basically, a lot of male critics thought it was girly (and thus bad)
i read something interesting in my Romantic Lit textbook today.
nowadays, we regard the gothic genre as a highbrow staple of classic literature. but in the 18th century, men looked down on it, because it was mainly popular among women. i think we can draw a comparison between the historical attitudes toward gothic lit & modern day attitudes toward romance novels, chicklit, romcoms, etc.
men have ALWAYS ridiculed things that teenage girls and women enjoy.
ESPECIALLY bc many gothic writers were women.
pairing: draco malfoy x female!readersummary: maybe being fancied by draco malfoy isn’t so bad, after all.requests are closed for now. please refrain from plagiarizing my work!click here to read pt. 1!
“Why is it so bloody cold?”
[Y/N] is decked out in full winter apparel; a knitted Gryffindor sweater, ear-muffs, and a scarf that she has half of her face buried in.
Sitting in the Quidditch stands with the rest of her friends, she grumbles, “It’s not even a Gryffindor match. We don’t really have to be here freezing to death.”
“Well, it’s common courtesy,” says Hermione, but she’s just as cold as [Y/N] is; there’s bits of snow stuck in her hair and the tip of her nose is pink.
Ron snorts loudly. “We’re here to watch Slytherin lose,“ he says matter-of-factly, still in the process of smearing streaks of blue paint across his cheek.
[Y/N] watches him, nose scrunched. “Well, aren’t you the Ravenclaw fanatic.”
He gives her a grin and holds out the small tub of paint. “Want some?”
She bunches up her lips in thought, then reaches out to take it. Annoyingly enough, Ron pulls back at the last moment, grinning wider than ever, and says, “Or d'you want to show support for your boyfriend Malfoy? Hermione, why don’t you turn this green—”
[Y/N] dives over Hermione and Harry to smack Ron round the head, only for the pair to hold her back and push her into her seat.
Exasperated, Hermione huffs, “Honestly, Ronald, will you stop bringing that up?” She glares at him. “You know fully well [Y/N] doesn’t like it.”
Ron (and Harry, although he isn’t as boisterous about it as the redhead), thinks that the “blond ferret” taking a fancying to her is one of, if not the most hilarious thing to have ever happened in history. Annoyingly enough, Ron has made it a habit to tease her about it every chance he gets—this one being one of them.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought Ron fancied Malfoy with how much he talks about him,” grins Harry. This earns him a smatter of blue paint across his face; Ron had flicked it at him.
With one last eye-roll, [Y/N] tears her gaze away from Ron and digs her nose further into her scarf. It really is very cold; snow is falling from the sky, seeping into her clothes, some landing on her hair and on her face. Thankfully there’s not so much of it that the players on the pitch wouldn’t be able to see around them, but still—[Y/N] imagines that it’d be a lot colder for them, having to fly around the stadium with the cold wind whipping at their robes.
There’s a buzz of loud chatter hanging in the air as conversations from all around them overlap over one another. The entire stadium is slowly filling up; students trickle into the stands, a majority of which have adorned themselves with blue accessories as a show of support to Ravenclaw. One side of the stands, however, is entirely green. Through the snow, she can see a big serpent-shaped balloon hovering over the Slytherin side.
“They’re coming out!” someone exclaims.
Sure enough, when [Y/N] looks down at the pitch, players from both teams have appeared and congregated at opposite ends of the pitch. Slytherin and Ravenclaw; whichever house wins will play Gryffindor for the house cup. Most bets are on Slytherin, but [Y/N] would have to be dead before she is caught anywhere supporting them.
“Look, it’s [Y/N]’s boyfriend,” gushes Ron.
More out of habit than anything, [Y/N] shoots the redhead yet another brief, scathing look. Draco Malfoy is there, even though he’s nowhere near being her boyfriend, pale face set into a stoic expression of calm as he stands with the rest of his team, one hand on his broom and the other on his hip—and this specific image has her thinking back to what happened two weeks ago on this very same pitch, except the stadium was empty and it was only the two of them on the grounds; when he’d confessed to liking her.
