dedication: happy Christmas to Sophia. I couldn't pick one prompt, so I just did all of them. oops?
notes: dont look at me i just want them to fight and smooch forever
title: coming out of my cage (and i've been doing just fine)
summary: Five cliché Dramione tropes, a la sarsaparillia. — Draco/Hermione, peripheral Ron/Pansy.
(the this is probably pansy's fault mix)
"This is not happening to me. This is not happening to me. This just cannot be happening to me—"
"You know, Granger, I'd never realized, but you have a body beneath these robes!"
Hermione's eyes went wide, and she whipped around to stare furiously at him. "Malfoy, don't you touch me, I swear to Merlin—!"
"I have your wand, remember?" he said, twirling the intricately-wrought vine-and-dragon-heartstring wand that had been hers since she was eleven years old.
"And I have yours!" she said smugly, Malfoy's wand already up and pressed into the soft flesh under his—her—ear. "And how many times have I disarmed you, Malfoy? How many? I think your wand quite likes me, by now. And would you pull my skirt down?! That's indecent!"
"The wand chooses the wizard. You know that, Granger. And if you curse me, you curse yourself," he said, and seeing his smirk on her own face was probably the most frightful thing Hermione had ever seen. "Literally."
Hermione screwed her face up, eyebrows pinching together the way they always did when she was about to explode into either livid shouting or very unattractive tears. This eyebrow draw in particular was leaning towards the livid shouting end of the spectrum, but Malfoy did not cower before her wrath.
(Merlin, it was weird seeing her own face looking back at her but not like in a mirror, where it was flipped and often insulting you. It looked backwards, somehow, like a picture but also not. This was how other people saw her—how Harry and Ron must have seen her, how Malfoy saw her.
"This is all your fault!"
"How is it my fault?" Malfoy asked, though she knew he knew exactly what she was referring to—and really, it was it his entire fault, there was no denying that—mouth turned down sardonically.
"How isn't it your fault? If you had just—"
"Granger, Granger, Granger," he shook his head—her head, thank you, she'd like that back very much—yawning a little. "You ought to know by now. Pansy's parties are always a little…"
"Avant-garde?" Hermione supplied, though she knew he wouldn't know what that meant, persnickety little Pureblood that he was.
(She had not signed up for this when she'd sort of accidentally become Pansy Parkinson's friend. She definitely had not signed up for this.)
"Yes, that," he said, nodding easily. His?—her—his curls bounced around his face.
"Because you know exactly what that is. Merlin, Malfoy, whatever. How do we get out of—of—this?" She gestured to the space between them, catching sight of the too-long, too-pale fingers of her right hand. That hand was not her hand, nor did she want it to be her hand; it was all wrong, the knuckles thick and the fingertips blunt and squared off. That hand was a man's hand, and Hermione didn't want it at all.
That hand was Malfoy's hand, and she was in Malfoy's body, and there was so much wrong with picture that Hermione didn't even know where to begin to set back to normal.
"Well…" he said, trailed off, looked thoughtful for a moment, the pattern of freckles across his nose scrunching downwards. That was hideously cute. Hermione wanted to smack him, but that would result in technically hurting herself, and she was not going to do that.
"Well, what?" she asked, impatient almost to the point of stomping her foot.
"You know Pans, Granger. Fancies herself a matchmaker, doesn't she?"
"And your point is?"
"It would make sense that—"
"No," Hermione said curtly. "I am not kissing you. I am not kissing me! And would you pull my skirt down, already?"
He fluttered his eyelashes at her. It was disturbing on more levels than ought to have been legal. "Granger, have a heart. What if we're stuck like this forever?"
"Malfoy, I swear—"
"I could get used to your body. Bit small, though, reaching's going to be a problem. But the skirt thing, though…"
Hermione had a profound moment of déjà vu. Caught in it, she knew exactly where this was going. His hands were creeping to the edge of her skirt, and pulling it down and down and down, exactly the same way she always did when she was getting undressed for bed—
Quite frankly, she threw herself at him.
"QUIT THAT," she shrieked, although it came out much lower and more like a bellow than anything else, and she felt the impact of her body against Malfoy's very different than she'd expected . He was smaller than she was, for one, and an instinct she didn't know she had kicked in. She rolled, hit the floor so the small body in her grasp ended up on her chest and didn't the floor. Pain shot through her like an electrical shock.
