As Hermione Granger watched Draco Malfoy introduce himself to Harry Potter that first day at Hogwarts, she thought her life was more than unfair. She would have done anything to be Draco’s friend. She’d seen him on the Hogwarts Express, but when she introduced herself, he had immediately asked about her parents, since he didn’t recognize the name. Hermione sadly admitted that her parents were muggles, and Draco laughed haughtily at Hermione before stalking off to find a compartment. She stood outside the great hall admiring his sleek, blonde hair and his platinum blue eyes—she wanted to slip into a bathing suit and jump into them and swim a few laps.
Suddenly, she felt a poke to her backside that made her jump. She turned around to see who the offending poker was, and she saw a small boy with dark hair and a toad held in two clammy fists. She knew him because he’d asked her for help looking for said toad earlier on the train.
“What?!” she exclaimed, annoyance ringing in her voice. This boy was clearly a nobody. He was quiet and wimpy, and he had a toad—not an owl, not a rat, a toad. Hermione was repulsed.
The boy shifted nervously, and then muttered, “What’s so great about Draco Malfoy?”
Hermione sighed dreamily and gazed at him over her shoulder. She mouthed the name to herself softly. It suited him perfectly. Since she’d received her letter from Hogwarts, she convinced herself that her name was far too ordinary. Any bratty little muggle could be named Hermione. She wanted something original, something that would define herself as the witch she now knew herself to be. While she thought about how perfect his name was—not to mention how much it suited his perfection, she received another poke; this one harder. She turned to Neville again and gave him the evil eye. “What?!”
“Just stop looking at him. He’s a lousy prat who thinks he’s all that,” Neville said, gaining courage.
“He is all that…” Hermione murmured as she eyed him.
Suddenly, Draco turned away from Harry and his eyes locked with Hermione.
What the bloody hell does the budblood want? Draco thought to himself with anger coursing through his veins. “What?!” his eyes shot daggers at her as he glared at her. Hermione turned away quickly and mumbled “nothing” more to herself than to him. He considered pursuing the disagreement, but at that exact moment, Professor McGonagall came out of the great hall and instructed all of them to follow her to be sorted. Hermione thanked Merlin, and then followed the shrimpy Neville into the great hall.
During the sorting, Hermione considered her options based on the people sitting at the different tables. She’d read enough about the Weasleys to know that they were all blood traitors and that Ronald’s father was fascinated with muggles… Of course, having been raised by muggles, this did not fascinate her in the same way. It didn’t fascinate her at all. She wasn’t interested in things she already knew far too much about; especially when there were so many really interesting things for her to learn about the Wizarding world. Since all of the Weasleys were in Gryffindor, she was positive that she didn’t want to be in that house.
However she did flatter herself that she was quite brave. A woman with gumption! That was surely a Gryffindor. Still, it wouldn’t do. After researching Helga Hufflepuff, she determined that she would never end up in the reject house. After all, Helga was willing to teach “them all,” so Hermione didn’t want to be stuck there. She considered Ravenclaw, but she wanted to be known for more than just her intelligence, so it certainly wouldn’t work for her. Her only real option was Slytherin.
Unfortunately, Salazar Slytherin was very specific. He only wanted those whose “blood is purest.”
She sighed inwardly, and focused her attention on the watching the other first years get quartered. Her turn came quicker than she expected, and she jumped to hear McGonagall call out, “Granger, Hermione!” She walked toward the stool purposefully. After all, first impressions are very important, and since the hat was so small, it probably wouldn’t be able to remember things for very long. No she chided herself softly. Magical hats are sure to have long memories! She promptly realized it would look like she was talking to herself and she quieted as she made it to the stool and placed the hat on her head.
Draco watched as Hermione walked to the front of the room. She really was quite pretty, bushy hair included. It was unfortunate that she was muggle-born, really. He was so superior to her just having to wait for the sorting hat to decide which house she would be in was infuriating. Or was that his parents’ meddling with his mind?
He shook that thought off, and then ran his hand through his hair—of course, it was still just as perfect as it was a few moments ago. He noticed Pansy watching him and he winked. He felt a thrill as he watched her blush and then turn to her friends and burst into a fit of giggles. He always had that effect around girls. He knew that even at eleven years of age all the girls were crazy about him. And he loved it.
He looked up as he heard the hat call out “Gryffindor!” He smirked in her general direction, and saw, not pride, but a shadow of sadness in her face. He was looked at her, confused, and then saw her face brighten as the Gryffindors all clapped for her. By the time the sorting hat had called his own name, he was positive that he had simply imagined the whole thing. The hate called out “Slytherin!” the moment it came near his blonde, illustrious head, and he hopped off the stool, gleaming. He stole a glance at Hermione and, for his amusement alone, shot her a wink just like Pansy’s. He watched as she blushed fiery red and hid her face from her. But now he knew that he had the very same affect on her as he did on other girls.
Albus Dumbledore watched this exchange as if captivated. He was amazed at the attitude Draco Malfoy had already developed. The relationship between the two would certainly prove to provide some entertainment for him. Even though the elusive Harry Potter was back, Dumbledore didn’t want to concern himself with the latter just yet. He’d spent the last years worrying about Harry’s return to Hogwarts, and now that he was finally here, it took a load off his mind and he could eat cockroach clusters and lemon drops and acid pops. Certainly not Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans though. He nearly gagged as he remembered the vomit flavored one he had so many years ago.
Professor Flickwick, on Dumbledore’s right, cleared his throat loudly so as to get his attention, and Dumbledore looked up to see the sorting hat call out “Gryffindor!” to “Potter, Harry.” He clapped along with the Gryffindors, and when Harry, now sitting at the table along with a group of Weasleys, looked up at him nervously. He gave Harry an encouraging smile, and then proceeded to wait out the rest of the feast. After enduring so many, they were getting rather boring, and he couldn’t wait to dig in to the feast. He’d specifically asked the house elves to make extra tart—he wanted to be positive that he wouldn’t miss it.
