Hermione Granger did not get jealous.
Jealousy was an ugly, baseless emotion, one she rarely indulged in or found any logic in. If you wanted something, you worked for it, you studied, you put in the hours, you earn it. Jealousy has no place in her mind, not when she worked so hard to structure her mind into perfect and rigid lines. It didn't make sense. And Hermione Granger doesn't like things that don't make sense.
However, it seemed like it could make as little sense as it wanted and it could care less about the hatred Hermione felt about it, because she knew without a doubt that the burning static dulling her hearing and clouding her vision was in fact, a scorching, raging, crackling surge of incessant jealousy. And no amount of logic could make it pass.
Thunder sounded above her head and she cast an idle look at the ceiling where dark and stormy clouds hung in a cement slab over the candles that danced and flickered in the wind. It seemed like a gorgeous metaphor for the wild and unbridled rage that she felt trapped in her throat.
She rolled her eyes at herself. Metaphors were silly.
Hermione knew how to solve problems. She knew how to compartmentalize her thoughts, she could play the devils advocate in any argument against herself, she could write endless pros and cons lists in her sleep. But this, this didn't listen.
Hermione didn't like things that didn't listen.
Like this quill. For Godric's sake couldn't she manage one measly paragraph without this quill dripping ink on her essay. With a huff she vanished the latest drop and examined the quill, the chewed ends, the bent nib, no wonder! This wasnt her quill, this was-
"'Mione! Thank bloody god I found you, I am just about ready to off my self if I had to stand there and watch Lavender and Ron go at it for the millionth time like, oh my actual god!" Harry huffed as he dropped himself into the seat opposite her and slinging his bag onto the table, startling Hermione out of her reverie and getting ink all over her fingers. She had to tamp down the frizzle of irritation at Harry as she grimaced at the lovely mental picture Harry just helped her paint.
"Yes, I can only imagine." She grit out through clenched teeth, willing her flush to cede as soon as she felt it creep up her ears. "This is yours, by the way, give mine back."
Harry managed a sheepish grin as he shoved his hand into his bag. "Sorry, must have accidentally snatched it after Charms this morning."
"Oh I'm sure." She sighed, taking her quill back and dropping her eyes to the essay she somehow didn't feel like finishing. "How are Lavender and Won-Won this morning." She didn't intend for the sarcastic tone or the condescending eyebrows to make it into her spoken question and she leveled a glare at Harry when his own eyebrows shot up at the venom in her tone.
"Disgusting as usual." Harry reached out and selected a muffin from the basket between them. Blueberry. "I never talk to him anymore, she's always there and his mouth is always full of, something or another." He looked a little nauseous at his own choice of words. “Girls are weird.”
Hermione couldn't help the disgust that curled her upper lip in response. "No need to completely horrific about it Harry."
“Yeah no, I heard it as soon as I said it." Harry spoke through a mouthful of muffin, still looking slightly green. "Is that the potions essay? Its due in like ten minutes, whats gotten into you."
"Of course not! Do you not know me at all." Genuine offence sparked through her at Harry's words and she huffed as she pulled it way from where he was trying to read it. "This is my Defense essay for next week do you honestly think i would be so stupid as to wait until the last moment to finish homework-"
"Okay okay! Im sorry, I was just asking." Harry leaned back in alarm. "I haven't even started it if it makes you feel better."
"It doesnt. Do your homework." She sighed as she carefully packed up her bag and stood, meeting Harry at the end of the table and leaving the Great Hall with him.
"I did! I even have it for this class, this book is bloody magical Hermione, it took me half the time it usually does because I'm actually the worst at potions and it was so-"
"Harry, again with the book, I thought you were going to return it-"
"Mate! There you are what happened? We completely lost you earlier." Ron's overly jovial voice boomed directly over Hermione's left ear and renewed the wave of irritation she felt towards Harry's stupid book into a full fledged tsunami of rage as he shoved himself between them, one arm still slung around Lavenders perfectly slim waist and the other landing on Harry's shoulder. Lavender bumped into Hermione lightly, sending a giggled apology that turned her vision red for a split second.