"Granger, I do believe I'm impressed," Malfoy said, out of breath and, she thought, the tiniest bit scared.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," she told him factually.
And then her hands—his hands, thick-knuckled and blunt-fingered—came up to curl in the whorls of her hair, and she pulled him down, mouth hot and slick against his. They kissed desperately, teeth clicking when Malfoy pressed down, the soft weight of that body doing all sorts of strange and wonderful things to this body—
That was her body and she not back in it yet.
Hermione made a choking noise in the back of her throat, and shoved him away. "Why am I not back in me, Malfoy?!"
He grinned quite terribly at her. "Oh," he said, "forgot. Pans said it lasts 'til midnight. Should have remembered that, sorry Granger!"
Hermione made another choking noise, though this one was a little more enraged and a little less like she was just choking. "You tricked me!" she cried.
"Slytherin," he said, as though this was a well-known fact (which, certainly, it was). "Can we do that again? Might not get the chance again, and I rather like being inside you."
Well, there was no mistaking the innuendo there. Hermione took a deep breath in through her nose. "You are impossible!"
"You enjoy it."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Get over here, you prat."
"Know how to romance a girl, don't you, Granger?"
She looked at him coolly. "You have thirty seconds to be in my lap, or I'm going to find Harry's body and kiss him in front of the entire party. Don't think I won't."
Malfoy squawked indignantly, but then he was crawling on top of her again, knees on either side of her suddenly-narrow hips. Hermione found herself being leered at herself by herself, and already leaning forwards.
Well, she thought, thought process going hazy with lust, this could be probably be worse.
(the head students make bad life choices mix)
The snow that year came early, and it came with a vengeance. Three blizzards within the week, and still another to come if Professor Sinistra was right (and, frankly, she usually was when it came to the weather. Something to do with the movements of the stars above the Astronomy Tower, though most students were rather skeptical about this particular explanation). The castle creaked and moaned with the wind, and the sky above the Great Hall was so dark with thick clouds that extra floating candles were conjured to provide enough light to eat by.
By all standards, it was going to be an ugly winter.
Hermione pressed the tip of her quill to her bottom lip absently, a dark spot of ink blooming there like a tiny black rose. It only got worse when she went to scribble something on the parchment laid out in front of her, and began to gnaw on said bottom lip. The ink was everywhere, and she didn't even notice.
"You look ridiculous," Malfoy said conversationally.
"What?" Hermione looked up from the Prefect's patrol schedule that she'd been working for the past hour. It was, in fact, the same schedule that he ought to have been doing, as it was rightfully his turn, but Malfoy was incorrigible like that. Also, he kept scheduling the Slytherin fifth year boy with the Hufflepuff sixth year girl, and that particular pairing always resulted in someone getting cursed because the Slytherin boy kept asking her to go out with him, and she didn't appreciate it. Which, honestly, Malfoy knew, but she thought he rather liked the novelty of the girl's curses, which were always both creative and very strong. The Slytherin boy was a bit of a dolt—he hadn't taken the hint yet, and so she thought it prudent to separate them for the sake of both their mental healths.
Hermione did not have time for the man's shenanigans, right then.
"You've got ink," he said, "on your lip."
She blinked once, then reached up to touch her mouth, and when her fingers came away black-blue, she swore quite magnificently. "You couldn't have told me earlier?"
"No," Malfoy said, a smirk pulling up one corner of his mouth. "I was wondering how long it'd take you to notice. You're very inobservant tonight, Granger."
"I might be a little more observant if I wasn't doing your work!" she growled at him. "We talked about this, Malfoy, you can't schedule Hadrian Montgomery with Ailsa Clearwater. She ends up cursing him every time they patrol together. Not that I blame her, but still!"
"Serves the little shite right," Malfoy said boredly. "Needs to learn to keep his hands to himself, and not touch what belongs to others."
"Are you honestly still punishing him for eating that last raspberry pasty? Malfoy, that was two months ago."
"It was my pasty," he said petulantly. "I—what's that word Muggle lads use, Granger, the one about staking a claim on something?"
