A month after his accident, Madame Pomfry called Draco to the hospital wing. He sat down on one of the beds and waited for her to come out of her office. She examined his knee, had him to stand and walk to one end of the room and back without the crutches, and examined his knee a second time.
“Your knee has healed wonderfully, Mr. Malfoy,” she said at last.
“So am I off the crutches, then?” Draco asked hopefully. Madam Pomfry sighed.
“I suppose, but go easy! No quidditch for the rest of the year!” she called, but Draco wasn’t listening. He grabbed up his bag and trotted quickly out of the hospital wing towards the dorms. He spotted Hermione halfway up the hall and hurried to her side.
“Look at you!” she exclaimed, smiling. “You’re off the crutches!”
“Yeah,” Draco replied, grinning happily.
“When did this happen?”
“Just now. She’s says I’m healed, but I’m still out for the quidditch season.”
“That’s too bad, but at least you can get around with out those crutches.”
“Tell me about it.”
* * *
That night at practice, the entire band was in high spirits due to Draco’s recovery. As he checked his bass, Blaise watched Draco pull a bottle out of his bag and swallow two white capsules.
“Are those the pills I gave you, mate?” he asked. Draco looked down at the bottle before sliding it in his bag and looking back up at Blaise.
“Yeah,” he replied blankly, picking up his guitar checking to make sure it was in tune.
“I thought your knee was healed?”
“Then why are you still taking the pills?”
“It’s sore, is all.”
“Draco, I think you better give me those pills, mate.”
“What the bloody hell is your problem, mate? My knee just hurts every once in a while, alright?”
Blaise sighed and nodded. “Yeah, alright, mate. Whatever.”
“You kids ready?” Matt asked, sitting down at the drums and picking up his sticks.
“Yeah, let’s go!” Draco said. He stood and moved over to adjust his amp. “Let’s run through ‘Never Again’. I wanna see if you’ve got that beat down, Matt.” The others started to play, and Blaise stepped up to the microphone.
* * *
The following Saturday evening, Draco didn’t show up for practice. Blaise, curious as to why his friend had not come, went in search of him at the Head dorms. He met up with Hermione outside the portrait hole.
“Have you seen Draco?” Blaise asked her.
“No, I’m just getting back. Didn’t you have practice tonight?” Hermione replied.
“Yeah, he didn’t show up. I don’t understand it. He never misses a practice.”
“Come in and we’ll look around for him.”
Hermione led him into the common room, where she set down the pile of books she was carrying and headed up the staircase to Draco’s dorm, Blaise tagging along behind her. Hermione stopped at Draco’s door and let Blaise knock.
“Draco? It’s Blaise, mate. Open up,” Blaise called through the wood of the door. They waited a few moments, but Draco never came to the door. “Draco?” Blaise turned the knob and the door opened a crack. He knocked on the doorframe and slowly opened the door. “Draco, you here, mate?” He swung the door open and— “Oh, my god.” The room was wrecked. The hangings were torn off the bed and parchment littered the floor. Draco was lying face down in the middle of the room. Blaise hurried to his friend and checked his pulse. “Hermione, go get help—NOW!” he shouted. Hermione took off down the stairs.
Blaise turned back to Draco. The boy was alive, but unconscious. Blaise looked around at the room, and just caught it out of the corner of his eye. An open pill bottle was laying just a few inches from Draco’s hand. It was completely empty.
“Oh, god, mate, what have you done?”
* * *
The next time he opened his eyes, Draco was lying in a bed staring up at a blank white ceiling. He heard voices to his left and turned to see someone sitting on the edge of his bed.
“Granger?” he whispered. Hermione looked down at him, but he wasn’t met with the smile he expected. Hermione looked worried, her eyes cloudy. Blaise came to stand beside her, and a doctor moved off down the hallway.
“Draco, can you hear me, mate?” Blaise asked, looking down at his friend with concern. Draco nodded slightly and fought to open his eyes wider.
“Where am I?” he questioned.
“You’re in St. Mungo’s,” Hermione said.
“You overdosed, mate,” Blaise replied gravely. Draco fell silent. Hermione mumbled something about the bathroom and left. Blaise took her seat on the edge of the bed. “You wanna tell me what happened, mate?”
