Categories > Books > Harry Potter > A Different Understanding
A Different Understanding0 reviews
Hermione Granger suspects there's more to Draco Malfoy than meets the eye.. Could she be right?
“Hermione, where are you going?” Ron asked as she disappeared into the sea of students coming out of their classes.
“Library,” she replied hurriedly, barely looking over her shoulder.
“She always goes there free period,” Ron remarked sadly to Harry, “And I wanted her to do something with me. I am her boyfriend, after all.”
“Yeah, right, her boyfriend,” Harry mumbled, too busy trying to find Ginny before her next class to listen to Ron’s troubles.
“Great help you are,” Ron muttered as he turned away from Harry and set off towards the library, “What the hell’s so interesting in books anyways? Aren’t I at least a bit more entertaining? I mean, you can’t kiss a book. Well, you wouldn’t want to…”
Meanwhile, Draco Malfoy was heading for the library as well, Harry Potter’s missing Marauder’s Map in his hand.
“Sucking up to that ghost was ingenious!” he thought, “And since Potty never visits her, he’s not really in her good book anymore, so getting her to steal this for me was excellent! Ah, there’s Granger now…” he mumbled, scanning the Map, “closest washroom to the library of course.”
Hurrying himself to get there before she came out, he began thinking of what it would be like if Weasley would ditch her and then he, Malfoy, could dump that stupid Pansy whore and be free to date whomever he liked – mainly Granger – no, just Granger. True, she was a Mudblood, but she was the best witch in their year, and… “What Father doesn’t know can’t hurt him,” Draco muttered aloud.
Lost in his thoughts, he hardly realized where he was until he literally ran into Granger, causing her to drop her things and him to say, “Oops, sorry Granger… I mean. Mudblood… oh never mind!”
And with that he turned and ran the other way, telling himself he was an idiot and leaving Hermione to pick up her things and curse Draco Malfoy under her breath.
Finally getting to the library, Ron looked around casually, searching for Hermione. When he discovered that she was not in her favourite spot, or anywhere else in the library, he ran out and up to the Gryffindor portrait hole, paused slightly to catch his breath and finally managed the password to the Fat Lady.
After doing so, he clambered through the hole to the common room and raced towards Harry, who was staring lazily out of a window while waiting for Ginny’s class to end. Beside him was a rather large stack of books, but no Hermione.
“Harry, what’d you do with her?” Ron cried, exasperated.
“Who Ron? Ginny? She’s in class still,” Harry replied, a little surprised at Ron’s odd behaviour.
“No you idiot, Hermione! Where’d she go?”
Suddenly a voice came from behind the stack of books, “Ron, I’m right here,” and Hermione emerged from behind the pile to get to Ron, who still looked confused as she kissed him.
“I thought you went to the library,” he said.
“Well… after Malfoy knocked me over and spilled my things I realized that I actually had the book I needed in my bag,” Hermione explained.
“Oh,” Ron replied lamely, not really caring, “Well, did you want to take a break from reading or whatever and come for a walk with me?”
“Actually Ron, I can’t, I definitely need to go to the library now,” Hermione answered, “You could come with me though.”
“Meh,” Ron replied, “I think I’ll go… sleep.”
And looking a bit disappointed, he slouched off for the boys’ dorm.
“Suit yourself,” Hermione muttered once he had gone, Harry shaking his head at them both.
Draco had been checking the Map constantly since he had ran away from Hermione, but now he was trapped walking to the lake with Pansy, who looked ready to kill if she was refused.
Just as they reached the Entrance Hall though, the bell rang and an upset and protesting Pansy headed to Double Defence against the Dark Arts, pleading with Draco to come with her.
“One minute babe, I need my bag, go on without me, really,” he yelled back, then watched her head up the stairs alone, soon swallowed by students heading to their next class.
He then went down to the dungeons, because he actually did need his bag, and he was going to be late, but Snape would not care, and he was also glad not to have to walk in to class with her hanging off his arm.
“Maybe I should just dump her anyways,” he thought, “But she’s alright when she’s not talking and my eyes are closed… I mean if I pretend she’s Granger…” he smirked at this thought and upon retrieving his bag, entering Defence against the Dark Arts and looking at Pansy, then at Granger, decided he would dump the former as soon as he got the chance.
Relishing in the thought of it he flashed Hermione a smile, which she oddly returned, albeit discretely.
Not discretely enough however, as Ron unfortunately saw this exchange and turned to Hermione, “What are you smiling at him for? He knocked you over today, the disrespectful git!”
Hermione did not seem to have an answer to this, and instead replied meekly, “Sorry.”
