Author's Note: Naturally none of this belongs to me. It is the work of J.K. Rowling, and we can only hope and pray that we can one day be as good as her.
This is my first Dramione, and so reviews would be greatly appreciated!!!
Chapter 1: Changes
“Hey, Malfoy! Look what we have here!” Draco’s friend Blaise Zabini said in a sinister voice.
He looked ahead and saw Hermione Granger walking alone in front of him. He sighed. Didn’t she know it was dangerous for her to walk around alone? Why weren’t the Boy-Who-Wouldn’t-Die and Weaselbee with her?
He looked apprehensively at his group of friends, knowing that they wouldn’t just let this opportunity pass them by. Just a few months ago, Draco would’ve been just as enthusiastic. But now, he couldn’t even call these people friends. He had come to the realization that Theodore Nott, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, and Blaise Zabini weren’t really friends with him. They were friends with his bloodline and his father’s status as a Death Eater.
Thankfully, he had managed to shake off Pansy Parkinson for the time being. She grated on his nerves more than all the rest of them combined. With her pug-face, her need to call him ridiculous nicknames, and the fact that she insisted on calling him her boyfriend, all made her the last person in the world he’d rather be around.
Besides all that, the reason he couldn’t call any of them friends was because he didn’t particularly like any of them. But he knew that it was important to keep up his reputation, which included being friends with the “right” people. His father still had ways of keeping tabs on him, despite being in Azkaban.
In fact, not too long ago, he had many things in common with this group of people. Ever since he was little, his father had taught him that blood mattered more than anything. Purebloods were the best of the best, Muggles were no better than pond scum, and Muggle-borns were just as bad.
To his everlasting shame, he had bought this crap, hook, line and sinker. For years, he had believed every bit of pureblood propaganda that had come out of his father’s mouth. Why? Because when Draco was little, all he wanted was to be like his father. But recently, he had been thinking that some of the things he had believed might not be too true. These thoughts were confirmed and reinforced this summer when his father had been tossed into jail.
It was one of the best summers of his life; both he and his mother were free from his father’s oppressive presence. His mother was no longer afraid to show affection to her only son, and as a result showered him with all the love and affection that she couldn’t before. She wanted him to experience as much as he could before he had to go back to school and back to his egotistical group of friends.
She took him out frequently, venturing into Muggle London more often than not. They went to the cinema, the park, the shops, and just walked around. He soon realized that Muggles were nothing like animals as he had been told. In fact, he realized that they were quite clever. They were perhaps even more clever than wizards, because they had to invent all these new things to compensate for their lack of magic.
Just look at all the things they had invented! Telephones, computers, electricity, and his favorite of them all, televisions. For Merlin’s sake, witches and wizards couldn’t even move past quills and ink! Where the Muggles had invented pens and pencils several decades earlier.
This realization came with several others. Namely that everything that he had been taught was wrong. He wasn’t better than anyone else, it was OK to show affection, emotions didn’t make you weak, and it wasn’t the blood that made the man, it was his choices.
That brought his attention to one crucial fact about himself: he had been an arse these past years. Especially to one group in particular: the so-called Golden Trio. He still couldn’t bring himself to like Pothead and the Weasel, but he did feel awful about his treatment of Granger.
She had truly grown up from the little girl he had once known. Now that he could look at her without being prejudiced, he didn’t see what he used to. No longer did he see a know-it-all, he simply saw a brilliant woman. No longer did he see her as annoying, he saw her as the only one with the gumption and guts to stand up to the prick he had been. Plus, she threw one hell of a punch. He rubbed his jaw in remembrance, and chuckled to himself as he continued his re-evaluation. No longer did he see a bushy haired, buck-toothed little girl. Instead, standing before him was a woman with the biggest brown eyes he had ever seen, and gorgeous honey brown curls.
Most importantly, he no longer saw a Mudblood. Instead, he saw a very powerful witch.
All these thoughts of Hermione brought him back to the situation at hand. His “friends” were looking at him expectantly, waiting for him to issue Hermione a few cutting remarks. He really didn’t want to. The more he antagonized her, the harder his apology would be. And he knew he had to apologize. There was no way he could get closer to her without making up for the past 4 years.
However, he had recently gotten roped into Umbridge’s Inquisitorial Squad. The stupid toad. He hated that he had to pretend that he agreed with Umbridge’s crazy doctrines. With that and being a Slytherin Prefect, all eyes were on him. He couldn’t do anything to tip off his father’s spies that his views had changed. His father still fully expected him to join Voldemort’s force of Death Eaters.
Earlier, Draco had looked forward to that event with pride and excitement. Now it caused him to shudder in disgust and even fear.
He was pulled out of his thoughts by a jab in his side from Blaise Zabini, clearly asking him why they were peacefully walking behind her, rather than torturing and taunting her, as they had the power from the Inquisitorial Squad to do so.
Draco took a deep breath and mentally prepared himself for the guilt he was sure to feel when he did this.
“Oi! Granger! All by yourself, are you? Potter and Weasel finally tire of your Mudblood stench?”
She whipped around, her beautiful eyes blazing in fury.
“Malfoy! What are you doing here? I don’t remember anything in Hogwarts, A History saying that they allowed ferrets here now.”
He pretended to be filled with anger, while really he was filled with pride. Her comebacks were definitely better than last year. Usually she would just tell him to piss off.
“Nice one. Ferret, huh? Even as a ferret, I bet I still looked better than you ever could.“
He plastered on his trademark Malfoy smirk, and watched as she struggled to think of a scathing remark. As it was, it looked as if she was too filled with anger to say much of anything.
“Why, you… you…”
“Yes?” he said, smiling sweetly.
“As fun as this is, I do believe that you have warranted some points from Gryffindor for insulting the Inquisitorial Squad.” Blaise cut in.
“What do you think, Draco? Ten points?”
He avoided her gaze as he turned to Blaise and nodded, saying “Quite right, Blaise. Ten points from Gryffindor.”
With a last look of rage, she turned around and stalked off. He had to fight quite an internal battle to stop himself from following her and begging for her forgiveness. Finally, he could bear it no longer, and said a few things to disperse his group.
He then rushed off in the direction that Hermione had gone. He speed walked for quite a ways before he saw her turning a corner in front of him.
“Her- Granger!” he called out.
She paused and looked back at him, which is all he needed to catch up with her.
“What do you want Malfoy?”
Author’s Note: I know that it's moving kind of slowly but I'm trying to get everything set up. Once I get everything going and such, if anyone could make a banner I would love them forever and ever :) <3
Review pretty please!