Draco hesitated a moment before answering, “My knee was hurting.”
“Draco, you downed half a bottle of pain killers. Either you were under the Cruciatus, or you’re lying.”
Draco remained silent, and unintentionally gave Blaise the answer he had been looking for.
“You’ve got an addiction, mate, and you need to break it. We’re all worried about you.” Blaise glanced out the door, where Hermione was standing in the hall. “even Granger.” He stood and left the room, whispering something to Hermione, who came in and sat back down at Draco’s side. She was quiet for a moment, as if looking for what to say.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Like hell,” Draco replied dully. Hermione smiled slightly. “You don’t have to be here, you know.”
“I know. I wanted to.”
“You’re my friend now, and this is what friends do. They’re here for each other when they need to be....which is why I’m going to help you.”
* * *
Draco was permitted to return to Hogwarts the following Wednesday, and would begin his rehabilitation the next morning. The first day was easy enough. Hermione was rather surprised at how well Draco was coping without his pills. Draco made it though classes without any major cravings, and was beginning to think rehab was going to be a walk in the park. He was wrong.
* * *
Hermione woke around the middle of the night. What exactly had woke her up, she didn’t know, but she was glad it happened. From underneath her door shone a strip of yellow light. She climbed out of bed and went out into the hall to find the source of the light. It was coming from the bathroom; the door was slightly ajar, releasing the soft glow, and providing a clue as to what was going on. The sound of retching drifted out from the confines of the room, and Hermione understood immediately.
She slowly pushed the door open and peeked tentatively around it. Draco was slumped over the bowl, sweating and panting, his hands shaking on the edge of the stool as he steadied himself. Hermione took in the scene and took pity on him. She kneeled on the floor next to him and put her arm around his shoulders, feeling him shake. She leaned his head against her shoulder and placed her hand on his forehead. He felt feverish. Draco groaned.
“Come on, let’s get you back to bed,” Hermione said, helping Draco up. She walked him into his room and helped him climb into bed before returning to the bathroom to get a cool rag. She placed the rag on his forehead and sat down on the edge of the bed. “I’m sorry this is happening to you, Draco.”
“It’s not your fault,” he whispered. “It’s mine. I never should have taken those bloody pills from Blaise.”
“You were in pain, and they helped. You had every right to take them. I can’t believe Madame Pomfry didn’t give you anything for the pain.”
“She did……it…it j-j…..” His voice was weak.
“Shh, shh. You don’t have to talk.” Hermione pulled the covers up farther. “You’re doing so well, Draco. Your friends are so proud of you. And so am I.”
“Why….why are you doing this?”
“I told you, you’re my friend. This is what friends do.” She was silent for a few moments. “You need rest. I’ll let you go back to sleep. Goodnight, Draco.”
* * *
The next morning, Hermione dressed and left her dorm early, heading over to Draco’s room to check on him. She knocked softly and waited for Draco to answer her. The door opened a crack and Draco’s weary silver eyes met hers. She smiled happily at him.
“Good morning, Draco. I just wanted to see if you were feeling better—” she began. Draco cut her off by shutting the door in her face. Hermione looked stunned for a moment, before opening the door and stepping into his room. Draco whipped around and glared at her.
“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?!” he exclaimed angrily. “Get out of my room!”
“Draco, I know you don’t mean to act this way; it’s just the withdrawals.”
“Well, you can bloody well bet I mean it! Get the hell out of my room, mudblood!” Draco shouted at her fiercely. He moved forward, hoping to drive her back out the door. Hermione stood her ground.
“Draco, please. I just want to talk to you and see how you’re feeling. I know this situation is tough for you.”
“I don’t need your pity, Granger!”
“I’m not pitying you, Draco. I just want to help.”
“GET OUT!” Draco shoved her backwards out onto the
landing, nearly sending her down the stairs, and slammed the door. Hermione heard the key turn in the lock and knew it was no use to push him further. She moved down the stairs and picked up her back on the way to the portrait hole. She took one last despairing glance at Draco’s staircase before the portrait swung closed behind her.
* * *
Draco remained in a terrible mood the rest of the day. That evening, however, he came across the common room to Hermione’s dorm. She was slightly shocked and slightly frightened when she opened her door and found him standing over her.
