Disclaimer: JKR owns anything that is obviously hers. I own the rest. I do not make any money off this.
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Others
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, Humour, Romance, Smut
Story Warnings: Epilogue? What Epilogue?, Mild Kink, Mild Violence, Polyjuice (Body Switch), Profanity, Psychological Trauma, Smut, Threesome
Warning Note: I do not warn per chapter. What I warn for may be in chapter 1 or chapter 39 and they may or may not be what you expect them to be. If you have a very specific trigger, you can PM me for details pertaining to that specific thing, otherwise tough luck, cookie.
Overall Rating: NC-17
Summary: Through a series of uncontrollable events and deliberate decisions, Draco and Hermione are now, a little more than a decade after the war, both working as Aurors. Draco is a complete git and the only one who'll pair up with him for anything is Hermione. This is suiting her less and less, though, so she tries to open his eyes to all the things that have changed. An open-eyed Draco, however, is a force to be reckoned with.
Extra Note: Thank you to margotlefaye, dollfaced and mazvn for the beta and robs55 for the Britpick. You guys rock! You saved this story. :D
Chapter Length: 5,367
Draco was far too amused. Far too amused. Hermione scowled. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time to blacken his name when she was forced to explain herself to Jack, but now... now she wasn't sure how to wipe that smirk off Draco's face.
'Don't drink so fast,' Draco lectured. 'You'll make yourself sick.'
'I won't be sick,' she haughtily responded. 'But hopefully I'll get drunk. That's the only way another night with you will be bearable.'
He snorted at her. 'Your Muggle is looking very disapproving. Why is that?' he asked and frowned in Jack's general direction.
Hermione followed his look and saw Jack scowling at her and then talking to the barman. She shrugged and looked down at what was left of her second beer. Then it hit and she nearly slapped her forehead. 'He thinks I'm pregnant,' she said. 'And I'm drinking. This village must love me.' She took another healthy swig to finish off her glass. 'Another one, please.' Maybe it would be smarter to simply go back, but she'd finally dragged her depressed arse down here, damn it.
Draco rolled his eyes and got up. A minute later he came back, empty-handed and apparently fighting a grin. 'Sorry, love. Barman doesn't want to serve you because of your... delicate condition.'
She gaped in outrage, and looked over to see the barman and Jack scowling at her. Then promptly she burst into tears. Or, rather, she pretended she did, burying her face in her hands. 'B-b-but didn't you t-tell them wh-what h-happened?' she sobbed loud enough for everyone to hear.
Draco wasn't even bothering to pretend he cared. But then again, this was in character for how she'd portrayed him, so it was all right. 'There was no baby,' he just said. Oh, he probably thought he was clever by introducing truth to the lie. Or he was uncharacteristically not up for drama tonight.
'Yes, there was!' she said in a theatrical wail.
He laughed. She didn't even want to know how that looked to the others. 'I highly doubt there was.' He reached out to grab her neck in a surprisingly uncomfortable hold, causing her eyes to widen, wondering where he was taking his role. 'I'd highly advice you not to "become pregnant" with "my" child again,' he silkily said, only tiny sparkles of real annoyance in his eyes betraying the act. The warning was real. He had obviously not liked that particular lie.
'How can I become pregnant if you won't touch me?' she whispered loud enough for others to hear, doing her best to inject heartbreak into her voice whilst narrowing her eyes at him.
He abruptly let go of her and waved her off, taking a sip of his own beer. 'Maybe if you'd stop being such a pitiful slag, I'd want you.'
Yeah, she'd bet. Too bad that was hardly her goal in life. Hermione lowered her eyes as in defeat, surreptitiously looking around. Yep, they had an audience all right. She hid a frown as the barman tapped her a new glass of beer and brought it over. The mission was accomplished, but it was less fun than it used to be.
That had been entirely over the top. Draco slowly shook his head to himself. It had really been too much. He honestly didn't mind being a git to Hermione--in fact, it came rather naturally to him--but she could have stopped it after her fake tears. Or, really, she could simply have told them she'd miscarried or it had been a false alarm. Whatever suited her best without the theatrics.
But he supposed it wouldn't have been half as entertaining to her. Or to this village at large. Everyone--and a few more people had arrived by now--was shooting them uncomfortable glances, whispering amongst themselves. Draco would bet they were the best entertainment this sad little pub had had all year.
What Hermione wouldn't do for a drink.
