This is fanfiction for the wonderful already-alternate universe, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which comes to an end tomorrow. It doesn’t really fit with the ending of that story, however, so imagine it extrapolating from the events of, oh, chapter 77 (the end of the “Self Actualization” arc).
Draco Malfoy sat in his room, seething. That fifth-year idiot Warrington had gone from “mildly annoying political obstacle” to “obscene and problematic specimen of masculinity”. What the hell had he thought he was doing, fixating on Tracy like that?
Or rather, not thinking at all. Warrington had been hanging around the third-year chambers, deliberately taking the seat next to Miss Davis at meals, and even (reportedly) asking the castle house-elves to bring her various “presents” that she thought she might like.
Hormones, Draco thought disgustedly. Some men.
The worst part was that he hadn’t even noticed. Daphne had confided it to Vincent on one of their dates, and Vincent had nervously brought it up to Draco—the next Lord Malfoy, trying to reshape the position of Slytherin House, and here right under his nose the already-troublesome Cassius Warrington wanted to put them back in the Dark Ages. Merlin, next thing he’d be claiming that people with darker skin should be kicked out of Hogwarts, just like a Muggle!
After Vincent had told him, Draco had started paying attention, and for the next week he grew more and more uncomfortable watching Warrington leer at Tracy. And as strong as Tracy was, it became clear that she had had no practice in fending off unwanted advances. At this point she wasn’t even trying any more, and there was no way to get away from someone in the suddenly-all-too-small Hogwarts castle.
(Though he was a little surprised she hadn’t just kicked him between the legs and been done with it. The Tracy Davis he had fought against in their first year would have definitely considered it.)
At last Draco couldn’t take it any more, and had begun scheming how to remove Warrington from the situation (and possibly from Hogwarts altogether).
Which of course, was when Hermione Granger had stepped in, jabbing a finger at Warrington and saying something about “restraining orders”. And now, if Warrington came within ten feet of Tracy, his ears started to flash. Draco wasn’t sure how Granger had found a spell that made someone’s ears flash neon pink, but she had.
(Granger had definitely picked up a few personality traits from Potter over the last few years.)
All of the teachers seemed mysteriously accepting of this as well. Draco had even thought he’d seen Professor McGonagall give Hermione a very Dumbledore-ish wink outside the Transfiguration classroom once, which was somewhat disturbing for several different reasons.
Draco had actually caught the tail end of Hermione’s speech, and he remembered how she had quickly stared around the room, marking her witnesses. Her brown eyes had caught his for a moment, and he saw a look there. Not just the same cautious trust that had slowly returned in their second year. Something more.
He blinked, and she swept on, her wavy brown hair (wavy? when did that happen?) hiding her face. And then with perfect form, she laid the alarm curse on Warrington; the room filled with laughter, even from Tracy, and Warrington shriveled like a boggart.
She was easily the most knowledgeable witch in their year, and probably one of the most proficient. All the way from that first year he’d known he’d finally met a true magical rival. Not Harry, who spent all his time in research and had a knack for Transfiguration, but Hermione Granger…
The worst part was he hadn’t been able to say anything to her.
Thank you, Miss Granger, for helping Miss Davis.
Warrington was mine to deal with.
I’m glad to see your skills apply outside the classroom.
If you ever need a favor…
Remember back in our first year when you asked to call me—
Draco gritted his teeth. She was Muggle-born. No standing in society. There was no way it could work. There was no way it even made sense.
(but blond hair and brown hair could be a really interesting mix—)
He turned off the lamp and tried to put her face out of his mind.
Part of NaCreSoMo; join us!