“Hello, Draco,” she greeted him in as friendly a manner as she could conjure. “Would you like to come in?”
“No, no. That’s alright. I just….erm,” Draco stuttered. Hermione noticed his hands were shaking on the doorframe. “I need….I need something. Just a bit of…..to get me through this rough spot, you know. Um…”
“No. I’m not giving you anything.”
“But, Hermione, I just need—”
“No! You don’t need anything. If you took those pills again, you’ll just want to continue to take them. Draco, I can’t let you do that to yourself. If you just keep working through it, you’ll find you don’t want those pills anymore. You’re doing so well—”
“That’s not true. I’m not doing well at all. It’s hopeless.” Draco back against the opposite wall and sank down to the floor, burying his face in his hands. “I’m never going to get through this.”
“Don’t think like that Draco.”
“Why not? No one really cares if I get through this or not.”
“Draco, that’s insane! We all want you to get better. Blaise and I—we’re working so hard with you. Please, don’t give up. You’ve just got to keep going, and have faith; you’ve got to trust us, let us help you.”
Draco broke down. It was the only time Hermione ever saw him go to pieces, and the first time he had cried in years. Hermione hugged him, comforted him, let him cry on her shoulder; And afterwards, Draco fell better than he had in a long time.
* * *
After three more weeks of complete and utter hell, the worst of Draco’s rehab was over; and he and Hermione’s friendship had strengthened.
They were sitting in the common room together, Hermione at one of the tables working on homework for Snape, and Draco in one of the armchairs flipping uninterestedly through his Ancient Ruins textbook.
Draco watched over his book as Hermione scratched out another answer on her parchment. She sighed and ran a hand absently through her hair, her brow furrowed in concentration. She looked slightly frustrated. He smiled and returned to his book. He heard her quill writing again, and then crossing out the answer. Hermione groaned. Draco quietly shut his book and moved over to stand behind her chair.
“Need some help?” he asked. Hermione jumped slightly and looked up at him.
“Oh, no. that’s alright. I can figure it out. I think I’ve almost got it,” she replied. Draco looked down at the paper.
“Actually, you’re not even close. It’s Bowtruckle wings, not Kappa scales.”
“Oh! It’s hopeless!” Hermione tossed down her quill and buried her face in her arms.
“No it’s not.” Draco kneeled down next to her chair and put his arm around her. “You just need a bit of help is all. I’ll help you with Potions if you’ll help me with Ancient Ruins. Deal?”
Hermione raised her head up and looked into his warm silver eyes. She smiled and nodded. “Deal.”
* * *
The following Monday, the two teamed up during break to work together. Since it was nearing the end of October, and cold weather would be arriving soon, they sat out on the grounds to study and enjoy the cool fall air.
Draco glanced over the essay he was writing for Potions, Hermione buried in her charms book. She propped the book up against her bag, pulled her wand from inside her robes, and began to practice the incantation Professor Flitwick had assigned.
“Ardeornus extermino!” she exclaimed, waving her wand expertly. Nothing happened. Hermione shook back her hair and tried again. “Ardeornus extermino!” Again, nothing happened. Frowning, she tried a third time, but failed once more. She moaned despairingly and buried her face in her hands.
Draco looked up from his essay to glance at the page Hermione was turned to in her book.
“Ardeornus Charm, eh?” he asked. She nodded. “Difficult, that one. I’ve worked on it all summer and still can’t perform it properly. Last time I tried, it backfired. I swear, I had steam coming out of my ears for the rest of the week.”
Hermione looked up at him and burst out laughing. Draco smiled back at her and felt mesmerized by her soft brown eyes. He had never noticed it before, but Hermione was incredibly beautiful. When the sun hit her just right, as it did now, she seemed to glow like an angel.
‘What would happen if I kissed her?’ he thought. ‘Would it ruin everything?’
He leaned closer to her, she didn’t back away. He moved in closer, closer, until their lips met. The kiss was soft, gentle, and slow; he was testing his boundaries. It lasted only a moment, before Draco broke away.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. He stood, picked up his bag, and hurried off back towards the castle, cursing his stupidity under his breath. He went straight to Charms, thankful that he had no further classes with Gryffindor.