Once people had lost interest in the two of them, Hermione raised her eyebrows at Draco. 'That'll be a tough act to follow.'
Draco shook his head, sipping this bitter brew Muggles called beer. He much preferred butterbeer, really, if he had to drink any kind of beer. 'I'm not sure I want to follow it.'
'Yeah?' she asked, pursing her lips. 'I thought you were getting into it, what with the whole throat-grabbing and everything.'
He smirked. That had been mostly to see how she'd react, actually. To see if she would be able to stay in character and how she would recover her act if she couldn't. 'I scared you, admit it.'
He leant forward, as if to confide in her. 'I felt your pulse,' he murmured, feeling extremely satisfied with himself. 'You thought I might actually hurt you.'
She blushed--a rare occasion in itself, although he seemed to see it a lot on this trip--no doubt not appreciating to be called on this. She quickly recovered, though. 'Maybe I just like it rough,' she purred right back at him.
He blinked, shocked, but then realised what she was doing. She was trying to make him uncomfortable so he'd forget that he'd made her nervous. Hah. His mind raced to figure out how to respond, but, alas, he couldn't come up with a way to embarrass her again. At least he could act unembarrassed himself. 'I thought you liked it any way you could get it,' he said, taking a gulp of his beer to hide his wince. He'd never understand Hermione's newfound desire to discuss such personal things so openly. Maybe it was a Muggle-born thing.
'I have to be honest with you,' she said. No, she didn't. She really, really didn't. 'I'm getting mightily desperate here.'
'Really?' he drily asked. 'I hadn't noticed.'
She groaned. 'Did you notice the genes of the men in this town? The women too. Look at that girl over there!' She pointed at the Muggle in question--young, pretty-ish, and not really dressed for autumn weather. 'And yet I can't take advantage of it.'
Draco cocked an eyebrow. 'Why not? They think you lost the sprog, right? So what reason do you have left to stay with me?'
'First of all, I'm sure neither I nor they know how soon after a miscarriage one is supposed to have sex again...' She looked away and frowned as if uncomfortable in some way, but then she cleared her throat and continued, 'Second, I was trying to trap you, remember? Thus I must be desperate for your attention or... something.'
'I don't think we told anyone that part.'
'But I based my performance on it!' She waved her hand. 'Besides, Jack might make trouble if I go for someone else whilst he's around. It's not worth it.'
'Just go with him, then?'
Hermione made a very rude noise. 'I doubt he'd want that by now. Besides, I don't want to sleep with him. You should've heard the long whinge he had about his life the last time I went out with him.' She pouted, looking more like a child denied dessert than a woman denied male company.
'I see how waiting a few more days until we're home with... whoever you're playing with there--and please don't tell me who that would be--for you to... appease your hormones, would be completely impossible,' he drily said.
She sniffed. 'Just because you have no drive...' She then made to drink from her glass, just to realise she'd already emptied it and frown. 'I'll get it this time,' she muttered, getting up.
Draco raised an eyebrow. He'd never thought he'd be accused of having no drive by someone who'd walked in on him taking care of that drive only three days ago. He merely didn't think there was any point to pursuing any kind of relations with Muggles when he knew he wouldn't be able to keep them up. He looked over at the Muggle girl Hermione had pointed out and wrinkled his nose slightly. Besides, obviously, they didn't have the same tastes in women.
'One more, please,' Hermione said with an appropriately subdued smile at the barman. She glanced back at Draco. 'Oh, and one more for him too, I guess,' she added.
'I can't figure out whether to offer my condolences or my congratulations...'
Hermione stiffened slightly. Jack was sitting a few feet away with a couple of his mates, and she'd honestly thought she'd sent a clear signal by barely acknowledging him.
'I'm going to go with congratulations,' he said. 'You're free to do whatever you want now, aren't you? No ties.'
She inwardly groaned and reminded herself that the next time she wanted to have some fun by weaving a dramatic tale, she shouldn't. 'I'll always be tied to him,' she wistfully said, throwing Draco a soulful look that made him cock an eyebrow and glance at Jack. She narrowed her eyes slightly, sending him threatening thoughts in case he felt like calling her bluff.
'He doesn't seem to be very good to you,' one of Jack's big and burly friends said in a way that was much too familiar for Hermione's tastes. What happened to excusing yourself before butting into strangers' love lives?
'Oh, he's good to me,' she said with what she hoped was a meaningful glance.
