A/N - Written for Hawthorn & Vine's Treasured Tropes Challenge.
It's Normal, Really
Blaise Zabini had spent the past month in utter confusion. There were moments when things seemed to be just as they should be, when people acted the way they were supposed to and things happened the way that were expected. But then a moment would occur where everything they knew was changed, which led to more insane behavior, or so Blaise thought.
At first he had thought it was the remnants of a curse. Perhaps someone had finally succeeded in hexing the one person who had dared anyone to hex him since the day of his birth. Perhaps it was a mental breakdown, brought on by the financial and social changes he had undergone. Or perhaps—and this thought Blaise kept solely to himself—his behaviour was sincere and he was simply uncaring as to what others thought.
Whatever it was, Blaise did what was expected of a good friend, albeit, a common acquaintance. He watched his friend with a wary eye and did what he could, when he could, to speak sense into him. But most often than not, his advise fell on deaf ears. And more often than not, the wide grin sported by Draco Malfoy did not waver in the slightest, even when Blaise shared with him news that would distress other wizards.
When Blaise told Draco that she wasn't interested, Draco smirked confidently and stated how he would change her mind. When Blaise mentioned how she had never truly liked him, Draco said in no uncertain terms that he would change just so she would give him a chance. And when Blaise lied to Draco and said that she was in love with another, his friend simply blinked at him before stating calmly that he would wait for her.
Blaise would never admit this to anyone, but frankly, Draco Malfoy's behaviour scared him.
Hermione Granger had spent the past month hiding behind pillars, ducking under tables and wearing disguises that never seemed to hide her hair no matter how hard she tried. She had been living her life the way she'd always expected to live it: work during the day, dinner with friends, an occasional disappointing date that was set up by well-meaning friends. Her life was predictable, boring even. Until one day when that all changed.
It seemed like overnight, the one person who had ignored her very presence whenever he could, except for a rare haughty comment of distaste whenever he was forced to interact with her, was suddenly, very much, irrevocably interested in her life.
He popped up at the most inopportune moments with a sly smirk and a confident air that begged not to be ignored. He asked after her friends, her family, her work, and even her health. At first, just his behaviour was unnerving enough, but it wasn't until he presented her with a flower that Hermione really started to panic.
She did what she was supposed to and hinted her disinterest, but her behaviour seemed to have the opposite effect on him than would any other. Instead of accepting her rejection, the former bane of her existence became more insistent. He started showing up even more frequently, befriending all those who worked around her and sending her a bouquet of flowers every single day.
When that didn't thaw her heart, he moved onto first-edition books that were signed by the original authors, gifts that no matter how much it hurt to refuse, she tried to return without much success. It was when he tried to woo her by wooing her friends that Hermione really started to worry. He gave Ron tickets to every single Chudley Cannons game that was played, giving him seats that came with all-you-can-eat candy with a side shot of Firewhisky on the side. As for Harry, her best friend couldn't have been any more surprised when her admirer became chummy with him overnight. He never gave Harry any gifts, which was understandable since Harry was the last person who could ever be bribed, but he was considerate, nice, kind, and above all else friendly.
All of this Hermione could handle. It was the personality switch that she couldn't wrap her head around. How did someone so curt, so rude, so judgmental, suddenly profess his love to a Muggle-born he had always disliked in the most sincerest way possible?
Hermione was convinced that it was nothing short of a love potion. Naturally, she thought it was her own friends who were behind this ludicrous prank, only to be disappointed by the way they passed her truth-telling charm with flying colours, denying their involvement in any way.
Regardless, besides spending too many Galleons on wigs and jackets, and spending too much time hiding behind a glamour charm, Hermione had also spent the latter half of the past month researching the phenomenon that had befallen one Draco Malfoy.
Harry Potter had spent the past month completely flabbergasted. He thought the days had passed when he would go to his bed at the end of the day only to frown at the ceiling as the latest mystery revolved around in his head. Apparently, in the magical world, such days were very few and very rare.
He had heard the rumours first—which were, in themselves ridiculous—so he simply ignored them. It was seeing Draco Malfoy leaning over the desk Hermione sat at, a bouquet of flowers in his hands that made Harry consider the possibility of an apocalypse. Voldemort had risen from the dead once already, it really wasn't far-fetched to consider that the Dark Lord had risen once again and taken Malfoy's soul as a punishment for changing sides.
What was even more unsettling was when Harry had seen the distressed look on Hermione's features and made his way over to the unlikely pair to put some distance between them; Malfoy looked at Harry squarely and smiled widely as he stated a friendly greeting. Harry had been so surprised that he had nearly pulled out his wand, aimed it at the git's chest and demanded who he really was. For surely, this imposter had obviously taken Polyjuice Potionand he was trying to trap Hermione in this elaborate plan. It was Hermione's meaningful look that stopped Harry.