"Dibs," Hermione said, pinching the bridge of her nose to ward off the oncoming headache.
"I had dibs on that pasty," Malfoy said triumphantly. "It was mine."
"Tell me again, Malfoy, how old are you?" Hermione asked, deadpan.
"Younger than you, if I remember correctly," he smirked at her. "How's that feel, Granger? Got a bit old, then?"
"Taking the piss out of a lady isn't polite," Hermione said primly, and then went back to staring at the schedule in front of her. Absently, she conjured a cloth out of thin air to dab at her bottom lip.
"Merlin, you're terrible at that, give it here," Malfoy said. He snatched the cloth out of her hands. "Can't even see what you're doing, can you?"
Hermione blinked at her again, gone very still as he rubbed the cloth back and forth across her mouth. Electricity settled low in her stomach, and even through the fabric she could feel the heat of his hand.
This was absolutely why she couldn't stand him. He made her brain all funny.
He sat back, satisfied. "There, now you look like you've snogged an octopus."
Hermione glared at him, but when she touched her lips again, they came away clean. "Wanker," she told him, almost fondly.
"Yes, actually," Malfoy nodded.
"More information than I ever wanted to know, Malfoy," Hermione said.
"Well, you did say—"
"Don't you even go there," she retorted, pointing the sharp bit of her quill at him. "We've got enough problems on our hands. With the weather, no one can get outside, and the fights are starting to get out of hand. What are we going to do? Professor Dumbledore asked us to keep things with the students under control while he's gone, but…"
"Our esteemed Headmaster," Draco said, "is an idiot."
"You're an idiot," Hermione shot back.
"When have I ever denied that?" Malfoy asked, quite reasonably. "I have only ever amended that to perfect idiot."
"Well, that's true," Hermione replied. She ran her hands through her hair, the curls getting ever more knotty with the static in the air. "But really, Malfoy, what should we do?"
"Have a party," he said carelessly. "Pansy can plan it."
"I am not letting Pansy Parkinson plan a party in the middle of winter, Malfoy. Someone will die," she told him. "Probably you, actually, so maybe I should let her at it…"
"That's unkind of you, Granger. I thought you were better than that!"
Hermione grinned at him sharply, all her teeth flashing. "We're snowed in, Malfoy. Eventually, someone's going to lose their mind."
"Will it be you?" he asked, voice gone low and smooth.
"Maybe," she said, still smiling terribly. "So, do you want to plan this party, or shall I?"
MEETING THE PARENTS
(the family is for suckers mix)
"I don't think I can do this, Granger."
She rolled her eyes at him, shook the curls out from where they were tucked into her scarf. Draco watched her do it in the way of a starving man—she was red-cheeked and lovely, the cold turned her paler than usual but brought out the dark chestnut brown of her eyes.
"They're just my parents, Draco, it's not a big deal. They're not going to assault you."
She sent him a very pointed look, which Draco ignored entirely. It wasn't his fault that his father was still… uncomfortable with the thought of his son dating someone that he disapproved of entirely. Nor was it his fault that his mother had proceeded to bash his father over the head with the teapot when said father had been rather vulgar about Hermione's parentage. Nor was it all Draco's fault that Narcissa proceeded to lecture both the men in her family about etiquette and then took Hermione shopping as some sort of therapy.
That had, er, been a rather unfortunate Officially Meeting His Parents incident, actually.
Draco rather didn't like to think about it, if he was honest with himself. Sometimes, he thought his mum liked Hermione more than she liked him.
But that didn't necessitate Draco meeting Hermione's parents. That was another cup of tea altogether, so to speak. Hermione had already known Draco's parents, going into that First Official Meeting. She'd known what they were like, known what they believed (or, rather, what his father believed—it turned out that Hermione Granger and Narcissa Malfoy got on quite famously, which was frightening enough on its own); she'd known exactly what she was getting into, with him.
For Draco, it was entirely the opposite.
Though Hermione had slowly been introducing him to (the horrors and marvels of) Muggle life, she very rarely spoke of her parents. The few times he'd asked about them (and asked about them, he had), she'd gotten a faraway look in her eyes, tinged with the kind of pain from an old wound, or maybe the memory of pain. She'd never told him the entire story.
