Tip-tap, tip-tap, the soft rain fell against the window in which Hermione Granger was leaning lost in thought her eyes blindly following the path the water made on the glass her thoughts weren’t concentrated on something in particular; memories of years gone by. She sighed looking around the library, her sanctuary for so many years, but now the war was over.
There was no need to hide.
No need to fear.
No need to fight.
She was left feeling empty. Ever since Harry Potter had walked into her life, she had made an unexpected vow to fight along-side him, to help him win and to help him survive. But now he was alive, whole and sitting in the Gryffindor common room spending time with Ginny.
The simple thought gave her a strange pang on the chest she didn‘t think it was jealousy she really was truly happy that they had each other, that Harry was happier than he had ever been.
The fact was that her feelings for him had changed. She couldn‘t deny it any longer, but she didn’t even want to think about it, if she started to over-analyze her feeling for him, she was sure she would discover many things that for now at least she was better off not knowing. Things that would make it ever more difficult for her to be happy for him, that would wake that egoistic monster she knew lived inside her making her want to keep everything and everyone around her only for herself.
She avoided those feelings for she knew that Harry would never feel for her what Ron did. A tear escaped her as the memories engulfed her; she remembered that night in the forest the night that Ron returned, she had followed Harry when she noticed he had left the ten, it had been so cold that she simply couldn’t sleep.
She took a wrong turn and lost Harry from sight after backing up on her tracks, the sound of splashing water taking her to the place where both laid soaked to the bone and shivering. Harry‘s words echoed in her mind still as he told Ron how he could never see her as more than a friend, how she was only like a sister to him. Words that shattered her already tearing heart.
She remembered running as fast as she could go towards the tent icy-biting tears blinding her path. She made it to the tent jumping into bed anger and pain boiling inside her. When both arrived half-frozen but still smiling, the anger triumphed over the pain and she screamed at Ron for it was all she could do even though the person she really wanted to rage at was Harry. How dare he come in here with that stupid smile plastered on his face after having massacred her heart and soul?
Another pang pulled at her chest, stronger this time. She recognized it as guilt; for using Ron as her back-up plan, he tried she knew he did. A faint smiled played on her lips as she remembered finding his book. ‘‘Twelve fail-save ways to charm witches’’ and she knew that he was trying to change, be better for her but he simply didn‘t fill the emptiness that lived inside her.
Sighing, she exited the library wondering the halls aimlessly. Soon finding herself climbing the steps to the astronomy tower. She stepped into the rain, large droplets of rain hitting her head and making her shiver but she ignored it she walked over to the parapet and looked out onto the grounds. No one went up there anymore since Dumbledore’s death, most people simply avoided it.
To her in was probably the only place in the entire castle where she could be at peace now.
Harry had once shared Dumbledore‘s view on death with her, ‘‘To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.’’ and that is how she envisioned Dumbledore dying. His body empty of life falling helplessly to the ground but his spirit soaring away into ‘his next-great adventure’.
‘You should really get out of the rain, it would be truly ironic if after surving a war, you kicked the bucket because of pneumonia.’’
She jumped startled turning to find Draco Malfoy leaning against the wall a bit away from the door he was using his wand to make an invisible umbrella to protect himself from the rain. Having been so lost in thought when she arrived that she hadn‘t noticed his presence.
She didn‘t say anything simply stared at him, his cold gray eyes had a saddened look to them, his trade-mark smirk was gone, his posture wasn‘t arrogant and egocentric but simply tiered. Yet none of this things surprised her, he wasn‘t the same. None of them where.
He pushed himself off from the wall making his way towards her, raising his wand as to protect her from the rain as well.
‘‘What are you doing here?’’ she greeted him, turning her eyes back to the rain washed grounds before her.
‘‘The same thing you are?’’
‘Ohhh and what might that be?’’ She asked regarding him from the corner of her eye.
‘Searching for answers.’’
‘How could you possibly know I’m searching for anything?’’ she asked over the sound of the rain.
The smirk reappeared if only for a second.
‘‘Sorry to break it to you Granger but you‘re an easy book to read.’’
They both smiled.
‘‘Well did you find any?’’ The question slipped between her lips.
‘‘A few, yes. And you?’’ he returned the question his eyes traveling across her features.
‘‘Some.’’ came the soft reply, that was soon drowned by the rain.
Both their gazes traveled downward, they where exactly above the spot where Dumbledore‘s body had landed a year or so ago. Her thoughts turning to him once again as she remembered his ability to trust a person so completely and without a seconds doubt. She looked sideways at Malfoy and thought ‘maybe there are still many things we can learn from Dumbledore.’
‘‘I wouldn‘t have done it, you know.’’ she barely heard his words over the pounding rain.
‘‘What?’’ she asked examining his features looking pained as he answered.
