Just to clear things up and that, I don't own any characters. Those are the property of J.K Rowling. Ups to Precious Rin for the awesome challenge. Enjoy :)
There were a lot of things I wasn’t proud of. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, said a lot of bad things. It was fair to say the war changed a lot of people, but not me. I returned to Hogwarts to finish my education purely on the basis that I could silently lord it over others that I was still here; still alive and able to punish them with cruel words and endless taunts. It wasn’t the war that changed me. It was her.
The sixth year in front of me scrambled around at my feet, trying her best to not cry as she collected the books that were scattered around her. I made no move to help her. I had already aided in making her drop them, much to her distress. Balancing the books in her arms, the sixth year gave me a fleeting look.
The girl hiccupped, turning tail and running off, her sobs following her down the corridor.
“You really are a heartless bastard aren’t you?”
I turned around, glaring at the petite girl standing in front of me, arms folded, hair pulled back from her thin face in a tight bun. She was giving me the filthiest look, like I was nothing but dirt on her shoe. I was glad to see the feelings were mutual.
“So I’ve been told, Granger.”
She snorted; a noise most unbecoming of her, and stormed past me. Something weighed heavy in my gut and I shouted after her.
“What’s that matter Granger, no snappy retort?”
“No, Malfoy. I just have no time to waste on people like you, who think it is acceptable to treat people like shit because of their obvious insecurities. They may not be able to see it, but I can. I have never seen anybody as unsure of themselves as you are. Picking on those who suffer, those who have lost, because there is simply nothing better for you to do. Why did you come back, Malfoy?”
I felt my world tilting, like my control had suddenly been ripped out from under my feet. This girl, this woman, had just questioned everything I was like she knew me. I clenched my fists, stepping right up to her and sneering. She just blinked, pushing me away and shaking her head.
“You don’t scare me anymore Draco. You don’t scare a lot of people. You’re bullying means nothing anymore. We’ve all dealt with bigger things than you. So get the hell over yourself."
Flabbergasted, I stood there; jaw slack, as she walked away from me. My hands were shaking and I looked down at them. Was I really that bad? Looking around, I tried to remember a single person in this castle I had showed empathy for. I must’ve stood there for an hour before I slumped with realisation. I was a monster.
That day, she stood up to me. She made me feel. At the time, I hated her for it. I stormed around the common room, slinging insults and pushing first years around. But it held no appeal to me anymore. It made my stomach churn and my chest tight to bully these people. They had never done anything to me. Instead, I drew back, locking myself in my room for hours at a time. And all I could think about was one thing. She had said my name.
She sighed, turning to stare at me with a tired look in her eyes. Licking my lips, I handed her the notes she had dropped. Hesitantly, she took them, giving me an apprehensive look.
“About what you said the other week-“
“I don’t want to argue about it with you Draco, I’ve said all I have to say to you.”
She turned to leave and I grabbed her wrist. She looked back at me, scandalized.
“Just listen, Hermione.” Her name sounded foreign on my tongue and I cleared my throat. Nothing was said for a few minutes until she began to frown, pulling her wrist away.
“What is it?” she asked. Her tone was even and gave nothing away. But the look in her eyes told me she was nervous. I had never said her name before and I had caught her off guard.
“I wanted to thank you. For making me realise what I am. I talked to McGonagall yesterday. We both agreed it would be best that I left.”
Her eyebrows almost disappeared into her hairline and her jaw went slack. And then she did something that surprised me. She placed a hand on my chest, over my heart and closed her eyes.
“You don’t need to do that. You’ve already proved that you’re not as heartless as you appear.”
“How?” I muttered, confused.
“Because I can feel your heart beating.”
And she turned and walked away, leaving me shocked once more.
Months went by and it wasn’t till after the Christmas holidays that I saw her again. She was alone, sitting in the courtyard. I approached her.
She looked up from the book she was reading, surprised to find me standing there. I sat on the bench beside her, tilting my head to stare up at the sky.
“How was your Christmas? Did you spend it with the,” I hesitated, “the Weasleys?”
Her eyes widened considerably and she closed it book slowly, her head nodding.
“Yes, I did. I can’t say the experience was an enjoyable one. Ron was most unpleasant about my rejection of his advances and Harry is unwilling to side with anyone. So I left early.”
“Well, I can’t say the Weasel’s advances were unforeseen. The way he looks at you like he owns you.”
Hermione frowned, her fingers tapping on the books cover.
“I have to admit though,” I added, “why not go out with him?”
“Because it is what is expected. And I don’t have feelings for Ron in that way.”
“Because he’s a Weasel?”
“Because I have feelings for someone else.”
She shook her head, pulling a face. I stretched my arms above my head, placing them over the top of the bench. I watched her squirm at the physical closeness, the way my arm brushed along the top of her neck. It made me feel light-headed being that close to her.