As if Malfoy has somehow heard her thoughts over the noise of excited chatter coming from all over the stands, he looks up, eyes sweeping the seats in search for someone before finally, they land on her.
When he meets her gaze, [Y/N]’s breath isn’t knocked out of her chest, nor does she start blushing madly. But she doesn’t burn red with annoyance, either. All she does is stare at him, eyes narrowed, watching as his lips split into a wide grin and he raises his hand to wave at her.
She rolls her eyes, but thankfully—thankfully, the scarf tucked around her neck, reaching up to her nose, conceals the smile that tugs at her lips.
“May I ask everyone to please find themselves in their seats before the match begins,” McGonagall’s voice echoes around the stadium, giving [Y/N] a reason to break eye contact.
She tears her stare away from Malfoy’s, inhaling a deep breath through her nose, feeling oddly exhilarated.
But this isn’t anything new. That slight feeling of breathlessness, that unfamiliar sensation tickling at her stomach whenever she spots a certain someone in the hallway; she’s been feeling it a lot lately, and though the cause seems to be pretty obvious, that is another thing she’d have to be caught dead before doing: admitting that she reciprocates some of Malfoy’s.. peculiar feelings.
“And they’re off!” Dean Thomas announces. [Y/N] watches as the players soar high into the air until they’re mostly level with the stands, a blur of blue and green robes rapidly zooming around the pitch. Slytherin is already in possession of the quaffle; not a surprise, considering Ravenclaw isn’t exactly known for their exceptionally talented Quidditch team.
Malfoy, meanwhile—[Y/N] tells herself that the way her eyes dart around the pitch in search of a certain platinum blond is because she wants to watch the game properly and not for other reasons.
She spots him hovering somewhere above the rest of the players, face screwed up in concentration as his gaze moves around the pitch in search for the golden snitch. He looks even paler in winter, set against a backdrop of a cloudy sky and snow—
[Y/N] jars herself out of her thoughts and blinks, side-eyeing her friends (specifically Ron) to make sure they hadn’t seen her.. observing the Slytherin seeker. (Not like it matters; it’s not as though she fancies him, but Ron would certainly take it the wrong way.)
“Go Ravenclaw!” Ron practically screeches, waving his Ravenclaw banner in the air—when did he get that? “Kick Slytherin’s arse so Gryffindor can crush you in the finals!”
[Y/N] snorts. “Have it all thought out, don’t you, Ron?”
“Go on and cheer for your Slytherin boyfriend, [Y/N], no one’s stopping you,” says Harry, grinning. She turns to face him, mouth open in disbelief, and lets out a quick breath of incredulous laughter.
“So, Harry,” [Y/N] says, suddenly deadpan. ”I see you’ve chosen Ron’s side.“
Harry snickers, then shrugs.
"Oh, Malfoy’s seen the snitch!” someone shouts from beside them. [Y/N] turns back to the game to see Malfoy zooming down the pitch, clutching the front of his broom as he swerves past Slytherin and Ravenclaw players alike in pursuit of the tiny golden ball all the way on the other side of the stadium, where [Y/N] and her friends are sat. He has the upper hand—Ravenclaw’s seeker is only just now starting to fly after him, but she’s a good distance behind and Malfoy is gaining speed.
“He’s gonna catch it!”
“Ravenclaw’s even worse than I thought,” grumbles Ron, slumping down in his seat.
But just as Malfoy passes by them, somehow, despite the fact that he is in pursuit of the bloody golden snitch and on the brink of securing victory for his team, he slows down just the tiniest bit, and then, in true Malfoy fashion—theatric as always in his displays of affection—he catches her eye and yells “This one’s for you, [Y/N]!”, a grin on his face before he hurtles down the pitch, stretching out his hand towards the fluttering snitch—
“Malfoy’s got the snitch!” Dean Thomas screams into his microphone. “Slytherin wins!”
