Here is a one-shot about Draco and Hermione. It's set in the future, AU I think and they are a bit OOC.
Rated M for security only.
Please, be indulgent with my English, I'm not a native English speaker.
I hope you'll like it!
And remember, a review will always make an author smile =]
Enjoy your reading!
A Hell of a Broom
'Gryffindors are courageous. Courageous. They don't back away from anything, less from a challenge. They don't run away. Never.'
Hermione couldn't believe where she was nor what she was about to do, all because of her damned Gryffindor courage – or pride in fact, for it had nothing to do with bravery and all to do with a stupid defy she should have refused, if her pride would have allowed her to do so.
A broom in one hand, the other tightly clenched into a fist. Was she really about to ride a broom?
'Hell yes!' screamed her Gryffindor nature. 'Hell yes you're going to fly!' repeated that same nature a little louder when she raised her eyes to the man facing her. She'd prove him she wasn't a coward.
The Sorting Hat never made mistakes. She was a Gryffindor, a courageous Gryffindor, and it was all that mattered at that moment – albeit she had to admit her fear of heights seemed to weigh a lot in the scales too.
Hermione wouldn't have minded to refuse the challenge if it'd been coming from Harry or Ron. They used to try quite often to get her on a broomstick, always in need of more players for their parties of Quidditch. She thought they'd have grown tired of asking her, but no, all those years of her rejecting the idea hadn't made them lose hope. She had to admit she sometimes had doubts about the legendary Gryffindors' courage, but about their stubbornness, she could have none.
"Well, do you plan to ride it before Christmas?" the man facing her sniggered.
She jerked her head away from him. She didn't want to look at him right now because she didn't know how she'd react. Would she kick off right away to wipe that smirk off his face? Or would she jump in his arms so she'd be sure he wouldn't let her do it? She shivered, she wouldn't take such a risk as to immediately kick off. To jump in his arms would please him and, actually, when he was the stupid fool making her hold a broomstick, to please him was one of her last wishes.
"Do you know that to fly when it snows is dangerous?" he scoffed. "You can freeze, you can-"
Hermione abruptly turned toward him. "Shut up! I'm concentrating!"
The man laughed. "I didn't know such a brilliant brain as yours needed so much time to concentrate. I'm disappointed."
"At least I have a brain, unlike you Malfoy," she snapped.
Draco raised an eyebrow at her, far from being offended by her reply – lame it had to be said– he was rather amused by her efforts to look brave when he knew she craved to throw the broom as far away from her as possible.
He knew she was afraid of heights – it wasn't a secret – and felt slightly ashamed to force her to face her fear, but he wouldn't let her run away. She had to take up the challenge or else he'd lose his bet with the Weasel. And Draco Malfoy would never accept to be defeated by the ginger-haired man, if he had to put Hermione Granger on a broom and make her ride it high in the sky then so be it - it didn't even matter that it'd certainly be his last action for he doubted she would let him live after that.
He might have a chance to live after such a betrayal, but he'd have to be quick and discreet not to rouse Hermione's suspicion. The strategy had already worked many times before, and was probably one of the rare reasons because of which Hermione hadn't killed him yet, that and her feelings for him of course.
They'd met at eleven, hadn't been in very good terms then – no need to linger on the details – until they'd understood they were doomed to keep seeing each other even after their years at Hogwarts were over, for they'd chosen to study in the same College, and would spend their first year in the same class.
When he thought about it, Draco was certain it was that year which had condemned them to remain present in each other's life. It was a condemnation he'd never regret though. A strong bond had started to form between them, and had never ceased to grow since.
They had been freed from the Houses – he'd always be a Slytherin, and Hermione a Gryffindor, but the rivalry between them was no more, freed from their reputations – at least until a new one was given to them, and freed from their respective friends' influence.
Freed from these hindrances, alone in new surroundings, Draco and Hermione had instinctively clung to their only familiar mark left, childhood foes or not, they hadn't hesitated to stick together.