And later, when the person who looked so much like the arrogant arse he had grown up with had left, Hermione said how she had done all the necessary tests. She even mentioned how Malfoy had willingly given her his blood because he professed that just like his heart and body, it all belonged to her.
Harry couldn't help but feel a shudder run through his spine as what she said finally sunk in. Having a Malfoy in the world was bad enough; having an insane Malfoy was even more inconceivable. So while Hermione spent her nights in the Ministry library, trying her best to avoid her not-so-secret admirer, Harry spent his days speaking with Healers who said time and again that Malfoy, who had willingly placed himself under surveillance and tests in the name of love, was a perfectly healthy individual, physically and mentally.
This did not change Harry's opinion though. Whenever he could, he tried to place himself between Hermione and Malfoy. And even after a month, Harry still couldn't get used to Malfoy saying, "Hello, Harry. You don't mind me calling you 'Harry', do you?"
It was, for all intents and purposes, a surprising month. There were even moments when Harry expected to see Dumbledore walk through the doors of his office with a box of Berti Bott's Every Flavour Beans, because a part of him was convinced that he never returned to the world of the living during the Second Wizarding War.
It was his workload that convinced him otherwise. Surely, the after-life wouldn't overwork their employees, would they?
Neville Longbottom was one of the few people who hadn't wanted anything to do with the most popular occurrence the past month. He'd spent his days looking over his shoulder in high agitation, because a certain lovesick pure-blood wizard wouldn't stop hounding him with questions.
At first, Neville was ecstatic to be partnered with Hermione Granger. She had always been quite nice to him, and unlike so many others, she had patience where he was concerned. She was always polite, and she had a kind smile just for him. Neville quite enjoyed working with his partner…until his relationship was compromised.
Neville never expected the same person who bullied him all those years in Hogwarts to seek his advice on the matter of love. Neville was even more surprised when that same wizard seemed unable to understand Neville's reluctance when it came to discussing Hermione in such terms.
It had been a completely mundane day when Malfoy tracked down Neville to ask what was Hermione's favourite flowers. Being so good at Herbology, Neville already knew the answer since he had given her a plant for her previous birthday. If he only knew the repercussions of answering that first question, Neville would have never told Malfoy the truth.
After that day, Malfoy visited him daily. He gave Neville in-depth reasoning behind why Hermione would one day look at him affectionately while he sought advice from Neville regarding Hermione's likes and dislikes. Neville, in all honesty, did not know Hermione as well as Malfoy thought. It was true that they had been in the same house in Hogwarts and attended the same classes, and it was also true that they were part of Dumbledore's Army and had fought the battle against You-Know-Who. Yet, Neville had never thought of Hermione as anything more than a polite friend. He didn't know her favourite books, or her favourite foods, he had never discussed anything more phenomenal than their work, and he was the last person in her life she would probably discuss her social life with.
Neville did not understand why Draco Malfoy thought that he had knowledge of Hermione Granger that could possibly be useful to his endevour. As it were, Neville tried time and again to hint quite strongly that maybe Malfoy should try her best friends. Unfortunately for him, Malfoy seemed to think that Hermione had a much stronger connection with him. Why he thought that, Neville was sure that he would never understand.
Ron Weasley had never enjoyed himself quite as much as he had the past month. Sure, there were moments when he wanted nothing more than to physically hurt the Malfoy git who seemed overly interested in Hermione, but that hate quickly transformed into something less.
While Harry stayed resolutely suspicious of Malfoy's behaviour, Ron decided to give the poor sod a chance. He told himself the same thing he told others when they questioned his change of heart: it had positively nothing to do with the many gifts the bugger bestowed on him.
So what if Malfoy provided him with an exclusive membership to one of the most high-end secret wizarding clubs that Ron had ever been to? The git could afford it. So what if he ensured that Ron was delivered a different box of chocolates every day? Malfoy was bound to learn how to share sooner or later. So what if Malfoy introduced him to the Chudley Cannons and secured an impromptu audition to join the team? As far as Ron was concerned, after everything the slimy Slytherin had put him through, it was about time that an apology was made. And even though Malfoy tried to use this sense of bribery to his advantage by asking Ron questions as to the best way to treat Hermione, Ron had, with a mouthful of the finest food he had ever eaten, sheepishly shrugged and said that no one knew Hermione better than Neville. In other words, Neville got the pain, while Ron got the benefits.
