Anyone who was watching Hermione would think that she is mad. In the past hour she had rearranged the room that she shared with Ginny at the Burrow almost four times. Ginny stood at the doorway, trying to find the right words to say in order to calm Hermione down - but she couldn’t think of anything that would relax her friend. She watched as Hermione stared around at the room, and huffed yet again and began to move one of the beds again, Ginny knew she had to step in before one of them went insane with all this moving.
‘Hermione, come on leave it now. The room looks fine. Just come downstairs for a bit.’ Ginny said apprehensively, she was unsure how Hermione was going to take this suggestion.
‘Why, are Harry and Ron back yet?’ Hermione asked quickly, and Ginny shook her head in response. ‘I’ll come downstairs when they get back from the Ministry Gin, I promise.’ Hermione smiled faintly at Ginny trying to reassure her that she was okay. Ginny, accepting it, nodded and made her way back downstairs.
Hermione sighed and sat down on the edge of her bed. Today was the final day of the Malfoy Family trial – the day that would decide their fate. The majority of people believed that they should all be given life sentences in Azkaban, some even thought that they should receive the Dementor’s Kiss. However, since the moment that she woke up in the hospital wing after the Battle of Hogwarts, she made it her own personal mission to convince everyone that Draco Malfoy should not be sent to Azkaban.
- Flashback -
‘Hermione we’ve been through this, two days ago you had the Cruciatus Curse performed on you by one of the most malicious witches that’s ever existed, you’re not thinking straight.’ Harry said trying to keep his patience with Hermione.
‘No Harry! Why won’t you listen to me? Draco Malfoy saved me! He killed Bellatrix because she was torturing me, he loves me!’ Hermione cried, almost in tears because she was so frustrated that no one believed her.
‘SHUT UP HERMIONE.’ Harry roared, making Hermione jump. ‘Malfoy is an evil and selfish little prat, he’s called you a mudblood since first year! He is not capable of loving you, anyone or anything except himself.’ Harry spat venomously.
Hermione cried silently to herself in the chair where she sat in the front room of the Burrow. Harry paced up and down breathing heavily trying to calm himself down, while Ron sat on the sofa opposite Hermione staring at the carpet. Every so often he would look up and glance at Harry and then Hermione, sigh and look back down. He had tried to remain level headed ever since Hermione had started going on about her and Malfoy when she woke up. In fact he had barely spoken for fear of losing his temper with Hermione. Strangely, it was Harry who had lost it. Obviously he had good reason too, but he was normally the voice of reason, not the one who kept having fits of rage, shouting and swearing, kicking anything that fell in his path. Clearly everyone had gone mad.
Eventually Harry sat down next to Ron and closed his eyes, appearing to be deep in thought and Hermione’s tears soon stopped as she got control of herself. The trio sat there in silence for half an hour before Hermione spoke. The only way she could explain herself was to tell them everything. So that was exactly what she did. She told them every single thing from the past five months, from the very first night their arrangement started to the moment that she passed out on the battlefield with Tonks. She tactfully left out the details of their intimacy. She was sure Harry would murder her on the spot if she started talking about her and Draco Malfoy’s sex life. Neither Harry nor Ron spoke while Hermione told her story, she couldn’t bare to look at their faces either so she chose a spot on the wall to look at instead. It was only when she stopped talking that she dared to look back at their faces and she braced herself for their reactions.
‘I don’t like this one bit Hermione. I don’t understand it either. But, I’m not willing to lose one of my best friends after all we went through in this war.’ Ron said slowly, for Hermione that was all she needed to hear, she leapt from her seat and flung her arms around Ron. She stood up and looked at Harry hesitantly.
‘I am going to give evidence at his trial Harry, and I will tell the Wizengamot everything that I just told the two of you, I’ll tell the whole world if it means that he won’t be sent to Azkaban.’ Hermione said determinedly, ‘I need you both to understand this, like Ron said I couldn’t bear to lose either of you after all we survived during war together.’
