A/N: This story was written for the H&V Treasured Tropes Challenge. Thank you to Flaming Moth of Doom for the fabulous prompt: Draco learns to drive a car. Hermione is his instructor. He thinks driving is easy since if Muggles can do it, anybody can, right? Right?
This story is AU in that manual transmissions never existed. What's that you say? You can't change Muggle canon without having a reason? Hmmm. Well, let's just say that there was this very frustrated automatic car-driving author who couldn't figure out how to explain how to drive a manual car no matter how much she read about it, so she used a Time Turner and "accidentally" changed automotive history. Hope you enjoy the story anyway. :)
It seemed waiting was an inevitable part of life. Particularly when one was surrounded by inconsiderate morons. Hermione scowled one last time at her watch before she let out an exasperated huff and pulled out an enormous stack of parchment from her satchel. She may as well do something productive while she waited. Sitting down, she leaned back against the trunk of a large tree and began reading through some notes that she hoped would get her through what was more than likely going to be a very long day. She was several pages in and in a rather foul mood when she heard the rustling of leaves behind her. She didn't even bother to look up. After all, she knew exactly who it was. She could tell from the sound of his conceited swagger.
"You're late," she snapped. "I told you to meet me here at exactly nine o'clock in the morning. When I say nine o'clock, I mean nine o'clock. Not ten minutes before nine o'clock and certainly not ten minutes after nine o'clock."
"It's called being fashionably late, but you wouldn't know about that, would you?" sneered Malfoy.
"It's called being rude and wasting other people's time," said Hermione, not looking up from her notes. She knew it was a losing battle to ignore Malfoy's presence for long, but she also knew how much it annoyed him when she tried. He liked to be seen.
"Looking this good is never a waste of time," Malfoy replied cockily.
"It's wasted on me. Drown yourself in hair gel on your own time, or better yet, just drown yourself."
"It was only ten minutes," said Malfoy dismissively. "I don't know why you're getting your knickers in a twist."
Scowling hard at her notes, Hermione replied, "You just wasted ten minutes of my life. Ten precious minutes that I will never get back. Ever."
"Perhaps you should have spent those precious minutes learning how to use a hair brush, or better yet, a garden rake," said Malfoy, trying his best to provoke her.
"Why should I bother? I'm just going to spend the majority of the day wanting to pull it out anyway," she retorted, still refusing to look at him.
"Are we going to do what we came out here to do, or are you going to keep wasting my time bickering about stupid things."
"I'm wasting your time!" exclaimed Hermione indignantly, shoving her notes into her satchel and angrily pulling herself to her feet.
"Yes, precious minutes of my life that I will never get back. Ever," Draco repeated mockingly.
"Why you! You..." The words got stuck in her throat when she finally looked at him. Really looked at him. He was wearing a crisp white button down shirt and a pair of perfectly-fitting Muggle jeans. Nothing too extraordinary really, but she had never seen him like this before. He looked... good. Really good. "You... You're wearing Muggle clothes," was the only thing she could think to say.
"I believe in dressing for the occasion," he said, gesturing his hand dismissively at his Muggle attire. As Hermione continued to ogle him, Malfoy finally said, "Close your mouth, Granger. It's quite unattractive, even without the beaver teeth."
Hermione's mouth snapped shut, and she scowled at him. "Let's just get this over with," she huffed, heading toward the Forbidden Forest.
"You mean we're actually going in there?" asked Malfoy in disbelief, not moving from his spot.
Hermione stopped and turned around. "I told you we were, didn't I?"
"I thought you were joking."
"I would never joke about something as important as this. And this is VERY important to me."
"But there are werewolves in there," Malfoy practically whimpered.
"There are werewolves everywhere. Isn't your father best friends with one?"
Her sarcasm was not lost on him. "Not best friends," he muttered.
"Look, if you don't want to do this with me, tell me now. I wasn't really looking forward to doing it with you anyway. I'm sure I can find someone better to get my 'O' with."
"Like who? Zabini?" asked Malfoy suspiciously.