Besides, Ron would be lying if he didn't admit that it made his day time and again to see Malfoy beg Hermione for a date only to have her reject him every time, in every way. She tried to turn him down gently only to cause the world's richest idiot to try harder the next time. Ron watched each altercation with an expression his family would recognise as sheer delight. Naturally, he had to use this opportunity that had fallen into his lap, and taking George's joke to heart, start a betting pool that made him infinitely richer.
Ron even did a most uncharacteristic thing and purchased a camera during the past month. His logic was simple: who wouldn't want a picture of Draco Malfoy being rejected romantically for the fiftieth time?
Although the owner of a successful business, George Weasley had never had such a high profit margin in his entire life. His business was booming! And it had nothing to do with the crowd of teenage wizards and witches that frequented his shop.
Around the Weasley dinner table, as they all discussed their predictable lives, George was just as surprised as everyone else when Hermione was teased about her latest admirer. After describing the spoilt git's behaviour, everyone (including the gnome) turned their eyes on the most innocent of all Weasleys as they waited for an explanation. George had to painstakingly explain to them that even though the incident was amusing, he did not, in fact, as per popular opinion, drug Draco Malfoy with a love potion. He did hint that had he a job at the Ministry, how he would have made a betting pool regarding how many times the poor sod was to be rejected.
But just because George wasn't behind this prank, that didn't mean he wasn't going to take advantage of it. It took one meeting where he mentioned Hermione's name at least a few dozen times so that Malfoy (the slimy, Slytherin git) would purchase nearly every item that belonged to the joke shop in the belief that it would bring him closer to the witch of his dreams. George hardly had to do a proper sales pitch. All he did was point at an item and say, "Hermione would lovethat," to get the snake to buy that same item. He sold more than one on occasion, and different colours when they were available. And in the memory of his brother, George increased the prices to be ten times what they were worth.
All in all, Fred would have been proud.
Draco Malfoy felt brilliant. He was delighted, ecstatic, thrilled, excited, happy, even. It had been a month of splendid moments.
He had finally met the woman he was meant to spend his life with, and even though it might seem to others as if she didn't quite reciprocate his feelings, Draco knew that it was only a matter of time before she did.
Her beauty caused him to be speechless. That hair, those lips, the way she bit her lower lip, the way she glared whenever she thought he was interrupting her, were all things that made him fall in love with her again and again.
Hermione Granger! She was his love, his life, his everything!
All he wanted to do was to look into her eyes. He didn't care if she looked at him in exasperation, or if she was too busy to give him enough attention. All he cared about was looking at her, being near her, and trying his best to kiss her.
There were moments when he thought that he might have convinced her that his love was pure. That one time in the loo, he could have sworn that she appreciated that he'd followed her into the stall to ensure her safety, even though she might have shrieked and pushed him out mere seconds after he showed his concern. Then there was the time at her home, when he had broken through her wards easily and gifted her a series of creatures including a baby Hippogriff and five Blast-Ended Skrewts on the advise of one George Weasley. Draco was convinced that he saw love in her eyes before once again she shrieked and tried to get rid of him.
Hermione Granger, the love of his life, was one witch who was nearly impossible to please. But that didn't mean that Draco would stop trying.
He asked her friends what she liked while he gifted her small, expensive trinkets every day to show his eternal love. He got on his knees every chance he could, professing his love sincerely and without malice.
Yet, no matter what he attempted, Granger remained stubborn. Draco doubted she tried to avoid him, because surely she would never even dream of going the opposite direction when she would see him coming towards her. However, such mishaps did happen, and it was up to Draco to ensure that she would never suffer from losing his company as a result.
Today, especially, was a good day. He had stolen his love's favourite wizarding band from a wedding by paying them more Galleons than they knew what to do with, he had arranged a new species of flowers to be created called the 'Hermione', of which he had a bouquet of in his hands, and Draco had organised all aspects of the surprise to be outside her home at the precise time she was meant to come home from work.
Draco waited patiently, excitedly shifting from one foot to the other as he stood outside her window. When he heard the familiar 'crack' sound signaling Apparition, he knew that his time had come. Throwing a rock at the window, as once hinted by Harry Potter as seen in a thing called a 'movie', Draco didn't wait until the window was opened. The moment he saw Granger's lovely silhouette, he gestured for the band to start playing as he raised his fist with the beautiful 'Hermione' flowers before he got onto his knees.
And when the window was opened and a bewildered Hermione Granger looked outside her house, that is when Draco Malfoy sang.
Lucius Malfoy had spent the past month in terror. It wasn't enough that his only son and heir to the Malfoy fortune was bestowed with the Veela gift that skipped most generations of Malfoys, but his only son and heir had identified the worst possible person as his mate.
