Fanfic: Silver by 16pennies (Read for Free, 1,332,114 Clicks)

Description: 5th year is underway. Voldemort is back. The Order is straining under the pressure, and Hermione is honoured when Snape chooses her to brew the Wolfsbane Potion ¡ª with Draco Malfoy. Now, forced to work together over a cauldron nearly every day, Hermione thinks she might go mad ¡ª if they don’t kill each other first.

Characters: No Archive Warnings ApplyHermione Granger/Draco MalfoyHermione Granger Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Ron WeasleyEnemies to Lovers Secret Relationship Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence Hogwarts Hogwarts Era Hogwarts Fifth Year dramione – Freeform Other Additional Tags to Be Added Potion Brewing (Harry Potter) Slow Burn Eventual Smut Eventual Romance Draco Malfoy Being an Asshole

Summary: Summary:

5th year is underway. Voldemort is back. The Order is straining under the pressure, and Hermione is honoured when Snape chooses her to brew the Wolfsbane Potion ¡ª with Draco Malfoy. Now, forced to work together over a cauldron nearly every day, Hermione thinks she might go mad ¡ª if they don’t kill each other first.[completed | updates weekly]

Notes: Notes:

This is my first Dramione and I’m super excited to finally share it. This was my quarantine project, my NaNoWriMo two years in a row, and has generally been taking up a sizeable portion of my brain for the last few years. As it is a very slow burn, it’ll take a little while to really get rolling, which is why the first 5 chapters will be posted daily. All following chapters will be posted once a week. This story clocks in around 220k.Chapters with explicit/triggering content will have a warning. This story is rated E for eventual explicit smut.Super big thank you to everyone who has looked at this draft over the several years it’s been in the works, and particularly to anne (@malfxys) for her superhuman beta-ing.You can also find me on tumblr @16-pennies, where I’ve been posting behind-the-scenes info for the past year.Enjoy!

Chapter 1: Silver (Ag)

