Chapter 13 : Malfoy's Rebuttal
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Hermione and Malfoy just stood and stared at each other. Hermione was breathing heavily, out of breath from all her yelling, and Malfoy’s face was still blank, shock and confusion hidden under a strong façade. Hermione looked down at her shoes and turned away from him, towards the fire. There was nothing left to be heard but the crackle of the burning logs in the fire and the last bit of the howling wind blowing through from the storm. Hermione lifted a hand to her temple and massaged it, trying to stop the ringing in her ears and the throbbing in her head.
“You don’t know, the first thing about me, Hermione. Not the first.” He said in a low, firm voice. She turned to face him again. Her rage had settled and she was ready to lie down and sleep now, but she sensed that he was only just beginning.
“Living under my father, has been no walk in the park, Hermione. It has not been all sunshine and daisies, or happy birthdays, or cauldron cakes! It was never, ‘Come sit on daddy’s knee Draco’ or ‘Come and read a book with your mum Draco’. It wasn’t like that at all!” His voice was building in volume and tremor.
“No! It was full of secrets, and lies, and death. It was ‘If you go near my office I will kill you before you can say “I’m sorry”!’ and ‘If you don’t win you are no son of mine!’. You just don’t say NO to dark magic! You don’t just say ‘Sorry, not interested.’ to the Dark Lord! So what do you do if you’re not interested? You become interested. You learn to love it, and YES Hermione, you learn to SERVE!! Why? Because if you want to fucking live then you learn, and you obey, and soon enough, it becomes all that you know! It becomes your life, and it consumes you until you can’t even remember the days that you dared to think of denouncing it! It’s not like you can just wake up one day and think, ‘Hmm, I think I’ll be a servant to the Dark Lord today.’ No! It is something you are born into, and die out of. The day you stop being loyal to him is the day that you die. It’s that simple.”
“So you’re saying that you don’t like being on the dark side, that you want to denounce You-Know-Who? Honestly, how in Merlin’s name do you expect me to believe that load of rubbish?” Hermione asked scornfully.
“I never said I didn’t like it. It is truly fascinating; however, you do not understand the seriousness of it. All of you ‘DA’ members or whatever that shit is called; you all think that I have everything I want at the snap of a finger. That all I have to do is write one letter to my father and it will come by express post the next day. Those are petty things, Hermione. They aren’t for me; they are to make me look better in the eyes of others, and ultimately making my father look like top dog. His expenditures cover my mistakes. There is not a single blunder that I can not pay my way out of.”
“Tell me something I don’t know Malfoy. And how did you find out about the DA?” He smirked at her pungent curiosity.
“Like I said, there is not one thing that I can’t put a price on.”
“But- but the charms, the traitor charms…”
“I’ve got connections at St. Mungo’s. The boils were cured before anyone had a chance to see them. Are you beginning to get it now?”
“No, but who was the traitor?”
“That is not of your concern Hermione. Do you understand what I’m saying? My life is prearranged. It has been intricately mapped out since before my conception, and I have a house, an arranged marriage, and a seat next to the Dark Lord waiting for me the second I graduate from Hogwarts. Really, there is no reason why I should rebel against it. I’m set for life. All the money I could even want and all the power to go with it. The only thing that stands in my way is that annoying brat Potter. He can be taken care of easily, and then all that remains is what to do with you.” He looked closely at Hermione.
“You look confused.” He said.
“I am. So, let me see if I have this straight… You don’t like Harry because he blocks your path to becoming your father? And you are just using You-Know-Who so that you can become powerful?”
He shrugged. “Yes, that’s basically it.”
“And you are willing to die for that? You are willing to kill for that?” There was quiet for a moment while he pondered her questions.
“The way I see it, sooner or later I am going to die by his wand, either because I am too old to serve him properly anymore, or because he is displeased with me. Now I might as well enjoy all the perks of being one of his most trusted, don’t you think? And all those people I may have to kill, well, they probably deserved it anyways.”
“No! Those people are innocent bystanders that your ‘Dark Lord’ kills for the fun of it! And what do you mean, ‘too old to serve him properly’? There is no way for him to become immortal, Dumbledore destroyed the Sorcerer’s Stone years ago!” Hermione cried out.
