Hermione muscles still ached liked hell, and after a week of intense lessons studying for their upcoming exams she didn’t think she could manage another brutal training session, that Malfoy threw at her, and the added fact that this week he actually wanted her to get on a broom.
Finally deciding that it was going to be a now or never situation, Hermione changed into a comfortable tracksuit and wandered down to the quidditch pitch, she had decided earlier that week (during a particularly boring History of Magic class) that she was going to get to the pitch an hour before she was expected to, to give her the time to work up the nerve to actually get on the broom.
When she reached the pitch Hermione, half jogged/limped round the edge of the field twice, giving her muscles time to warm up slightly before stopping in front of the broom shed. Taking a deep breath she opened the door looked in at the dusty brooms. She picked up one of the older school brooms, which was most likely slower and easier to handle. Hermione chuckled slightly as she realised how nervous she was, and realising the piece of wood wasn’t exactly going to bite her hand off.
Closing the shed she looked apprehensively the model she had chosen, it was a much older version and so it would be quite a bit slower than the newer ones which meant it was much easier to control when it was in the air.
Hermione looked at the broom, it had been years since she had last been on one, and she wasn’t sure if she could ride like she used to. Slipping one leg over the broom she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, reluctantly letting the broom take off from the ground, and hovered for a few seconds staying in one place. She sighed; the hardest part was already over, she had conquered a great deal of her fears.
She steadied her nerves, breathing in and out and calming her heart rate down, before realising she was never going to get anywhere sitting stationary on the broom.
She leant gently forwards, and started skimming her feet over the tops of the grass, never going higher than a few inches from the ground. She leant forwards a little more; commanding the broom to go faster, feeling the sudden rush of adrenalin that she had felt so many times before, before the accident with her sister. The accident with her sister… She stopped the broom abruptly, this was an insult to her sister, how could she get on one of these things after what had happened.
Jumping off of the broom like it had suddenly become red hot; she threw it to the ground and crumpled in a heap of tears beside it.
Draco had been watching her from the side of the pitch from behind the large tree. He still didn’t know why he was hiding there, but when she had gone into the broom cupboard a part of him wanted to see what she would do without his admittedly overbearing influence.
He had also decided to come down to the pitch a little early, hoping to get a bit of practice in before Granger came, that way he reasoned it wasn’t a whole waste of an afternoon, but he had been stopped and had hidden behind the tree, when he had seen her walking into the cupboard and take out an ancient looking broom, probably belongs to one of the Weasels he thought, and chuckled.
He had to admit, although he hadn’t voiced his thoughts to anyone that he was intrigued as to why she had reacted so badly to the idea of actually getting on the broom, had she grasped that the whole point of these lessons was to learn to fly?
He watched her with confused interest when she tentatively mounted the broom and when she had started to fly around the pitch, he felt a weird surge of pride at the fact that even though she seemed to be terrified of flying, she still made herself do it, though it kind of didn’t count if she didn’t move more than three inches off of the floor. Then it all went pear-shaped when she jumped off, he had no idea why she had, but for some reason actually wanted to find out.
Slowly Draco walked over to where Hermione was still sitting on the floor and coughed gently to make his presence known. Hermione’s head shot straight up, and her blood shot eyes narrowed in a glare. She wiped the remaining tears from her cheeks and stood up.
“What do you want Malfoy? I’m not really in the mood for one of your rants about me, so whatever you want to say to me, just say it and be done, please” She added almost desperately.
Malfoy frowned, it hurt that she expected so little of him, well of course she did, he corrected himself, she had no reason to expect him to come over and not verbally assault her like he had done a thousand times before.
“I don’t know I wanted to see…” He stopped himself.
Hermione frowned, why hadn’t he finished his sentence?
“So what are you still doing here then, just leave me alone, I don’t want you here and obviously you don’t want to be here” Tears started to trickle down her cheeks.
Malfoy was already growing bored of her self pity; he secretly liked the fiery Granger, the one who wouldn’t take crap from anybody, especially him.
“Well, Granger, since we are on the quidditch pitch, and it’s now half past one, I am under an obligation to drag you though the basics of quidditch. So if you don’t mind, and frankly I couldn’t give a toss if you did, you are going to run 5 laps of the quidditch pitch”
Hermione looked up at him.
Hermione threw him one last filthy glare before wiping her eyes on her jumper and set off on her jog around the pitch.
“So, today we shall actually be getting on the broom” Malfoy looked down at Hermione who shot back a fierce stare.
“Now, do you actually know how to get on it, or is that too difficult for you” Malfoy said his hand resting on the broom.