Chapter Text
Hermione stood by her desk, methodically packing away her things. Parchment, quills, cauldron, a vial of bat’s blood¡­ The dank atmosphere of the dungeons gave her belongings a chill that burned her fingertips; it replaced her usually brisk efficiency with dreadful reluctance.”Miss Granger, I’m waiting.””Of course ¡ª sorry, professor.” Hermione ignored the pitiful looks from Harry and Ron as they left the classroom and, sweeping her bag onto her shoulder, gathered her confidence and strode forwards. “You asked for me, sir?””I am perfectly aware of my own requests, Miss Granger.”Hermione held back a sigh and waited.Professor Snape took a long moment to examine her. Hermione felt remarkably like a freshly pickled potions ingredient whose value was being determined. When he did finally speak, his voice was low and measured, each syllable dragging slowly toward the next. “As you are no doubt aware, Miss Granger, I will be far busier this year than in years previous.”Hermione’s back straightened at the realisation that this was not about some petty classroom indiscretion.”For some utterly unfathomable reason, the headmaster has judged it necessary that you children” ¡ª he practically spat the word ¡ª “become more involved with certain matters.”Though Professor Snape was clearly trying to convey his every possible opposition to whatever it was Dumbledore had requested, Hermione was far too intrigued to be offended. She held her breath, now impatient and hopeful.”Therefore, as I cannot spare the time, each month you shall be responsible for the brewing of the Wolfsbane Potion. It will be a challenge, but if I recall correctly, a certain Polyjuice incident demonstrates you have a competency with potions which is tragically absent in most of your peers.”Hermione flushed, both at his underhanded flattery and her guilt at the event in question, but both were quickly trampled by incredible excitement. Helping ¡ª actually properly, directly helping the Order of the Phoenix! This was the sort of thing she, Harry and Ron had been so eager for, and they had finally judged her capable enough!A smile broke across her face. “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to help.”Snape’s lip curled, as if he had hoped she would admit to being entirely incompetent and scurry away in fear of responsibility.”Very well, Miss Granger.” Professor Snape looked away and began sorting through stacks of parchment on his desk. “You are to meet me in the adjacent classroom, tomorrow after dinner, and I warn you now that tardiness will not be tolerated. I don’t care what you tell your little friends” ¡ª here he sneered, but Hermione was past caring ¡ª “but I’m sure you are capable of understanding that it would not be wise to inform the whole school of this particular assignment. Is that understood?””Yes, sir, of course.” She had never actually brewed Wolfsbane Potion before, of course, but she had researched it out of pure curiosity in her third year and recalled that it had peculiar and remarkably strict timing requirements. She would need excuses ¡ª lots of them, and she had better readjust her schedule tonight ¡ªSnape began stacking the pile of submitted essays on his desk and sent her a pointed glare. Hermione nodded and, when she received no further acknowledgement, made her way to the door.”Miss Granger.”She halted. “Yes, professor?”Snape’s lip twisted in a sadistic smile, though his tone conveyed nothing but saccharine innocence. “I recommend you find yourself a partner in this endeavour. Might I suggest Mr Malfoy?”Hermione bristled in the doorway. Lifting her chin, she answered plainly, “Thank you for the suggestion. Goodnight, professor,” and strode out of the dungeons.Hermione’s usually gentle footsteps clapped against the stone floor as she hurried to Gryffindor Tower, a smirk playing at her lips. Perhaps it was childish to be so excited over such a menial thing, but Hermione couldn’t help herself. Amidst Voldemort’s resurrection, mourning Cedric Diggory, Harry’s utter loss of credibility, and the Ministry ripping apart at its seams, an extracurricular potions project made Hermione happy. And happiness was rapidly becoming a rare commodity.But what was Snape thinking, suggesting she work with a partner for Order business? And Malfoy, of all people?Of course, she knew exactly what he was thinking ¡ª trying to spoil her pride! Well, I won’t give him the satisfaction, she firmly decided and powered on through the corridor, startling a few first years in her wake. She was an excellent Potions student, even if the teacher left much to be desired. Just this evening, she had been one of the only two successful students to brew the Jawbind Tonic.The other had been Malfoy.Hermione took a sharp turn at the top of the staircase, common room forgotten, and stormed into the library with infuriated determination. In less than a minute, she had located the volume on Wolfsbane; it was thick and dusty, but the hefty feel of it only served to fuel her resolve. She would do this, she would do it on her own, and she would prove her worth to the Order as she did in every other task.Besides, she was more likely to hex Malfoy’s bits off than ask him for any sort of help.This image made her lip curl sinisterly and she dropped the book on the table with a satisfying smack, ignoring the startled jumps of nearby students as she pushed both Slytherins out of her mind.
“That’s it? He just wants you to do his dirty work?”Harry and Ron both frowned at Hermione, who was sat on the plush rug in front of the common room fire. She nodded, confused. Why were they so disinterested? Their lacklustre response to her new duty had her feeling rather foolish and indignant.”So you’ll just make the potion every month for Lupin?””It’s not just a potion, Ron. It’s one of the most difficult and sensitive recipes!”Ron did not appear at all affected by this. “Better not get it wrong,” he grinned. “You might turn him into a cat instead of a wolf.”Hermione only rolled her eyes, ignoring Harry’s snickers as she assured him, “I won’t get it wrong, Ronald.” And she wouldn’t. She would brew it correctly every time without assistance. She was quite determined.In Hermione’s moment of introspection, Harry had turned rather pensive. “I wonder if I talked to McGonagall, or maybe Lupin¡­ Maybe they could let me do something, too¡­” He wrung his hands and stared at the floor. Hermione’s excitement swiftly cooled.”It’s just a little thing, Harry,” she said gently as she scooted nearer. “It’s really not much. Don’t worry about it. You’re already plenty of help to the cause.”Harry met her eyes and Hermione tried to smile reassuringly, but the moment was broken when Ron elbowed him in the ribs and joked, “Yeah, mate. You’re the bloody poster boy for getting rid of You-Know-Who.””Yeah, but¡­ I mean, I just wish I could do something more, you know? Something properly useful instead of just¡­ waiting.”Nodding, Hermione replied, “Yes, Harry, we know, but for now the best thing to do is to just let the Order do what it needs to. If they need you, they’ll ask.” She cringed; what a patronising thing to say. The last thing she wanted was for Harry to feel like he was useless or unwanted ¡ª she knew how he hated to be idle. She added, “Focus on school instead. Get your mind off things.”Ron snorted. “What, with Umbridge? Yeah, that’ll cheer us right up.”