At first, they'd found it strange to willingly sit side by side in class, but had quickly stopped thinking too much about it. Separated from their friends, taking their first steps into a new life, to have someone with whom they were familiar to bicker had been their biggest comfort, a habit they both had been relieved, and happy, to continue.
One year later, when they'd discovered they wouldn't be in the same class any more, they'd been disappointed, and not reluctant to say it.
Over the months, a strong friendship had built between them – they still bickered, but that was a delightful habit they'd never grow tired of, besides it was normal for friends to quarrel sometimes, it was, in their opinion, the evidence of a sane relationship.
They knew what existed between them wouldn't disappear only because of their being separated in class, however it didn't mean they hadn't tried to change things. They really wanted to be together as much as possible, to make up for all the years they'd spent as foes in a way, for all the time they'd wasted.
Unfortunately, the lists had been definitive.
Disappointed after their meeting with the headmaster, they'd found refuge in a small muggle coffee in which they'd allowed themselves to sulk at leisure.
When they'd gotten out of it – several coffees and sweets later - they were determined not to let any distance be created between them. They would keep working together, going out, talking and doing anything else two friends could do together.
Hadn't they spent a year seated side by side, Draco was certain no relationship would have ever formed between them for he'd certainly have disappeared from her life and her from his. He was glad things had turned out the way they were now albeit, at that very moment, he doubted Hermione'd agree with him.
"Do you need any help?" he asked while perfectly knowing it'd only upset her more.
"No," she spat.
He shrugged, doing his best to hide his smirk.
"Do you want me to go to Hell?"
He should really stop teasing her, but it was too tempting. The way she always reacted to his provocations was too entertaining for him to cease.
"Yes please," she icily replied. "And you don't need to come back."
Draco raised a hand to his heart. "You hurt me!" he exclaimed.
Hermione shook her head, hoping to conceal her smile.
How dull her life would be if Draco wasn't part of it! However, she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of hearing it now, not when she wanted him more dead than alive.
A leopards cannot change its spots. Draco had roused the Gryffindor in her by letting his Slytherin side show up again. Their Houses were back in the game. Hermione had never let a Slytherin have the upper hand, she wouldn't start now. Her pride wouldn't allow it – well, if it was more serious, of course she could, but as the matter was only concerning the two of them, she wouldn't, indeed, allow her Gryffindor pride to yield to his Slytherin cunning.
"Hermione," she turned to him, "are you really going to ride that broom? I won't force you I-"
"Of course not," she cut him off, "it's just that if I don't ride it you'll keep on reminding me till- no with you there is no end to that sort of things."
Draco couldn't help but smirk. She knew him very well.
"Well, I can't promise I'll say nothing about it, but if you're really that terrified, I can understand you know. I'm not a jerk."
The muscles of her jaw tensed. She was restraining herself from laughing, from laughing hard he guessed as her knuckles became white around the broomstick.
"I'm not that much of a jerk. I'll only tell the truth. Hermione Granger was defeated by a broom. I wonder what it will do to your reputation," he, too, had the right to make fun of her.
Perhaps he shouldn't have. He inwardly winced as her eyes became two dark thin slits.
Hermione Granger was offended. And an offended Hermione Granger was something – trust his experience – nobody willingly wanted to face.
"Draco Malfoy," she began in a threatening tone, "you-"
"Still on the ground? See Malfoy, I told you she wouldn't do it."
Draco and Hermione turned to Ron at the same time – the ginger-haired man couldn't have chosen a worse moment to come, nor a worse comment to make, for Hermione was seething.
"What do you mean by 'I told you she wouldn't do it'?"
Ron instantly stopped walking, gave Draco a worried look, then – concealing his worry as well as he could, not really successfully – looked back at Hermione.
"No... nothing," he stammered.
Draco rolled his eyes, as if Hermione was going to believe him.
"Nothing really? You mean there is nothing going on between you and," she glared at Draco, "and him?"