[Y/N] stares, feeling oddly warm despite the wintry weather, as Malfoy spins around in mid-air, triumphantly holding up the snitch for the rest of Hogwarts to see.
“Blimey,” gapes Ron, wide-eyed, staring not at the Slytherin seeker but at [Y/N]. “That was—”
[Y/N] looks away from Malfoy to meet Ron’s gaze, maintaining indifference. “He’s quite the charmer, isn’t he?” she mutters, and hopes that her friends will think that the blush on her cheeks is because of the cold and not because of something—someone else.
But that’s ridiculous. It is because of the cold, isn’t it?
“It may be Malfoy,” says Ron slowly, shaking his head, “But you can’t deny that was bloody romantic. Felt like I was watching something out of one of those Muggle films.”
“Yeah, we’ll have to ask him for tips,” says Harry, and starts laughing when [Y/N] rolls her eyes in response.
Malfoy may have stopped sending her Howlers, but that hardly matters because he has found every other way to pester her.
This includes consistently yelling out her name and shouting random pick-up lines every time he spots her in the hallway, as well as sending people to do her bidding—no longer first-years, but Crabbe and Goyle, who show up at random intervals everyday presenting her with a batch of different pastries. She always sends the pair off, but only after Ron and Harry accept said pastries for themselves.
“Blimey, this is heavenly!” gushes Ron, taking a passionate bite off of his second red velvet cupcake. “You sure you don’t want a bite, [Y/N]? Hermione?”
[Y/N] offers him an exasperated smile. “No, thank you, Ron.”
“Don’t thank me, thank your boyfriend.”
The four of them walk into the dingy Potions classroom. Snape is nowhere to be seen, but it’s only a matter of time before he swoops in all bat-like, so [Y/N] and Hermione quickly take a seat at their regular desk, right next to Ron and Harry.
“Have you done your homework?” asks Hermione, pulling out an assortment of parchment from her bag.
[Y/N] hums in response. “I doubt mine is half as good as yours, but hopefully I’ll scrape an acceptable.”
“Oh, you’re a good student, [Y/N]. Don’t bring yourself down.”
“Hard not to when I’m sitting next to the brightest witch in our year,” she nudges Hermione’s shoulder, smiling. Hermione huffs, rolling her eyes, but it’s clear by the pleased look on her face that she doesn’t hate [Y/N]’s honest flattery as much as she lets on.
[Y/N] drums her fingers on the desk to pass time, not quite paying attention to the students filtering into the classroom. Or at least not until one of them calls her name and drawls, “Is someone sitting here?”
[Y/N]’s head snaps around to see none other than Malfoy, gesturing to the desk to the left of hers and Hermione’s. “Mind if I,” he pauses, grinning, ”Slytherin?“
She purses her lips into a thin, tight line, inhaling deeply as she fights to keep her cool. Yes, there are times when Malfoy’s gestures have her questioning her own hatred for him, but this—this is not one of them.
"That,” she says, voice mostly level. “Is your seat, Malfoy. I don’t see why you have to ask me.”
Which is a lie. [Y/N] knows why, of course. To get her attention. To woo her. But part of her wishes that Malfoy would realize that everything he is doing, from the overbearing pick up lines to the cupcakes to his constant public declarations of love, isn’t something that [Y/N] thoroughly enjoys. Does she want him to stop yelling at her in the hallways? Yes. Does she want Crabbe and Goyle to stop bumbling up to her everywhere she goes (outside of the girl’s bathroom is one example) offering cupcakes and pie and tarts? Yes. But does she want Malfoy to stop trying entirely?
Maybe not. Maybe part of her wants to give him a chance. He does seem to truly hold feelings, judging from his confession back at the Quidditch stadium, unless he’s a terribly good actor.