Hermione glared at the door. She got the sense it glared back. She’d arrived five minutes early and hadn’t yet decided whether to knock. He would scold her for being early, but then he would scold her if she was on time, too. So, really, she should just suck it up and go in.
Come on, bloody Gryffindor!
She was here for Lupin, not to appease Professor Snape!She raised her hand to knock ¡ª”Enter.”
Scowling, Hermione pushed open the door and immediately halted when she saw him. Draco Malfoy, in the classroom, slouching casually against one of the workbenches. Struck dumb, she stared for a moment and met Malfoy’s smug expression; somehow, he was pulling off a look that communicated both his contempt for her and also his pride at being¡­ what, exactly? Did he think being here was some sort of privilege? Professor Snape could hardly tell Malfoy the real reason he needed someone to brew Wolfsbane ¡ª or could he?”Do shut the door, Miss Granger; you’re letting in a draught,” Professor Snape’s voice ordered her from somewhere in the ingredient cupboard and Hermione did as he said, shutting the door gently and with a scowl set in her jaw. This was Order business! And Snape had not only the audacity but the poor judgement to involve a Malfoy, simply out of spite. Not to mention the fact that the open door hardly had an effect on the temperature ¡ª the dungeons were always freezing. Hermione wondered how all the Slytherins avoided contracting hypothermia. She wished they would.”Good evening, professor,” said Hermione stiffly, offering only a terse nod of her head. She glanced at Malfoy’s smugly expectant face and, after a moment’s deliberation, greeted him with a muttered, “Malfoy,” before striding forward to place her bag on the ground beside the bench. No-one could say she wasn’t courteous.”Granger, how kind of you to join us,” Malfoy gushed with every ounce of false enthusiasm Hermione suspected he could muster. “We were worried you’d stood us up.”Hermione pressed her lips together as she took out a sheet of parchment for notetaking, not bothering to point out she was three minutes early.Snape’s expression conveyed nothing. “Quite. Be that as it may, I cannot deduct points for tardiness, as this is a private affair, and so I suggest we proceed.”Hermione tried to summon the excitement she had felt earlier as Snape produced a slightly larger than average cauldron of pure silver, gleaming beautifully in the candlelight.A wave of Snape’s wand, and various bottles and jars and boxes materialised beside the cauldron, evidently summoned from storage. “I trust that I need not inform you as to the necessity of using silver?””No, sir,” answered Hermione, ignoring the rolling of Malfoy’s eyes. “The silver helps to keep the potion pure, as well as enhances its potency. The silver particles bond with the proteins that the Wolfsbane must target, thus making it ¡ª””That will do, Miss Granger.”Her mouth snapped shut, her teeth clacking. Malfoy snickered beside her.Professor Snape fixed his glare on the pair of them and spoke, his voice steely and unforgiving. “Now, this first month, I will demonstrate, and you will observe. The following two months, you will brew, and I will assist, until all you require is my supervision. You will attend every session and you will be on time, or you will forfeit this opportunity. Am I understood?”Hermione nodded meekly. She wondered if he truly meant it, though. If she and Malfoy weren’t up to snuff, would Snape truly just do it himself? He’d told her he hadn’t the time.”And at the end of term? My Potions O.W.L.¡­?” asked Malfoy.”Provided you are present, and you don’t poison yourself, Mr Malfoy, then you will be awarded an O each term. Whether that is reflected in your O.W.L. performance is entirely your own decision. Now, do you have any more questions, or may I begin?”Hermione’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. That was why Malfoy was here? Because Snape had told him he’d automatically get top marks? That certainly explained why Lupin hadn’t been named.Of course, Snape hadn’t invited her here for academic reasons. She most certainly would not be receiving an automatic O.”Now,” murmured Snape as he pulled thick dragonhide gloves onto his hands. Once they were secure, he slid open the lid of a sturdy wooden box. Hermione stood on her toes and spotted the tell-tale lavender shade of aconite petals. “You will bring your own gloves when it is your turn to brew, or you will not brew at all.” Hermione nodded; her gloves sat in her bag at her feet. She didn’t fancy dropping dead from accidental contamination. There was no way she’d let Malfoy’s face be the last thing she ever saw.Remember gloves, she wrote in big letters on the top of her parchment. She underlined it three times.Hermione watched, fascinated, as Professor Snape extracted the plants from the box. The petals were long and droopy, hanging limply on the ends of long stems. From a leather roll, he brandished a knife with a dull sheen. “The flower must be completely severed from the stem, or else the aconite will be contaminated as it marinates.” Professor Snape handled the knife with impressive dexterity considering the thickness of his gloves. Hermione wasn’t sure if it was his finesse or the quality of the knife; the stems fell cleanly away. She scribbled onto her parchment.It was wonderful, noted Hermione absently as Snape decapitated the other two, showing them exactly where stem met bud and how to separate the two without destroying either. One-on-one, Professor Snape was almost personable. At least, he wasn’t truly horrid. She wished all her lessons could be like this.She’d almost forgotten about Malfoy beside her until he leaned forward on his elbows and snuck one arm in her direction. With a calculated flick of his finger, her ink pot tipped onto its side and bled its contents across the benchtop.Hermione scrambled to right it, but she was too late ¡ª the fluid was already encroaching on Snape’s space where the prepared flowers rested. Hermione’s hand shot out to snatch them out of the way ¡ªProfessor Snape swatted her hand away and the ink vanished. “Miss Granger,” he snarled, “need I remind you of the toxic nature of aconite?””No, sir, I ¡ª””By all means, if you wish to off yourself, then please take one!” He thrust forward one of the flowers in his gloved fist.”No! ¡ª I was just ¡ª””Then kindly make sure your things do not interfere.” And suddenly he was back to the Potions Master, lining up the stems and showing how to slice them.Hermione felt numb. Malfoy was quietly snickering beside her, and if Hermione’s hands hadn’t been paralysed by shock, she would have gladly hit him.He’s not worth it! Her lips pressed together so firmly they nearly disappeared. She thought of striking Malfoy in third year, venting her frustration into the memory as she blindly watched Snape’s knife.Did she have another inkpot in her bag? She wasn’t sure. But if she reached down to check, she’d miss Snape’s demonstration, draw attention to herself, and create more problems.With one gesture, Malfoy had somehow managed to destroy her notes, put her on the defensive, and get her in trouble.She watched Snape’s knife methodically slice the stems into neat, even pieces and wished she could do the same to Malfoy’s heart.

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