"I was just," Harry turned helplessly to Hermione as Ron continued to march him forward towards the Dungeons, his expression a sympathetic cringe.
"Heading to potions, yeah same here." Ron grinned oafishly and completely ignored Hermione as she stopped walking entirely behind them, watching them walk away with Lavender laughing loudly as something else Ron blubbered about while Harry followed looking lost and confused.
Her fingers itched for her wand, a million choice jinxes right on her tongue as she curled her hand into a fist to stop from sending them flying at that stupid red head and those mundane dishwater curls. Instead she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, clearing the cacophony of curses in her mind, calming herself before she started walking again. She carefully counted her breathing with her steps and barely nodded at the quiet "Excuse me" that floated past her as someone edged around her into the classroom.
She froze once again, her heart making a valiant effort to crawl up her throat as she saw Harry and Ron seated in their usual table near the back left of the room.
With Lavender in her seat.
And of course, her day couldn’t possibly be any better as Slughorn chose that exact moment to burst in the room with his usual flair, belly bouncing and hands flapping away animatedly.
“Good morning to us! Take your seats, take your seats, we have a busy day ahead of us, Ms. Brown we sit on our own benches in this class M’dear!”
Not wanting to be called out in what was Slughorn’s usual habit, she quickly snatched the first seat at an empty table directly in the back, opposite side of the room so she didn’t have to stare at the back of Lavenders head and be tempted to send severing charms across the room.
“Now now, to begin,” Slughorns voice boomed out as he waved his wand and summoned all of their homework, Hermione’s scroll making a botched attempt to leave her bag that she forgot to undo before she hastily waved her hand to open it, “We are nearly done with our study of moonstone and it’s properties in individualized potions, or potions that react according to the individual drinkers body chemistry, such as Draught of Peace, which works to attack individual personal demons of the drinker, and Amortentia, which as we know smells differently-“
Hermione stopped listening to Slughorn completely as something large and heavy fell into place in her mind, something heavy and wild like every other idea she’s ever had and she watched her own hand clench tighter around her quill as it began to shake with mixed nerves and excitement.
The old man had just handed her the perfect solution on a beautiful silver platter.
It had been easy enough to convince Professor Slughorn to allow her to stay later after class to finish organizing her notes.
It had been even easier to toss a casual locking spell over her shoulder once he had left the room, booming laugh echoing once the door slammed.
It had been almost too easy to slip into the supply room and snatch all of her necessary ingredients, carefully slipping them into her bag with a recipe in mind she’s spent the last two hours of class memorizing.
And it was a little too easy to make the petty decision to incinerate the stool that was once hers that Lavender had perched her stupid backside on earlier.
She left the ashes on the floor next to Ronald’s stool and left, her step lighter than it’s been since thanksgiving.
What wasn’t easy, however, was shaking off Harry, who seemed as unwilling as she was to spend another torturous moment in Ron and Lavenders presence alone. It had taken him an infuriatingly long while for him to finally go to bed, though Hermione knew he was only going to sit up there at stare at Malfoys name on the map doing lord knows what, it gave her the chance she needed to slip out of the Common Room and creep down to the Prefects bathroom, making it just after curfew.
She sent up a quick ward over the door with a locking spell and, after sending a glare to the mermaid that tittered when it saw her, sat down next to the giant bathtub and pulled her bag towards her with trembling hands.
She wasn’t by any means a stranger to breaking a few rules here and there. She wasn’t a stranger to brewing illegal potions in bathrooms either. But every time she sent a perfectly pointed toe out of line, or bent any rule just a touch, it never failed to fill her with a rush on both anxiety and excitement. She had to school her hands to still as she set out her various jars in perfect order next to her cauldron.
She thanked whatever deity that this particular potion didn’t take eons to make, no just three measly hours, and who needed sleep anyways. After she had added all of her stolen ingredients she lowered the heat beneath her cauldron and pulled out her Transfiguration book, rereading the next chapter they were going to cover until she began to hear it bubbling slightly, watching the steam rise in its characteristic spirals.