"Absolutely nothing!" Ron quickly answered, absolutely not giving them away.
Hermione's eyes went back and forth between the two men. She knew they knew she knew they were hiding something from her. And she didn't like that, not in the least.
It was more an order than a question. He shuddered but kept silent. Hermione turned to Draco.
"You don't have anything to say either I suppose?"
He flashed her the biggest falsest innocent smile he had in stock. "About what love?"
Ron grimaced. Hermione rolled her eyes. Draco was skilled in the art of drifting from teasing to demonstrations of affection, everything to avoid a quarrel he knew he had no chance to win. Sometimes, she wondered what had taken control of her the day she'd accepted to become his girlfriend.
Craziness, sheer craziness.
"Yes my dear?"
It was Ron's turn to roll his eyes. A sweet Malfoy wasn't a sight he loved to have in front of him, much less when it was an exaggerated sweet Malfoy trying not to offend his girlfriend more than she already was.
It hadn't been a piece of cake to become used to see Hermione and Draco be more than mere friends – in fact, to see them be friends hadn't been easy to accept either – but time had made its job.
Everybody was now as used to their being a couple as they were to see Harry and Ginny together. It didn't mean Ron liked to witness their exchanges of affection – as false as it was now.
"Ron? Either you explain everything now and you have a chance not to be hexed, or you keep silent and I hex you both to oblivion, what's your choice?" Hermione said in a low threatening voice which made both men shiver.
Ron stepped backwards, if he spoke, he'd have to get, very quickly, as far away from her as he could. He knew he wouldn't be able not to tell her, but he was also aware she wouldn't merely let him go. Hermione Granger never came back to her words, but right now she had made no promise about a painless solution. Either he willingly spoke and got a punishment he didn't know about yet, or he kept silent and got hexed to oblivion with Malfoy. In both situations, he'd have to face her vengeance.
His sole chance was to run away – he'd love to disapparate, but was too stressed out to concentrate properly.
He turned his feet in the direction opposing hers. He hoped Malfoy wouldn't try to keep him there, hoping to use him as a shield. The Slytherin man would have to face his girlfriend alone, for Ron had no death wish.
"It's... it's nothing really," he hesitantly started. He had a hard time choosing the words which would decrease her wrath. "We just had a little chat about how... how sad it was that you didn't know about the joy of flying and... and I said that your security was more important but," if he stuck to the truth, he'd not get safely away from her. He shot a fleeting glance at Draco and mumbled the end of his new-made story as fast as he could. "But Malfoy said you were only being a coward and that he was the only one who would be able to make you forget your cowardice. I told him you were too intelligent to be deceived by him and that you wouldn't yield to the stupid defy he'd certainly corner you with. That's all!"
As soon as his sentence was over, Ron dashed off away from them, from their anger which had become frighteningly tangible. It was certain the Slytherin hadn't appreciated his version of the story, but Ron was less afraid of his wrath than of Hermione's.
He ran, not fast enough though to avoid Hermione's vengeance. Damn, he wouldn't be able to sit down correctly for days!
"They're a hell of a couple," he thought while disappearing from their sight. "Perfect for each other."
Draco was paler than usual. That wasn't the truth at all! The result was the same, but the Weasel had totally transformed his motivation!
He hadn't bet to prove he'd be able to anger Hermione enough for her to forget about her supposed cowardice, he'd made it to prove both, to Hermione first, that she was able to fly – she was a brilliant woman, there was no reason she couldn't fly as well as anybody else - and, to Ron, that if it was with him, she'd be able to overcome her fear.
The ginger-haired man had bet she wouldn't trust him enough to ride the broom because she'd know, if she fell, that the ground would be what would put an end to her fall.
"You're too slow to react in time," Ron had sniggered.
Is it necessary to tell that these two sill loved to tease and upset each other? They'd tried, to please Hermione, to stop quarrelling. It hadn't lasted long and, surprisingly, it'd been Hermione herself who had asked them to go back to the way they used to be before.