- End Flashback -
Eventually Harry had come around, and the next week both Harry and Ron sat her down and told her that they were also going to give evidence in Malfoy’s favour at the trial. Hermione was ecstatic; if Harry Potter, the boy who saved the entire world from Voldemort, was going to stand and support Malfoy then he had the best chance possible at going free.
Although, she was not allowed to see Malfoy, she was oddly grateful as she had no idea what to say to him anymore. If he got out would they be together? Was that what she wanted? Hermione was so confused about her feelings she could barely function properly. Today was the first time she had seen him since he left her on the battlefield when he told her that he loved her. He was standing in the defendants dock, and all the while she gave her evidence she felt his stare on her. It wasn’t until she was leaving the witness box that she glanced up to where he was standing and his now dull grey eyes met hers. He seemed so lifeless that Hermione wanted to shout at him to liven up. His face was even paler than usual and his normally perfect hair was much longer and un-styled, it didn’t even shine as it normally did. Everything about him was wrong.
Because she couldn’t bear to stay at the Ministry and wait until everyone else, including Harry and Ron, had given their evidence, she Flooed home the minute she got out of the courtroom. Now she’s not so sure whether that was the right decision or not. What if they didn’t let him go free? She would never see him again. No, Hermione shook her head, she mustn’t think like that. They wouldn’t send him to Azkaban. Not after he saved her. Draco Malfoy risked his life for her, it didn’t seem real.
When Hermione had woken up in the Hospital Wing surrounded by all the Weasley’s and Harry, the first words out of her mouth were ‘Have you found Malfoy?’. Harry and Ron looked at one another with a confused expression on their face; they couldn’t understand why Hermione actually looked worried about the boy that had made her life a living hell for her entire schooling career. Harry and Ron were quick to assure her that they had caught Malfoy and he wouldn’t be able to hurt her. Hermione felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off of her shoulders as soon as she knew that he was still alive, but she still needed to know exactly what had happened to him, she was Know-It-All-Granger after all.
Hermione had demanded that they tell her exactly what happened to Malfoy, and although neither boy understood why she needed to know, they knew Hermione well enough to realise that she wouldn’t quit until they told her everything. They then proceeded to inform Hermione of how after Harry defeated Voldemort, the Auror set about capturing all of the Death Eaters. Dawlish had been checking the Forbidden Forest for any Death Eaters when he came across Malfoy battered, bruised and unconscious. According to Harry he was lucky to even be breathing. Malfoy was healed so that he was at least conscious, and then he was put in a temporary cell while he waited trial. It was at this point where Hermione lost her temper, screaming and shouting for them to let Malfoy out.
Laying down on her bed and closing her eyes, she repeated it in her head Malfoy won’t be sent to Azkaban, until she finally fell asleep.
Hermione woke with a start when she felt a hand shaking her arm gently. Opening her eyes she saw she was in her’s and Ginny’s room with Ron in front of her while Ginny and Harry sat on the bed opposite. She sat up suddenly and quickly asked them what had happened. Ron looked uncertainly back at the couple and then back at Hermione.
‘Draco Malfoy went free, so did Narcissa, but Lucius got five years in Azkaban.’ Ron announced. Hermione felt relief wash over her for a brief moment until she saw the expression on Ron’s face as he glanced back at Ginny and Harry, who too looked concerned.
‘Where is he?’ Hermione said quietly.
‘Look Hermione …’ Ron began.
‘Where is he Ron?’ Hermione demanded, standing up and facing Ron trying to appear threatening.
‘He’s at Malfoy Manor at the moment. But he and his mother are planning on leaving to France immediately.’ Ron said softly, he knew that this would hurt Hermione and he was trying to break it to her in the kindest way possible.
‘He asked us to thank you for him.’ Harry begun slowly, not daring to look at Hermione. ‘And then he asked us to keep you away from him. He said he didn’t want to cause anymore hurt or problems in your life.’
‘What?!’ Hermione spluttered, half not believing what she was hearing. Was this some sort of joke? She felt her temper rising and suddenly the old stubborn Hermione, who existed before Bellatrix’s torture, returned.