He made his speech—quickly, so as to allow more time for eating, and then he sent the students off to bed after singing the school song. (He laughed heartily while he watched Fred and George Weasley, singing to a funeral march tune.) He bid goodnight to the teachers and then headed up the spiral staircase. He moved his wand to his temple and brought it away with a memory attached, which he then dispensed into the pensieve. He looked down and watched Draco Malfoy winking at a muggle-born again, just to make sure that he had not imagined it.
He noticed Phineaus Nigellus watching him, and he turned around.
“Yes? I notice you usually have some snide remark about any occurrence at this school,” Dumbledore sighed and glanced at Phineaus wearily.
“I was merely going to say that if that was a Malfoy winking at some girl who isn’t a pureblood, there must be something in the air…”
“Yes, Phineaus. It was quite strange. It seemed as if both of them were under a spell. I’ve never seen a Gryffindor look that way at a Malfoy, and I’ve certainly never seen a Malfoy acknowledge the presence of someone with less than pure blood.”
“I concur, Headmaster. May I suggest that someone watches them? Just to make sure that nothing too intense happens?” Phineaus evidently didn’t have much faith in the abilities of the two youngsters. Even though both of them were already accomplished wizards, he figured that they still may lose control and something no one wanted to happen certainly could happen. Even if it would be rather odd.
“I am not concerned with them tonight, Phineaus. I do not think either of them will be so rash as to do anything drastic, positively or negatively,” he murmured, thinking of the way Draco had looked at Pansy mere moments before.
“Or maybe you need to stop creeping on the students and let them live their own life without you watching or interfering,” Phineaus snickered to himself.
Dumbledore glanced at the portrait with a twinkle in his eye, and returned to his desk. Watching over the students (sometimes more than necessary) had become a habit as of late. It proved to be much more interesting than all of the other ideas he was able to come up with. Of course, now that Harry was in school, he might actually be able to find something interesting to do. Maybe Snape and Harry would have problems just like James Potter did with Snape.
Maybe we should get back to the subject of our story.
So Hermione Granger went to bed that night dreaming of the perfection that is Draco Malfoy. She never understood the concept of wanting what one couldn’t have until that night. He weaved in and out of her dreams, and when she woke up in the middle of the night she was sweaty and aching for him. She began to cry.
She cried because she knew that he would never even consider her as someone worthy. So cried because she was surrounded by girls who hated Draco, and who had crushes on Fred or George, or Oliver Wood, or Cedric Diggory. None of them had any class. She cried because her parents were muggles and she wasn’t a pureblood. She cried because she wasn’t a muggle. She cried because she knew she could be blissfully happy in her ignorance. She cried because she was so young and felt she wouldn’t find love. She cried until she was exhausted, and then, she stopped.
Next, she sat up in her bed and hated herself for crying about everything. “You’re better than this, Hermione!” she chided herself quietly. “You may not be better than Draco Malfoy now, but you will work hard and you will excel at everything, and he will have no choice but to love you by the end of it. You’ll be so perfect he’ll cry.” She nodded her head to herself with approval, then lay back before she woke anyone up. If she was going to convince everyone of her perfection, talking to herself would not be a way to begin—it would only convince people that she was crazy, which wasn’t the angle she was going for.
Meanwhile, Draco couldn’t sleep either. Although everyone thought of grown up and attractive—which he was—he had never been away from his mother for a night. And it certainly didn’t help that the mudblood continually popped into his mind with her milk chocolatey hair and hazel eyes. “Bloody hell!” he exclaimed.
“Wha—“ Crabbe said, sleepily.
“Oh shove off,” Draco muttered.
Crabbe did as he was told. He may have been dumb, Draco knew, but he was not entirely oblivious. He always knew when to leave Draco alone. Draco had to respect him (a bit) for that.
He couldn’t imagine why his thoughts subconsciously were focused on Hermione. He’d tried to sleep, but when he slept, visions of her appeared, and when he was awake he could try and control them. No girl had ever dominated his thoughts before. And he’d always been able to control them. And if it had to be a girl, why the bloody hell did it have to be a mudblood?! Draco thought again. He thought about what his mum would tell him if she were there. He knew it wouldn’t be as terrifying as what his dad would say. He would yell about how they have standards to uphold, and that he was tainting them even by thinking about her. His mother’s might be slightly more… forgiving.
Although she obviously shared her husband’s views regarding purebloods—she may not have married Lucius had it not been for that reason—she was not hell bent on them as her husband was. Draco was sure of this. Every time his father went on a rage about how horrid muggles were, instead of joining him, Narcissa would shush him carefully. She would classically roll her eyes at Draco later, making him giggle rather girlishly.
Draco shook his head and slammed it down onto the pillow, mussing his hair. Even though his mum might not be incredibly pissed that he apparently had feelings for a muggle-born, his father would still throw a fit about it. It might be joking at first, but Draco knew that it wasn’t really. He had to get Hermione Granger out of his head, no matter how he did it.
If he pretended to despise her long enough, he really would, wouldn’t he? It was his best shot. He resolved to be truly horrible to her. He would exploit every opportunity and he would insult her at every corner. Then, he would hate her. Then, he would be free of the odd hold she had on him. He would no longer have to worry about deceiving his parents, or anyone else—all of his friends would have a fit if they found out that he was thinking about a mudblood in something other than an insulting way!
He sat up, fluffed his pillow; and then lay down again, satisfied with his plan.
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