'You just said he wasn't,' Jack's other friend, a knobbly sort of fellow, said.
Hermione almost groaned out loud. 'What can I say?' she asked, brushing them off. 'When he's good, he's very good.' She picked up the beers and made her way back to their table. Alas, this pub was on the puny side and apparently Jack wasn't done.
'Prove it,' he quietly said as she passed him.
She stopped. 'What? I don't need to prove anything to you.'
He half-turned towards her. 'You're not one of us, which is why nothing happened yet, but here in Firrhaven, nobody treats a woman like that and walks away. So if you want him to keep the full use of his legs, prove that he's just talk.'
Hermione glanced around for the first time since they'd entered and first now she noticed the badly hidden scowls sent Draco's way. Oh, crap. Draco could best the lot of them with the use of magic, of course, but to use Obliviate on half a village? Yeah, no. She sighed. Time for a sacrifice.
Not letting on to any of the outsiders that something was amiss, she sauntered up to Draco, who was already beginning to look wary. She wondered how much of what had happened he'd overheard or guessed. She placed the glasses in front of him and then with her most seductive smile, she placed herself on his lap.
He didn't even blink. Instead he said in a very low voice which could be mistaken for sweet, 'Damn you and your need to spin dramatic tales.'
'Don't worry,' she purred almost inaudibly. 'I'll make it quick and painless.'
His disapproving look was his only reply.
It wasn't like she wanted this any more than he did! It was hardly the first time for something like this to have to happen under a cover, but they made certain it was a really rare occurrence. It simply... didn't work for them at all. Yet, here she was, trying to pretend that she was arse over elbows for him, when they were both wishing they were somewhere else with someone else.
Absent-mindedly, she ran a finger down his jaw, making him clench it in distaste--what an ego boost!--and then she bent forward, towards him and pressed her lips against his. His reaction was exactly what she'd known it would be: he did what he could to make it look like he wanted her whilst he really was completely indifferent to--or possibly even disgusted by--her touch.
This was why she always dreaded kissing Draco Malfoy. Even though he hadn't called her a Mudblood for years and he never openly acted derisively towards her Muggle roots or any of the Muggles they had to occasionally mingle with, he could with one simple touch meant to convey affection make her feel like he still found her to be completely worthless, and that hurt, coming from someone she frequently literally trusted with her life.
Draco hated this part with a fiery passion. Well, perhaps not so much with any kind of passion, but he disliked it. He tried to disassociate himself from the scene and discern what had prompted it. He'd heard most of what Jack the Muggle and his tactless friends had said, but he hadn't heard what had prompted this. It was quite possible that Hermione was simply bored and trying to make him uncomfortable. If she was, she was definitely succeeding.
As if on cue, she tore away from him and huskily suggested they go back, just loud enough for people to hear. He barely kept from frowning, and instead let her grab his hand and lead him from the pub, not letting go before they'd made it far enough that nobody would notice.
When she wasn't very forthcoming in explaining the events to him, he said, 'Care to tell me why I was dragged away from my drink?'
'They were going to beat you up for being an abusive git,' she irritably said. 'I saved your offensive arse.'
Things made slightly more sense now. Although she shouldn't be quite that put out that she had to do it. 'You can't blame that on me,' he pointed out. 'It was all because of your stories.'
She didn't reply.
Brilliant. Just what he'd wanted. For her to be pissed off at him once again. 'For crying out loud, Granger,' he sighed. 'Are you really pinning this one on me?'
She slowly shook her head. 'No.'
'Then what?' He was seriously at a loss.
'I simply don't know how I can trust you when you won't even tell me the truth,' she quietly said.
Draco's brain had been considerably slowed by the Muggle beer. 'Come again?'
She sighed. 'It's so obvious, and I don't even know why you try to hide it. Is it because it gets in the way of what you want? I bet it is. You want the perfect picture of a traditional family, and owning up to who you are would ruin that, wouldn't it?'
'I've not a single clue what you're on about,' he very honestly replied.
'You have to be gay.'
His eyes went impossibly wide and he stopped to stare at her. 'I have to what?'