He tapped his head. “You are forgetting that dark magic works in mysterious ways, my dear Hermione. It holds the power to do things that normal wizards never even dreamed were possible.”
Hermione shook her head. “Bullocks, I don’t trust your words one bit, Ferret.”
“Aww, there is no need for name calling. Please…” He walked over and joined Hermione in front of the fire. “Call me Draco.” She raised her chin defiantly.
“I will not.”
“And why is that? I call you Hermione now.”
“Yes, but that is because you want to manipulate me into sleeping with you.”
“Oh, but you’ve already slept with me. What I want is to make love to you.” He said, his voice like silk.
“We have already discussed this Malfoy, you have no heart, and you know nothing of love, so what makes you think for one second that you could show me love and compassion? Honestly, I would like to know.” She rested her hands on her hips and tilted her head to the side, waiting for him to answer.
“You need to give me a chance to know love. I need you to love me, to teach me to love again.” Hermione couldn’t help it, she burst out laughing.
“Draco.” He corrected.
“Malfoy, have you been reading my muggle romance novels or something? How much did you pay a poetic Hufflepuff to write that line for you?”
Damnit! That no good third year said that line was a guarantee! he thought furiously.
“Wha-? No! I came up with that myself! I mean every word of it!”
Managing to suppress her laughter, Hermione said, “If, speaking hypothetically, you and I ever were together, you do realize that You-Know-Who would kill you faster than he would if he suspected you of being disloyal, don’t you? Why risk it? You said yourself that all you wanted to do was go along with his stupid plan for world domination so that you could have the perks.”
“Hermione, a Malfoy can talk his way out of anything. If they were to ever find out anything, I would just tell them that I was using you for a lousy shag and information on Potter.”
“Oh, so you would tell them the truth then-”
“No, I would tell them the-”
“It’s Draco.” He corrected again.
“Malfoy, where do you think that all this leaves us? On what terms are we on? Well, let’s just skip down memory lane for a moment, shall we?” Malfoy looked at her dumbly as she spoke.
“Last month, you snogged me in the Trophy Room for some unknown reason while we had detention together for something that, coincidentally, you started. Then, not a week later, you scared the magic out of me by shoving me against a wall of an empty corridor and demanding that I admit I had feelings for you. By some odd working of Merlin, I let you get away with your manipulative ways by luring me into the same Trophy Room multiple times until I was knocked back into my senses, and I very nearly destroyed my relationship with one of my best mates because of you. Then recently, your juvenile prank that left me dreadfully bare in front of half of our year and the professor you know despises me has been the icing on a very rancid cake, Malfoy. After all that, do you honestly think for one second that I would want to spend one minutes with you, let alone a romantic one at that?” She crossed her arms over her chest as she finished.
“Yes.” He said confidently with no hesitation.
There was a pause while Hermione thought of what to say next.
There is just no escaping this bloke, is there?
“Well I’m sorry you feel that way Malfoy, because you are gravely mistaken.”
“Am I?” He smirked.
“Yes.” She said firmly.
“You’re sure?” He asked.
“Yes. Positive.” She assured.
He shrugged nonchalantly. “Okay then.” In a flash he had her in his arms and was kissing her. To his great delight, there was no sign of a struggle whatsoever. His hand behind her head held her to him so that in case she snapped out of it mid-snog, she couldn’t pull back, and his other arm was linked around her waist, allowing very little moment possible on Hermione’s part. A moment later, he released her and stepped back.
Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he smirked. “Yes, it really is too bad you don’t feel that way Granger. Wow, you sure told me.” He said sarcastically. Her face turned a very angry shade of red.
“You scum!” She shouted.
Scum? Merlin I’m so dense. Why didn’t I call him something worse?
He laughed at her, shaking his head softly. “Goodnight Hermione. And remember what I said, there isn’t a single thing I can’t put a price on.”
Later that evening as Hermione was changing for bed, she reached into her robe pocket to make sure there was nothing in it before she tossed it into the laundry, and when she withdrew her hand, two shiny galleons gleamed in her palm.
Draco Malfoy, She mentally told him. Screw you. She hurled the coins across the room and they hit the wall with a loud *CLANG* before falling to the ground.
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