* * *
After dinner that evening, Draco shut himself up in his dorm. At 7:30, a knock finally brought him out of his cave, only to wish he hadn’t. Standing at his door was the one person he’d been avoiding all evening.
“Hermione!” Draco exclaimed. He groaned. “Listen, about that kiss…I—” But he was cut off as Hermione stretched up and pressed her lips to his. In an instant, it was over and Hermione was blushing uncomfortably.
“Sorry,” she said. Draco caught her arm as she turned away and pulled her back to him.
“Don’t be,” he whispered gently. He hugged her close and they kissed again.
* * *
The relationship was kept a secret. For the following weeks, no public displays of affection were shown, and the only time they acted on their feelings was in the common room, away from whispered gossip and easily angered friends.
Hermione crossed the common room towards the portrait hole. As she passed the couch, a hand darted out to catch her arm. She gasped and jumped, startled at the sudden touch. Draco stood from the sofa and stepped towards her, closing the gap between them.
“And where are you going, Miss Granger?” he asked, grinning down at her. She smiled.
“To the library,” she answered happily.
“Surely you aren’t planning to study tonight?”
“No, I only thought I’d pick up something for a bit of light reading.”
“Oh, good. Then it can wait!” Draco’s hand slipped down her arm to interlace his fingers with hers. “Come sit with me. I want to get to know you better.”
“You want to get to know me?” Hermione repeated as they sat down on the sofa.
“Yes, you’re my girlfriend now, but, sadly, I know hardly anything about you.”
“Oh, yes, I know.” He smiled. “I thought I’d ask you a few
questions. That is, if you’ll answer them?”
Hermione paused a moment for effect, then replied, “Of course I will. What do you want to know?”
“We’ll start with a few easy ones. Where do you live?”
“Just outside of London.”
“Hmm…what do your parents do?”
“Ah, sounds….interesting. So, when’s your birthday?”
“May 6th. If you don’t mind me saying, I’m feeling as though I’m being interrogated. And I’m learning absolutely nothing about you, except that you like to ask questions. Perhaps you should answer them as well?”
“If you want… My birthday is December 8. My mum’s job is to stay at home and “guard the house”. My father, as everyone knows, is a devoted Death Eater who’s greatest ambition in life is to have me join Voldemort. Did I get it all?”
“You forgot where you live.”
“Ah, yes. Well, it’s an overly huge place in a ritzy neighborhood at the north end of London.”
“Sounds…interesting.” Both smiled. “Alright, now it’s my turn
to ask questions. Let’s see… Do you get along with your parents?” Draco laughed.
“Come now, you should know the answer to that one!” He paused and sighed. “Mum and I get along alright, but father… Let’s just say we don’t talk much. What about you? How do you get on with your parents?”
“Well, a bit better than you do, as it sounds.”
“That’s not a hard thing to accomplish.”
“Yes, well, I suppose we get on nicely. I mean, I don’t seem them very often with school and all, but things go alright when I’m home.”
“Well, that makes one of us.” Draco smiled. “Now, next question, Miss Granger.”
“Oh, right. Erm… What was your longest lasting relationship?”
“Wow, getting personal now, eh?”
“It’s alright. Let’s see…that’d have to be with Pansy…so that was about…two years? Yeah, that sounds about right.”
“Yes it is! Being with one person that long when you’re this young has to be some sort of record. It must have been some relationship.”
“I wouldn’t call it a relationship so much as it being one of those ‘together ‘cause everyone expects it’ sort of things. In my opinion, it went on longer than it should have.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I didn’t love her. I never felt anything for her.” He looked down at his hands for a moment, then back up at Hermione. “So, what about you? Surely you can beat my record?”
“Actually, no.” Hermione smiled. “My longest relationship was Viktor, and we were only together 8 months.”
“Well, we’ll just have to work on that, won’t we?” Draco grinned as she blushed. “You’ve got another question.”
“That’s right. I do have another, don’t I?” she said and paused. “Then what’s your favorite subject?”
“Hmm…favorite subject. That’s a hard one, but I’d say…astronomy.”
“Really? I see you more as a potions guy.”
“Yeah, people usually say that, and it’s alright. Just not my favorite. What’s yours?”
“I don’t know. There are just so many. My utmost favorite is probably Ancient Runes. It’s very fascinating.”
“That it is.”
