Chapter 1 : Let it All Out
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Let it All Out
“Come on, Malfoy,” Hermione called up the staircase to the Head Boy’s room, “We have to patrol tonight.”
“Be right there, Granger!” Draco called back. He looked into his mirror one last time, glaring at his own reflection, before pinning his Head Boy badge in place and hurrying out of his bedroom.
“Took you long enough…” Hermione grumbled when Draco finally met her in the hallway.
Draco just glared.
Since the two enemies had been made Head Boy and Girl, they hadn’t spoken much. They had reached a silent agreement not to argue, but that didn’t mean that they were best friends.
They walked in silence for several minutes, glancing around the darkened hallways for anything out of the ordinary. As usual, nothing stood out.
“Do you know what I hate, Granger?” Draco asked suddenly. Hermione raised an eyebrow at him.
“What, Malfoy?” she asked in response.
“Expectations,” Draco replied. “I hate that everyone always expects something of me.”
Hermione paused for a moment before responding again.
“What’s on your mind, Draco?” she finally asked.
Let it all out
Get it all out
Rip it out, remove it
Don't be alarmed
When the wound begins to bleed
“Too much to explain in one night, that’s for sure,” Draco intoned.
“Try me,” Hermione challenged, causing her partner to grin.
“You know, Granger…we aren’t exactly friends,” Draco began.
“I’m aware, Malfoy, but I still want to know what’s on your mind.”
“Well, about the expectations-thing…I just feel like…I don’t know, sometimes people get a certain opinion of me in their minds and they expect me to act a certain way…and then they get annoyed when I don’t. It’s like they think they know me better than I know myself.”
“I actually understand that,” she mused. “It's like when people expect me to know every answer to every question ever posed since the dawn of time…”
“Yeah, sort of like that.”
“What are people’s expectations of you, Malfoy?”
“Well…most people expect me to act like a Death Eater still…” he explained, tactfully ignoring Hermione’s grimace. “The Dark Lord fell last summer…it's not like I would continue supporting his cause.”
Hermione simply nodded, not knowing what to say.
“I mean…honestly…” Draco paused, “Can I trust you?” he suddenly questioned.
Hermione nodded fervently.
Why on Earth would Draco Malfoy trust me to begin with? she thought to herself, It’s not like we’re friends or we have anything in common…I suppose it’s the polite thing to do though: hear him out…
“You’re the first person I’ve told this, besides Blaise,” Draco explained, “I never really supported the Dark Lord.”
Hermione gave him an uncertain look.
“I know, I know…it doesn’t seem believable…but really, I didn’t. I supported my parents, of course, but I never really fully understood the Dark Lord.”
Hermione nodded again, this time more slowly.
“I don’t know why I believe you, Draco Malfoy,” she admitted.
“I don’t either, Hermione, but you do believe me, right?”
“I believe you,” she repeated.
“Okay, well…Now that we have that out of the way: people still expect me to be a Death Eater. It’s so frustrating, because I don’t want to be that person anymore.”
“Who do you want to be, Draco?” Hermione asked simply.
“I don’t know, Granger…I don’t even know why I’m telling you all of this…I just need to rant I guess.”
“Well, I think it’s important to figure out who you want to be…You’ll want to steer your life in a direction that you’ll be proud of. You don’t want to look back at your life when you’re old and find that you lived a way that you didn’t want to…”
'Cause we're so scared to find out
what this life's all about
So scared we're going to lose it
Not knowing all along
that's exactly what we need
“And how, exactly, am I supposed to figure out who I want to be? I’m eighteen!” Draco argued, his frustration making him snappish.
“Well…” Hermione began, trying to think of a way to suddenly be a life-coach, “What’s most important to you in life?”
Draco raised his eyebrows.
“How is knowing that going to enable you to help me?”
“I’m trying to figure out your values, Malfoy,” Hermione scowled.
“Oh, fine. Most important thing to me…” Draco looked genuinely bemused; “I don’t know what’s important to me in life…I mean, I’ve got my parents…I’ve got Blaise and Pansy…but most important?”
