well, maybe you tricked me, and you never really took any! What color are your underpants?"
Draco leaned in until his breath was tickling her ear. "I'm not wearing any."
He drew back until their noses were nearly brushing, his eyes sweeping over her face and down to her parted lips. "I want to kiss you."
She swallowed heavily, eyes trained on his mouth. "I want you to kiss me…but I'm not having sex with you."
He smiled. "That's alright, I can wait."
"You'd be willing to wait? For me?"
He nodded, murmuring his reply just before his lips pressed against hers in what would turn out to be the first of many kisses. "Honest."