“Who then?” I whispered, leaning over so that she could hear me. I could smell the scent in her hair, like honey and strawberries. She turned her head away, cheeks flushed. I stayed there, trapped by the scent of her and watched as she slowly turned her head. But she caught me unawares when she planted a kiss on my cheek as light as a butterfly and stood up abruptly, leaving me paralysed and alone in the snow and the sunshine of the courtyard.
That day was my sweet epiphany, the moment in my life when I realised everything that was right about me was with her. She made me a better person. No. She makes me a better person. But I didn’t want her to love me. I didn’t particularly want to love her. Nothing ever goes according to plan though.
I paused over the book I was reading, looking up to see she was out of school uniform, dressed snugly in tight fitted jeans and a loose sweater. I had never noticed before how her hair fell in curls over her shoulders, cascading down to her belly button in honey coloured waves. Biting my lip, I acknowledged her with a curt nod. She sighed, her whole body slumping as she fell into the chair beside me. I could smell her perfume and instantly I felt giddy. Groaning, I let my head fall onto my book with a small thud. A small hand danced over the back of my neck and I looked up at her, pleading with my eyes. Please, stop. Can’t you see how much I want you? But she wasn’t looking at my eyes, but at the strands of hair that fell carelessly over my forehead, brushing the thin bridge of my nose. Her fingers twisted through it and I closed my eyes, leaning into her hand.
“Draco,” she whispered and something inside me snapped. The last strand of control withered away and I scooped her onto my lap, crushing her lips with my own. She melded into me, arms sliding around my neck as she responded so passionately that she surprised me. Her tongue flitted inside my mouth and I gasped, pulling away and planting kisses along her jawline and down her neck, resting my face in the crook of her neck.
“I love you, Draco. That’s who. It tortured me for months, the things that could go wrong, but I want you. So much,” she whispered hoarsely, kissing the crown of my head.
“You shouldn’t love me, you know.”
“Shut up, Draco. Shut up and kiss me.”
She never mentioned my mistakes. Maybe that was what made me fall in love with her initially. But with the months that we spent together, secret rendezvous in the courtyard after curfew, I realised how beautiful she was. How her brown eyes were flecked with bronze and that when she laughed and smiled she made everything around her glow. She made me feel beautiful. But there was always going to be something that would come along and pull me back into reality.
I heard her yelling first, her voice breathy from the lack of oxygen as she screamed into the face of her red headed friend. He was standing close to her, trying to pull her into a hug as she hit him and punched him. I came around the corner as he tried to lean over and kiss her.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing Weasley?”
“Whatever I like, ferret,” the boy hissed, trying to push Hermione behind him. She sobbed, pushing her way past him and running at me, throwing herself at my chest, almost knocking me over. Weasley instantly turned a deep shade of red. Ignoring him, I wrapped my arms around her, kissing the side of her face as she sobbed into my chest.
“What did you do, Weasley?” I looked up at him, trying to keep my voice steady.
“None of your business, Malfoy,” he snapped, reaching for her. She slapped his hand away and I saw his eyes darken. Pushing Hermione behind me, I closed my eyes against the full brunt of his fist. Hermione screamed as I feel to the ground, blood running down over my lips and into my mouth. I spat it out, standing up and turning my back on him.
“Come at me, Malfoy!”
He pushed me and I balanced myself, pulling Hermione back into my arms.
“I hope you’re happy Hermione! Because I never want anything to do with you ever again! And I’ll make sure Harry doesn’t either. Your life will be nothing without us!”
She burst into tears as he walked away, cradling his fist against his chest. I crooned condolences into her ear, not really knowing what to say. Finally, I sighed, lifting her chin and looking her in the eye. They were red and puffy, but to me, no matter how cliché it seemed, she was even more beautiful than before.
“I told you not to fall in love with me, Hermione.”
She sniffed, hiccupping. Slowly, she wiped her tears away, smiling at me. Reaching up with her sleeve, she wiped the blood from my lips.
“It isn’t your fault than Ron can’t see past his own desires. I have a life without them. With you. So don’t you say I shouldn’t have fallen in love with you. Because that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. Ron may never speak to me again, and neither may Harry. But I have you.”
I smiled, kissing the tip of her nose, and then planted a kiss briefly on her lips. She pulled my face back down towards hers, catching my lips and silently demanding they stay there. I wrapped my arms around her, slowly backing her into the wall. She moaned, pushing herself against me and I pulled away reluctantly. Her breathing was rapid and we both gasped for air. Finally, she buried her face into my shoulder and I breathed in her scent.
“I love you, Draco. Always,” she whispered. I smiled into her hair.
“I love you too, Hermione. Always.”
It’s so mushy. But I’ve always wanted to write something like this. I love D/Hr. Always.
Please review. Thank you :)