She leaned forward and inhaled deeply.
Freshly mown grass, new parchment and-
Hermione leaned away from her cauldron, turning off the fire beneath it and sat back, waiting for it to cool.
Never let it be said that all Gryffindors are fearless.
Because never in all her years at Hogwarts had Hermione been so terrified to leave her dorm room. She had patiently waited until all the girls had left for breakfast, trying and mostly failing not to roll her eyes as Lavender and Parvati had wasted a solid ten minutes deciding what Lavender should do with the abhorrent amount of makeup she wore so she'd look cute for "Won Won"
Once they had thankfully cleared out, Hermione had shoved her hand into her trunk and pulled out the tiny vial she’d hidden beneath her sweaters. she stared into its clear depths before tapping the cork with her wand and quickly transfiguring the cork into a tiny spritzer, effectively turning it into a perfume bottle.
She carefully sprinted herself over and closed her eyes, inhaling the scent deeply and allowing the familiar jump of nerves and affection in her stomach as she inhaled a scent that was so very Ron, before shaking her head and setting her jaw in determination. She knew he was going to be with Harry at breakfast. Let’s see how much attention he pays to Lavender when she smells like everything he could ever want.
It wasn’t her most logical plan, but Godric she was excited.
She slung her bag over her shoulder and made her way to the Common room, now mostly empty except for Ginny lounging on the couch near the fire, her feet up and her wand shoved into a bun on top of her head. The girls head instantly swiveled around as soon as Hermione entered, her eyes wide in her face. “Oh my god Hermione I thought you were Dean, why the fuck do you smell so fucking good?”
Hermione smirked. This was going to be fun.
“I’m not diverging details, but I’m teaching Ronald a lesson.” She shook her hair out. “And now I know it’s going to work.”
Ginny whistled lowly and leaned forward and inhaled again, her eyes fluttering shut. “Yeah I don’t need details but bloody hell you smell amazing. Get out of here before I jump you.”
With a tinkling laugh, Hermione departed, her spirits as high as she held her chin.
It didn’t work.
Not the potion, no that worked perfectly.
A little too perfectly.
Hermione nearly didn’t know what to do with herself. She had never had nearly so much attention before in her life. People she had never even spoken to were sliding up to her in the library, following her to class, lingering near her during meals. Her own friends were looking at her as though she shone brighter than the bloody sun. Even people who swore at some point they hated her were leaning into her space, demanding her attention.
She didn’t think she’d ever get over the intensity in Blaise Zabini’s eyes as he stuttered at her for more than an hour, his posh accent heavy with nerves.
And to top it all off, the one time during her hellish three days of being the sparkly new toy at Hogwarts she had managed to run into Ronald at all had been completely by accident, and he hadn’t even had the decency to notice her devious plot. She had nearly crashed into him outside the portrait hole on her way to the library, surprisingly he was without his new blonde keychain. He hadn’t even done what the rest had done, no deep inhaling or swaying or stuttering, he simply stared at her, dumbstruck and gormless, and she waited with baited breath, waiting for something, anything.
“Er-um.” Was all he managed to mutter intelligently at her.
Her patience already thin from shaking Cormac McLaggen once again off her, she had simply rolled her eyes and stormed away, giving her plan one more day before she called it a completely failure.
She had been so preoccupied with both dodging her classmates and trying her hardest to accidentally run into Ronald again she hadn’t even seen Harry for the better part of three days, and only managed to catch up with him during dinner on the last day she gave her plan. She managed to evade the now usual crowd around her at the entrance of the Great Hall, sending sympathetic smiles to Seamus and the Patil twins and a sharp dismissal to the random Hufflepuffs gathered behind them and fought through the crowd to the Gryffindor table where Harry was slowly being bored to death by an excitable looking Neville.
As soon as she dropped down beside her Harry’s head whipped around, eyes wide as he leaned in near her and inhaled deeply, his nose wrinkling.