To see them be so unnatural together had made her ill-at-ease besides, as strange as it could sound, Hermione felt they would only be friends if they kept on bickering at leisure.
Men were odd creatures.
And soon, they would lose one of their representatives.
Draco swallowed hard when Hermione finally turned her attention back to him. Ron had been – in spite of his future complaints – hexed rather gently, he feared it wouldn't be the same for him.
Of course, he could tell her the truth, she wouldn't believe him totally, but her certainties about his culpability would falter and then, her hesitation would give him time enough to ensure his safety.
However, on seeing her face, the slits which were her eyes, the tight line which formed her lips, her brows furrowed, he honestly didn't think she'd give him a mere second to explain himself.
He could disapparate out of her reach, but the idea wasn't even crossing his mind.
"Anything to tell for your defence?"
Hermione wasn't stupid, she knew Ron hadn't spoken the truth, so scared as he had been, he might have thought it'd be safer to put everything on Draco's back, but she also knew that her boyfriend wasn't totally innocent.
Both men were guilty, and their fear was enough to satisfy her, but she wouldn't admit it, for it'd ruin all the fun.
Draco raised his hands in front of him. "Please love, let me explain."
"Draco, do you think I'm a coward?"
His fear decreased a little, she had stopped calling him by his surname, it was encouraging.
"Of course not!" he sincerely exclaimed. "You're one of the last persons I'd ever think to call a coward!"
Hermione nodded. "Then do you think I'm less of a witch because I never ride a broom?"
His eyes widened. "Are you crazy? Why would I think of such a thing!"
"Then why did you want me to fly? Don't you know how much it scares me?"
She could have asked in a gentle tone, but where would have been the fun?
A hole would have been near him, Draco would have hidden in it without a second of hesitation. His fear had increased again. He didn't know where she was going, but he was almost certain he didn't want to go there with her – for once he wouldn't mind her going somewhere without him.
"I know!" he whined. "But I thought you would find it fun, fun and not that scary. I know you're able to fly-"
"Of course it's not-"
"And," he slightly glared at her, no matter how angry she was and much scared he was, Draco didn't like to be cut off, "I thought you trusted me enough to fly in my company. You know I'll never let you be hurt."
"It hadn't always been true," she treacherously pointed out.
This time Draco frowned at her. "But now it is. The present matters more than the past, doesn't it?"
Hermione felt ashamed. She was the first to scold him when he spoke about their past as foes, and there she was using it against him herself. Perhaps she had a small tendency to be a ferret too.
"I trust you," she stated, then raised the broom in her hand, "but when it comes about that thing I trust nobody any more."
He shook his head. "I thought you would make an exception for me."
"Draco," she almost whined, she hated for him to look so hurt. It broke her heart – true she had been about to hurt him several second earlier, but it was physically, and deserved, nothing to disturb her heart indeed.
He held back a smile. There, he was slowly getting her less and less angry, by making her ashamed and sorry instead. That wasn't a fair move, but that was a move which would save his ass, therefore it was a good one.
Or would have been if Hermione didn't know him so well. She was soon glaring at him, hands firmly set on her hips, her wand pointed to the ground, but Draco knew better than to think he'd have time to flee before she raised it again, against him.
"Malfoy," she growled.
An idea, an idea, quick, or else... No he'd find an idea before anything too bad could happen.
He took a step forwards. He had to be discreet, and sly, if he wanted to reach her before understanding dawned on her.
"Malfoy," she repeated angrily. "You weren't trying to make me feel sorry, were you?
"I don't understand."
Hermione frowned. He was trying to upset her more, wasn't he? But why? Was he so stupid as to willingly rush his death? She wouldn't go as far as killing him of course, but there was no need to tell him that.
Draco hoped she'd be immersed enough in her own thoughts not to see him coming closer and, more important, not to understand what he was about to do. If she didn't, then he was safe, if she did, he swallowed hard, he'd have made things worse.