'Gay. Homosexual. You like to ride the brooms. I really don't see any reason why you would even bother hiding it, other than your silly attempt to pursue what you think you want. If you were a Muggle, certainly, I'd understand. Muggles have hate crimes against anyone that deviates even slightly from the average. But witches and wizards are taught early on what it's like to be apart and it's not like it's really--'
'I'm not!' he interrupted her before she could get to her in-depth explanation of why it would be all right for him to prefer men over women. He most certainly did not. He'd always preferred women and couldn't fathom why she'd think otherwise. Was it something he'd said? Done? Some sort of look, maybe? No, he couldn't recall there being anything. He'd barely glanced at another male in there, except to figure out what she had been up to.
She snorted and went on walking.
He followed her and grabbed her arm to turn her around. 'No, I'm really not. What gave you that idea? You know I only go out with witches.'
Her brows knitted as she was obviously trying to figure him out.
He let go of her. Maybe he was giving her too much credit. This whole thing reeked of vanity. 'Is this about me not wanting to snog you?'
She crossed her arms over her chest as if she were cold. 'Of course not. It's... many things. But it doesn't help that you would snog me even less passionately than Harry would.'
Draco blinked. 'You snogged Potter?'
Hermione shrugged. 'About four years ago on a case. Ginny was nine months pregnant with James, and Harry was going out of his mind with worry that we weren't going to make it back in time--yet when the situation called for it, he managed to give a somewhat believable performance.'
'They believed us!'
'I have frostbite from that in there. I'm sorry, but since you can't be honest, I'm going to have to tell Harry that we can't work together any longer.' She turned and began walking again.
'Why do you insist that I'm not honest?' he asked, following her, beginning to feel more and more indignant. 'Because you can only work with men that are falling over themselves to get in your knickers?'
'No...' It was hardly more than a whisper. 'Because if you're not gay, then your blatant revulsion can really only come from one thing. And I thought we were long past those issues. I can't trust someone who despises me for my parentage--at least not as completely as I need to trust a partner.'
Draco's head was spinning. He sort of saw her logic, but it was simply wrong. In truth, he'd never even thought about it. Never wanted to think about it. She was Hermione Granger. She wasn't someone he could... think about. Not because of her parentage--although that frankly wasn't in her favour for a variety of reasons--but because she was Hermione Granger. She was one of Potter's friends and one of the War Heroes, and they barely lived on the same planet. Not to mention that they'd known each other for so long that changing how he thought about her now simply didn't make much sense.
He didn't know how to explain that to her in a way she would understand, though, and he could hardly claim that he found her physically repulsive and hope that would smooth things over with her.
He wished he'd let her think he was gay.
Hermione was feeling far too sober to deal with this yet far too drunk to think of something else to fight about, so she simply stopped talking to Draco. It didn't matter anyway. As a person who loved snogging--often and with almost anyone willing if she was in the right mood--Hermione would gladly go for that kind of cover with just about everyone else, but Malfoy she hated touching. The very thought of having to put her lips on his always made her stomach clench uncomfortably and sometimes she even felt nauseous.
It wasn't that she found his looks or even his demeanor off-putting. In a general sense, she did mind his personality, but she hardly ever factored that in when she considered who she'd snog. Snogging was the very opposite of conversation, after all, and she was hardly looking for more.
It wasn't even that she remembered past offences or present annoyances. Not at all. The past offences were buried in the past, and the present annoyances... well, she was used to them.
It was simply upsetting to have to snog someone who was so frigid towards her when they did it. It was the little things that bothered her. The things that nobody else picked up on. It was the way his lips were hard and tense. The way his spine was stiff. The way his every movement was completely mechanical and his eyes were indifferent. The way that his heartbeat was completely steady, his complexion remained perfectly pale, and certainly no part of him ever rose to the occasion, no matter what.
This whole manner in which he didn't respond to her with anything but distaste, no matter how much she tried to ingratiate herself with his body--and yes, she'd tried that when they were posing as a married couple; mostly because she'd been bored out of her mind for days on end--told her more clearly than anything else he said or did just how lowly he regarded her. She'd never met another straight man that could keep himself from having the most basic involuntary responses once she used all of her considerable tricks.
That was all she wanted, really. A basic response. A small flush, lips that would linger, or a hand that would forget it was for show and seek out a fun place. Anything to make her feel like he was a human being who instinctively recognised that she was a human being as well. But he didn't. Because he didn't feel like she was. She was some kind of sub-human. Or less than even that--a monkey! A common monkey-like creature too ugly to be cute and too common to be worth preserving.
Not that she was exaggerating or anything.
