For Want of a Jumper

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"Christ!"

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"Christ!"

Malfoy's oath interrupted Theo mid-thought as he was hurriedly doctoring his morning tea. Theo didn't expect he'd ever acclimatise to the swill that passed as tea in Hogwarts, but it was warm, unlike the dungeons that someone a thousand years ago had decided was acceptable accommodations for the ambition-ladened.

Mid-winter and the dungeons were presently so cold one would develop frostbite walking across the floors without well-insulated shoes. Burbage claimed that his arse and thighs had never been the same after groggily sitting on a dungeon toilet in fourth-year without remembering to cast a warming charm on the seat.

Dungeon Common Rooms were character building, Snape had said when Theo had inquired about the use of insulation back in first-year. What better motivation to ascend to great heights than an origin story that involved seven years living in a cold, clammy dungeon?

Well, perhaps that was the way it was for some Slytherins. The extent of Theo's ambition was to stay ensconced within his favourite cashmere jumper and consume a form of hot liquid that would clear his head enough coherently to listen to McGonagall discuss NEWT exams for an hour straight.

Theo added an additional splash of milk until it was the proper colour at least, and then rapidly gulped a mouthful, looking up to see what had managed to attract Malfoy's ire at dawn.

Malfoy was glowering across the Great Hall at his Co-Head, Granger.

Granger was seated at the Gryffindor table inhaling her breakfast, her eyes fastened on an enormous textbook propped up against a teapot. Without looking up, she reached across the table and snatched away a third-year's wand before he managed to flick a kipper down a nearby girl's shirt.

Theo studied Granger and then glanced back at Malfoy, and then back to Granger again.

She appeared entirely normal. The same mountain of books somehow carried in a mysteriously normal. regulation-sized school satchel. Same harried, pinched expression. Same Gryffindor robes with the proudly polished Head Girl badge gleaming. There was nothing notable about her whatsoever. Theo had no idea what about the girl could possibly have done to set Malfoy off so early in the morning.

Then again, Malfoy did have to work with Granger, constantly. As Malfoy's roommate, Theo was on the receiving end of many of Malfoy tirades about how annoying Granger was, and all the annoying things she did, and how annoyed Malfoy was from having to be around her constantly until Theo was certain he probably knew more about Hermione Granger than anyone in all of history would ever want to know.

Theo had dreamt of becoming Head Boy himself, but hearing about the job endlessly from Malfoy made for an excellent case against it. Granger, according to Malfoy, was the unbearable.

"That does it," Malfoy said through his teeth, looking ready to combust from outrage. Stuffing a piece of toast into his mouth, he stood and stalked across the Great Hall.

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