"It doesn't matter who; the point is you're replaceable."
"Fine," Malfoy grumbled, "but why can't we just do it right here?"
"Because someone might see us."
"Well, I do have a reputation to consider," conceded Malfoy, "but there must be somewhere else."
"There isn't anywhere else," said Hermione adamantly, starting off again toward the forest. "We need room to maneuver, and the Forbidden Forest is the only place not out in the open. Besides, we can make as much noise as we want there, and no one will hear us."
"Well, if you're going to put it like that," said Malfoy, rushing to catch up to her. "You'd better not wander off and leave me though. I mean, I wouldn't want to have to sully my hands having to save you or anything."
"I'll try to keep my damsel in distress moments to a minimum," replied Hermione, rolling her eyes.
They walked in relative silence for a while, but Malfoy kept flinching every time he heard a noise. It would have been endearing if not for the fact that it was so irritating.
"What was that?"
"For the tenth time, I don't know!" exclaimed Hermione, losing her patience. "It was probably just the wind or something."
"What do you mean, or something?"
"I don't know. There are all kind of creatures that live in this forest. It could be anything. Hearing noises isn't that big of deal. It's when you don't hear any noises that you have to worry."
"What was that!" exclaimed Malfoy again as soon as he heard another noise.
"It was a unicorn. A shiny, pretty unicorn. Okay? Can we please keep moving?" asked Hermione exasperatedly.
"I'm tired," Malfoy whined. "I'm not going to have any stamina left. How much farther do we have to go?"
"Until we find the right spot. Now quit complaining."
"I should have known you'd be the type to get turned on by danger," mumbled Malfoy. "Why else would you hang out with Potter all of the time? This had better be worth it."
"What are you talking about?" Hermione asked.
"Never mind. Just hurry up and find your 'special' spot."
They continued walking in silence without incident. It was almost enjoyable. Malfoy had finally stopped jumping at every little noise, and it felt... comfortable. However, she got the distinct feeling that something was different – that something had changed between them. It wasn't until she felt the tingling sensation that she knew exactly what it was. Hermione stopped and looked at Malfoy quizzically. "Malfoy? Are you scared?"
"No!" he snapped rather defensively. "Why would you think that?"
"Because you're holding my hand," replied Hermione, nodding her head down at their entwined hands. "Really tightly."
Malfoy quickly pulled his hand away. "I was being romantic. Most girls like that mushy stuff. At least the first time."
"What are you talking about?"
"Didn't you bring me out to the Forbidden Forest to take your virginity?"
"No!" exclaimed Hermione, her cheeks turning red.
"It's nothing to be embarrassed about. A lot of girls want their first time to be with the Slytherin sex god."
"I brought you out here to drive!" she exclaimed.
"I thought that was a euphemism for sex."
"To drive a car, not me!"
"Huh," mused Draco as though that thought had never occurred to him before. "You really brought me all the way out here to this secluded spot just to drive a car?"
"Why would I want to do that?"
"To pass Muggle Studies," replied Hermione exasperatedly. "In order to pass Muggle Studies, and seventh year I might add, you have to spend a day engaging in a typical teenage Muggle activity."
"Well, don't teenage Muggles have sex?"
"Well, yes but–"
"Then there you go. Sexual activity it is. I'm going to get an 'O' for sure. You play your cards right, you might get one too," he said, winking at her.
"We are not having sex!"
"Why? Saving yourself for someone special?" Malfoy sneered.
"Yes! No! That is none of your business!" exclaimed Hermione, getting flustered.
"Well, if you're waiting on Weasel, you'll probably die a virgin. If you want that moron to notice you, you're going to have to do something drastic like shorten your skirt or walk around naked."
"If I was saving myself, and I'm not saying I am, because as I already said, that is none of your business, but if I was, it would not be for Ron," she huffed.
"So, you are a virgin." Draco smirked. "Good to know."
Hermione scowled but couldn't think of anything to say, so she stomped off farther into the forest.
Malfoy quickly caught up to her. "Why are we going into the Forbidden Forest again? Don't Muggles usually drive on roads?"