And it wouldn’t just be him she’d be giving a chance, either. Perhaps she’d also be doing so to herself. Because, over the past month, it’s baffled her how quickly her feelings for him have shifted. Or maybe it’s not a change of feelings, but rather realization that under all that sneering and pureblood prejudice, Draco Malfoy is a boy.
An annoyingly attractive one.
But there is so much more that [Y/N] dislikes about him. His snootiness. His arrogance. His lack of consideration for other people’s feelings. He may be tall and lithe and undeniably handsome, and he may have very soft-looking platinum blond hair and stormy grey eyes like dark clouds, but he is also a prick. And that wins over everything else, no matter how.. visually pleasing he is.
So when a paper bird flutters in front of her halfway through the lesson, when Snape’s back is turned, [Y/N] hesitates. She knows fully well who it’s from, despite not having to look to the side and meet his gaze.
From beside her, Hermione whispers, “Get rid of it, before Snape sees.”
Exhaling, [Y/N] snatches the paper bird and quickly unfolds it.
She doesn’t know what she’s expecting to see, but it’s certainly not the words “meet me at the Astronomy tower after dinner” scribbled across the parchment. And with a drawing of a face blowing kisses, no less.
[Y/N] has no real feelings for Malfoy, so succumbing to his mysterious evening request at the Astronomy tower shouldn’t mean anything.
Scratch that: it doesn’t mean anything. Not to her. (Or so she tells herself.) This is a chance for her to tell Malfoy to sod off and to stop courting her. And for good, this time. No matter what that annoying little voice inside her head tells her, she can’t possibly even consider the idea of actually giving in to him. (And to herself.)
So she’s going to put a stop to it, once and for all.
“I’m going,” she decides over dinner, slamming her palms down on the table.
“Going where?” asks Harry.
“The Astronomy tower,” she replies resolutely.
“What, to go star-gazing?” Ron snickers. [Y/N] glances at him and realizes, quickly, that telling them had slipped her mind—she’d been far too preoccupied with her own conflicting thoughts.
She shifts in her seat. She doesn’t necessarily need to tell them, does she? It’s not as though it’s important enough to share. And besides, Ron would only badger her about it. Mercilessly. [Y/N] can already picture him in her head, talking about Malfoy and snogging under the stars and Merlin-knows-what-else.
“Nevermind,” says [Y/N], taking a bite out of a muffin and looking away. They don’t need to know; it’s not as though it’s important.
After [Y/N] has walked up all of the stairs to get there, only taking one or two shortcuts, she’s out of breath, but she creeps into the Astronomy tower anyway. It’s mostly dark save for the faint moonshine filtering in from the open sides, and, well—there he is.
Malfoy’s arms are crossed over his chest, his back mostly turned as he stands dangerously close to the railing, looking out over the dark landscape. Dim light catches on the side of his face, illuminating the grey of his eyes.
The curve of his nose.
[Y/N] finds herself staring, one hand on the doorframe as though for support, brows furrowed in the middle in a slight frown as she watches him.
He looks lost in thought. Even from a few feet away, [Y/N] can see the far-off, distant look in his eyes. Like storms brewing behind dark clouds, she thinks to herself. It’s a quiet little whisper in the back of her mind that has her heart doing odd little flips inside of her chest that she never knew it was capable of.
But then she blinks.
This is the last thing [Y/N] needs. To see Malfoy stripped of his arrogance—to see him as he is, bathed in moonlight, glowing, almost. To look at him and to see a boy with eyes like molten silver and nothing more—it’s the last thing she needs to convince herself that she doesn’t feel something for him that isn’t hatred.
No, she doesn’t need this.
She turns around, breath caught in her throat, and starts walking down the steps. Accidentally, stupidly, her foot catches on a metal step and a loud clang echoes around the silent tower.
[Y/N] pauses, eyes wide.
“[Y/N]?” Malfoy’s voice says. He can’t see her. It’s too dark, and [Y/N] is too far down the steps.
