the yellow leaf

by refractive


"How did you like Macbeth, Malfoy?"

They were sitting outside a small café, an old paperback of the play resting between them. Malfoy pushed the book towards Hermione and shrugged at her question, stirring his coffee. She watched his graceful action, hypnotised, before shaking herself out of her stupor.

Malfoy and his family had left for France as soon as their sentences were lifted and finally seeing him again, wearing Muggle clothes no less, was surprising. That chance meeting at a London café four months ago led to a few more meetings until suddenly, it became a sort of ritual.

She remembered having to double back and sit down on the seat across from him to start an awkward conversation. She still wasn't sure what came over her that first day.

"It's better than Othello, at least." Malfoy said, sneering. She raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

"Just because it's Shakespeare's shortest play," she scoffed, taking out her parent's copy of Othello and comparing the thickness of the two hardback editions. "But honestly! Othello has to be-"

"One of the stupidest plays I've had the misfortune of reading?" he finished, before adding more sugar to his coffee. "If he didn't trust his wife, why marry her in the first place?"

"Because he loves her, perhaps?" she asked, rolling her eyes.

"Granger, I'm pretty sure Desdemona was just Othello's trophy wife." Hermione gasped in indignation.

"I can't believe you just said that, Malfoy!" she said, aghast. "Othello married Desdemona because he loved her!"

"And Desdemona fell in love with Othello because he told a story." He snorted. "Oh yes. Desdemona was wooed by the retelling of his childhood, or lack thereof."

"You have no romantic bone in your body," Hermione stated, shaking her head.

"That's not romantic, Granger," he said stubbornly. "That's bordering on ridiculous. Face it, Othello has insecurity issues and Desdemona's character is non-existent." Hermione rolled her eyes and chewed on her muffin, angry that he could state such points with confidence. She wondered if all Malfoys were raised to find faults in everything and everyone.

"Well, I still think Iago is a better villain than Macbeth," she said haughtily. "Macbeth was all bark and no bite. Also, he has the better soliloquys." Draco rolled his eyes.

"Iago may be brilliant and wise, but there's no depth to his character, either. He causes conflict for the sake of conflict. Macbeth- he felt remorse for what he did. Don't you think that makes him the better villain?" He paused. "Or does that make him the better tragic hero?"

"He can't possibly be the better tragic hero," Hermione said, frowning. "What did he do after he felt remorse, anyway? He went back to what he was doing. That's inexcusable, in my opinion."

"What was he supposed to do, then? Surrender? He had no one, Granger. His wife killed herself because she couldn't handle what she started. Every single one of his subordinates hated him and let Macduff into the castle. At least he died with honour."

"You're making excuses for him," she pointed out. Draco gritted his teeth. "We're supposed to feel sorry for him, but personally, I don't. He brought it upon himself. He had the choice not to listen to the three witches, but he did. He had the choice not to kill King Duncan and Banquo, but he did."

"Did he redeem himself in the end, though?" Draco asked quietly. "In your eyes, did Macbeth redeem himself in the end?" Hermione blinked.

"Are we still talking about Macbeth here?" she stammered, standing up. She felt trapped. Malfoy stared at his coffee, adding more sugar.

"Of course, Granger, now sit down," he said. She conceded reluctantly. They sat in silence for a few moments. Finally, she managed to swallow her apprehension.

"I can't help you move on, Malfoy," she said with difficulty. "Even if I forgive you-" He shrugged and she faltered, biting her lip.

"I don't know why your forgiveness means more to me than anyone else's, Granger- it just does."

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Prompt. Your otp fights about something sillyhpfanfictionprompts.

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AN. Well, this is my second attempt at the prompt. I hope this one is better? Thank you for reading!

Last edited on: 6 June 2012.