"I'm looking for something."
"That something doesn't happen to have eight legs, does it?" asked Malfoy, his voice quivering slightly.
"Do you see a spider?" asked Hermione excitedly.
"I see a lot of spiders. Over there," said Malfoy, pointing.
"Good. That means we're getting close."
"Close to what?" asked Malfoy, jumping at the sound of birds screeching in the distance.
"You'll see," was Hermione's only reply.
"That's what I'm afraid of," muttered Malfoy under his breath.
"So, I suppose you didn't study any of the information I gave you since you thought you were going on a different kind of ride."
"I may have skimmed it." Malfoy shrugged. " In case you really were that boring."
Hermione scowled. "I hope you paid particular attention to the highlighted portions."
"It was all highlighted," said Draco, rolling his eyes.
"That's because it's all very important," Hermione insisted. "Driving is a very serious matter. There is a lot that goes into it."
"Please," said Draco dismissively. "Muggles do it. How hard can it be?"
Hermione was about to give him a lecture on the dangers of driving and on insulting Muggles in the presence of a Muggle-born when she suddenly stopped and looked all around. "Where did they go?"
"Where did who go?"
"Who cares as long as they're gone?" Malfoy shuddered. "I hate spiders."
"But I was following them," said Hermione a little helplessly.
"Why would you do that?"
"Because that's what Ron said to do."
"We're listening to Weasel? About following spiders? Are you crazy? That's it, I'm out of here. Which way do I go?"
Hermione shrugged, not looking him in the eye.
"Are we lost?" asked Malfoy, the panic evident in his voice.
"No, of course not," Hermione insisted. "I just don't know where we are."
"We are lost!"
"We just have to find the spiders again is all."
"Are you kidding me? Losing the spiders is the only good thing that has come out of this. I'm not finding any spiders."
"But Ron said–"
"Who the hell cares what Weasel said! In case you hadn't noticed, he hates me. This is probably some elaborate scheme of his to kill me off."
"Elaborate scheme? Ron?" questioned Hermione, raising her eyebrow skeptically.
Malfoy looked at Hermione and then started laughing. "You're right of course. As if that buffoon could come up with an elaborate scheme."
"That's not what I meant," said Hermione, scowling.
"Isn't it?" asked Malfoy, smirking.
"Let's just find the spiders and get this over with." She started to head North but then stopped when she heard a peculiar noise coming from that direction. "What is that sound?"
"A shiny, pretty unicorn?" asked Malfoy hopefully.
"I don't think so," said Hermione, her tone serious. "But we're about to find out. Whatever it is, it's getting closer. I think we better do something and fast."
"Right," said Malfoy, taking her by the shoulders and pulling her in towards him.
Hermione pushed him away and pulled out her wand. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I think it's obvious. I'm going to kiss you."
"Why! Why would you want to do that now of all times?"
"Because we're about to die. And there's this nagging sexual tension between us that won't go away no matter how much we insult each other. In fact, the insults only make it worse. Kind of like foreplay. It's now or never, and I don't think I want it to be never."
Hermione looked at him incredulously. "Your response to danger is to... kiss me?"
"Well, I wouldn't say no to a quickie if that's what you're asking."
"It's fight or flight, you idiot! Kissing is for after the danger is over!"
"Oh, well, flight it is then," said Malfoy, starting to take off in the opposite direction.
"Wait," said Hermione suddenly, taking hold of his hand. "I think I recognize that sound. It's the sound of an engine running."
"I don't know what type of creature an engine is, but I'm not waiting for it to catch up to us," said Malfoy, trying to pull her with him.
Hermione laughed. "No, it's fine. This is what I've been looking for."
Malfoy took one look at what suddenly emerged from the trees and said, "You must be joking."
"No, I'm not. This is a car. It's what I'm going to teach you to drive."
It looks like something the Weasleys would own."
"It is," admitted Hermione. "It's Ron's dad's car."
"I am not driving that... that piece of junk."
"But it's the only car I could get."