‘‘Killed him...I think about it over and over again and I know that no matter the situation I would have never dared kill him.’’ His voice cracked with the last words. She was silent watching him. He rested his wand-free hand on the edge of the parapet and without really thinking she covered it with hers. Surprised he turned to look at her, his eyes searching her brown ones.
‘‘I know’’ was the answer he found in her eyes, after a second she added ‘‘and so did he.’’
A curt nod was the only response he gave her before turning his sight back to the grounds, but his hand remained underneath hers a warm smile reached her lips.
They stood listening to the whispered songs of wind and water.
‘‘I‘m sorry.’’ the words escaped his lips in a gentle whisper.
Surprised she turned back to him a questioning look crossing her face.
‘‘For telling Bellatrix who you where, for what she did to you.’’
A biting cold sweep over her but she knew it wasn‘t because of the rain.
Remembering that night at Malfoy manor always had the same effect on her. She had to shake herself slightly to get rid of the memories, before gently squeezing his hand.
‘‘It wasn‘t your fault. She would have done what she did even if you hadn‘t said anything. There was really nothing you could do.’ He didn‘t say anything simply looked at her as if he was searching for something maybe wanting to know if she was being sincere.
The look in his gray eyes sending shivers along her spine. She had never been this close to him, his hand in hers was warm and soft, his perfectly pale face was unlike any she had ever seen.
She felt as if she was looking at him through completely different eyes. For the first time since she meet him she was able to admire his feature; his aristocratic nose, elegantly pointed chin, plush pink lips, blond hair slightly tussled and falling across his blue-grey eyes. His face had a completely different aspect now that he wasn‘t wearing a sneer as she had always seen him before. And she realized something that made her chuckle.
‘‘You’re not as bad as you like to think, you know.’’ She whispered the words as she noticed that somehow space was slipping away between them had he been so close before, had she somehow moved and hadn‘t noticed.
‘‘Neither are you.’’
His soft words puffed against her lips, she felt the heat from his body, his scent filling her senses a woodsy-spicy sort of scent that drove her mind blank as he intertwined his fingers with hers in their still joined hands, her eyes fluttered to a close as his warm lips pressed against hers in the lightest of touches, warmth traveled along her body as their lips moved against each other.
Through the haze of her mind she heard the far away sound like wood clattering on stone, fat drops of water fell over her and she realized it must have been his wand falling. For the next moment she felt his now free hand in her wet hair. The water soon soaking through their clothes but neither cared. Her hand traveled to his neck bringing him closer, untangling his fingers from hers he pulled her closer to him his hand at her waist. Water traveled in rivulets down both of them, she was vaguely surprised that it didn‘t evaporate from the heat engulfing them both.
Suddenly her senses awoke as if from a long sleep she could feel the endless softness of his lips, the warmth of his mouth, his long fingers traveling against the exposed skin of her waist sending tiny shot of electricity coursing all along her body. She felt as if she was being brought back to life.
Ever so slowly they pulled apart, her eyes opening as if waking from a very pleasant dream. Only to find him staring at her as if it was the first time he saw her, she on her part run her eyes along his face engraving the moment in her memory to treasure in years to come.
After what seemed like ages of blissfulness she disentangled herself from him and finding that she still possessed a voice said.
‘‘I have to go’’ he didn‘t answer.
She headed for the door not looking back, descending the stair in a warm daze she reached the end of the hall wondering briefly where she was, turning a corner she saw Ron heading towards her.
‘‘There you are, where have you been hiding?’’ He asked a warm smile grazing his lips, ‘why are you all wet?’’ He added as he got a good look at her.
‘‘It‘s raining’’ she murmured.
‘‘I‘ve noticed,’’ Ron answered rolling his eyes at her. ‘‘Come on we better get you into some dry clothes’’
He held out his hand to her, she hesitated slightly before taking it. As she was being pulled away by Ron‘s rather rough hand she turned to look one more time down the hall, up the stairs and into the rain.
Where she knew Draco still stood with a warm smile on his lips.
She never forgot that day, their relationship didn‘t change they would sometimes see each other at the ministry and nothing more than a curt greeting passed the two. The last time she saw him was at platform 9¾ as she and Ron dropped their daughter off on her way to Hogwarts.
She saw him at the far side of the platform, their eyes locked and a warm smile was shared, as for a moment both of them traveled back in time to a particular rainy day at the astronomy tower. The moment was broken as she heard Ron say to Harry.
‘‘So that‘s little Scorpius’’ she looked down to see the little boy holding Draco‘s hand. He was truly his father‘s son; the pointed chin, the white blond hair and gray eyes. She pulled her sight away from then to reprimand Ron for telling Rose to beat him at every class.
She pulled her daughter into a hugs as she was about to board the train, whispering in her ear.
‘‘Be nice to Scorpius, will you honey.’’
‘‘Even if he‘s mean to me to me?’’ the little girl asked.
‘‘Sometimes all mean people need is a friend to show them the way.’’ She gave her daughter one last kiss and ushered her into the train, waving at her as the train slithered away.