“Oh my god Hermione you smell bloody amazing, like treacle tart and citrus and-“ he leaned in and inhaled again, “almost like fancy hand lotion of some sort. What is that? Is this why people have been following you around all week?”
Hermione blinked, her eyes widening. Hand lotion and citrus? That was new.
Her surprise passed however, as she caught slight of Ronald and Lavender wrapped up in each other at the far end of the table and she sighed, her heart sinking and the usual irritation resurfacing.
“It’s just Amortentia. I’ve been wearing it in hopes of distracting Ronald into feeing like a plod but it didn’t work, not one of my better ideas I’m afraid.” Speaking it out loud she felt a little silly, even sillier when Harry didn’t speak for a second, and then burst out laughing.
“That is the most you thing I’ve ever fucking heard of.” Harry sputtered between giggles as he shook his head. “I can see the logic behind it but my god Hermione we both know Rons too thick for all that.”
Hermione had to agree, and she resigned herself to her dinner, sending a pointed glare at Neville when he practically launched himself across the table babbling about roses or some other nonsense.
Draco Malfoy did not pine.
He did not swoon, he did not long, and he certainly did not moon, over anything or anyone..
He couldnt afford to do any much of anything even slightly resembling a social life these days. And allowing himself to be reduced to something as low as a lovelorn puppy would be suicide all things considering his current, situation.
He also was very meticulous about labeling all things in his life, it gave him a strange sense of control in these times where control was very much outside of his reach, and if he felt that a particular action he was performing wasn’t pining, then he was very much free to do so any time he fucking wanted.
After all, he had been watching Harry Potter over meals for the last six or so years, had made a mental note of his far from stellar table manners, knew which was his favorite desserts, knew he didn’t engage in active conversation until well into his second helping and that tho he was right handed, he occasionally switched his fork between them like a savage.
Not because he was mooning over the moron of course. Like he stated previously he didn’t have time for that. He was simply cataloguing various facts about the boy who for some reason demanded to work his way into Draco’s personal business whenever he felt so entitled to.
His ridiculous crush on the bloke of course had nothing to do with it. Especially with Draco’s ability to repress the living daylights out of any and all emotion he chose to. And although, infuriating as he may be, Draco still found his eyes drawn across the hall to that mop of truly atrocious hair, and schooled his features into bland disinterest for whenever Potter inevitably looked back up at him.
Perhaps he was a bit on edge about life in general these days.
He chalks it up to this when he snaps at Pansy at dinner that night, he had been steadfastly ignoring her usual droll of people watching and subsequent judging of their classmates that she liked to do at meals in favor of watching Potter devour a bowl of soup with an appalling level of gracelessness when she poked his arm with a needle sharp fingernail.
“Hello? I’ve been talking to you for like five minutes, who are you staring at that you can’t even answer a question?” The nosy cow lifted herself up to his eye level and leaned closer to his vantage point.
Draco’s lip has curled up and he had leaned away from her before he could get a rein on the surge on annoyance that bubbled beneath his skin. “Piss off Pansy, I don’t give a flying fuck what Romilda Vane’s eyebrows look like.”
“Salazar Draco take that stick out of your arse will you?” Pansy huffed, too used to him and his attitude (her words, not his. His attitude was just fine thank you very much.) “you completely missed what I was saying about Granger.”
It wasn’t because she had mentioned one of Potter’s best friends that he deigned to drop his hand from beneath his chin and actually look at the bint. Not at all. “What about her?”
“Apparently she’s become quite popular as of late.” Pansy scrunched up her nose unattractively, picking up her fork again to stab at the remainder of her dinner. “Blaise was in a right strop earlier when she refused to even speak to him in the library yesterday.”
“Since when is Blaise into Hermione Granger?” Not that Draco cared, Blaise was known to sit on and offer a ride to anyone and anything that caught his fancy, but everyone knew that he had set his sights on Ginny Weasley that month.