She swallows. But instead of dreading what could come, she finds herself waiting, half-hoping that he’d check the staircase, that he would see her and—
And then what?
[Y/N] rushes down the steps, ignoring the loud noise her footsteps make on the way. This is the last thing she needs.
[Y/N] doesn’t like Malfoy.
[Y/N] doesn’t like Malfoy, and she is determined to make that clear. (Both to herself and to her friends, although the former seems to be taking a lot more convincing.)
“What is there to like about him? He’s nothing but an annoying pain in the arse who has an overwhelming amount of pride and arrogance simply because of his blood—which is not only something that he never rightfully earned but is also something that shouldn’t even bloody matter, except he thinks that it does solely because he is an absolute nutter who has nothing better to do with his life other than leech off of his parents’ money and shove it in other people’s faces.”
Ron meets Harry’s gaze from across the table, who seems to be trying very hard not to laugh. Swallowing down a forkful of pancakes, Ron looks back at [Y/N]. “I’m sorry,” he begins slowly. “But remind me again why we’re talking about Malfoy?”
“I’m not finished, Ronald,” [Y/N] snaps, shooting him a dirty look. Ron raises his eyebrows. “As I was saying before someone so rudely cut me off, Malfoy is a nasty little git who finds joy in making other people suffer. he probably has tiny puppies locked up inside his basement just so he can laugh in their faces and revel in their misery because he is that horrible of a person—”
Harry lurches with poorly suppressed laughter.
“An absolute terrible excuse for a human being! He basks in other people’s humiliation—mine, for example!—and I would much rather snog the Giant Squid than ever actually consider his—” She pauses, gritting her teeth. “Odd.. requests.”
“It’s not like he’s asking you to murder house-elves,” Ron mutters.
“Something that I would rather do than date him!”
“[Y/N]!” Hermione gasps, looking genuinely offended as she, for the first time since they’d arrived at the Great Hall for breakfast, looks up from the homework she’s rushing to finish. (As if her five pieces worth of parchment aren’t enough—Flitwick had only asked for three!)
“Sorry, Hermione,” [Y/N] says, offering her an apologetic look that she only half-means. This quickly turns into a fierce look of challenge as she swivels back around in her seat to face the redhead sitting next to her. “Honestly, since when have you started defending Malfoy?”
Ron blanches. “I’m not defending him!” he says indignantly, setting his fork down on his plate. “It’s just.. yeah, it’s a bit odd that he’s declaring his undying love for you out of bloody nowhere, but he’s stopped badgering us, hasn’t he? Nasty little ferret hasn’t said a word to Harry for weeks! And that goes for me and Hermione, too!”
[Y/N] narrows her eyes at him. “So you think it’s great that he’s stopped annoying you at the cost of my suffering?”
“What suffering!” Ron exclaims. “He’s been treating you like a bloody princess!”
“Oh, why don’t you just snog him yourself, then, if you think so highly of him?”
Ron’s jaw drops in shocked offense.
“Alright, that’s enough!” Harry announces, reaching over the table to shove the two apart from each other. “Why doesn’t one of you switch seats with me before you end up strangling each other?”
“I don’t know, Harry,” [Y/N]’s lip curls. “I might have to hold Ron back before he goes running off to his ferret prince—or should we just let him? Merlin knows he’d love to, won’t you, Ronald?”
Ron’s teeth are gritted; his eyes dart around the food on the table as though looking for the most effective weapon. He seems to be choosing between a green apple and rhubarb pie.
Thankfully, Ron never gets to take his pick. The bell rings, saving everyone in the Great Hall from witnessing what could have possibly been a brawl between friends. “Come on, let’s go,” says Harry quickly, relief evident in his tone of voice as he ushers the pair to their feet. “Wouldn’t want to be late for class.”
[Y/N] doesn’t like Malfoy.
[Y/N] doesn’t like Malfoy, but why does she find herself staring at him whenever she comes across him in the hallway the next day? Why, when Malfoy meets her gaze, does she look away and pretend to be immersed in something else?
