Round 4 Prompt: Daffodils/Chivalry
Title: Fighting For Each Other
Word count: 499
When fist met chin with a stomach-churning crunch, Hermione felt catapulted back to that night when she’d first learnt about chivalry.
“Chivalry is…” Her dad closed the book about King Arthur he had been reading from as he pondered her question. “It's when you stick up for someone. When you fight for them, at all costs.”
For some reason, that definition stuck. It came to her when the Sorting Hat was lowered over her head and its voice rang through her mind, weighing rationality against heart for what felt like ages. “The question is—” Hermione's heartbeat pounded in her ears as she waited for its judgement. “—how far you would go. What you would do for those dear to you.”
Hermione felt the "everything" rather than she thought it, and the ear-splitting "Gryffindor!" that roared through the Great Hall made her forget about it entirely, that’s how relieved she was.
So it was a long time until Hermione thought about chivalry again. She didn't think about it when she smacked Draco for insulting Hagrid, nor when she yelled at Professor Moody on behalf of Neville. Not even when she sent her parents to Australia and followed Harry around the country, remaining faithfully at his side, even as Ron didn‘t. Hermione simply stuck up for what was right. She fought for justice, and for those she loved.
But for some reason, when Ron’s fist hit Draco's chin, chivalry was the first thing she thought of. Only for a split-second though—then she pulled out her wand.
“ Petrificus totalus!” she shouted. Ron fell to the ground, stiff as a log of wood. Hermione dropped to her knees, tending to a knocked-out Draco.
“F—fuck,” he muttered as he came to. He tentatively touched his face and winced. “That hurts a lot more than I thought it would.”
Hermione shook her head, chuckling despite herself. “You complete idiot,” she said softly, tracing the skin where a purplish bruise was blooming. “You shouldn't have said that.”
“And what — ignored it?”
“Exactly.” Summoning a tin with Essence of Dittany, she carefully spread it over the bruise.
“Couldn’t well let him call you a—” Draco sucked in a breath when she touched a particularly sore spot.
Suddenly, the office door banged open, and Neville and Harry stormed in. “What happened—”
With an immobilised Ron on the floor and a battered Draco in Hermione’s arms, the situation seemed all too obvious. “Another brawl?” Harry narrowed his eyes. “What did you do this time, Malfoy.”
“Malfoy?” Hermione jumped up, her voice shrill. “Ron started it. Malfoy defended me!”
“That’s what I did!” screeched Ron while Neville helped him stand. “He’s hexed you, the Death Eater scum!”
“For the last time,” Hermione shouted angrily, her voice shaking, “His mistakes are in the past. He’s changed, and he’s mine now. And if you can’t accept that—” She took a shuddering breath. Harry, Neville and Draco stared. “Then we‘re done being friends, Ron Weasley!”