“Haven’t the foggiest.” Pansy rolled her eyes, her latent annoyance clear on her face. “Overheard some Ravenclaw fourth years trying to catch up to her on the fifth floor two days ago, looks completely the same as well! Just as frighteningly boring!” Pansy tore her dinner roll in half and handed him a piece, his hand coming up to it automatically even tho they both knew he had no intention of eating it. “Maybe she’s dosed them all with a love potion.”
“I feel like the very idea of doing something illegal on school grounds would give the girl an aneurysm.” Draco answered drily, his gaze shifting away from Pansys further destruction of her dinner roll to watch Potter laugh at a joke with his mouth full.
“Hardly.” Pansy snorted. “She nearly cursed Cormac McLaggen when he cornered her after Herbology apparently. I hear she’s a right menace. Plus didn’t she slap you in the face that one time.”
“One time.” Draco scowled. “Speak of the She devil.”
Hermione Granger herself had just entered the Great Hall, and Draco could have sworn the murmuring white noise that usually blanketed mealtimes increased by a few decibels. She was flanked by both Patil twins, Terry Boot, Seamus Finnegan and a few Hufflepuff third years Draco didn’t know nor care what their names were. She somehow managed to simultaneously look disinterested, annoyed and smugly proud all at once as she turned and attempted to dismiss her entourage as they all fought for a spot nearest to her.
“See what I mean?” Pansy huffed next to him. “Makes no sense whatsoever.”
Not one to admit when Pansy was right, Draco had to concede that she had a point. Frizzy hair, average features, a uniform that was slightly too loose on her. Nothing out of the ordinary.
He watched as she managed to shake off her crowd of admirers and made her way to where Potter was listening to Longbottom talk about something mundane by the look on his face and take her seat beside him. Potter leaned towards her and, smelled her? It looked as tho he sniffed at her hair and then wrinkled his eyebrows and asked her a question. Grangers eyes widened slightly and she went off on what looked like a lengthy rant before Potter laughed, shook his head, and went back to his treacle tart as Longbottom practically threw himself across the table to talk to Granger.
“Well I’ll be damned.” Draco breathed out. “What’s she done?”
Again. Draco is never one to indulge Pansy in her ridiculous love of gossip, but this had provided just the right amount of interest in the hellish monotony of stress that had become Draco’s life as of late. Draco’s curiosity managed to hold out until the end of dinner, the snapping point coming when she stood up to leave and nearly everyone in her vicinity rose in an attempt to follow.
He waited until she managed to shake them and was halfway out of the hall before making up his mind and standing, ignoring Pansys annoyed “oh not you too!” That followed him out.
He managed to catch her just outside the doors, surprisingly alone in the hall when he spoke up.
“What diabolical nonsense have you gotten into that the entire school is ready to kiss your average looking feet Granger?”
His voice carried to her and she turned in surprise, her features hardening as soon as she saw it was him addressing her.
“I feel as though diabolical nonsense is more your area Malfoy. Leave me alone.” She sniffed at him, whirling around and preparing to leave. Draco had caught up with her enough so when she turned, a wave of something glorious, something heady and familiar, sandalwood and earth with a decidedly masculine touch, a scent Draco had well familiarized himself with over the years and he couldn’t tamp down the mad urge to laugh.
“Oh Circe Granger is this your secret? You never get attention so you’ve gone and raided Potters cologne in attempt to be noticed?”
For some unfathomable reason this makes her stand stock still, her hand still raised to push her ridiculous hair away from her face and she turns back towards him and as slow as he’s ever seen her move, her eyes wide and her mouth agape. “I desperately beg your pardon?”
“I’m commenting on how pathetic it is that you’ve gone and doused yourself with Eau de Savior in attempt to increase your own dismal popularity. Quite beneath you Granger if i say so myself.” He was still shaking with mirth. What a ridiculous plot on her part! He could imagine her sneaking into his quarters to steal whatever scent he used and another bark of laughter escaped him.
Again the enigma of annoyance that the woman was simply stared at him, her eyes growing wider by the second and her mouth hanging open. She seemed completely at a loss for words and for some reason it was all the funnier that he had been the once to catch her.