"I don't care. I refuse."
"You will drive it, or you will not be passing Muggle Studies. Which means, you will not be passing seventh year. Do you really want to stay behind with Crabbe and Goyle?"
"Fine," huffed Malfoy, walking around to the passenger side of the car.
"The driver's seat is on the other side," Hermione corrected. "I knew you didn't read the information I gave you."
"I know it's on the other side," said Malfoy, opening the door. "I was being a gentleman."
"Oh," said Hermione sheepishly. "Thank you."
Malfoy closed the door and then walked around and slid into the driver's seat. "I'm not surprised you're unfamiliar with the idea, considering the company you keep."
Hermione ignored the jibe and said, "Now, think of the steering wheel as a clock and put your hands at ten and two." When Malfoy didn't move, she took his hands in hers and placed them in the right position. "Never take them off ten and two unless you are turning or backing up."
"What if I'm parked with a pretty girl; can I take them off then?" asked Malfoy, leaning in a little closer to her.
"Oh, well, um..." said Hermione, getting flustered.
"Is it time for that kiss now?" Malfoy asked huskily, his lips inches from hers. "Since the dangerous part is over?"
"I think the dangerous part is just beginning," murmured Hermione, as her eyes fluttered shut, and she leaned in to kiss him anyway.
Their lips were just about to meet when the car horn went off, causing them both to leap apart. Hermione looked up to see Harry and Ron standing outside Malfoy's open window with their wands pointed at Malfoy's head.
"Ron? Harry? What are you two doing here?"
"I think the question is, what are you two doing here?" said Harry pointedly.
Hermione felt her cheeks go hot. "I told you that I was going to teach Malfoy to drive today," she said, trying to sound indignant.
"And we told you we were going along to protect you today," said Harry, sliding into the backseat with Ron.
"And I told you I could take care of myself," she said, turning around to glare at him.
"And we told you–"
"Oh, just sit there and be quiet," she snapped.
Harry and Ron mimed locking their lips shut with a key.
"Driving is like riding a broom," began Hermione, causing Harry and Ron to snicker. Hermione turned around and glared at them. "Do you two have a problem with how I am teaching Malfoy to drive."
Harry tried to straighten his face. "It's just that you don't really know how to fly a broom."
"Yeah, you stink at flying," said Ron a little more to the point.
"The fact that I don't enjoy flying has nothing to do with it," Hermione snapped. "I am trying to help Malfoy relate driving to flying because flying is something he enjoys. If you don't like my teaching methods, you are welcome to leave. Otherwise, keep you backseat driving comments to yourself."
"So, you're saying I should approach driving like I do flying?" said Malfoy, acting interested.
"Yes," said Hermione, giving Harry and Ron a smug look. "That's exactly what I am saying."
"I need something hard between my legs."
"Pardon?" said Hermione, positive she had heard him wrong.
"I feel at home on a broom. I think if I had something hard between my legs, I would feel more comfortable with this whole driving thing."
"Harry, give him your wand."
"What? No way. I'm not putting my wand between Malfoy's legs. He can use his own wand."
"He doesn't have it with him. I made him leave it back at school. He's supposed to be having a Muggle experience."
"Well, let him have a Muggle experience with Ron's wand."
"Nuh uh, I like girls," was Ron's response.
"You two are so immature," Hermione huffed.
"Why don't you let him use yours then," said Harry.
"Because I might need it. I am the driving instructor."
"Well, we might need ours too. We're protecting you."
"Yeah," said Ron.
"Fine. Just get a stick from outside then," said Hermione exasperatedly.
Harry hopped out of the car and retrieved a stick. Hermione took it from him and then tried to hand it to Malfoy.
Malfoy sneered at it. "It's a little smaller than I'm used to."
"You wish," mumbled Harry.
"Just put it between your legs so we can get on with this," Hermione huffed.
"Because you told me not to take my hands off ten and two unless I was turning or backing up."
"But we're still in park," protested Hermione.
"But you didn't say anything about that." Malfoy smirked.
