Written as part of a gift collection for HeartofAspen, this is a tiny little one shot, hardly more than a drabble, but I hope she enjoyed it :)
My team was sleeping when I wrote this, so errors are all my own... even more than usual lol
"Welcome back. I trust you all had a lovely holiday? Today, in Muggle Studies, I thought it might be appropriate to utilize a Muggle testing concept, the pop quiz. Everyone, parchment and quill at the ready. I'll be generous on spelling."
Their professor waits a moment as parchments rustle and a general quiet blankets over the room. She continues, voice clear as she recites, "Question one: Muggles have distinct types of healers. What is the name for those that specialize in teeth?"
With a smug little quirk of her lips, Hermione Granger puts pen to parchment (pen, not quill, this is Muggle Studies after all), and writes her parents' profession. She's got this in the proverbial bag.
"I failed, Harry. How could I fail? At a Muggle test?"
Draco is watching Gryffindor's favorite daughter have a complete fit over something in the Great Hall. The ever-present Potter is trying to keep her from imploding.
"It was sort of tough, actually. I missed quite a few as well."
"Right, but you didn't fail," she stresses. "I mean, who the hell knows how to get chair marks out of carpet?"
Potter shrugs, slightly sheepish. "I mean, it's a strange thing, but ice cubes do work…"
"How can you possibly know that?"
Draco smirks, watching the exchange. He wonders if she realizes how offensive she sounds, implying that something she doesn't know Potter couldn't possibly either. He also wonders if Potter realizes it. Probably not…
"Petunia liked the sitting room to be rearranged a lot," the wizard answers, hair a perpetual mess and glasses just slightly crooked on his face. Draco has no idea who Petunia is, but supposes it doesn't really matter.
Feeling a little bold, having just barely passed the test and being fairly pleased with himself, he saunters over to throw in his two knuts.
"What's this, Granger? Failed at a test, have you? Has anyone alerted the Prophet yet? It's a once in a lifetime story, to be sure."
She turns to him with indignation burning in her irises. "As if you've done any better. Which question stumped you then? I'll bet you think Muggles still rub sticks together to make fire."
His grin widens to luxurious new heights, pleased as punch to contradict her. "I passed, in actual fact. Thank you, by the way, for letting everyone know about your parents. That dentist question helped push me over the edge."
Granger is gaping at him. "You passed? You, Draco Malfoy, bested me on a quiz about Muggles?!" She stands abruptly, not looking anyone in the eye. "Excuse me." And then she bolts from the room with quick, agitated steps.
Draco looks down at Potter. "Going to chase after your witch, Potter?"
The wizard looks up at him, almost as if he'd forgotten he was there. Prick.
"Not on your life, Malfoy. Nothing scarier than a Hermione who's been proved wrong." And with that, the tosser goes back to his lunch.
Well, if he's not going, Draco certainly is. Trying for nonchalance in his gait, he follows her out the doors.
Hermione is tucked away in an alcove on the third floor, hidden mostly behind a hanging tapestry and staring out at the grounds through the slightly warped glass. She sniffles and is glad no one is around to hear it. Ridiculous, being so upset over a test…
Squeezing her eyes closed, Hermione hesitates before finally pivoting on the window seat. He followed her? His hesitant voice just screams "false sense of security". She braces, not feeling the least bit secure.
"Come to have a laugh, Malfoy? Let's just list all the successes I've seen versus your failures, shall we? Item one: the correct side of the war." And with that, she turns back, feeling actually much worse than before. It's an ugly thing, bringing up his past. He's spent all of eighth year trying to make things right, even if he is still a bit of an arse.
"That was uncalled for," she hears him say softly. With a sigh, she turns back to him. Noting his wounded expression, she stands so they are on equal footing.
With contrition in her voice, she offers with sincerity, "I apologize. It was a low blow, but really," she adds quickly, "if you've only come to gloat-"
"I came to make sure you're alright," he interrupts, and a study of his face reveals no falsehood. "It's not that tragic, you know. That… quiz… doesn't even count toward final marks."
"Not the point," she denies, shaking her head and looking at her feet. "I don't fail in classes. It's what makes me… me."
She looks back up to find Malfoy eyeing her, but holds his gaze bravely with her glassy eyes. So what if he's seen her crying? It's not the first time, after all.
His expression is strange, eyes searching hers. "That's hardly what makes you Hermione Granger," he counters, to which she scoffs.
"Oh, yes? And then what makes me anything if not my swottish tendencies? My hair, I suppose. That's pretty notable," she grumbles.
Suddenly, his mouth stretches, and she would swear Draco Malfoy is grinning at her. Which can't possibly be right. This entire exchange is bizarre.
"What makes you you? Well, you have an illegal extension charm on your bag, but refuse to cast a Feather-Light on that virtual library you lug around." She starts to protest, she doesn't have that many books, but he doesn't give her the chance.
"You're likely the only witch at Hogwarts with a skirt longer than regulation length, yet your heels are just a bit taller than allowed."
She blushes at that. "Only by a few millimeters really. I'm a bit short…"
"I've also never known anyone who refuses ketchup on chips but drowns it all over their eggs."
"It's how my mother likes them…"
"And on the topic of food, you absolutely lick your plate clean when they serve fruit pies, but you turn your nose up at chocolate every time."
"I like chocolate," she protests, "but they always make that wretched pudding with the nuts. I don't like the texture."
He's still grinning at her when he says, "See? There are lots of notable things about you. If you pay attention."
Wary, Hermione keeps her eyes on him as she asks, "And, you pay attention, then?"
Malfoy nods and takes a step closer. "I'm very observant. Especially in regards to you."
He's close now, eyes still on hers. "To me?" she asks softly, realizing she's hardly adding anything to the conversation now. Just prompts, opening doors for him to march through.
"Indeed," he answers back, just as soft, and tips her chin up with the knuckle of one dextrous finger. "Would you like to know what else I've noticed, Hermione?"
She swallows, fidgeting her hands by her hips lest they reach for him.
"I've noticed you're not seeing Weasley any longer. Would that make you available, should another wizard show interest?"
"I…" Breath coming more quickly, heart setting a heavy thud with its rhythm, she clears her throat to try again. "I'm not unavailable," she breathes out only to watch his smile evolve into something less giddy and much more devastating.
"Perfect," he notes, before pressing his lips to hers.
"Oi, where's 'Mione?"
Harry looks up from the parchment in his lap, keeping it rather hidden as he smirks down at what he's seeing.
He looks up to find Ron taking a seat across the table and immediately reaching for a leg of chicken before Harry can even answer him.
"Why," he asks, just curious before he answers.
Ron rips nearly the entirety of the meat off the bone with his teeth, then talks around the bite. "I had a question. Herbology. Gillyweed harvesting is brutal."
With a grin, Harry goes back to his own meal, folding up the map hidden beneath the table. "You'll have to wait, I'm afraid. She's snogging Malfoy on the third floor."
There's a beat. An outside observer might be concerned how Ron Weasley would react. But they wouldn't know how he's watched the Great White Ferret staring at his former lover for the past four months, a bit of rather embarrassing longing hidden beneath his prattish exterior.
After a moment's thought, the red-head, known for his temper, gives an exaggerated shrug and comments, "'Bout time," around another massive bite of meat.
Thanks so much for reading!