“Um. Im leaving now. I suggest you don’t speak to anyone about this lest you want to resemble Marietta Edgecomb for the remainder of the year.” She finally spoke up, turning away and all but fleeing away from him, leaving him surrounded by a cloud that was undeniably Potter and a giggle slowly dying in his throat. It may have been the only thing to make him laugh since Christmas, but lord the woman could be terrifying. Marietta Edgecombs face still bore scars of Grangers wrath.
With a final shake of his head, Draco returned to his seat in the hall, ignoring Pansys launched interrogation about what happened and ignoring Potters stupid green eyes as they narrowed at him from across the hall.
Hermione Granger was not a stupid girl.
But as she nearly stumbled back to her dormitory, her mind was a blank buzz of half formed thoughts and a blanket of sheer confusion.
Draco Malfoy was attracted to Harry Potter. And the poor sap didn’t even realize it.
The cruel part of her brain was screaming for more revenge, to spread it like wildfire and utterly destroy Draco Malfoy, to watch him ridiculed the way he had so often done to her and watch him wither away underneath the fire of hatred that would surely rain down from their peers. Children could be cruel after all.
But on that same vein, Hermione Granger was not a cruel girl.
She was, granted a touch irrational at times, a touch impulsive, and maybe a bit rash where she shouldn't be, but no, cruelty wasn't her strong point.
She had been thinking for awhile that maybe Harry’s strange obsession with Malfoy night have some truth behind it, and perhaps he really was up to something, and it was clearly starting to affect him. Past the mean bravado with which Draco had laughed at her were wary eyes with heavy circles beneath them, the grin was stretched over a face with skin that was a touch too translucent, the shoulders that shook with laughter were a touch too thin. She really couldn’t find it in her heart to use her newfound knowledge to hurt him.
At least not publicly.
Oh no no no no no no no.
Draco’s hand were shaking and his knuckles were a pasty white as he clutched the parchment he had found folded on his pillow, the scrawl of his name unfamiliar and looking innocuous as all hell until he had actually opened it and felt the world tilt off its axis and everything on it went flying by his head at a million kilometers an hour.
What I’ve been wearing for the past week is Amortentia, and with your large mouth you have informed me that to you, it apparently smells like Harry. Meet me in the transfiguration classroom on the third floor at seven tonight, if you so need proof that it’s real.
It had to be a joke, a prank of some sort, except it all lined up too perfectly for it not to be. There was not a soul on this green earth that Draco had breathed a word to about his stupid latent crush on Potter, and unless Granger had somehow magically found out about it and had actually worn Potters cologne to get him to admit it, but how? He was a practiced Occlumens, out of pure necessity these days, there was no way she could have picked through his mind for it, and it wouldn't explain why the entire school had suddenly began to act as tho she had morphed into Aphrodite herself.
Unless the mad woman was telling the truth.
It didn’t explain how the flying fuck she managed to get her hands on the damned potion in the first place, she couldn’t have possibly brewed it herself, it wasn’t only against school rules, it was fucking illegal, and, and-
Draco crumpled the parchment in his shaking hands, his lungs constricting as he realized he was very nearly hyperventilating. Now was not the time to panic. He just wouldn’t go meet her. That’s it; he just wouldn’t go, and he could just go on with this nightmare of a school year and do what he needed to do and pretend he hadn’t stooped so low to reveal his asinine crush on the Boy who Lived to Fuck up Draco’s entire Life.
He wouldn’t go.
He repeated this to himself even as he found his traitorous feet carrying him up to the third floor, even as he cursed himself with each step and continued to swear he wouldn’t do it, he just wouldn’t give in to the burning curiously because Salazar on a fucking broomstick he did not need this crap in his life right now.
It didn’t seem to matter in any case whatsoever as he found himself outside the transfiguration classroom, one hand raised to open the door and his feet all but welded to the floor. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t need this.
He was saved, or rather damned to burning coals that flicker beneath hell when the door swings open before he can reach it, and he’s staring into the determined glare of none other than Hermione bloody fucking Granger.