She shoved Ron out of the way and grabbed her wand and Apparated to Malfoy Manor. However, her plan to confront Malfoy came to a halt when she found herself outside the locked gates of the manor. Damn the Malfoy’s and their Anti-Apparition Wards. She almost gasped in oar at the sheer size of the building in front of her. Hermione was shocked at the fact that only three people could have lived in such a large mansion. She suddenly heard a voice - which was clearly that of a house elf - speak.
‘Who is it that requests entrance to my master’s home?’ The house elf squeaked, she was confused as to where the voice was coming from as she couldn’t see the house elf anywhere. Hermione pondered using a false name as Malfoy would probably not let her if he knew it was her, however, it’s likely that the Manor had lots of protection on it to prevent witches and wizards from doing that. In the end she shouted her name while out glancing up at the large house to see if she could see Malfoy.
She heard three pops come from behind her and she turned around to see Harry, Ron and Ginny all walking towards her. Then she heard the gates opening slowly and instead of waiting for her best friends she slipped through the gap and began to run as fast as possible up the path to the door.
‘Hermione what are you doing? He said he doesn’t want to see you …’ Harry shouted at her as she ignored him and carried on running. Harry sighed and looked at the other two. A few seconds later the three of them ran after her shouting for her to slow down.
When Hermione reached the large black front door she found herself too angry to be polite and use the bell that hung on the wall. Instead she pounded on the door with her fist shouting for Malfoy to open the door.
Malfoy flung open the front door and spoke in an exasperated tone, ‘Granger what are you doing?!’
‘You were just going to leave?’ Hermione shouted loudly. Losing her temper the moment she looked at him, she stepped forward and jabbed Malfoy in the chest with her finger. ‘After everything that’s happened you were going to go without so much as a goodbye?’
‘What do you want from me Granger?’ Malfoy shouted back, grabbing Hermione’s wrists to stop her bruising his chest. ‘I can’t give you any of the things that you deserve! What kind of screwed up life do you think we’ll have? Whether you like it or not I’m a Malfoy and Malfoy’s don’t get perfect fairytale happy endings, so just drop it!’
By this time the other three had caught up and upon seeing them Malfoy dropped Hermione’s wrists. He couldn’t deal with a pissed off Potter and two Weasleys as well as Granger right now.
‘What on earth is all this commotion?’ Narcissa Malfoy demanded, as she came to the front door of her home. She gasped when she saw Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron and Ginny Weasley standing outside her house. Of all the people in the world she would never have expected them to willingly come to her home. But, manners are manners. ‘Draco don’t be rude and invite your guests in, you can’t leave them standing on the doorstep all day.’
Narcissa could hardly believe her eyes. Three of the most respected war heroes stood outside her house, the place used as Voldemorts headquarters for the last year. It was impossibly ironic. She was intrigued about the Granger girl’s connection with her son, and she was determined to find out about it. When Hermione stood in the court room today and testified for her son she knew that there was more going on than meets the eye.
‘Mother they were just leaving.’ Malfoy replied dryly, clearly wanting them to leave as soon as possible.
‘I’m not going anywhere until we talk about this Malfoy!’ Hermione said, completely failing at her attempt to lower her voice in front of Narcissa. ‘I’m not going to let you just run away from this.’
‘I think it’s best if you both stop screaming at each other on the doorstep, and come in and talk about whatever it is like mature adults.’ Narcissa interrupted sharply before Malfoy could respond to Hermione. Hermione studied her breathing for a moment and then spoke directly to Narcissa because she knew it would annoy Malfoy.
‘Thank you Mrs Malfoy, I think that’s a brilliant idea.’ Hermione said politely and smirked at Malfoy as she brushed past him and walked over to Narcissa. ‘You have a beautiful home.’
‘Thank you Miss Granger, I can give you a tour if you would like? It’ll be nice to have one last look around the place before we sell it.’ Narcissa said in a relatively friendly tone, which everyone seemed to find odd considering she was a Death Eaters wife who was suppose to hate all Muggle-borns. But, then again nothing was normal these days.