Hermione glared at him, but blushing furiously, slid the stick awkwardly between Malfoy's thighs. "Better?"
"Maybe you could shift it a little more to the right?"
Hermione leaned in to move the stick and suddenly found herself nose to nose with Malfoy. Biting her lip, she adjusted the stick. "Better now?" she asked a little breathlessly.
"Mmhmm," said Malfoy, leaning in close enough to brush his lips against hers.
"We need some driving music," interrupted Ron, pushing his way between them and breaking them apart.
"I don't think we need any music," Hermione growled at Ron.
"I'm pretty sure we do," said Harry.
"I love this song!" exclaimed Ron.
"Oh, no," said Hermione with a horrified look on her face. "Not this song."
"What's wrong with it?" asked Malfoy. "Other than that it's Muggle."
"Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want," Ron started singing.
"So tell me what you want, what you really, really want," replied Harry.
"I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want," Ron sang, adding some head bobbing with attitude.
"So tell me what you want, what you really, really want," Harry replied again, adding his own hand motions.
"I wanna, ha! I wanna, ha! I wanna, ha! I wanna, ha! I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig."
"It's a popular song with Muggle teenage girls," explained Hermione apologetically, "but Harry and Ron found it in my music collection over the summer and played it about a million times."
"You had this in your music collection?" Draco sneered.
"Well, I am a teenage girl," said Hermione defensively. "Not that you would ever notice."
"I said... I've... noticed."
"Oh," replied Hermione, not knowing what else to say.
"What is that?" asked Malfoy, looking in the rear view mirror and curling his lip in disgust.
Hermione turned around in her seat to see Ron, holding his hand behind his head and moving his other arm in jerky motions in front of him. "I believe it's called the Sprinkler," she replied with a sigh.
"Is it contagious?" Malfoy asked.
"Apparently," answered Hermione as Harry started doing the Robot.
"Give me your wand. I need to Scourgify my eyes."
"You're a Muggle today. Deal with it. However, I think you would be able to concentrate better without the Spice Girls back there," said Hermione, switching the radio off.
"Hey! We were listening to that," exclaimed Ron.
"Not anymore. It's distracting Malfoy."
"And making me nauseous."
"Like you trying to put the moves on Hermione isn't making us nauseous," retorted Harry.
"I'm just trying to drive," said Malfoy innocently.
"The car or Hermione?"
"Come on, Hermione. It's obvious that something is going on here. I had a feeling you would need us here for protection. I was just under the impression it would be a different kind of protection."
"That's enough, Harry. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is 'driving' me," said Hermione embarrassed.
"I knew you were a virgin." Draco smirked.
"I suspected it as well," said Ron. "Well, I did!"
"Can we please just go back to driving?" pleaded Hermione. "The car!"
"Alright," agreed Harry. "But I have my eye on you, Malfoy."
"Just one? What are you going to do with the other three?"
Harry started to lunge for Malfoy, but Hermione held up her hand. "Will you please just let it go, Harry? For me?"
"Alright," agreed Harry, grudgingly sitting back in his seat.
"This is the accelerator," said Hermione, pointing to the pedal. "It makes the car go. This is the brake. It makes the car stop."
"You can stop talking to me like I'm a Weasley. I can understand complex sentences."
"Hey!" exclaimed Ron angrily.
"Can we just drive now?" Malfoy asked.
"Fine. You put your right foot on the accelerator and–"
"And my left foot on the brake. Blah, blah, blah. Like I said, I'm not a moron. I can figure these kind of things out by myself. It's not Legilimency."
"You do not put your left foot on the brake; you use your right."
"What do I do with my left foot then?"
"You don't do anything with it."
"Well that's stupid."
"No. it's not. If you used two different feet, it would be easy to confuse the pedals. If you panic–"
"Malfoys don't panic."
Hermione pursed her lips but instead of arguing her point, said "Go ahead and put it into drive then since you obviously know what you're doing."
Malfoy easily found the gear shift and put it into drive. He gave her a superior smirk and said, "So easy, a Muggle could do it."