And why in the bloody hell, when Malfoy playfully winks at her during Potions class, does she find it very, very hard not to smile?
She walks out of the dungeon classroom in a hurry with Ron, Harry, and Hermione, not wanting to spend a minute more in Malfoy’s presence; she doesn’t particularly enjoy being suddenly hyperaware of every move he makes, every little glance he sends her way when he thinks she isn’t paying attention. It’s as though something in her system has gone awry. Is that why her heart feels like it’s about to hop right out of her chest? Is that why she can’t stop wondering what would’ve happened if she’d stayed at the Astronomy tower?
“Hey, wait up!” Harry calls loudly as they walk up the stone steps leading away from the dungeons and into the main hallway, which is bustling with students.
[Y/N], who had been walking far too fast in front of the three, looks back over her shoulder and sees that they’re a few feet away. She stops, seemingly flustered, and waits for them to catch up.
"You look like you’ve wet your pants,” says Ron.
“I’m not you, Ron,” she retorts.
“Oh, can you two please stop bickering for once?” says Hermione, exasperated.
From behind the three, Draco Malfoy emerges from the potions classroom and begins walking up the stone steps. [Y/N]’s hands clench into fists at her side as she discretely presses her back to the stone wall at her sides.
The blond doesn’t even as much as glance at Ron, Harry, and Hermione as he passes by them on the steps. [Y/N], however—once Malfoy has reached the step below the one she’s standing on, he pauses, no less than two feet away from her, and quirks an eyebrow.
“What?” [Y/N] scowls, trying not to look at the strand of blond hair dangling in front of his eyes.
Malfoy’s gaze dances over her face. “Was it you?”
She meets her friends’ eyes over Malfoy’s shoulder. Ron and Harry have their eyebrows raised; Hermione looks concerned. [Y/N] takes a moment to compose herself—tries to force her heart back into her chest—before she folds her arms across her chest and looks at the Slytherin. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“At the Astronomy tower,” Malfoy says, and moves up one step so that he’s standing on the same one she’s on. A foot away. “I heard someone last night, while I was waiting for you.”
“You came, didn’t you?” he presses on.
“No,” [Y/N] lies, and hates how defensive she sounds. She shifts a little on her feet, her eyes skirting away to look at a random spot behind Malfoy. “I was.. at the library. Doing things of actual importance.”
There’s a slight pause as Malfoy’s nose wrinkles. “Must’ve been someone else spying on me, then,” he finally says through a scoff, but [Y/N] knows disappointment when she sees it. He rolls his shoulders back and puts on his signature smirk, inclining his head towards her as he takes another step up the stairs. “Better hurry and give me an answer, [Y/N],” he tells her, grinning. “Before one of my admirers get to me first.”
[Y/N] watches as he walks up the steps and disappears into the hallway.
“The library?” a voice says incredulously. She turns back to Ron, whose face is scrunched in disbelief. “No, you weren’t! We were waiting for you there and you never came.”
[Y/N] folds her arms across her chest indignantly but doesn’t respond, instead walking up the stone steps.
“Malfoy said he was waiting for you at the Astronomy tower,” says Hermione slowly as they trail after her; [Y/N] speeds up her pace. “Is that why you mentioned going there during dinner last night?”
[Y/N] emerges into the main corridor first. “No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did!” bursts Ron, sounding downright triumphant.
“Congratulations, Ron, you don’t have the memory range of a teaspoon, after all,” [Y/N] mutters, looking around. Malfoy is walking down the hallway a few feet ahead of them, Crabbe and Goyle at his side.
Ron ignores her. “I bet you did go. I bet you did spy on him—” And then he gasps, looking as though he’s unearthed the secret of life. “Merlin’s beard, you really do fancy him, don’t you?”
[Y/N]’s footsteps falter. Ron, Harry, and Hermione stop right with her.