“Clever Malfoy, you should try comedy some time, you already have a funny face” she retorted.
“So if its not problem, get on the broom then Granger, or are you afraid that it might eat you” Hermione fixed her stare on the broom, she wasn’t going to give in to Malfoy’s taunts, and she certainly wasn’t going to chicken out of getting on the broom in front of him. Taking a deep breath, and pushing all of her bad memories to the back of her mind, she mounted the broom and turned round to see an astonished Malfoy looking at her.
“Well, are you going to stand there staring at me all day, or are you going to teach me?”
Malfoy’s stomach gave another flutter, the odd feeling of pride had returned, albeit she only got on the broom to prove him wrong, but she still did it, that must be why she got sorted into Gryffindor then.
“Alrighty then Granger kick off and I’ll see you at the goal posts” Malfoy turned round to pick up his broom, and watched out of the corner of his eye as Hermione kicked off and began floating as slowly as she could into the air.
Malfoy jumped onto his Firebolt and soared off, catching up with Hermione within seconds. He swivelled around on the broom, and saw Hermione getting closer and closer on the slow piece of wood, her face set in a look of steely determination.
Hermione finally caught him up and the look of sheer terror on her face almost made Malfoy feel bad, well almost.
“Now” he said, accioing the quaffle from the box on the grass, we shall start basic passing. “You know how to catch a ball don’t you Granger?”
“Yes Malfoy, I know how to catch a ball” Hermione seethed. He just couldn’t stop, and for a moment when she was upset she thought he was going to be decent.
Malfoy threw the ball to Hermione, who squeaked when she saw it coming towards her. She tried to let go of the broom to catch it, but her arms refused to let up on the death grip that they held on the broom, the ball flew just past her right side and began falling back to the floor.
“Damn it Granger” Malfoy shouted, as he dived after the ball. “I thought you said that you could catch the ball!”
“Yeah well, I wasn’t ready” she stammered and readied herself, this time she was going to catch it, and prove Malfoy wrong.
“Okay then Granger, here we go again” He threw the quaffle again to her, this time a little more gently, and Hermione, shakily let go of the broom and caught it. Triumphantly she looked at Malfoy.
“Finally, god, I thought I was never going to get anywhere with you, stupid muggles never taught you anything” he exclaimed.
Draco began throwing the quaffle at her again and again, each time with a little more gusto, and each time so far Hermione had managed to catch them.
“You’re not half bad you know, better than Weasley will ever be anyway” Malfoy said as he threw the quaffle to Hermione again.
Hermione laughed silently as Malfoy began (a very out of tune) rendition of Weasley is our King. He really wasn’t that bad to be around, and while he was lobbing the quaffle at her, they had lapsed into an easy silence, with Malfoy’s occasional burst of song.
“How come I’ve never seen this side of you before” Hermione asked, taking full advantage of the fact that he seemed to be in a good mood.
“Well, I don’t know, I’m not sure my friends even know I’m like this” He replied, chuckling at the end of it.
“I like it, you should be like this more often” Hermione said and Draco smiled, not a smirk, or a grimace, a real smile. Hermione returned the smile, and Draco noticed how beautiful she looked when she wasn’t threatening to castrate him.
“You know I would never have guessed that I would be teaching a mudblood a pureblood sport you know that, and Scar head and Weaselbee’s best friend at that” Malfoy thought out loud.
Hermione looked like she had been hit with a train. Once again Malfoy threw the ball this time a little too hard; totally unaware of the thoughts he had just voiced, and Hermione, now too angry to concentrate properly leant too far over to catch it, and lost her grip on the broom, momentarily clutching at thin air, she began plummeting back to the earth at an alarming speed, screaming profanities all the way down. She felt the sinking feeling in her stomach as she dropped and closed her eyes for the impact.
Malfoy was shocked out of his reverie by her screams immediately dived down in quick pursuit, his broom was faster than the speed she was travelling, and soon he had reached her falling body.
Just as Hermione thought she was going to hit the ground a strong arm wrapped around hers, and slowed her down, gently bumping her down in the soft grass. Malfoy let out a deep breath, thanking the lord that she wasn’t hurt.
“Are you okay?” Malfoy asked his voice laced with concern.
“Don’t you dare give me that ‘are you okay crap? ’ After what you just said, how dare you? And to think for a moment back then I thought you had changed, you’re just the same evil, vindictive, malicious snake that you always were, and I hope you rot in hell” Hermione screamed at him. “I absolutely hate you, you foul loathsome little cockroach” and with that she whipped round, leaving a stunned Draco revelling in her words.
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