Fortunately, Hermione was startled enough by his attitude not to focus on his moves. She couldn't quite understand why he was trying to make her angrier. Wouldn't it be more dangerous for him?
She sighed. Four years of being his girlfriend and his mind still seemed as twisted as before to her.
They'd started to date when they were twenty-one. She would never forget the date because it had been for her birthday. Draco never failed to say he had been her present to whoever wasn't aware of their story yet – there were very few people left who didn't know about it, but he still succeeded in telling their story quite often.
Though it was now one of her dearest memories, at first it had been far from being one of her best birthdays, rather the contrary in fact, for she had spent the day hurrying from a test to another, running through the corridors of their College not to be late, fighting with the librarian to be allowed to borrow more books to complete her homework, and to the displeasures of school had been added her friends' apologies, her party had to be cancelled for no one would be able to be present, prevented from celebrating with her by too much work.
Hermione had been resigned to spend her birthday alone, in front of some stupid TV show, and for sole comfort tons of sweets which she would buy before going back home.
She hadn't been angry with her friends, well aware of how much time studies could take, she had only been disappointed that none of them had tried to see her during the day. She hadn't met a soul which had wished her an happy birthday, none about which she cared deeply. Even Draco hadn't crossed her path.
She hadn't bothered to switch on the lights once in her flat, she had only thrown her belongings where a table was supposed to be, caught the remote and collapsed on the couch. Or at least she thought she'd collapsed on the couch, but instead found herself laying on top of someone, of someone she knew very well.
"Draco?" she had squealed.
Indeed, Draco Malfoy had been laying – sleeping – on her sofa when he should have been buried under tons of books for his coming tests.
His only answer had been a wide goofy smile to which she had replied by slapping his chest, tears running down her cheeks. Until then, she hadn't realised how disappointed, sad, desperate even the idea of spending her birthday alone, of spending it without him, had made her be.
That night, after he'd wiped the tears away from her face, he'd admitted he couldn't have forgiven himself to leave her alone on such a wonderful day as was the day of her birth.
She'd asked if he was drunk, while perfectly knowing he wasn't.
Draco Malfoy drank alcohol, but was never drunk.
He hadn't been drunk that night, not because of alcohol at least. However, he'd craved to be by her side, to accompany her into the beginning of her twenty-first year, not as a friend though, he wanted to be more, much more than her friend, and had planned to make his move on that important night.
Whether Hermione would agree with him or not, he had had no certainties then. He knew she cared deeply for him, but there was a risk it was all. Perhaps he'd make a fool of himself by telling her he wanted more, honestly he didn't care, all he wanted at that time was to live without regret.
They had both already reached their twenties, he wouldn't wait any longer. He wanted to spend his life with her as his other half, as his soul-mate, for it was what Hermione Granger had been, was, and would always be, his soul-mate.
He hadn't planned what he'd do if she said no, although he'd been certain whatever would be her answer, it wouldn't separate them. Even if he had to suppress his love to only be her friend, he would willing do such a painful effort, because to be away from her would be merely impossible.
His worries had been useless though, for Hermione had thrown her arms around his neck and passionately kissed his lips – well it wasn't what had exactly happened.
Hermione had effectively wound her arms around his neck, pulling herself close to him, but the kiss hadn't been very passionate at first, rather clumsy and odd, but love had passed through it, and that was all that mattered.
Love. Their were in love. Hermione Granger loved Draco Malfoy as much as Draco Malfoy loved Hermione Granger.
Friendship, then love. Foes, friendship and love. The circle was complete.
Hatred in childhood, friendship in their first years of adulthood, love for the rest of their life. It was fine with both of them.
Hugging each other tightly they'd rolled off the couch, onto the floor of her small flat in magical London.
No carpet, no silk sheets, no cushions and soon no clothes either.
They'd been laying bare on the hard and cold floor, none of them caring, warmed up by their love, by the passion rousing in them as their hands explored the other's body.
Finally, they were allowed to be as close as they'd craved to be for a long time. A time they didn't think they'd wasted for they'd spent it as friends.