Hermione is the only one who doesn’t look stunned out of her mind. Looking between the two boys, she rolls her eyes and scoffs. “Honestly, is that so hard to believe?” says Hermione, frowning. “I understand that it’s Malfoy and he is a prick, but [Y/N] is perfectly entitled to fancy whoever she likes.” She turns to [Y/N]. “It’s fine, [Y/N], you don’t have to feel guilty about it. Anyone would catch feelings if someone started doing such sweet things for them, even if it were someone like Malfoy.”
“Blimey,” says Harry, breathless. “Which part sealed the deal, [Y/N]? The pick-up lines? Or was it the cupcakes?”
[Y/N], who had been opening and closing her mouth like a fish blown out of water, finally stops trying to find words that just aren’t there and instead drags her palm across her face in frustration. “I don’t..” she says, sounding defeated, but really—now that she’s faced with such confrontation, it’s easier to admit to herself that maybe.. maybe she does fancy Malfoy.
Ron’s lips have split into a jubilant grin. ”I called it!“ he says, smacking Harry’s shoulder. "Bloody knew it!”
Hermione reaches out to rub [Y/N]’s back. “Don’t feel too bad about it, [Y/N]. I sort of knew—you looked at him differently after he confessed to you on the pitch.”
[Y/N] sighs, realizing that no amount of denying it will convince her friends. Or herself.
She does fancy Malfoy.
Properly acknowledging it—finally admitting it to herself—is oddly relieving. She’s been keeping her feelings cooped up inside of her chest despite the fact they are so much bigger than her, and now that she’s letting them burst free.. now that she’s coming to terms with them..
Well. It’s not the worst feeling ever.
Ron is still beaming, looking as though he’s won the lottery. And apparently, in a way, he has: “Fred and George said it’d take you a month longer to give in. I said it’d take you less—guess I’ve won myself two galleons!”
[Y/N]’s mouth falls open. “You bet on this?”
Ron raises his eyebrows, as though surprised to hear that she didn’t know. “Uh, I and the entire bloody castle.”
Struck by a sudden burst of both annoyance and confidence, [Y/N], scowling, detaches herself from her friends and strides down the hallway towards Malfoy, full of intent. He hasn’t noticed her yet; his back is still turned, but she catches up to him easily. And when she does, she unceremoniously bumps her shoulder into his and grabs his hand, quickly interlacing her fingers through his.
“What the hell—”
Malfoy, obviously taken aback, tries to pull his hand away, sneering, until his gaze lands on [Y/N].
“Keep walking, Malfoy,” she says scathingly, not quite looking at him.
Baffled, Malfoy stares at her, then down at their hands, which are now tightly interlocked between them. [Y/N] scowls resolutely at the hallway ahead of her.
And then Malfoy laughs, more out of disbelief than amusement.
“Keep walking,” [Y/N] repeats, this time turning to look at him, fighting to keep her gaze indifferent. The last thing she wants Malfoy to know is that there is an onslaught of tiny little butterflies rampaging in her stomach and a tingly feeling spreading from their hands all the way up her spine and into her heart.
Malfoy’s lips tug up into a wide grin—a real one, [Y/N] thinks. Not an arrogant smirk or a deprecating sneer; one that she can’t ever recall seeing. But now that she has, she finds herself wishing he’d do it more often.
[Y/N] tugs him along as she walks, feeling the stunned stares of her friends boring into her skull from behind. (Ron is going to have a field day about this.)
“So,” Malfoy begins, and she doesn’t have to look at him to know that he’s still grinning down at her. “Changed your mind, haven’t you?”
[Y/N] rolls her eyes; she doesn’t fail to notice the way that the students they’re passing by are staring at them, eyes wide, whispering to themselves. “Isn’t this what you wanted?”
Malfoy shrugs. “Among other things.”
She side-eyes him, muttering, “Does that include snogging?”