Lucius had thought that perhaps Draco would choose a respectable pure-blood girl from a substantial family fortune; instead, his son was instantly drawn to a Muggle-born who was friends with Harry Potter. To say that this was most unexpected would have been an understatement.
At first, Lucius thought to speak some sense into his son. But all warnings and talks about the legacy of the Malfoy name fell on deaf years. While Lucius mentioned the role of a proper Mrs. Malfoy, Draco thought long and hard about how much he loved the Mudblood's hair. Lucius had instantly recoiled. He had seen her hair on multiple occasions and he would have never thought to consider calling those messy curls lovely. No sensible wizard would use such a word for something so ludicrous, really. Ugly, yes. Lovely, never.
It was then that Lucius thought that maybe he should let his son go through the phase before he finally woke up from this nightmare in horror. Unfortunately, when Lucius realised the amount of Galleons his son was spending on this pathetic cause, he knew something must be done.
Lucius knew that Veelas mate for life. He couldn't possiblly allow a Mudblood to carry on the Malfoy name and sully the pure-blood legacy. He immediately employed a few trustworthy individuals to research into this phenomenon that he was lucky to not have been burdened with. The information that was found was devastating. It was the first time Lucius cursed the fact that his great, great, great, grand mother was a Veela with extraordinary magnetism.
Healers were consulted and Unspeakables were threatened until it was agreed that a Veela Pheromone Suppressant had to be created for the greater good of the wizarding world. It took nearly three weeks before the antidote was ready, and in the meantime Lucius had to suffer through countless dinners with his son where he described the many non-existent merits of one Hermione Granger.
But once it was complete, Lucius' relief could not be hidden. He wanted his son cured immediately. Unfortunately, he was told by their house-elf that, "Master Malfoy has gone to serenade a witch."
Worried that his son would make another spectacle, this time big enough to be on the front cover of the Daily Prophet, Lucius sent out the team of trustworthy minions to capture his son and bring him home. He did mention that, if necessary, force should be used.
They found him on his knees in front of Hermione Granger's residence singing off-key, loudly and without qualms, until a spell knocked him onto his back. He was taken to the Malfoy Manor, given the Suppressant, and Lucius waited with bated breath for his son to return.
It was not until the next morning when Draco asked, "What the bloody hell just happened?" in response to an article in the papers about his relationship with the Mudblood, that Lucius finally felt like everything would be returning back to normal. Draco would now marry a respectable pure-blood and the legacy of the Malfoy family would not be soiled.
However, despite his son's words where he vehemently denied ever having feelings for the Mudblood, Lucius couldn't help but notice how his son would stare unwantedly at her picture in the papers. It was then reported to him how Draco would stare at the Mudblood whenever he could, and how civil he was whenever he interacted with her, which was unsettling. Truth be told, his son's behaviour started to worry him.
It wasn't until it was reported in the Daily Prophet that a Hermione Granger and a Draco Malfoy were seen dining alone that Lucius decided that it was time to act.
Naturally, he had to blackmail the Unspeakables to make Draco another, more effective potion that would make him hate Mudbloods the way he once did when he was young.
She gasped when her friend pronounced to the world that he was in love with Hermione Granger, she giggled when he serenaded his ladylove with a song, and outright laughed when his father took extreme measures to cure the newly born Veela.
She watched Draco fall in love, act insanely without thought as to consequences, only to wake up one day and make plans to move away from England so as to hide his embarrassment. She then watched his father panic, suppress Draco's passionate tendencies, only to realise that a Veela heritage might not be the only reason why Draco suddenly found Hermione Granger attractive.
Pansy Parkinson had spent the past month completely amused. Who wouldn't have been, really?
Prompt: Thank goodness for Veela pheromone suppressant! It was an astonishingly awkward month before the Healers correctly calibrated the dose, but Draco's no longer chasing Hermione around all of London. His reputation is in tatters and his antics made him the laughing stock of the Daily Prophet, but at least - or so his friends inform him, between their snickers - Granger was quite understanding about the whole thing. Apparently her soft heart for magical creatures extended to kindly indulging his horribly off-key attempts at midnight serenades, bringing her surprise picnics, and slipping love notes under her door, all while keeping him at arm's length.
So, if the suppressant is foolproof, why does Draco feel as though something isn't right? There's no possible way that he could be feeling a flicker of jealousy whenever he spots Potter, Granger and Weasley, nor could he be missing that bushy-haired know-it-all.
There's no way that these feelings - after that mortifying month - are anything but residual Veela hormones, right?