That he wasn't truly attracted to women had been something she'd bet the last of her sanity on. But, no. It wasn't women. It was her. How could he loathe her enough to not even be able to pretend he was snogging someone else unless he had a deep-seated disgust that prevented him from seeing her as female at all?
'I don't understand,' he sighed after they'd let themselves into the cabin. 'I can't decide whether this is some kind of joke or whether you've gone mental.'
She didn't know what to respond to that. 'I just need sleep,' she finally muttered. 'We'll talk in the morning.'
'No, how about now,' he insisted, making her arch an eyebrow. He should know by now that pushing an argument with her wasn't going to bring pretty results. 'You're accusing me of being prejudiced against your roots because I'm not snogging you to your liking? Really? Would you listen to your own logic?'
'Fuck off, Malfoy,' she said, too inebriated and angry to really explain her mind.
'No, you fuck off, Granger!' he growled right back at her. 'You know I had to let them practically brainwash me to even be allowed to complete the Auror training--which all you damn War Heroes just bypassed anyway--and that every single fucking year since then, they've re-evaluated me to make sure that I'm not the next Dark Wizard or even simply biased enough to let any Muggles or Muggle-borns suffer unnecessarily, so why are you on about this?'
'So you'll really have me believe that you like witches but you find me so off-putting as a person that it's not even possible for you to close your eyes and think of someone else instead of making me uncomfortable? And that it has nothing to do with my blood?'
He blinked, looking confused. 'I make you uncomfortable? I'm the uncomfortable one!'
'It's not easy to pretend to want to jump the bones of someone who's clearly fighting not to push me away when he should just be taking one for the team like the rest of us.'
He frowned. 'You never once mentioned this before. How was I supposed to know that I was offending you?'
'I mentioned it every single time! How is that "never once"?'
'What, you mean the mocking? I'll pay attention the day you don't mock me about something.'
Hermione threw up her hands. 'Whatever! Next time, I'll let them beat you!' And with that she marched into the bedroom, slamming the door after herself.
That was the oddest row Draco had ever had the misfortune of having with Hermione. What did she want him to do? He was a fairly competent actor in most instances, but he could hardly see how he could do any better in this one. They simply had to avoid those situations if they were so bad, that was all.
Feeling a bit restless, Draco went over to have a look at the liquor that was left. He picked up a bottle to look at it, but then a thought hit him: I'm the one acting like a boozer now. Quietly, he put the bottle back down. How come his solution to arguments with Hermione was always to get drunk--or in some cases drunker? It was deeply disturbing. Looking back over the last couple of years, it seemed to be a pattern on the less pressing cases--drink or kill each other.
There were two solutions to that--either they refused being paired off, or they handled their problems rather than avoided them. He'd love to refuse being paired with her, but since she was one of the few that would actually accept cases with him, it was probably more than his job was worth.
He had to solve this. If he lost his job, he'd lose who he was and probably end up becoming who his parents wanted him to be. He'd fought too long and too hard to avoid that to let not being able to pretend to be lovey-dovey with Hermione Granger get in his way.
But how did he solve neither of them liking posing as a couple? This was crazy. And he wasn't in the best frame of mind for trouble-solving. Maybe he'd just go to bed. Yeah, bed sounded nice. He'd be damned if he'd sleep out here.
He'd hoped that Hermione would be asleep once he made it to the bedroom, but no such luck. She was scowling at him from over the top of a book. 'Didn't think you'd be in here yet,' she said. 'Did we run out of liquor or something?' Draco didn't reply but just began pulling off his clothes, making Hermione roll her eyes. 'Could you at least wait until the lights are out?' she scathingly asked.
'Why? Does my lack of erection offend you?' he shot back.
Hermione pursed her lips. 'This is quite possibly the stupidest conversation I've ever had. And I've known you for eighteen years.'
'I know!' he said, swinging his arms out to the sides and almost knocking over a lamp. 'Why can't we just avoid having to... do those things?'
'Today could have been avoided,' she coolly said, 'but it won't be possible every time. There's a reason why Harry prefers to send out mixed pairs, you know. If you need a cover in a pinch, it's easier to go for silly and lovestruck. Most of us prefer to have to do that with someone of the opposite sex, although, granted, there are exceptions. You claim you're not an exception, but...'
'I'm not going to say I'm gay to suit you, Hermione,' he said, frowning down at himself. He'd forgotten something. Oh, right. He was down to his underwear. Pyjama bottoms. Where were they?