Strangely, the two started chatting away and began the tour of Malfoy Manor. Malfoy had a look of pure shock across his face, and he couldn’t quite work out what had just happened. He glanced to Harry, Ron and Ginny who stood outside his door, and the three looked just as confused as him. Sighing heavily Malfoy invited the other three in not knowing quite what else to do.
Half an hour later Malfoy stood by the large window in one of the many sitting rooms, gazing out into the grounds. He hated the fact that he couldn’t control Granger. Most females that he’d come across in his life would do anything he said with a click of his fingers, it may not have been right but that’s what he was use to. He also hated that Granger and his mother could be talking about anything at the moment and it made him very uneasy.
Harry, Ron and Ginny sat on the two sofas in the middle of the room looking uncomfortable. It was a large living room with two large windows showing the luxurious gardens of Malfoy Manor. For the size of the room there was only limited furniture in there, two large sofas, a coffee table and a number of bookshelves scattered around the room. Ginny compared this living room to her own cluttered one back at the Burrow, and wished that Hermione would hurry up. It was as if this room had no life to it, there wasn’t even one picture in site, her mum had an endless amount of pictures of the family dotted around their living room.
Ginny had tried to make conversation for the first ten minutes but gave up as she received little response from any of the males. So, the four had spent the past twenty minutes sitting in silence and all hoping Hermione would come back soon so that the Gryffindors could leave.
Hermione and Narcissa walked side by side through the manor, with the older woman pointing out things of interest to Hermione. They entered a small room that simply contained a small desk and chair, and Hermione wondered why Narcissa would have brought them here, until she looked at the walls of the room. Spread across the walls was the Malfoy family tree. Hermione was in shock at the site in front of her, it was amazing. All of the Malfoy members were up on this wall. Although, seconds later Hermione’s heart sunk, she knew why Narcissa had brought her here.
‘It’s quite something isn’t it.’ Narcissa said slowly, as Hermione nodded, she couldn’t bring herself to speak. ‘Of course it’s not my family tree, but fascinating all the same.’
‘Mrs Malfoy I think I understand why you are showing me this room, and I know that I don’t belong in your world. But, I also know that I care about your son very much.’ Hermione admitted quietly.
‘Miss Granger, I’m not stupid. I can see that you and Draco deeply care about each other. I’m not saying it’s right and I’m not saying that it’s wrong, because I simply don’t understand it.’ Narcissa paused. ‘I’m not showing this room to warn you to stay away from Draco. I’m showing you this room to warn you of the whispers and stares you will have to face should the two of you decide you want to be together. A Malfoy and a muggle-born. You are good and we are evil. No one in our world is ever going to forget that.’ Narcissa finished bitterly.
Hermione stayed silent. She knew that Narcissa was only telling the truth, no one would ever understand the two of them together. Narcissa composed herself again and led Hermione out of the room to continue the tour of the manor.
Finally, the door opened and in walked Hermione and Narcissa who, to the shock of everyone else, seemed to be sharing a joke and laughing together like they were old friends.
‘Mother we really must be leaving now.’ Malfoy said, as he turned around to face Hermione and his mother.
‘Draco, don’t be rude.’ Narcissa snapped at Malfoy. If there was one thing Narcissa couldn’t stand it was lack of manners.
‘Actually Hermione, I think we should be leaving too.’ Harry interjected while standing up, and Ginny and Ron followed his lead. Hermione looked between her friends and Malfoy before finally nodding.
‘Okay, but I would like to speak with Malfoy privately before I leave.’ Hermione said stubbornly.
‘Hermione we’re not leaving you here alone with him.’ Ron hissed quietly, as Malfoy rolled his eyes.
‘Ron I’m a big girl, you don’t need to baby me!’ Hermione protested with her hands on her hips defiantly. Eventually she sighed and suggested a compromise. ‘I’ll only be five minutes, and I’ll meet you at the Burrow I promise.’