And is instantly assaulted by a blissful, glorious wave of earth and saddle wood, the scent he constantly and greedily inhaled whenever he shoulder checked Potter in the halls, whenever Potter retaliated and slammed his shoulders against a wall in anger, when he stood behind Potter in apparation lessons, or when he sat near him in joint lessons.
Granger must have seen the traitorous flare of his nostrils because she simply stepped back i to the room, not speaking as she led him into the classroom, shutting and locking the door behind him. He should probably be a touch more nervous about being locked in a room with the girl who had disfigured a girls face for tattling and cursed a boys ears off for talking to her in the library, but Draco couldn’t focus on any of that, because set on McGonagall’s desk was a bubbling cauldron, lit by a tiny blue flame, with steam rising from it in spirals that reached their spidery fingers towards the ceiling.
Fuck his entire life it was true.
And it absolutely reeked of Harry Potter.
Now was the time to panic.
He couldn’t even bask in how wonderful the room smelled, because his heart was apparently making a Herculean effort to explode out of his mouth while his stomach tried to drop below fucking sea levels. He was so invariably and irrevocably fucked.
“I could have you expelled for this.”
He didn’t mean to speak out loud, and only realized he had instantly jumped to the defensive and threatened her, something he once again realized was the completely wrong thing to say.
“No you won’t.” Her voice didn’t waver in the slightest as she walked level with him, standing next to him as they both stared at the cauldron. “Because we both know you don’t want anyone to know you’re in love with Harry.”
“Excuse the living fuck out of you? I’m not in love with him!” Draco snapped out of his panic induced haze and finally turned to her. “This just means I’m apparently attracted to the moron you cow!”
“Watch your damn mouth Malfoy! I have the upper hand here and you know it! You should be happy I at least explained his to you!” She turns to glare at him as well, her eyes blazing fiercely.
“This is fucking illegal! You’ve brewed an illegal potion on school grounds! That is nothing compared to what you’ve got!”
“Do you want to bet Malfoy? How do you think your father will handle his heir being in love with the man on the opposing side of his beliefs huh? You’ll be the one who’s ruined here!” Her wand is out now, raising up to his face as she backs up.
“I’m not in love with him!” Draco’s wand is out before he realizes it and he backs up as well, pointing it directly between her stupid eyes. “Stop saying that!”
“You’re so lost in Egypt you wouldn’t even know if it was true!” Her chest heaves with exertion, and her teeth are bared at him as she screams. “Drop the wand Malfoy, I did this to be fair and you’re ruining it, now quit being thick!”
Draco doesn’t drop his wand but continues to glare in the silence, their combined heavy breathing the only sound aside form the cauldron bubbling away merrily between them.
“Why even brew it? Why risk expulsion and a fine to brew this stupid potion?” Draco spat at her through clenched teeth. Fair be damned, he needed his own blackmail.
He was expecting her to shout some more, or to at the very least hex him. What he wasn’t expecting was for her eyes to instantly grow sad, and for her lip to wobble as her wand lowers a fraction of an inch. “None of your damn business.”
“We’re screaming at each other in an abandoned classroom over an illegal potion, like fuck is it none of my business.”
Now she sighs, completely dropping her wand and her shoulders caving in themselves as she crumpled, looking smaller than Draco’s ever seen her. “It was just an experiment. It didn’t work.”
Bullshit. “An experiment.” Draco repeats flatly. “For what.”
“I was at my wits end alright! I was so sick of him and that stupid girl being so annoying and everywhere about it, with the constant snogging and the giggles and the nicknames I couldn’t take it!” Granger looks completely unhinged now, her hands in her cloud of hair and her eyes frighteningly shiny. “Just because stupid Ronald can’t admit-“
“You did all of this for Ronald Weasley?” Draco could hear the flat, disbelief clearly in his voice as he lowered his own wand and didn’t even blame her for the ugly look she threw at him.