Hermione calmly put on her seat belt in reply. As soon as it clicked, she said, "Harry, a little demonstration please."
"Look! It's Buckbeak!" he yelled.
"Where!" screamed Malfoy, stomping down hard on both pedals. The car lurched forward and then almost immediately screeched to a halt, causing Malfoy to bang his head on the steering wheel.
"That leads me to the next lesson, which perhaps I should have started off with. You should always wear your seat belt."
Rubbing his head, Malfoy glared at her but instead of making a nasty comment, he silently put on his seat belt, moved his right foot to the brake and ignored the laughter coming from the backseat.
"Do you have any questions before we begin?"
"Yeah, what's this button do?"
Hermione looked perplexed. "I don't know. Let me check my notes." She started rifling through her satchel, looking for some notes that might clear up the question.
"Why don't I just press it and find out?"
"But we don't know what it does," Hermione persisted.
"Exactly the reason why I should press it."
"Well, I don't think it's a good idea, but you do what you want. If it starts playing the Macarena though, I'm saying I told you so."
Having no idea what the Macarena was, Malfoy shrugged indifferently and pressed the button. The car immediately launched off the ground and started flying. Hermione shrieked in terror and somehow landed herself in Malfoy's lap and wouldn't let go of him. Taken by surprise, Malfoy lost control, and the car started veering wildly in the air.
"Ten and two! Ten and two!" Hermione kept yelling over and over again.
"What are you doing, Malfoy!" Harry yelled. "You're going to get us killed."
"I can't see where I'm going! Granger's hair is in the way!"
"What are you doing to Hermione!" Ron yelled.
"I'm not doing anything! She's the one giving me a lap dance!"
"Where are your hands?" asked Ron accusingly.
"Ten and frigging two! Ten and frigging two!"
"If I even see you try to move them to six, you're dead," Ron said threateningly.
"If you don't get her off me now, we're all going to be dead!" Draco snapped.
"Watch out for that tree!" Harry yelled.
"The one you just hit. Jeez, Malfoy. You are such a shit flyer. Here, let me do it," said Harry, leaning over the seat to take the wheel.
"Get off me! You're going to make me crash!"
"I am going to save us! Let go of the wheel!"
"Who the hell do you think you are!"
"I am Harry frigging Potter! And I save people!"
Draco couldn't help snorting in response. "Alright, Boy Who Lived, get us down from here."
"Move your hands, and I'll land this thing."
"Can I move them to six?"
When they finally landed, Hermione smoothed her hair down and calmly climbed out of Malfoy's lap. Taking a deep breath, she said, "Never touch that button again. Now, take your foot off the brake and ease it onto the accelerator. Easy!" exclaimed Hermione as the car lurched forward.
They continued slowly on, lurching and stopping, lurching and stopping. "See? This isn't so difficult. I'm driving," said Malfoy proudly.
"Like an old lady," muttered Harry sarcastically.
"I think I'm going to be sick," said Ron, covering his hand over his mouth.
"Don't listen to them. You're doing fine," said Hermione encouragingly. "But maybe you could speed up just a little and try not to ride the brake so much."
Not appreciating the criticism, Malfoy stopped the car. "I quit."
"You can't quit now. We haven't even gotten to parallel parking yet."
"I don't know what the hell that is, but I'm not doing it."
"You are learning to drive if it kills me. My grade depends on this too. I am not failing Muggle Studies!"
"Bah ha! That would be classic." Ron laughed.
"Shut up, Ron!"
"It would serve you right if you did fail," said Malfoy. "What self-respecting Muggle-born takes a Muggle Studies Class anyway? You were just looking for an easy 'O'."
"I was not!"
"Why else would you take Muggle Studies?"
"To help educate arrogant pureblood bastards like you!" Hermione exploded.
"Well, you're doing a lousy job! You can't even teach me to do something easy like driving a car. Something a frigging teenage Muggle can do!"
"Well, maybe you are unteachable!"
"Perhaps you don't know anything about the subject you are teaching!"
"I have done extensive research!"