Hermione pointed to the other side of the room. 'They're over there. Cover yourself up, for crying out loud.'
'I only wear them 'cause of you anyway,' he muttered, getting them and slowly and carefully putting them on, focusing, so he didn't topple over.
'And I'm very grateful for that.'
'Why? What does it matter?' He was being contrary, but he was simply so annoyed. He only wore those damn things to be respectable around her, but what did it matter? They couldn't get along without drinking--and not even always then! And he'd thought he knew her, but he didn't. She wasn't who he'd thought at all! She apparently enjoyed banging strange Muggles, and now she was mad at him for... aw, hell, he couldn't even figure out why, because it was so mind-numbingly stupid.
'There are still things I'd much rather not see,' she pointed out.
'And here I was of the impression that you wanted to see it all,' he muttered.
She smirked. 'I already saw it all, remember?'
He stared at her. Now? She chose to poke fun at him about that now?
She rolled her eyes at him. 'Oh, I cannot believe how touchy you still are about that.'
'Really?' he drily asked, finally going back to his side of the bed. 'And how would you feel? Thrilled to get an audience?'
She shrugged. 'Probably relaxed. That's how I usually feel after.'
Draco snorted. 'Right. You wouldn't care if I walked in on you at all. You weren't embarrassed about what happened. You're so tough and nothing could ever faze you.'
'I was only embarrassed because I knew you'd be,' she said, returning to her book.
'That makes about as much sense as everything else you've said tonight,' he muttered, lying down on top of the covers.
She reached out without looking up from her book and patted him on the shoulder, almost slapping him in the process. He wasn't sure whether that was an accident. 'There, there,' she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
'You don't seem that mad any more,' he observed.
She shrugged. 'I'm over it.'
'Just like that, huh?'
'Just like that.'
'And that's despite the fact that my lack of excitement clearly signalled your inferiority?'
'You're walking on thin ice here, Malfoy,' she warned.
'But that's because you're not over it. You just pretend you are and then we'll have bigger fights about smaller things and--'
'And what?' she drily asked. 'We'll break up, and wherever will the kids live? I think we'll manage.' She slowly turned another page.
'You don't think we could be friends if we tried?' he asked, frowning.
Hermione considered the idea. 'I think that you are intoxicated to even suggest such a thing,' she then said.
'No,' he muttered, his frown deepening, something odd occurring to him. 'I think we are friends.'
'Ok, now I know you're off your rocker.'
'Am I?' he quietly asked. 'Then how come we know so much about each other?'
'I think this whole trip has shown us that we know less than we think.'
'No, not that. I mean... habits, tastes, quirks.'
'Oh, that. That's because we've been forced to live together more often than can be healthy for anyone.'
'And it didn't make us friends? If I dropped dead tomorrow, you wouldn't come to my funeral?'
'The whole office would come to your funeral and most of them would lie about how well they always thought of you, what's your point?'
Her refusal to see his point annoyed Draco. 'Fine,' he gritted out. 'Maybe we define the word differently.' He paused, knitting his brows together. He was back to having to somehow fix her misconception from earlier without any kind of help from her. 'I don't view you as a witch,' he then said.
Her breath hitched just enough for him to glance up at her, but she remained indifferent-looking. 'What a shocker,' she replied, turning another page. He'd bet anything that she hadn't even read the previous one.
'I mean, I don't see you as a woman,' he amended. 'I mean--'
'I think you should stop before you dig a hole you can't get out of,' she advised in a slightly strained voice whilst not as much as glancing away from her book.
Draco groaned. 'I mean, I just disassociate you from your bits to make things easier. I view you as completely sexless.'
'Well, thanks to you, I have been,' she drily replied.
He ignored that part. 'I didn't know it made you uncomfortable. I thought it would make you more uncomfortable if...' He shrugged. 'Imagine how oddly you'd feel if I acted as if it were real.'
'I think it's more about how oddly you would feel,' she corrected him. 'And, anyway, it's not an issue. I already said I'm over it.'
'Until next time. What happens next time?'
'I'll remember that you'd rather see me as a monkey than risk getting a stiffy.'
Draco groaned. Couldn't she not be so blunt? 'You're impossible!'
'No,' she corrected him. 'I'm actually quite easy. Isn't that what you keep saying?'
There really was no talking to her when she was in this kind of mood, so Draco turned his back on her and went to sleep instead, hoping she at least wouldn't leave bruises in the morning.