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26 April 2013 @ 11:27 pm
Insatfic! Small regrets  
I was about to have a nap, but melusinahp had a post, which I can't link to because I am typing this on the iPad, which is CRAP for flicking between windows (though good at other things) and although I am certain I have dealt with this briefly in another fic, this suddenly popped into my head and so I have postponed my nap and well, Mel, we may not always agree, but I am with you on the important things in Potter:

Small Regrets
Hermione had bullied him into coming back to school.

He didn't mind, her idea of bullying involved quite a bit of friendly physical persuasion and on the whole it had been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. And she had a point, too: he wasn't Harry. People intellectually knew the sacrifices that he and Hermione had made to help Harry along the way, but there was only one Saviour of the Wizarding World and he was the one looking at a free pass through life.

'We,' said Hermione, 'could probably ride on his coat tails, and are certainly owed an enormous amount by this lot, but on the whole, will probably do a lot better if we have a full set of skills under our wands, so we can conquer the world on our own terms.'

'But I just want to help George run the shop,' he'd said.

'Which will also benefit from more skills.'

And she was right, so back to school they had come.

It was strange. The rebuilding had been mostly completed over the extended post-War holiday, but the new stone stood out against the old, and the ceiling of the Great Hall was now prone to sudden, random changes in cloud formations, some spelling quite rude words, which made him wonder if Fred hadn't decided to hang around a bit after all.

He had thought that he wouldn't be able to walk through that part of the Castle at all, but it was where he lingered most, sometimes with Hermione, remembering that Fred's last words had been swathed in laughter. It was … nice.

And then there were the other students.

The first years were appalling: staring and star-struck. The slight evil he had always suspected Hermione of possessing came out as she took to running them around the castle on spurious errands, most often concerned with bringing her books and hot beverages.

The sixth and seventh years, full of repeaters like themselves, were mostly supportive, if they did spend more time at the Three Broomsticks than was probably optimal for studying.

In between were those who wanted to ask questions and those who wanted to pretend it never happened. And there were enough of each camp in the older years that details could be gained, or quiet days in the library shared.

Malfoy was there.

He thanked them as they waited at King's Cross. '… for Greg. You didn't have to, no one would have blamed you, but you did. That took courage.'

'Harry would have been annoyed,' Ron found himself saying. 'Didn't want to let him down.'

Malfoy had taken a breath and tried to speak again. 'Yes. Well, and … yes. All right then. Thank you.' And with that, he'd turned and walked away quickly, taking a place beside Horace Slughorn who had clearly offered to escort him on the train.

They hadn't seen him much since. In two weeks, he had only been a quiet figure at the front of classrooms, dashing ahead or lagging behind when each ended. He had left the welcome feast early and wasn't there at most meals.

Ron hadn't the heart to hate him anymore. He didn't even notice him much. Between studying – which was an appalling shock, but apparently he was expected to get O's this year – and being rewarded for studying by Hermione, Malfoy was at the bottom of his list of things to be concerned about.

Which was why he didn't notice him standing there at breakfast until he cleared his throat and Hermione whispered 'Malfoy' with a significant head nod.

'Weasley,' Malfoy began. 'I've been trying to talk to you since the start of term, but …' A half-smile and rueful headshake. 'We've never talked. Why start now? Here.' He thrust a letter into Ron's hands, turned and walked quickly away to the Slytherin table.

'That was unexpected,' Hermione muttered.

'Do you think it might explode?' Ron asked.

'He wouldn't have made it so public,' she replied with a smile. 'Go on, open it.'

Ron did.

Mr Ronald Weasley, the letter began.

I have already taken the opportunity to write to members of your family who have been wronged by my actions. Your brother Bilius suffered as a direct result of my ignorance and your parents suffered incalculable loss due to the folly of my family in supporting the unsupportable.

However, this letter concerns you. I wish to express my regrets for an incident that occurred in Sixth Year, in which I accidentally poisoned you with a beverage that was intended for Professor Dumbledore. I have no excuse for my actions aside from my family being held to ransom by the worst Dark Wizard of our times, and both my malice and incompetence render me entirely culpable.

I was pleased to hear of Potter's atypical intelligence in rescuing you and that you have suffered no lasting ill-effects. Nevertheless, I extend a full and frank apology for the incident and hope that with time you can find it possible to forgive my actions.

Sincerely yours,

Draco Malfoy.

Ron stared at the paper.