And so, of course, Draco had gone to Potter.
(Not that he'd wanted to. Potter was still a git, half a decade down the road.)
And Potter had told him (as the pair of them snuck quietly away from the Weaselette and the gaggle of Potter children to get a drink at the pub), that before the War, Hermione had taken her parents' memories away. That the wound of it still hurt her, sometimes. That their memories weren't always there. That sometimes, it was still hard.
But Potter had never met them, either, so he hadn't much insight there. Useless. Draco bought him a pint anyway.
That had been a year and a half ago.
But now he and Hermione were standing outside a bright little house, white with buttery yellow trim, a red-berried wreath hanging on the door. She took a slow breath, tucked her curls away from her face, and knocked on the door.
Draco slipped an arm around her waist, tugged her close, and thought that she whispered thank you.
And then the door opened, and a woman with kind clear eyes who looked very like Hermione but for the grey streaks in her long hair and the light colour of her eyes stood in the doorway, smiling.
"Darling!" she laughed, "you made it!"
"Hello, mum," Hermione said, stepping out of the protective curve of Draco's arm into the circle of her mother's. "How are you?"
"Fine, darling, and you? Oh, and look! You've brought someone! Who's this?"
"Um, mum, this is—"
Hermione's mother smiled knowingly. "It doesn't matter for now. Come in, you two, let's get a look at you. Hermione, your father wants to see you—I think he's in the telly room?"
And then Hermione did the absolute worst thing she could have done. Her face split open in the widest smile Draco had ever seen from her, and then her boots were off and her black pea coat was a rumple on the floor and she was suddenly disappearing around the corner, shrieking "DAD! DADDY! I'M HOME!"
It was the worst thing she could have done because Draco was left alone.
With Hermione Granger's mother.
"You must be Draco," she said softly. She reached down to pick up Hermione's coat, fingers trembling a little as she ran her fingers over the bright red buttons. "She's written us about you, you know."
"Er—" said Draco.
"I'm Margaret," she said. "Call me Maggie."
"It's good to meet you," Draco said awkwardly, and stuck a hand out.
Maggie patted his hand sympathetically, and somehow managed to scoop him out of his winter cloak and his boots and into the telly room. Draco had no idea how this happened, but he was suddenly around the corner in the telly room, where Hermione was flopped down on a beige couch next to a man with thinning straw-coloured hair, and laugh lines around his eyes.
She lit up when she saw him, though, and reached for him, half-rising as she did.
"Draco, come here, I want you to meet—Daddy, this is Draco, he's my—" she stopped, flushed, not sure what to label the thing between them; despite the lack of label, it was serious and it was real, and Draco stood there in front of Hermione's father, and stuck out his hand again.
This time, it was taken and shaken thoroughly.
"Sit down, son," the man said. His eyes were exactly like his daughter's, and Draco could see where she'd gotten her freckles. "I'm Charlie."
Hermione, between them, beamed.
Draco had to admit it.
This was going much better than he'd expected.
TRYING TO IMPRESS THE EX
(the ron weasley tells a lie or two but is mostly mad about harry/ginny and this really has nothing to do with him anyway mix)
Ronald Weasley was the last person in the world that Draco Malfoy wanted to impress.
He was Weasley. There was no reason to impress him.
(And due some recent developments in which money was exchanged on a bad bet and he and the Weasel had stood back to back in a fire fight, they'd accidentally sort of become mates. Also, the Weasel was dating Pansy, so that sort of made their rivalry moot—neither Granger nor Pans would stand for it, and so Draco and Ron had more or less cooled their jets.)
Victor Krum, on the other hand, was another story entirely.
Draco and the aforementioned Weasley sat moodily together at one of the round tables, the pair of them glaring profoundly at everyone around them and generally being angry at the world. It was Harry Potter's wedding day, mid-December, icicles hanging from the Burrow's craggy roof.
"It's just not right," Ron was shaking his head, eyes on his best mate and his sister dancing. They were gazing adoringly at each other, too wrapped up in each other to be bothered with anyone else. "It's just not right."
Draco would have found it vomit-inducing and agreed whole-heartedly, had his attention not been elsewhere.
And his attention was elsewhere.