Hermione looked at him beseechingly.
“Think harder, Draco…” she implored.
Draco suddenly halted in the hallway and beckoned Hermione into an empty classroom. He sat on a desk and put his head in his hands.
“Hermione…” he whispered. She sat beside him in order to hear him better. “I don’t know what I’m living for…”
Hermione placed her hand on his shoulder, distressed to hear the hurt in his voice.
“Draco…” she replied, her voice quiet as well.
He looked up and their eyes locked.
“I don’t know what to do with myself, Hermione. It’s like…I can’t even explain what it’s like. I’m a Malfoy, we never question our abilities or our motives or our goals…we just do things. Everything always works out for us…and it’s not working out for me right now…I don’t know how to handle it.”
“Draco, it’s going to be fine. You don’t have to know the exact path you’re going to follow. I know it’s hard for you to learn to take care of yourself, but eventually you would have had to learn it anyway…”
“Granger, you don’t understand…you’ve worked your whole life for the things you’ve earned…most of the things in my life have been given to me…how am I supposed to figure things out for myself? I think my expectations for myself are too high…”
“Malfoy, expectations are like goals: if you’re able to achieve them, it makes you better. Even if you fail though, you have something to continue to strive for.”
“Why am I talking to you?” Draco pondered aloud, causing Hermione to blink in surprise.
“I don’t know…” she frowned.
“Oh, I didn’t mean for you to answer that…” Draco replied, “I was just thinking. I mean, I really don’t discuss things that are going on in my mind…especially not with…with…um, Gryffindors.”
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“You can say ‘Mudblood’ if you’d like to, Malfoy. I really don’t care anymore.”
Draco shook his head.
“You’ve heard me out tonight and that means a lot. I’m not going to insult you…at least not while we’re alone,” he admitted, grinning sheepishly.
And today I’ll trust you with the confidence
of a man who's never known defeat
but tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief
Oh, inconsistent me
Crying out for consistency
“You’re a strange boy, Draco Malfoy…” Hermione said after a few minutes of silence. She was now sprawled across two desks staring at the ceiling. Draco was doodling on the chalkboard across the room. They had completely forgotten about patrolling their rounds.
“I never claimed to be normal, Granger,” Draco reasoned.
“True…I just never imagined that you could be so…complex,” Hermione laughed.
Draco turned to her and smirked.
“You’ll probably never see just how ‘complex’ I can be.”
“Are you flirting with me, Malfoy?” Hermione asked, a bit shocked.
“Oh, don’t flatter yourself too much,” Draco replied, still smirking as he crossed the room to where Hermione now sat on a desk.
She remained silent as he stopped in front of her. Part of Hermione’s mind was screaming at her to run, but another part wanted to see what would happen next.
Draco placed his hands on the desk on either side of her, bringing him abruptly closer.
“You are flirting with me,” Hermione accused, her voice coming out as a croak.
“Maybe I am,” Draco ventured, leaning towards her.
Oh Merlin…he’s going to kiss me… Hermione thought.
A moment later, Draco did. His lips pressed gently against hers and Hermione fought the dueling parts of her subconscious: the one that was telling her to push him away and run and its opposite which was telling her to keep kissing him until time ended.
Eventually, Draco broke the kiss and straightened up in front of her, a small smile on his face.
“Draco…” Hermione murmured, standing to be closer to him, “what was that?”
“That…that was a ‘thank-you,’” Draco replied uncertainly.
Hermione put her hands on her hips, waiting for the truth.
“I have no idea what that was, Granger…” Draco finally said, “I’ve never…I mean, I don’t really go around just kissing people…I don’t usually talk to people about my thoughts and tonight…tonight I’ve done both of those things.”
“I have to end this before it starts, you know…” Hermione whispered, suddenly feeling like she wanted to cry.
“What?” Draco asked, his voice full of pain. “Why?”
“If I don’t do this now, Draco…things will get so much worse for us. Things will turn out all right in the end…even if they hurt right now, things will turn out fine.”