This just made Ron mad, and made Draco feel as if he had swallowed a vat full of Felix Felicis. This sensation quickly faded as he sat in his seat next to Pansy, who, once Snape had turned away from them all to mark their essays (which Draco was too late to hand in, but didn’t care), decided to kiss Draco on the neck and Malfoy, not being able to take it any longer, finally hissed at her, “Pansy, enough.”
As people turned to look at them - not including Snape for some reason – Pansy suggested suggestively, “Maybe later then, Draco, huh?”
“No Pansy, not later, not ever again,” he retorted, looking, not at Pansy, but at Hermione, who just stared at him as if she thought he needed help, “We’re done.”
“But… baby…” Pansy stuttered, and then burst into tears.
It seemed that Snape had finally decided to notice that no one was doing the assigned work – not even Hermione – and demanded, “What is going on? Get back to work! Miss Parkinson, stop crying or I shall remove you from this classroom!”
As everyone hastily began copying down notes on Shield Charms, Pansy blubbered, “Fine! I want to leave! And I don’t ever want to see you” – she gave Draco a nasty glare, broken by tears – “again!”
At this she ran out of the room, leaving Snape looking livid as the class burst into chatter and laughter, and leaving Draco delighted at the fact that Pansy didn’t want anything more to do with him.
It turned out, however, that Pansy did want to see Draco again because she “still loved him” and “was just mad” when she said that and “wanted forgiveness.”
No, he would not forgive her and he was, in fact, quite happy without her, though she was still extremely annoying when she got the chance to talk to him.
Meanwhile, in the weeks that followed, Hermione was being considerably nicer to Draco, which Ron noticed and disliked very much.
“I feel sorry for him Ron,” Hermione explained simply when he questioned her, “And he’s my friend.”
“For five years he has made fun of all of us, and now you feel sorry for him?” Ron replied incredulously.
Harry agreed with him, “You may be smart Hermione, but I have to say I think you’re wrong on this one.”
Hermione just ignored chides at her behaviour, knowing – or hoping – that she was right and continued to talk to Draco and be nice to him.
Malfoy secretly enjoyed every bit of her attention, but stayed in character and pretended like he didn’t. Sometimes though, he couldn’t help himself and let a nicety or two slip when in her company.
Those few times he did say something nice made Hermione smile, and she began thinking that that Draco was the real Draco, despite of all other evidence.
Like the fact that, even though he was still single, he had slept with almost half of Hogwarts sixth year girls by late January. Hermione knew this and frequently asked him why he did it.
His response was always, “Ah, you know, just playing the field,” followed by, “Why Granger, you jealous?”
Which she always answered with, “No, am I supposed to be?”
But Draco never answered that question, and it began to make Hermione wonder whether he was doing it to make her jealous. She figured she would find out that answer eventually, but for now, she stored it in the back of her brain.
In the weeks that followed, she found herself more and more in the company of Draco Malfoy and less and less in the company of Harry and, sadly, Ron, who couldn’t stand it.
One Saturday night as Hermione came through the portrait hole after seeing Draco, she was confronted by Ron, “You were with him, weren’t you?”
Stifling a yawn, she replied, “Yes Ron, I was, what does it matter to you?”
“To me?” Ron was flabbergasted that Hermione could be so stupid, especially now, “I’m supposed to be your boyfriend, remember?”
“Oh yes, about that,” Hermione added, “You never ask me to go anywhere or do anything with you.”
“That’s because you’re hanging out with him all the time!” Ron retorted, now shouting, “I hardly see you, how am I supposed to ‘ask you to do anything?’”
“Well excuse me for having fun then, and if you wanted to do something with me so bad, maybe you should’ve tried a little harder!”
“Having fun?” Ron repeated incredulously, “So listening to Malfoy talk about his sex life is fun now? And me, not try hard enough? I tried hard for fiver years to get you to like me, and now that I’m your boyfriend, I don’t think I should have to try that hard anymore!”
“No, actually Ron, we do not talk about Draco’s sex life, in fact, we” –
But Ron cut across her, “What? Live it? And if you aren’t, that’s why you’re with him all the time, hoping to be the next one he fucks, right?”
“You know what Ron, just stop talking before I have half a mind to curse you. Oh, and as for you being my boyfriend, that’s now over. I’d be better off with Draco than you, you jealous prat!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Ron retorted, “You go join the slew of girls that have been in Malfoy’s pants! See what I care!”
And with that he stormed up to the boys’ dorm, slamming the door behind him and leaving Hermione standing alone in the common room. She had just realized what she had done, and before she knew it, had burst into tears.
News about Ron and Hermione didn’t take long to reach Malfoy, who found out in Potions the next day through a rather worried looking Hermione, and upon seeing a depressed and loathsome Ron.