Granger was dancing with Victor Krum. She was wearing something floaty and soft, the colour of pink champagne, and when he'd brought her here in it, she'd been smiling so widely that he almost couldn't see the rest of her face.
If Draco didn't eschew the idea of love in general, he just might have thought he did.
Love her, that is.
And now she was dancing with Victor Krum, and all of Draco's instincts were telling to go stomp over there, throw her over his shoulder, and bring her back to his cave so that she'd never smile at anyone else again. Of course, she'd likely curse his bollocks off if he tried that, and Draco was very attached to his bollocks.
There was very little difference between him and Krum, Draco thought reasonably. He was certainly better-looking. And Granger had never cared about Quidditch, so Krum's Quidditch fame wasn't likely to impress her at all. Draco was certainly richer of the pair of them—so why was she smiling like that?
It was going to drive him absolutely mental.
"Oi, Malfoy, you alright?" Weasley knocked against his arm and broke Draco out of his reverie.
"Why is she still dancing with—?"
"Mate, Krum wants to marry her," Weasley said. "Dunno why, though, I mean, I love Hermione, but she's nutters."
"He wants—what?!" Draco sputtered, hair in his eyes.
Weasley's eyebrows rose. "Yeah, that's right, you weren't at Bill and Fleur's wedding, were you? Year the War started, when you were still a git. When she and I were—" he paused to make an obscene gesture that was absolutely unnecessary as far as Draco was concerned "—I felt it too, mate."
"Felt what?" Draco didn't really want to know, but felt compelled to ask out of a sick curiosity that was much like the opposite of a survival instinct. "What, Weasley?"
"The urge to kill him," Weasley whispered. "Got his hands all over her, doesn't he? It isn't right; you can't just do that to a man's sister—"
And he was off again ranting about the way Potter and the Weaselette were looking at each other. Draco almost wanted to find a wall to smash his head into; it would probably be more productive than just sitting here and watching her dance with some Quidditch star all night. But that would kill brain cells, and as it was, Granger had more of those than he did.
This was when Draco decided to Do Something Drastic.
(Or not Drastic, as one may or may not have looked at it. But for Draco, it was Drastic. He'd been raised in a polite society, and one simply did not do this kind of thing. But this was about Granger, and Granger was his—well, she was his something, and Draco wasn't about to let it go just quite yet.)
He stood up from the table, tried very valiantly not to stumble over his robes (succeeded, which boded well for this mission), and crossed the floor to slide an arm in between them.
"May I cut in?" he asked. Granger turned to face him, flushing brightly, and let go of the Quidditch star who'd been on Draco's nerves all night. Without so much as a word, she slipped into his arms, shoulders relaxing a degree.
"Later, Victor? I'd like to dance with Draco for a bit," she said, and with that turned right back round to face Draco again, tucking up into him like she belonged there. She was small and warm and that colour really did wonders for her, Draco was going to have to take her home and divest her of it immediately—
Over her shoulder, Krum glowered at him.
Draco thought this was the best thing ever, and smirked annoyingly at the entire room. Hermione Granger was in his arms, and hadn't even tried to stay with Tall, Surly, and Ungainly over there.
ACCOMPLISHMENT, Draco was pretty sure.
"Granger," he asked, "would you like to dance?
She tipped her head back, and smiled at him.
"Yes, Draco," she said, "I'd love to."
GIRLS NIGHT OUT + DORKY PICK UP LINES
(the yeah this is definitely pansy's fault mix)
"Isn't this too much…?"
"No such thing, Granger," Pansy said rhetorically, flapping her hand emphatically while she applied another layer of waterproof eyeliner one-handed. "We're going dancing, we absolutely have to look like chavs. The trashier, the better."
"How do you even know that word?" Ginevra asked curiously.
"What, chav? One of my cousin's on my mum's side," Pansy said. "Poor girl's a Squib—Aunt Myrcella sent her to a Muggle school. Bit like Hogwarts, except, you know, chavs."
"I don't see the point," said Hermione. She was frowning down at the scatter of cosmetics, both magical and Muggle, that Pansy had dumped all over her the porcelain of her bathroom sink. It was all very… pink. Not that Hermione didn't like pink, but, er. Very Pink.