* * *
The following Saturday was the first scheduled trip into Hogsmeade. On her way out of breakfast with Harry and Ron, Hermione spotted Draco wondering off on his own towards the stairs.
“Hold on. I’ll be back in a moment,” Hermione whispered to Ron and Harry. Ron simply waved his hand and continued with his detailed list of sweets he planned to buy from Honeydukes. Harry nodded to her as she hurried off. She caught up with Draco halfway down the corridor on the second floor. “Where do you think you’re going?” she asked in her most Head Girlish voice. Draco spun around, looking as though he were about to tell off whoever had addressed him so rudely. He stopped and smiled when he saw who it was.
“Just going to pick something up from the common room before I head down to the village,” he replied. “Aren’t you going down with Potter and Weasley?”
“Yes.” She fell into stride beside him as they headed down the corridor towards the stairs to the third floor. “Would it be incredibly out of place to ask you to join us?”
“Considering our relationship, no; but considering the lot you’re going with, yes. I don’t think they’ll appreciate having a ferret around.” Hermione laughed. “Besides, you haven’t really had much of a chance to hang out with them since term started. It wouldn’t be fair to them for me to tag along.”
“I suppose you’re right. I do wish you could come with us, though.”
“So do I. But you’ll have fun with them, I promise.”
“Perhaps we can spend time together tonight?”
“Blaise has called a practice tonight. I’ve only just remembered.”
“I’m sorry, Hermione.”
“No, it’s alright. I’ve caught an essay I need to do for Charms anyway. It’ll give me a chance to work on it.” She smiled, hoping to vanquish the frown that had appeared on Draco’s face. He smiled back at her. “Well, I better get back to the others. Ron will be upset if he doesn’t get to raid Honeydukes.”
“Alright, I’ll see you when you at dinner, then.”
They looked around to make sure no one was watching, and found the corridor empty. Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him, Draco placing a kiss on her cheek.
“I’ll see you later,” Hermione said as she headed back down the corridor.
“Have fun!” Draco called after her.
Hermione met back up with Ron and Harry in the entrance hall and they headed out of the castle and down the path towards Hogsmeade village.
“Where did you go?” Harry asked Hermione as they walked through Honeydukes sweet shop.
“I wanted to talk to someone before we left,” Hermione replied.
“Does it matter, Harry?”
“No, I guess it doesn’t. I was just wondering.” He kept
glancing sideways at Hermione for the next few moments. She finally sighed.
“If you must know, I went to talk to Draco.”
“Malfoy? Why?” Ron asked as he joined them, his pockets
overflowing with sweets he had purchased.
“I wanted to know if he was coming into Hogsmeade,” Hermione replied.
“Why would you even care?”
“Because believe it or not, Ron, Draco and I are friends now, and I have every right to talk to him.”
“I never said you didn’t. It’s weird to hear you say he’s friendly, is all.”
“It’s just that he’s always been horrible to us,” Harry added.
“He’s changed, Harry. You’d see that if you’d just talk to him.” They stepped out in the windy after noon and headed up the street towards the Three Broomsticks.
“Maybe to you he’s changed, but to me and Ron he’s still the same stubborn, pain in the ass he’s been for the past 6 years.”
“Well, he is! Anyway, why did you want to know if he was
coming into Hogsmeade?”
“Because, erm….well, I invited him to come….with us…”
“You what?!” Ron and Harry’s voices blended as one.
“Hermione! Why would you invite him?” Ron demanded.
“He’s my friend, Ronald!” Hermione shouted. “Draco’s having
a difficult year! He needs someone who’ll care!”
“Hermione, calm down,” Harry said calmly.
“Yeah, people are looking at you like you’re mental,” Ron mumbled.
“I don’t care! You are so inconsiderate! Draco is a sweetheart; you just haven’t bothered to take the time to look!” She spun on her heel and took off back towards castle.
“Hermione!” Harry called after her. He turned and glared at Ron.
“What?” Ron exclaimed.
* * *
Hermione stalked through the portrait hole and slumped down in one of the armchairs of the common room. Draco looked up from his notebook with an eyebrow raised.
“You alright?” he asked.
“Just perfect,” Hermione scoffed. Draco tossed his notebook onto the side table and gave her his full attention.
“You’re lying. What’s wrong?”