And you said, “I know that this will hurt,
but if I don't break your heart, things will just get worse
When the burden seems too much to bear
the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.”
Draco suddenly cursed and slammed his fist on the desk.
“Damn it, Hermione!” he raged, “I’m not letting you be the one to run away from this.”
Hermione stood where she was, her eyes wide with confusion.
“Run away from what exactly, Draco? Us? There is no us,” she stuttered.
“There could be. You know there could be. I’ve never felt like this: I’ve never felt like I could just talk to someone and things would suddenly be fine in the world. I’ve never just kissed someone that I’m supposed to hate. I’ve never argued with someone over a relationship that hasn’t even begun!”
Hermione stared at the Head Boy, her eyes wide and confused.
“Draco…I…” she seemed lost for words.
“You what, Hermione?” Draco asked more quietly, his head falling into his hands.
“I’m sorry…” she whispered, putting her hand on his shoulder.
“Obviously,” Draco joked back. He paused. “I've never felt this way...I can't believe I'm even telling you this...I can't believe I'm acting so...so weak.”
“You aren't acting weak, Draco,” Hermione scolded in reply.
And I'll let it be known
at times I have shown
signs of all my weakness,
but somewhere in me
there is strength
“It's going to be fine, Draco,” she continued, “You'll get over me and it won't even be a problem anymore...”
“Really?” Draco asked skeptically. “You really think it works that way?”
“Maybe it does!” Hermione defended herself.
“It doesn't,” Draco replied, “It really doesn't, Hermione. I’m not just going to ‘get over you.’”
“But, Draco, this is so sudden!” Hermione protested, blushing.
“I know…and I’m sorry. I guess that it’s not the right time.”
“It’s not like we were exactly friends, or anything close to friends, before tonight…” Hermione reasoned.
“It’s going to be fine no matter what, Draco…” Hermione whispered, “You’ll figure it out.”
And you promise me
that you believe
in time I will defeat this,
‘Cause somewhere in me
there is strength
“I don’t know how to deal with this, Granger,” Draco admitted.
“I wasn’t lying when I said I don’t understand all these feelings that I suddenly have. Part of me wants to run away from you as fast as I can and never talk about tonight again…but the other part…the other part wants to just hold you in my arms forever and ask you to help me figure this out…”
“Why are you telling me this?” Hermione whispered.
“You need to know,” Draco informed. “If I’m going to walk away tonight…and we aren’t going to talk about this anymore…you need to know what you’re saying goodbye to.”
“Draco…please,” Hermione murmured, “I don’t want to say goodbye to anything! Especially not to you!”
Draco looked up at her.
“I…I don’t want tonight to end.”
“Everything eventually comes to an end, Hermione.”
“I know it does…but I don’t want tonight to end. Ignore what I said earlier. I don’t care anymore. Things can get as difficult as they may, but I don’t want to miss this…”
Why? she thought. Why are you even doing this, Hermione?
She didn’t have an answer to that.
“You’re serious?” Draco asked, breaking her from her thoughts.
“Yes,” Hermione replied.
And today I’ll trust you with the confidence
of a man who's never known defeat
and I'll try my best to just forget
that that man isn't me
“This will probably have consequences…you know that, right?” Draco warned as he stood from the desk and moved to stand in front of Hermione.
“I know it will, but what’s life without a few risks?” Hermione said sagely.
“You’re willing to be with me?” Draco asked.
Hermione simply nodded.
Draco placed his hands on either side of her on the desk and leaned forward to kiss her again.
Hermione smiled against his lips.
Reach out to me,
make my heart brand new:
every beat will be for you…
“I never thought I would be here…” she confessed as Draco held her close.
“Nor did I,” Draco agreed.
“This is going to be an interesting year,” Hermione mused.
“Just another year at Hogwarts…” Draco reasoned, smiling against her hair.
And I know you know
you touched my life
when you touched my heavy heart and made it light
Author's Note: So, how was it? Relient K is my favorite band currently and I thought this song was perfect for a song fic. :] How'd I do? Reviewing only takes a moment... thanks!
Edited as of 8-15-11