"The point is being a slut, Granger. That's part of the whole dancing thing, remember?" Pansy sighed theatrically. She was surrounded by plebs, why on Morgana's green earth was she friends with these people. They didn't deserve her brilliance, honestly. Hopeless, the lot of them. "Loony's getting married, remember? We did the same thing before Ginevra and Potter got married."
"Must you call me that?" Ginevra complained.
"It is your name, Ginevra, and it is the only one that I will use. Either Ginevra or She-Weasel, and you know very well how long it took me to stop calling you She-Weasel," Pansy said primly, spiralling her wand at her hair to create perfect pin-curls. "So take your pick."
Ginevra groaned, and went back to taming the unruly mess that sat atop Hermione's head. It was Loony's night, of course, but Pansy had been Planning Things for months now—Hermione was the last of their strange little post-War brood still single, and if that meant forcing her out to seedy magical or Muggle nightclubs to get her a lad, then that was what it meant.
Also, if she may or may not have plotted with Ginevra to have Potter and Ronald and Draco out that night, that was none of anyone's business but hers. Was it her fault that Hermione and Draco happened to spark at each other every time they spent three minutes in the same room? No.
But if there was one thing Pansy Parkinson was good at, it was smelling sexual tension all over two people who just wanted to push each other up against the wall and ravish each other.
And really, Pansy did love the both of them, and they would probably implode eventually, but at the very least they'd have a very kinky shag or two on the in between. If she thought they would happen to have very adorable children, that was also her business, and none of anyone's concern but her own.
"Pansy, I don't think…"
"You don't have a choice," Pansy smiled, a spray of silver glitter swirling out of her wand to settle like diamonds in the dark of her hair. "So sit down and let us make you lovely, Granger, you need to get good and fucked."
"Very nice, Pansy," Hermione sighed. "Your vulgarity is so endearing."
"You adore me," said Pansy. "Now sit down, and let us at you."
Hermione sat, and Pansy and Ginevra descended upon her with a shared look of horrible, harpy-like glee.
For all involved (excepting, of course, Pansy and Ginevra, so really just for Hermione), the next hour was a very painful situation and better not spoken of.
And then the three girls were whirling out of Hermione's flat, grabbing an ethereally-dressed Loony out of a very displeased Blaise's arms, and then they were whirling through the Floo to stumble out into the Leaky, brushing soot from their dresses and their faces, and tumbling out into Muggle London's nightlife. The air was cool, but it was just the other side of Christmas, the last cold crisp days before the year died.
"How do Muggles survive this?" Pansy asked loudly, shaking out her curls as she cast a wandless Warming Charm with a wiggle of perfectly-manicured nails. Pansy was quite accomplished at wandless magic, if she did say so herself: Other people might have been brilliant at magic and able to do all sorts of incredible things, but Pansy could do wandless magic better than anyone.
Heat settled over the four of them, thick like a fur mantle, and Pansy hooked her arm impatiently through Loony's. "Come on then, let's go! Ginevra, don't let Granger escape."
Hermione made an enraged choking noise from behind her, and Pansy smirked to herself—the aforementioned woman was always trying to escape Pansy's schemes, and she really did need to learn that there was simply no escaping these things.
Muggle clubs were different than Wizarding clubs; you didn't need to check your wand at the door—though they kept asking for ID, whatever that was, but Hermione took care of it with a twitch of her wand (very good with Memory charms, that one)—and they were dimmer, somehow, no occasional flash and pop-sizzle of Filibuster's Fireworks. They were louder, though, and the light from behind a stage sang along to the thump of a beat that Pansy could better feel than hear.
Now, she only had one more thing to do: find Draco, shove Hermione at him, and watch as they fell all over each other.
But really, the way they managed to find each other within thirty seconds of stepping into the same room and then eye-sex each other up. Oh Morgana, she thought, rolling her eyes.
"Granger," Pansy held Hermione back for one second to speak very quietly into her friend's ear, "if he tries any of those terrible pick up line of his, punch him for me."
"Yes, Pansy," Hermione grinned a little out of the corner of her mouth.
"Very good," said Pansy, and then shooed Hermione away. "Now get, prig, I have things to do.
There was drinking to be done.
notes2: if you don't like Pansy Parkinson I'm sorry but we can't be friends and you have to leave goodbye