Love Is The Darkest Art
A Dramione fanfic serial
Dumbledore’s Army was growing. The group of students were now meeting regularly in The Room Of Requirements. This room, hidden from all others not part of their gathering, was becoming Hermione’s favorite place. Not only for their meetings, where Harry was teaching them defense against the dark arts, but for solitary time as well. On evenings when no meeting was held, she slipped away to be alone and ponder the most darkest art of all: being in love.
In her mind she still tried to convince herself she did not love Draco, though with her mouth she had confessed so. But Draco was different than her, and there were some things she couldn’t tell him, leading her to reason that what she felt couldn’t be love. After all, when you loved someone, weren’t you comfortable sharing everything with them? If you had to hide things, then what did that mean for the relationship? And yet having to hide her feelings for the Slytherin bad boy was a large part of the allure. The excitement of the thought of being with Draco was because she wasn’t supposed to. The differences between their houses made that clear. No Gryffindor girl had ever been so enamored of a Slytherin guy before. It was almost forbidden. And there it was. Draco was the boy she wasn’t supposed to have.
The more she thought that though, the more determined her heart became. And with that she found reasons to be close to him.
Quidditch was about to resume. Afternoon practices were going on daily. Thankfully her friend Harry was being allowed to play again, his detentions with Dolores Umbridge having come to a close. Hermione, in a show of support attended the practices, cheering for both Harry and the sadly inept Ron, whom she hoped would improve by the time of the first game. But she wasn’t just there for them. No, there was a certain boy in robes of green and silver, practicing with his team close by. She could pick him out at times, his pale blonde hair waving in the breeze. Though she would never admit it, she loved how agressive he played. There was something urgent, almost animalistic, in the way he flew on his broomstick, or practiced grabbing the snitch. Briefly she imagined him being that aggressive as a lover. It made her muscles ache, put a tingling in her stomach, thinking of the two of them wrapped up together, bodies entwined in throes of…
“Ron’s a horrible player,” a soft voice said from beside her, and it jolted her out of her sensual wanderings. She turned red as if everyone knew which gutter her mind had to clamber out of.
“I don’t say it to be mean,” Luna Lovegood continued. “He’s just the weakest link on the team.”
“He’s not that bad,” Hermione replied, regaining her composure and coming to her friend’s defense. Luna was right of course. Ron did seem to be lacking in the concentration needed to be an effective player, but one does not talk bad about friend. “He just needs encouragement,” she said out loud, though whether it was for Luna’s benefit or her own remained to be seen.
Again, her eyes turned towards Draco practicing in the adjoining field with the Slytherin team. She felt something bump her arm. She turned and saw Luna was holding a pair of small binoculars out to her. When Hermione didn’t take them right away, Luna said, “Don’t worry, I wont tell anyone.”
Hermione was caught by surprise. “Tell anyone what?”
Luna gave her a look that spoke volumes. “You and Draco.”
Hermione laughed. “Draco? You must be out of your head.”
Luna look confused for just a second, but then replied, “No, I’m well inside my head. I know you were with him in the greenhouse that day. When you saw me and Neville.”
Hermione didn’t know how to respond. Whether to verify the truth in Luna’s observations or to play it off as plain silliness. After a few moments she made up her mind.
“You’re mistaken. I don’t like Draco. I like….” She looked at the players on the quidditch field and blurted out the first one she could think of. “…Ron Weasley.”
Luna raised an eyebrow and lifted her binoculars to her eyes. Directing them towards the Quidditch goal she nodded. “That could work, I suppose. My dad says things aren’t going to work with Neville and me. He says he’s going to marry Hannah Abbott one day.” She shook her head. “As if.”
Hermione wasn’t sure why she was yelling her all this. She and Luna hadn’t been close friends. In fact, she often had ridiculed and sometimes insulted Lovegood. And now the strangest girl at Hogwarts was opening up to her on the Quidditch bleachers.
“Hannah Abbott?” Hermione asked, incredulous. “I cant see that either.”
Luna looked at her. Her face held a knowing secret. “Well, there are many who wouldn’t believe you like Draco either, so you’re safe. Mum’s the word with me.” Shecaet the binoculars down beside Hermione. “You can return them to me later. No sense straining your eyes.”
Before she could protest or deny things further, Luna was up and gone. She watched her go and the realization hit her. Someone knew. The secret wasn’t quite hidden anymore. For a moment in her quiet panic, she thought of casting a spell towards Luna, to ensure she’d never speak of it to anyone else. But instead she looked on the bleacher beside her. She picked up the binoculars and put them to her eyes. First, she focused on the Gryffindor team. Harry on the pitch. Ron at the goal. But she soon found herself seeking out that flash of green and silver. Draco. Her Draco. Forever.
Malfoy was having trouble concentrating. Usually he did well at practice, but he found himself being more aggressive and he tried to curb his heightened emotions. Save it for Gryffindor, he told himself. It was just a dream, nothing more.
The dream in question had occurred the night before. In it, Draco had found himself looking upon his father’s stricken face. Lucius was afraid. Very afraid. Dementors swirled around him, seeming to feed off the elder Malfoy’s fears. Draco tried to go to him, but could never quite reach him. There was an invisible barrier between them, as if his father was a prisoner and he was free. He called out and Lucius looked up. “I told you to stay away from her,” he moaned at his son. “Now look what you’ve done.”
Draco, now on the field, looked up in much the same way his father had done in the dream. Except here, someone was watching him. Someone with binoculars in the stands. Even from where he stood he could see who it was. Hermione Granger. His heart’s desire. His secret love. His father’s doom.
But Malfoy wasn’t the only one who saw Hermione with the binoculars. Ron Weasley had looked up from the goal to see his friend checking out the practice. The problem was she was looking at the opposite team. Slytherin. Why was she checking them out? Worse yet, she was smiling. When he saw the direction of her amplified gaze, his jaw dropped. She was grinning dreamily. At Draco Malfoy.