“They’re so rude!”
“Ron and Harry! They’re…they’re….infuriating!”
“What’d they do?”
“Nothing, it’s nothing.”
“Well apparently it’s something if it’s got you this upset.”
Hermione didn’t answer. “Come on, Hermione. You can tell me anything, you know that.”
“I know. It’s just….”
“It’ll make you angry, what they’ve done.”
“Maybe, but we’ll just have t take that as it comes, won’t
we?” He smiled at her and kneeled down in front of her chair, taking her hands. “Come on, tell me. Please?” He pouted, sending Hermione into fits of laughter.
“Oh, alright,” she said breathlessly. She sighed. “Harry and
Ron were being dolts, is all.”
“What did they say?”
“They….they were saying nasty things about you. They’re so inconsiderate! They know what you’ve been going through this year, and yet they still refuse to show sympathy.”
“What do you mean ‘that’s all?’”
“Well, it’s just that all of that is to be expected. They’ve never liked me, Hermione; and truthfully, I’ve never given them reason to. At times, I’ve been just as bad, if not worse, towards them. They have every right to still hate me, and I don’t blame them.”
“I suppose you’re right. Am I over reacting?”
“Just a little.” They smiled at each other and Hermione bent
down to hug Draco. He heard his watch beep and pulled away to look at the time.
“Oh, bloody hell. I’m late,” he moaned. He dashed up the
stairs to his room and returned seconds later with his guitar. “Blaise’ll kill me for this. He hates it when anybody’s late.” Hermione met him at the portrait hole and hugged him again.
“Have fun,” she said. He kissed her cheek.
“Alright, I’ll see you later.”
* * *
“You’re late” was the first thing out of Blaise’s mouth when Draco walked in.
“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry, mate,” Draco replied, plugging in his guitar and switching on the amp.
“Where were you?”
“Uh…the common room. I was in the middle of an essay for
Snape. I lost track of time.”
“Don’t do it again.”
“Sorry, your majesty,” Draco retorted sarcastically.
“Enough chit chat!” Matt called, sitting down at the set and picking up his sticks. “Let’s play.”
Thankful for the excuse to stop talking to Blaise, Draco started immediately. Blaise shot him curious glances throughout the
* * *
The next morning, Hermione came back to the common room after breakfast to find Draco stumbling down the stairs, still half-asleep.
“Good morning,” she said cheerfully. Draco yawned.
“Morning,” he mumbled, rubbing his eyes. “What time is it?”
“Nearly ten. You missed breakfast.”
“Did I?” He shrugged and slumped down on the couch,
yawning again. “Damn. I was hungry.”
“Here, I saved this out. I thought you might want something.” She handed him a scone and sat next to him.
“You’re a wonderful woman,” he replied, taking the scone and biting off a piece. Hermione laughed.
“Go shower and get dressed. Maybe you’ll feel a little more awake then.”
“Alright.” Draco pushed himself off the couch and went slowly back up the stairs.
When he reappeared twenty minutes later, he was fresh out of the shower and dressed. He walked over to the table where Hermione was doing her homework and bent down to kiss her.
“Know wonder you never want to leave the common room,” a voice called. Draco and Hermione broke apart quickly and turned to see who had caught them. Ginny Weasley was standing at the other end of the room, the portrait hole swinging closed behind her.
“Ginny!” Hermione exclaimed, blushing madly. Draco stood up straight and cleared his throat slightly.
“You’re lucky it was me and not Ron or Harry,” Ginny said. She came over to the table and smirked at them both. “How long’s this been going on?”
“Nearly a month now, I suppose,” Draco replied, sitting on the edge of the table. Ginny grinned wider as Hermione blushed deeper.
“As odd as it is, I must say you two look good together. I
always thought you’d be a cute couple,” she turned to Draco, “if it wasn’t for you being such and ass. No offense.”
“None taken.” He grinned.
“You’re not mad then?” Hermione asked hesitantly.
“Why would I be mad?” Ginny replied, turning now to look at
“Well, because I didn’t tell you.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. I’ll get you back later.” She winked. They laughed.
* * *
“I’m glad Ginny took it well,” Hermione said as she and Draco walked down the corridor during their evening rounds.
“You and me both,” Draco replied. “I was scared for my life
for a minute there.”