“Weasley’s taking it… rather well,” Malfoy smirked, loud enough so Ron could hear.
“Please don’t rub it in for him,” Hermione muttered, “He still thinks that I got rid of him because I like you.”
“And is he right?” Draco asked, yet knowing the pending response.
“Well…” she began – “What?” Draco cut in – “tell me who you really are.”
This answer surprised him, and he was debating whether to be witty and reply, “I’m Draco Malfoy, duh,” but that… that wasn’t really him.
He therefore decided upon choosing his words carefully, and as they both tipped beetles into their cauldrons, he replied, “Come for a walk with me free period and I’ll explain.”
“Thank you,” she whispered in his ear as they moved closer together to cut up their ginger roots, “And don’t make me regret it.”
He did not have a satisfactory answer to this – though he had plenty of witty remarks, but decided against those – so the rest of class passed with silence between them.
All through Arithmancy Hermione wondered if she had been right in wanting to know the real Draco Malfoy, as she suspected that the Malfoy the majority of Hogwarts knew wasn’t really him. Sure he was rude, obnoxious and a player, but she was sure there was a reason for it – well she hoped.
She had grown to like him – or rather, the rare bits she saw that she thought were really him – but she worried about how Ron would take it if she started going out with Draco, as their break-up had left him, depressed, moody and angry. Thus, if she started dating Draco, she would start to worry for Ron’s sanity and health.
He needed desperately to get over her, and fast. “But how?” Hermione asked herself aloud upon leaving Arithmancy and heading to Gryffindor Tower to drop off her things.
Meanwhile, Draco had just left Transfiguration feeling quite happy with the fact that he was the only one who had come quite close to Hermione’s successfulness of turning a stick into a candle snuff.
“Granger…” Draco thought to himself. How would he show her who he really was?
He decided that he wouldn’t try anything with her, though it was tempting, but he couldn’t do that for he wanted her respect, and then love. That was his problem; he had never been respected, and therefore had learned not to expect it and in return, not to give it. But Granger was a different story…
“Draco!” Hermione greeted him as she reached the Entrance Hall where he stood waiting.
“Hi… Hermione,” he replied. It was the first time he had called her by her first name, which astounded them both, but if he was going to gain her respect it was a good way to start.
“Well… shall we?” he offered.
“Yes, of course,” she replied, and they set off into the grounds.
“So,” he started, “What would you like to know?”
“Oh, you don’t have to explain anything,” she replied simply, “Just be yourself.”
“Alright then…” he began slowly, not wanting to mess this up, “…so what was it like, being a Muggle?”
“Oh,” she replied, “well… it was alright. There are things Muggles have wizards don’t, and vice-versa. Like for instance: electronics. If we had them at Hogwarts they wouldn’t work properly due to all the magic in the air.
Seeing Malfoy’s puzzled look, she continued, “Goodness, you don’t even know what electronics are! Well, an electronic thing you would like would be video games.”
I know what those are!” Draco offered, and Hermione looked stunned, “Yeah… they’re things that Muggles use to train for battle and stuff, 'cept they’re not real, they’re all on… umm…”
“Screens,” Hermione finished, laughing at his description but not going into details, “Well, you’re not that narrow minded of a pureblood then.”
“I’m nothing like my father, you mean,” Draco replied, a bit harsher than he should have. “Sorry,” he added, “Didn’t mean to get so mad.”
Hermione, however, was unphased, “Oh, that’s alright, you’re just helping me prove that I’m right about you.”
“Right about me?” Draco echoed, a bit surprised, “And what suspicions have you of me?”
“Oh,” she answered, blushing slightly, “Well, I think the reason that you’re rude and sarcastic to everyone is because you’ve never been properly respected, so you don’t respect anyone.”
“That’s not true,” he mumbled, “I respect you.”
“I love that about you,” she replied, then clarified when he looked stunned, “Your ability to change, I mean. I know it must be hard, which leads me to my reason of why you’ve slept with all those girls.”
“Now why would I do that Granger?” he answered, witty in spite of himself.
“Well, this took me a little longer for me to figure out, but I think its because you’re stressed, and for you, sex helps relieve it,” she said this so matter-of-factly, it scared him, and weirder still, she was right.
“Wow,” he said, “I’m like an open book.”
“And I love to read,” She laughed, but then said seriously, “But I’m afraid its only I who can read you correctly, as the Draco everyone sees is the Draco everyone thinks you are.”
“Well…” he began, “I’ll prove them wrong then.”
“And I’ll help you,” she added, then kissed him on the cheek and began to walk back to the castle just as the bell rang, leaving him to think to himself, “She really is something else…”
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