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Chapter 1 : Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave
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Everything passed in a bur; Snape coming, Albus Dumbledore’s last words being a plea, the flash of green light as the unforgiveable left the teacher’s lips and the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry falling.
The next thing Draco knew, he was being dragged away by Snape; the man’s hand grabbing his collar, guiding him, his cold fingers brushing against his neck, making him tremble. Or was that due to the aftermath of what happened, what he had almost done? Draco wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure of anything anymore.
Snape let him go to deal with the Aurors, Order members, the students fighting, leaving Draco to wonder where Hermione was. Was she still here? Fighting. He knew she wouldn’t have left. But was she still fighting or… No, he wouldn’t think that. Hermione was strong and brave and she was still alive, still fighting. Fighting monsters he had let in, monsters she knew he had let in. She knew everything yet she loved him anyway. Was love really as strong as Dumbledore had always claimed?
The sound of something breaking brought Draco out of his thoughts and he watched in horror as his aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange, destroyed everything in her path, everything in the school, his second home, and the place that, until tonight, had been his sanctuary.
Snape pulled him away, “we must leave, Draco. You cannot stay here any longer.”
Draco did nothing but nod and continue to be led by his Godfather out of the school and on to the grounds.
They turned to the voice.
“He trusted you!”
Harry Potter. Draco knew he knew. But how? Did Hermione tell him? She wouldn’t have; she swore to him she wouldn’t no matter who or what. Draco knew it was hard for her to lie to her best friend about him but she wouldn’t break her promise.
Then he remembered the two brooms; Hermione hadn’t told him, he had been there. He has seen everything. Harry Potter had seen him at his most weakest yet that was not what Draco was thinking about.
He ignored Snape’s yelling and Potter’s attempts to hurt the man. Hermione wanted Draco to stay, to help the Light side, to be with her. He could do that id he chose, now, to go back. With Potter as a witness, he would be pardoned. Potter would do it for Hermione; he was sure, however unwillingly.
“Draco!” Draco noticed Potter on the floor. He turned to his teacher, “leave.”
Draco had made up his mind; he couldn’t leave however hard he tried, Draco couldn’t do it, he couldn’t leave her. He wouldn’t spend his days wondering if she would make it through this war, he didn’t want to spend them wondering if he would ever see her again. After everything, Draco knew he wouldn’t be able to live if anything happened to her.
“Malfoy!” Snape called. Draco walked away from Snape, in Potter’s direction, back to the school. “What do you think you are doing?”
“I can’t do this, I’m not a murderer…I’m not a Death Eater and I never will be. I will not go back to him!” Draco yelled. “I will not waste my life on Him and die for it, I won’t. There are more important things and she’s in that school fighting. Fighting because of what I did!”
Draco knelt down besides Harry, “I know you don’t like me but its important; where’s Hermione?”
“What?” Harry whispered.
“Why are you doing this?”
“I’m not that person, Potter, I can’t do it and I’m not going to. Now, please, tell me where she is.”
Snape knew he wouldn’t get Draco to follow, he walked away hoping Draco’s decision wouldn’t end up being the wrong one.
The two boys watched him leave, and then turned to each other; one confused, the other determined. Finally, Harry answered, somehow, he knew it was alright and he would get answers later. “She’s by the entrance.”
the Death Eaters were gone. There had been casualties, there had been deaths but it seemed that most were fine, if not a little shaken. Hermione had found Ron and Ginny. She had seen Harry run out of the school. But she hadn’t seen Draco. She heard the screams and the cry that Dumbledore had been killed and she knew Draco had gone with the Death Eaters. But had he actually done it? Did Draco speak the curse that would have killed their headmaster? Or had he lowered his wand, like she hoped? He would have called it weak but she called it bravery. Draco wasn’t a murderer.
She needed to see him. One quick glance, hiding behind a wall to see him one last time hadn’t been enough. After everything they had been through together, how could Hermione go on not seeing Draco every day? She couldn’t do it. The thought broke her and she slid to the floor against the wall and cried.
Hermione looked up. Her mind was playing tricks on her and she was just imagining his voice; it was only what she wanted to hear. It had t obe, he was long gone by now.
“Hermione! Where are you?”
She stood up; she couldn’t be hearing things, his voice was too clear. And close. Hermione turned around and thought she was seeing things. There he was, running towards her.
She yelled his name and ran to him, “Draco!”
“Hermione!” They closed the distance and held each other. “I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. I’m not a murderer.” He pulled away and cupped her face in his hands, “I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t leave you, not knowing…”
“I love you,” he whispered.
“I love you more.”
“Not possible,” he kissed her and hugged her again.
They continued to hold each other until two Aurors dragged Draco off of Hermione. “No, let him go,” she pleaded.
“He’s a Death Eater,” one pulled up his left arm, which Hermione noticed was rolled up by the sleeve, revealing the tattoo. “We have to take him in.” They magically bound him.
“Not intentionally, he didn’t want it. Tell them Draco!”
“Hermione, it will be fine,” he reassured.
“How? Please let him go!” She turned and noticed Tonks standing by her. Hermione knew that her and Draco had never met but they were still family; it had to mean something. “Tonks, please do something, he’s your cousin.”
“There’s nothing I can do,” she muttered, her eyes not leaving him. The Aurors turned to take him.
“Let him go.”
“Mr Potter, he’s a Death Eater!”
“Not by choice,” Harry defended, “he’s done nothing wrong. I won’t have an innocent person be sent away to Azkaban. Let him go.”
The Aurors reluctantly did as Harry wanted and Draco rubbed his wristed together and smiled at Hermione. She smiled back and hugged him again.
“I told you it would be fine,” he murmured in her ear. He looked up to Harry, “thank you.”
“I didn’t do it for you,” he glared and turned his gaze to Hermione.
“Thank you, Harry,” she whispered.
“Just make sure I didn’t make the wrong choice,” he said, sighing then he nodded and walked off.
Hermione looked up, “I can’t believe you’re here. I didn’t think Snape would let you, I thought you’d be unable to stay.”
A/N: OK, maybe the end of this is the most cheesy I've ever written :) (If you've read my one-shot All I Want For Christmas Is You then you know what I meant :D)
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