"And she has a driver's license," added Harry, trying to back her up. "You're just a moron."
"Well," hedged Hermione, "I don't have a driver's license per say, but you're right, Malfoy is a moron."
"You mean you don't even have a driver's license?" said Harry in shock.
"Well, no, but I've read all about it."
"That's illegal!" Harry exclaimed.
"What would they think of the Head Girl doing that?" Malfoy smirked.
"Well, seeing that the Head Boy was a Death Eater and spent his entire sixth year trying to kill the Headmaster, I hardly think they'll say much about it," Hermione spat.
"I thought your dad was teaching you to drive," said Harry.
"Well, he was until the incident," said Hermione a little ominously.
"I drove the car into a lake."
"You drove it into a lake?" Ron laughed.
"That's what I said, didn't I?" spat Hermione. "The car didn't make it, but my dad got to see first hand my expertise with a Bubble-Head Charm. My dad said it was a really excellent charm when he recovered from the shock, and you know, could talk again."
"Driving is stupid anyway," said Malfoy. "I'd rather be flying. Why don't you teach me to fly an airplane instead?"
"No!" said Hermione quickly. "I mean, I don't know how to fly an airplane."
"So? You don't know how to drive a car either." Harry snickered.
"Ha ha. Why don't you teach him to drive then, Harry, if you're so smart?" Hermione huffed.
"Not me," said Harry. "I've never even driven a car. Do you really think Uncle Vernon would bother to teach me? Ron has more experience that I do."
Ron sat up a little straighter and his expression turned slightly superior.
"Don't go getting all smug about it," said Harry quickly. "Your driving record consists of crashing into a tree and running over a bunch of spiders."
"Yeah," agreed Ron, slumping back against his seat again.
"Perhaps this was a little too ambitious," Hermione admitted. "Maybe we should just go see a Muggle movie."
"Malfoy's turn to buy the popcorn," Ron chimed in. "I bought last time."
"Harry actually bought last time as you borrowed the money from him and never paid him back," said Hermione, giving him a stern look.
"Whatever. It's still Malfoy's turn, seeing as he's never had a turn."
"Do they have to come?" grumbled Malfoy.
"Sorry. We're kind of a package deal. Unless, of course, you're interested in seeing a movie with well developed characterizations and an intelligent, thought-provoking plot."
"Chick flick," coughed Harry and Ron together.
Hermione glared at them. "They only watch movies with explosions," she said, rolling her eyes.
"And car chases," said Ron excitedly. "Don't forget the car chases."
"Explosions? Car chases?" said Malfoy, suddenly sounding interested. "Well, alright but only if Potter buys the popcorn. I don't carry around Muggle money."
Hermione sat back in her seat and crossed her arms across her chest. Boys. "So, how exactly are we going to get there? Malfoy obviously can't drive, and we can't very well Apparate into Muggle London in the broad daylight."
"Ford can take us," said Ron.
"Oh, I guess you haven't been formerly introduced, have you? Ford, you remember Harry, the boy who lived through the Whomping Willow and spider incidents."
"Hey, Ford," said Harry, raising his hand in a half wave.
"That's Malfoy, the ferret prince, and this is Hermione, the worst driving instructor of her age. Everyone, this is Ford."
Not appreciating the introduction, Hermione glared at Ron. Then feeling the need to prove that she really was a know-it-all, even when it came to automobiles, she said, "Cars are usually given a female name. My dad's car was Bonnie. May she rest in peace."
"I didn't give him the name. That's just his name. It says so on his nameplate. Ford Anglia."
Harry snickered and said, "Well, lead on, Ford. We're going to the movies."
Malfoy leaned over and whispered to Hermione. "So, now that Ford's driving, does that mean I no longer have to keep my hands on ten and two?"
"The rule is they stay on ten and two for the first six months," said Hermione primly. "After that, we can discuss it. What are you smirking about?"
"You're always willing to break the rules, as long as it suits your... needs," said Malfoy, his hand wandering.
Hermione firmly put his hand back on two. "Um, yeah, not this rule."