“We were lucky it wasn’t Ron or Harry.”
“You can say that again. If it had been them, I’d either be in St. Mungo’s or dead.”
Hermione smiled. “Do you have practice tonight?”
“Yeah, and every night this week.”
“Tell me about it. He’s obsessing over this whole battle of the bands thing. I’m beginning to think I was nuts for mentioning it. But anyway…why do you ask?”
“I was just wondering. Do you think…would it be all right if I walked with you? I just feel like I don’t get to see you that often.”
“I don’t think it’d be a problem, as long as no one sees us. The room’s down in Slytherin territory, so it’ll be risky, but I think we can pull it off. If they send any hexes your way, I’ll try my best to protect you.”
“Oh, speaking of practice, I better get my guitar. Blaise’ll be
pissed if I’m late again.” They made a stop back at the common room so Draco could run in to get his guitar, and then headed down into the dungeons. Draco stopped just around the corner from the practice room, where the faint sounds of drums could be heard. “Matt’s warming up. I better head in.” He hugged Hermione. “I’ll see you later.” He hurried around the corner and was halfway down the passage when he heard a ‘pst’ from behind him.
“Draco,” Hermione whispered loudly. Draco turned back around to face her, only to see her trotting towards him.
“What’re you-” But she cut him off by kissing him.
“See you later, then,” she said and headed back off around the corner.
“See you,” Draco called. As he turned to go into practice, he thought he saw the door close out of the corner of his eye.
He entered the room and headed straight over to ready his amp. Blaise and Matt looked at each other and nodded, moving over to stand on either side of him.
“So,” Blaise began, “how long’ve you been dating Granger?”
“What?” Draco asked, standing up and looking at his friend as though he were insane.
“Oh, come on!” Matt chimed in. “Spill, mate.”
Draco sighed. “How’d you find out?”
“Saw you snogging her in the hall just now,” Blaise replied.
“I wasn’t snogging her,” Draco answered.
“Sure looked like snogging to me. What’d you think, Matt.”
“There was definitely some snog action going on there.”
“She was just saying goodbye is all,” Draco explained, mentally kicking himself for being so careless.
“About time, too.”
“Yeah, I thought you’d never get around to asking her.” Blaise and Matt seemed to be talking more to each other than to Draco himself.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Oh, come on, mate. You’ve like her for years,” Matt said.
“We know more than half of the songs you wrote are about
her,” Blaise added.
“How’d you figure...,” Draco started.
“You’re not as good at hiding things as you think. Besides, we could tell by the way you looked at her.”
“What do you mean the way I looked at her?”
“Whenever you saw her you got this glazed sort of look in your eye, almost like you were dreaming about her. It was sort of creepy.” Matt shuddered.
“So….” Draco paused. “You lot aren’t mad?”
“Hell no, mate. Congrats.” Blaise and Matt each took turns in shaking his hand.
“Alright, enough of that,” Matt began. “Let’s play already!”
* * *
One evening while Hermione was reading by the fireplace, Draco sat scribbling in his notebook, pausing every so often to think up the next line. After a while, Hermione set her book aside and walked over to Draco’s chair.
“What are you writing?” she asked, kneeling next to him and
looking over at his paper.
“Just jotting some stuff down,” he answered. “I had an idea for a song, so I thought I’d test it. I don’t think it’s very good though.”
“Can I see it?” Hermione questioned. Draco smiled.
“Yeah, sure.” He handed her the notebook and watched as her eyes scanned the page. When she had finished, she looked up at him, grinning.
“Draco, this is wonderful,” she said.
“You really think so?” he replied.
“Yes. It’s so true and insightful. I love it.” She kissed him on the cheek and handed him the notebook. “You’ll have to play it for me when you finish it.”
“Yeah, I’ll do that.”
Hermione smiled and sat down on the couch. Draco tossed the notebook down on the side table and looked up at her.
“Hermione, how would you like to come and listen to the
band sometime?” he asked her. She looked over at him, bewildered.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s only fair. You’re my girlfriend. You’re entitled to private performances. You can bring Ginny, too, if you want.”
“Oh, thank you, Draco. That would be wonderful.”
“Good, I’ll tell Blaise you’re coming Saturday night, then.”