Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Hermione Granger
Summary: Hermione overreacts to Draco's choice of nickname, and in the ensuing chaos the truth about their relationship is revealed.
Notes: This is my first Dramione fic ever (and really only my third fanfic ever period) so please be nice. But please give me tons of concrit if you have any. Just nicely. I was like super super super super heavily influenced and inspired by the dramione thread on nicknames and even borrowed spadul's term "cheeky little Brussels sprout". Lots of love 'n' respect. Super honest. Also super thanks to my super awesome beta 57mannequins.
Word count: 1214
Hermione finally emerges from the bathroom in their head dorm, jabbing her brand-new goddamned reading glasses back up upon the top of her head. This is done absentmindedly, as she is a little bit more preoccupied with getting Draco’s shirt (the only thing she is wearing) fastened more firmly around her. She is freshly clean from her shower, although her hair is already frizzing again all over the place, and does not glance up at Draco, although she wants to—he is sitting shirtless at the desk where he is poring over the weekly patrol schedules for the prefects, still slick with sweat because she shoved him out of the bathroom and locked the door before he could reach the shower.
“Malfoy,” she sighs, exasperated largely from jabbing herself repeatedly in the side with the gigantic safety pin she is trying to use. She has things to say to him. Prefect meetings in dire need of arranging and crucial schedule rearrangements that must be made known. Keep your eyes down. As long as they remain down he cannot meet them and you cannot get sidetracked again.
He responds absentmindedly—deep into the work. “Yes, love?”
When he finally looks up at her she is staring at him in some twisted sort of deathly stricken shock. Like she has just witnessed a damn death.
What the hell is that for?
“What?” Totally clueless. But why would he not be? What the hell did he do!?
She seems to break out of the shock but what comes next is far worse. “Draco. This—this—this. Draco. It has to stop.”
He would never admit it—not even to himself at this point—but that is what he has been deathly afraid of all along. And there it is. His voice drops. He is not groveling but he does not sound nearly as strong as he ought to and he notices for the first time since it has become the truth about their relationship that he is lost. “What the hell did I do wrong?”
She shakes her head. It’s gently at first and then she’s wrenching it from side to side. “Draco—” She stops and then all of a sudden she is giving a low laugh. “Can you hear me? It’s ‘Draco’ now. Malfoy, did you hear yourself?” She looks up at him and she is distraught. “You called me love.”
That was it?
He raises an eyebrow at her. “Well, aren’t you a sour little Brussels sprout.”
“You think this is a bloody joke, don’t you!? Malfoy, you called me ‘love’!”
“And what in Merlin’s bloody name is wrong with that!?”
“We’re in too deep, Malfoy, way too bloody deep, if you’re already calling me ‘love’! If I find myself calling you by your first name without even thinking about it! I thought this was supposed to be nothing.”
Well, that just stabs him in the chest.
Discreetly he runs the side of his fist across the area where his heart is located to see if he is physically bleeding because he feels like he ought to be. And it is this more than anything—more than some bloody names and more even than what she just said to bring on this out-of-control inner reaction in the first place—that has him knowing she is right.
He can tell—and he wants to shoot himself in the foot because of this just so that the physical reality matches the metaphorical state of things—he is falling in love with Hermione Granger.
So he shouts back.
“Merlin, Hermione! What the hell is the problem with just a couple of bloody names!?”
“Don’t call me Hermione!”
“Sure thing, Princess,” he sneers, stepping up against her, invading her personal space. The tension, all the wrong sort, is so palpable that he feels like if he does not start spreading the sarcasm inches thick he will suffocate. “If you can tell me what seems to be your bloody problem… my love.”
“We are nothing!” she hisses. “We are Malfoy and Granger and we fuck because there is nothing else for us to do! I would rather die than love you!”
She cannot imagine from where inside her this vitriol can possibly be pouring out. All she knows is that she cannot do this. Fucking is fine. She can use him. This is okay. But love—love is not okay.
“Then it’s good,” he snarls, “that all you’ve ever been worth is a sloppy fuck!”
“I hate you!” she screams. “I hope you rot in hell! I hate you; I have always hated you and now I hate—”
I hate you now more than ever before, for none other a reason than that you are driving me to something that could not be farther from hate and I have found that I am powerless to stop it.
Draco is fairly certain that he currently is rotting in hell. He cannot possibly think of anything, of anything to say. The only thing that could ever come to him slips out involuntarily and there is more bile behind each word than anything else that has been said thus far. “I wish I hated you.”
Hermione peers up at him, thrown and confused and furious. “What the hell is wrong with you!?” she whispers hoarsely. “Call me a mudblood—call me a filthy whore—why can’t you make this easy!?”
“Because I can’t do this!” she shrieks—and her voice seems to bring the whole world to a halt. “Call me a whore, Malfoy! Call me a mudblood! Call me anything! Why won’t you call me a whore!?”
“Because I’m in love with you!”
The world holds for a full fifty seconds. Nobody moves or breathes and the air hangs completely still and the dust is as immovable as stone. This until it all comes crashing down around Hermione and she begins to shake and quake and spasm with sobs. Draco is finding it physically painful not to gather her tightly to his chest and refuse to let go—particularly and most sharply right there behind his ribcage—but instead he whispers, "Why on earth would you want me to call you a mudblood?" He whispers to her, “Why on earth would you want me to call you a whore?”
“Bec—because,” Hermione hiccups with her voice choking on her sobs, “I doh—I don’t know if I ca—I can—”
He gives in and wraps his arms as close around her as he can, bringing her as close as he possibly can without surgically molding her body to his—although their bodies fit together perfectly anyway, just naturally. He holds her tight and screws his eyes shut even tighter.
“Be—because if I still ha—had a reason t—to hate you then it wouldn’t be s—so hard to—”
That is all she can get out, he guesses, because she chooses that moment to finally completely dissolve against his shoulder.
“Draco, Draco, Draco, I’m so sorry,” she whispers into his bare skin. “I’m so sorry. Draco, I’m so sorry.”
“Hey, hey, hey,” he whispers. “Hey. It’ll be okay, love. It’s okay.”
She doesn’t stop sobbing, but this time when he uses that word for her name he can feel her smiling against his sweat-sticky shoulder.
So he hugs her even tighter.