But that night, on her twenty-first birthday, it'd been the right moment to take things a step further or else their friendship would have become a waste.
Draco's hands caressing her shoulders, running down her arms, brushing her stomach, her thighs, then grabbing her bottom, firmly although lovingly. Her own hands tracing his eyebrows, his nose, his lips, the line of his jaw, her lips taking the same path, then lowering to his chest, down to his stomach.
The contact of their bare skins, the warmth emitting from their passion, their moans, then their cries of pleasure.
Hermione remembered everything as clearly as if she was still in her flat, on the floor, in his embrace, their first real embrace, their first one as lovers.
A shiver of want ran down her spine as she felt his hands around her waist, pulling her tightly against him, trapping her in his arms, in the web she should have seen coming, but wouldn't complain not to have.
She dropped her wand carelessly on the floor to wind her arms around his neck. She could never resist his embrace.
"Unfair," she whispered in his neck.
Draco smiled. He knew it was unfair, deliciously unfair.
"I don't understand," he murmured in her brown curls.
Her hands ran through his silky hair. "I should be angry."
He kissed her forehead. "Why?"
"Because you've made a bet about me." His hands had lowered to her bottom. Her voice was weak. She knew he'd already won. And he knew she knew he knew it too. He slid a leg between hers.
"A bet? What bet?"
She slightly punched his chest. He swiftly caught her wrists and brought her hands to his lips, kissing them slowly, tenderly.
"The one you've made with Ron," she moaned. He was making her dizzy. Damn, he knew her too well.
All of a sudden, he cupped her face and gave her a passionate kiss. His lips roamed hers until she granted him further access. Then, their tongues started to dance at a fiery rhythm, their fiery rhythm.
"Hermione," Draco moaned when her hands caressed his bottom. She slightly nibbled his lower lip.
Damn, he'd forgotten she knew him well too.
"I'll show you the sky," he murmured. She abruptly stopped her caresses. The sky, the broom, the bet, his arms, his lips, their kiss. The sly ferret! She pushed him away, not caring about his startled face.
"I will show you the sky Draco Malfoy," she retorted in a different sort of passion.
Taking back her wand, she pointed it to the broom, then to Draco and, as she muttered some spells, a smirk stretched her lips.
Draco took a step, backwards this time. She wouldn't dare, would she? No, she'd certainly not dare interrupt an intense moment to get her revenge, would she?
"She would," he murmured as he saw the broom flying towards him and felt an invisible force put him on it – on the wrong sense he might add – then took off to the sky, almost vertically.
He wouldn't scream, but his knuckles turned white around the broomstick, as white as Hermione's had turned earlier in the afternoon. He didn't know how long she intended to keep him up in the air, but what he did know was that he'd have to perfect his method to ensure his safety for it wasn't very efficient.
He glanced to the floor and whined. Hermione was now sitting against a tree trunk, an open book in her hands, her eyes firmly set on it. From where he was, he could discern the volume of the book, at least five hundred pages, and she was only at the beginning of it.
Panic started to wash over him. When Hermione had a book in hand, she usually didn't let go of it until she had reached its very end.
Five hundred pages.
Five hundred pages for the broom to go faster, higher, with him unable to control anything – he couldn't even turn in the right sense! He loved flying, but not when the broom was flying him.
What had she ordered it to do? What sort of acrobatics it would make? Draco would rather not know.
"Love!" he shouted. "How long are you going to keep me there? Love!"
On the ground, Hermione smirked but didn't raise her head.
To keep him in the air was a punishment for both of them. It was her revenge, her reply to his stupid cockiness, but it was also her punishment to have been so easily deceived by his slyness. The ghost of his touch was still lingering on her skin, deliciously tormenting her.
She licked her lips. They would have plenty of time later to continue what they'd started.
Plenty of time really, once he'd have learnt what sort of Hell a broom could be, in five hundred and ninety-nine pages to be exact.