Hermione read it over his shoulder. She stared at it, too.

Then they stared at each other for a long moment.

'That's … nice …' Hermione began.

'Hermione,' Ron interrupted her, 'it's the worst, most-pompous, most-head-up-arse apology in the history of the world!'

She began to laugh.

'Well, yes, but at least he's trying.'

He grinned at her.

'So, should we go and talk to him?' she asked.

They hazarded a glance at the Slytherin table, where Malfoy was sitting with his back to them.

'I have a better idea,' Ron said. 'Give me some parchment and a quill.'

Hermione produced both from her bag and Ron set to work.

Dear Malfoy, he wrote.

That was very good of you, and I realise it must have been very hard for you to say all of that to both me and my family. I appreciate it. I understand that you were under duress and that, when pushed, we can all do things we later regret deeply. In this vein of thought, I accept your apology and only hope that you can accept mine for borrowing Harry's Invisibility Cloak and urinating over your bedding earlier this morning; an action I now deeply regret and which makes this whole exchange of notes so much more awkward than it otherwise might have been.

Best wishes,

Ron Weasley

Beside him, he could feel Hermione, whose face had dropped into her folded arms on the table, shaking with laughter. He folded the note into a plane and sent it off towards Malfoy, who caught it from the air as it hovered in front of him.

Malfoy opened it up and read quickly. He looked up with an expression of exasperation.

'Sorry,' Ron mouthed.

Malfoy shook his head and ran from the hall, but without any invective or vigorous hand gestures. There might, Ron thought, be a glimmer of hope for the man yet.

'You didn't really, did you?' Hermione asked, breathlessly, pushing herself up.

'What do you take me for?' he replied, kissing her flushed face.

And then, because he was an honest man, he admitted, 'I transfigured all his right shoes into newts. It should wear off by Saturday, Sunday at the latest. Provided he doesn't lose any of them.'

Hermione kissed him soundly. 'I told you study would be helpful.'

'When have you ever been wrong?' he asked.

He pushed her hair back behind her ears, and let her finish what remained of her breakfast. But instead of finishing his own, he refolded the letter on the table before him, replaced it in its envelope and stowed it in an inside pocket. Because even though it was the worst apology he had ever received, it was also one of the best.
bk7brokemybrain: Draco beauty 3 HBPbk7brokemybrain on April 26th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
Love it. I like the playfulness of the reply, and how it bodes well for a possible friendship with Draco.
you're a pilldanacias on April 26th, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
E McGeemelusinahp on April 26th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
*gleeful foot-stomping*

Ah ha ha! This is sweet and lovely and full of hope. I adore it. Ron's response to Draco made me literally laugh out loud and now I'm making my daughter read it because that made her curious.

I also love Hermione's semi-enjoyable bullying and Ron's suspicion that she's slightly evil. :D

And now, without a doubt, I have concrete proof that a fic in which Draco apologises to Ron for the poisoning incident definitely exists. ♥

Edited at 2013-04-26 02:10 pm (UTC)
Catscatsintheattic on April 26th, 2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
Awww - that was delightful and very cute.
lyraslyras on April 26th, 2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
I <3 this Ron. I love the way you portray him and Hermione together, and the way he really doesn't think much about Draco - it's Draco who's doing the obsessing (and that pompous apology, ha!). A lovely piece!
Alexisjapanimecrazed on April 26th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
*g* I like this!
wemysswemyss on April 26th, 2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
Brilliant as always.
You never fail.
lokifanlokifan on April 26th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
germankittygermankitty on April 26th, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC)
*giggles* Priceless!
Seshetasesheta_66 on April 26th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
la, zeitgeist!zeitgeistic on April 26th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
haha loved it
Geneva2010geneva2010 on April 27th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Lovely ficlet all around. I especially loved Malfoy, so very very IC while still being penitent, and Ron and Hermione's loving, teasing, inspiring-each-other relationship.
Dedicated Escape Artistjadzialove on April 27th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Oh! Ron-fic! How wonderful. What a fun surprise - it made a great break from the brain-stuffing I've been doing. Thank you for that -- it was delightful!
valkyrie17valkyrie17 on April 28th, 2013 05:57 am (UTC)
This was so charming...and Ron's response entirely unexpected:)
Loved it.
turnonmyheels on May 4th, 2013 12:41 pm (UTC)
ah ha ha ha ha

It *was* awful and perfectly Draco!