“Yes okay. I did all of this for Ronald Weasley.” She drops into a chair next to her and hides her head in her hands. “You say it out loud in your stupid accent and now I realize how stupid this all was.”
Draco doesn’t feel sympathy for her. He really doesn’t. He doesn’t feel anything for Hermione Granger, much less compassion for her as she nearly disintegrated upon herself. Regardless, he lowered himself into the chair across from her, and felt the agitating need to say something so that proud and strong Hermione Granger stopped looking like the world was ending.
He completely blamed all of this on the fact that he was still high on the scent of Potter that filled the room.
“If it’s any consolation, Lavender Brown is as about as low on the standards ladder that Weasley could have reached for.”
That earned him a watery smile as she raised her head slightly, her shoulders raising slightly. “Tell me something I don’t know Malfoy. I thought I could at the very least cause him some trouble, but I’ve been invisible since he disappeared into her mouth three months ago.”
“Needlessly disgusting.” Draco didn’t need that mental image. “It won’t last. I doubt she has enough brain cells to carry a decent conversation with anyone but a mirror, even someone as brain dead as Weasley.”
“I know.” She sighed, looking up at him with a faraway look in her eyes. “But it’s still happening now, you know.”
Draco thought about the hate filled glare that Potter still sent him whenever they made eye contact, and the biting words that slipped from his mouth whenever they spoke. “Oh I know Granger.”
She seemed to understand, and she stood and waved her wand, shrinking the entire potions set up to a fraction of its size and wrapping itself into a neat little box that settled itself into her bag. “I won’t tell if you won’t.” She doesn’t meet his eyes, staring at a patch of stone near his shoes.
Draco stared at her in disbelief, was she really offering a truce of some sort? It was nearly too much to be true. But Draco wasn’t one to stare a gift horse in the mouth and stood as well, the metallic taste of panic that had been costing his tongue for the entirety of the evening receding a bit. “Are you going to spell sneak across my face if I do?” He tried on a smirk.
“Maybe.” Her eyes blaze with conviction once again as she meets his in a stalemate.
Merlin she was terrifying.
“I won’t tell.”
Granger nods once, turning away to leave before stopping and walking back towards him. He feels a fleeting sense of pure terror and takes a hasty step back which earns him an eye roll before she leans in and takes a deep inhale near his chest.
What the actual fuck?
“I thought so.” She muttered quietly, turning around and walking towards the door again.
“You thought so what?” Draco called after her, still thoroughly shaken.
She stops with her hand on the door and she looks back over her shoulder. “When Harry smelled me earlier, he said I smelled like citrus and fancy hand lotion. Strange, huh Malfoy?”
She didn’t give him a chance to do more than drop his jaw to the floor and stutter blankly before she left, sliding out of the classroom and leaving him with the lingering scent of Potter floating around his head.
Fuck his entire life.
“What’s been up with Hermione?”
Ron’s voice cut through Harry’s concentration as he watched the tiny dot labeled Draco Malfoy pace back and forth in a classroom on the third floor, apparently alone. “What do you mean?”
He looked over to where Ron was standing by his bed, using an old t shirt to wipe an alarming amount of what looked like purple lipstick off his neck. “Everyone’s been talking about her, and everyone’s throwing themselves at her bloody feet. What’s going on with her?”
Harry had to bite his teeth against a laugh. His friends were too much sometimes. “Have you not been near her lately?”
“Well no she’s not bloody talking to me is she?” Ron looks annoyed, flinging the shirt down and flopping onto his bed. “Whys everyone paying attention to her now?”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Maybe talk to her and find out.”
“I tried! I nearly crashed into her two days ago and before Icould even speak she stormed off!” Ron sounded exasperated, gesturing wildly with his hands. “She’s a nightmare.”
“Did she smell any different?” Harry turns back to the nap, watching Malfoy leave the classroom and walk back towards the dungeons.”
“Smell? No, she smelled the same way she always does, why?” Ron turned to him with wrinkled eyebrows. “What are you on about?”
Harry couldn’t help it. He laughed.
“Nothing Ron, not a damn thing.”