Knowing that it was the only option that they had, her friends agreed to her request and left the Manor, walking down to the gates so that they could apparate home. Meanwhile, Malfoy and Hermione accompanied Narcissa to the Entrance Hall where the fireplace connected to the Floo Network was. Narcissa bid her goodbyes to Hermione, and left for France, leaving the two old lovers standing opposite each other in silence.
‘Don’t go.’ Hermione blurted out suddenly.
‘Granger, there’s nothing left for me here; I need to get away and have a fresh start. People will never forget or forgive my family and me for our part in the war.’ Malfoy said quietly, his voice pleading with her not to make this any harder for him.
‘What about me?’ Hermione whispered, stepping towards Malfoy so they were centimetres away from one another. ‘What about us?’
‘It would never work between us Granger. We are from two completely different worlds.’
‘But you love me.’ Hermione countered, never taking her eyes away from his, which as usual gave nothing away.
‘I do. But sometimes love isn’t enough.’ Malfoy replied sighing with regret at his words. He wanted nothing more than to scoop Hermione up in his arms and never leave her. Hell, he loved her and he hardly knew anything about her. He wanted to find out everything about her, what she liked, what she didn’t like, what her dreams were, what she feared. He wanted it all. But, as much as he wanted that life, he needed to sort out his own life before he could even begin any type of relationship.
He had lived in fear of his life for the past three years and he had been in his fathers shadow for much longer. He knew he wanted to be his own person and distance himself from the image that his father had created for the family, and the only way he could do that was to get away Britain. He needed a place where the Malfoy name was not tainted, and it just happened that his family owned a house in the South of France. He made the decision when he was in his cell, that if he was cleared of all charges he would move there immediately, no matter how much it killed him to leave the girl he had come to love.
Closing the tiny gap between them Malfoy kissed Hermione with all the passion he could muster. She moved her lips against his desperately, almost as if she was trying to convince him to stay in this one kiss. He broke away finally and rested his head against hers; trying to take in and remember everything about this last time that he would ever see Hermione. Her taste, her touch, her smell, the way she felt against his body, the way she looked so beautiful every moment of the day, he would never forget any of it.
He remembered the last kiss that they had shared and how similar it was to this one. They were both trying to show exactly what they were feeling through one kiss. The difference being this time he knew that he was leaving her and she would be safe here.
As much as it killed him to admit it, this was where she belonged. With Potter and the Weasleys. She was the smartest witch of their age, and clearly destined for greatness. He didn’t want to hold her back and his name and presence in her life would do that. He loved her too much to ruin her life in that or any manner. He took some comfort in the fact that Potter and Weasley would keep her safe, he knew that they would take on the world if that’s what it would take to keep her safe and happy. They had proved that by giving evidence at his trial for her.
‘I’ll never be sorry.’ Malfoy whispered in her ear, and kissed the top of her head before moving quickly away from Hermione and over to the fireplace. He knew that if he didn’t leave her now then there was the possibility he never would. Hermione faced him with tears glistening in her eyes, but she composed herself and blinked them away quickly. He smirked at her; typical Hermione Granger, never letting anyone see her in a weak state. Malfoy took a deep breath and took a handful of Floo Powder.
‘Draco...’ Hermione said softly. Malfoy turned to face her slowly and smirked at her yet again. She grinned at him in response. ‘Neither will I.’
As Draco Malfoy stepped in the fireplace and shouted his destination he took one last glance at the beauty that stood before him. In a second she had disappeared and as he travelled through the Floo System he smiled faintly. It was ironic that the only time that they had ever called each other by their first name would be one of the last things that they spoke to each other.
For now at least.
I stole the last piece of dialogue between Hermione and Draco from Dirty Dancing and the amazing late Patrick Swayze, all credit goes to them.
Thanks to my beta Bella Mahina, who helped me out a lot with this chapter :)
So, this is the last part to this story. However, the sequel is now up it's called Remember Me?, I hope you all check it out and let me know what you think :)