He makes an amused sound at the back of his throat. “You said it, not me.”
[Y/N] has to grit her teeth to stop the corners of her lips from tugging up. They turn a corner down the hallway, disappearing from both their friends’ views (assuming they haven’t followed them). At this thought, [Y/N] takes a brief glance over her shoulder—and sure enough, there’s a redhead peeking out of a group of very confused Ravenclaws.
Cursing Ron Weasley inside her head, she turns her gaze back ahead of her. ”I have Charms class next.“
Malfoy raises his brows. "And what do you expect me to do with that information?”
“Walk me there,” says [Y/N] briskly.
She can practically feel the surprise radiating off of the blond next to her. A moment later, he throws his head back in a loud laugh. “And you want me to be late to Transfiguration? It’s all the way on the other side of the castle.”
[Y/N] hums. “Can’t even do that for the girl you fancy?”
There’s a beat of silence. His grip on her hand falters a little as he says, voice still nonchalant and yet at the same time holding an undeniable sense of sincerity, “I could if I knew she wasn’t leading me on.”
“She isn’t,” [Y/N] says, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye.
Malfoy is staring at her with his brows pulled in together just slightly at the middle, giving off the impression that he’s trying to decide whether or not she’s being serious. He slows down his pace until he comes to a full stop, urging [Y/N] to halt alongside him until they’re standing in the middle of the hallway, oblivious to the stares following them and the redhead a mere few feet away.
“How do I know this isn’t a prank?” says Malfoy, lip slowly curling as he narrows his eyes at her, the first few traces of suspicion etching itself onto his face now that the whole ridiculousness of the situation has finally sunken in. [Y/N] can’t blame him; her antics—suddenly marching up to him in the hallway, grabbing his hand and walking with him as though they’ve been doing it for years—all of it is uncalled for after having ruthlessly turned him down so many times before. But [Y/N] can’t delve into a discussion of her conflicting emotions—at least not right now—so she hopes, at least for now, that he will take her word for it.
She clears her throat. "Well,“ she begins, looking down at their hands; Malfoy’s grip has gone slack. "If I wanted to hold your hand, I’d do it because I wanted to. Not because I wanted to get a rise out of you.” She lets her gaze go back up to his, brows rising in familiar challenge. “I don’t stoop that low, Malfoy. You’ve been in love with me for years—shouldn’t you know that by now?”
There are a few seconds in which the blond standing before her still looks at her with a scrutinizing gaze, lips set into a thin, hard line and his eyes swimming with conflict that [Y/N] wouldn’t have been able to see from afar, but sees in perfect clarity now that she’s standing a mere foot away from him. But then, after what feels like ages, Malfoy nods, slowly, frown smoothing out into an expression of—could that be relief?
“I will be late for Transfiguration, you know,” he says, lips quirking up into a grin.
[Y/N] laughs. (A real one, Draco thinks to himself.) This time she doesn’t try to stop herself from smiling; just lets her lips do so of their own accord. It feels nice. Freeing. “Better just one of us than two, don’t you think?” she says, mirroring his playful grin. “And besides, Goyle can stand in for you. You two do have quite the resemblance.”
“Oh, sod off.”
And it really is very odd, because everything about this shouldn’t feel right; they’ve been enemies for the longest time, and a year ago, [Y/N] would have been revolted at the mere idea of ever coming close to Draco Malfoy—but it does. That is, it feels right. Like they’ve been this way for ages and this playful, harmless banter is the most natural thing.
Draco isn’t perfect—Merlin, does he have a long way to go—but if he means to stop being a prat as long as [Y/N] is at his side, then she is willing to venture into whatever has formed between them.
And if this little bond is going to involve any more of this—this being her and Draco exaggeratedly swinging their arms between them as he walks her to Charms class with their fingers still intertwined, snickering, waiting for one of them to start complaining about their arm sockets hurting—then maybe it isn’t the worst thing ever, after all.
Hey can you post the giant nut again