Chapter 1 : Love
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It was late one night in the castle, around midnight. I couldn’t sleep. I knew there was a war looming on the horizon; it was all we ever talked about anymore. Harry kept disappearing with Dumbledore; it was taking its toll on my friend. I needed some space to think and with a dorm full of girls, excuse me, snoring girls I knew I wouldn’t get it there. I walked all throughout the castle until I found myself at the steps leading to the Astronomy tower.
When I reached the top I walked over to an archway and leaned against the stone. The moon lit up the sky and all below. I could see the giant squid surfacing in the Black lake. A small noise interrupted my scanning of the grounds. It sounded like a sob. I turned to investigate, but didn’t see anyone. Once I heard it again I moved towards the shadows where I thought it had come from. There on the ground with his knees pulled up to his chest and his head rested atop his arms was Draco Malfoy.
I had never seen him so vulnerable. He always had his head held high, not letting anything bother him. Always had a smirk plastered to his face. But here he was, crying like there was no tomorrow. All alone. My heart went out to the boy I had hated for almost 6 years. Right then he wasn’t an arrogant selfish prick. He was just a boy whether he be heartbroken which I highly doubted or scared. I had an overwhelming urge to comfort him and so against my better judgment I placed my hand upon his shoulder.
He gasped and looked up quickly. I was surprised he didn’t pull his wand on me. He just sat there looking into my eyes with a shocked and ashamed expression on his face; tears still streaking lines down his pale cheeks.
“Are- are you ok?” I asked him tentatively. Such a stupid question that was. Of course he wasn’t ok. He was crying, not to mention the fact that one of the people he hated the most saw him in his weakest moment.
Malfoy didn’t say anything. He just kept staring at me with the shocked expression still on his face. He eventually looked at my hand on his shoulder and I jerked it away like he burned me. His eyes met mine again, this time with a look of confusion.
“I- I’m sorry. I’ll just leave you alone now.” I started to hurry towards the door but stopped with my hand on the doorknob when I heard a faint voice.
“Wait! D-don’t go…please.” Malfoy’s voice drifted over to me. It was quiet and full of sadness. I let go of the handle and turned toward the blonde Slytherin. His eyes were trained on his hands which he was nervously fiddling with.
I walked back over and sat down beside him, my back against the stone wall. He didn’t look up so I took another leap of faith and reached out to take one of his hands in mine; just letting him know I was there for him. He squeezed my hand in silent thanks and used his other to rub circles on the top of mine. Both our eyes were watching his movements, neither one believing what was actually happening. It was a strange feeling I had that night. I felt safe.
The next morning I awoke to the sun shining on my face and a pair of arms wrapped around my waist. Cursing myself for staying there all night I started to move but was pulled into Draco’s body when his arms tightened around me.
“Not yet… 5 more minutes mum.” He mumbled into my hair. I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. I felt oddly comfortable being in the arms of my enemy, the boy who tortured me verbally for years. But the night before I got a glimpse into who he really was. He was not a selfish git like I had always thought. He was just a boy.
I must have startled him when I laughed because he was all of a sudden awake and releasing his hold on me. “Oh… shit. Sorry.” Draco stared at me wide eyed as I got to my feet. I reached out a hand to help him up and he accepted it. “Thanks.” He said trying to look anywhere but my eyes. He hadn’t let go of my hand yet and to tell the truth… I didn’t want him to.
“You’re welcome. And it’s ok.” I was staring at our hands that were still linked. When Draco realized what I was looking at he dropped my hand. “I… um. Yeah.” I mumbled and started to head for the door.
“Wait…” Draco’s said again before I had the chance to get onto the first step. I turned as I had the night before. He was standing right in front of me with an incomprehensible look upon his face. Then he did something I never expected. He brought his hand up to brush my curls behind my ear. My breathing became labored as his face inched towards mine.
His silvery eyes held my gaze until I felt his lips brush against mine and my eyes slid closed. I was kissing Draco Malfoy. His lips were warm and soft, not at all how I thought they’d be. I figured they would be cold like his personality. He continued to surprise me like the night before. I didn’t want this new sensation to stop. I pushed my body up against him when I felt his arms snake their way around my back. My hands eventually found their way into his hair and I pulled his face even closer to mine. In a daring move I ran my tongue along his lower lip. I didn’t know what had gotten into me. I was never that brazen with anyone, especially not with someone I hated. But how much could I really hate him if my body and heart reacted like it did while I was with him?
Draco willingly opened his mouth with a growl and tangled his tongue with mine as he ran his hands through my hair and over my backside. I moaned when he moved his lips to my jaw and down my neck. “Draco…”
His head snapped up at the sound of my voice. I suppose he realized what he was doing. He realized it was me… a mudblood that he was kissing. He looked deeply into my eyes, longingly. His lips were swollen from our kisses. Draco’s hand found my cheek and he ran his thumb across my bottom lip. I closed my eyes at the contact and breathed a sigh of pleasure and want. I wanted his lips back on mine. I wanted his hands running through my curls and along my body.
His hands left me and when I finally opened my eyes he was gone. I looked around the tower but the door was ajar and I knew he had left. My Slytherin prince was gone. My lips still tingled from the kisses we shared. Who knew I could get so much pleasure from snogging my enemy?
A few weeks passed without contact between the two of us. We would catch each others eye from time to time whether it be in the Great Hall during meals, the corridors in the castle or when we had class together. Sometimes I would find him staring at me. My face would heat up and I would think about our passionate kiss. I wanted more of that, but I was sure it was just a one time thing for him. Another week passed before I received a letter during dinner one night.
‘Room of Requirement. 10 pm.
My heart leapt for joy. I was slightly scared, but also very excited. He was either going to tell me to bugger off and quit looking at him all the time or he was going to confirm my suspicions… he felt something for me too. I desperately hoped it was the latter. He hadn’t insulted me or sent glares my way since that night in the tower. My friends were getting suspicious, even more than they already were of him. Something was going on with Draco that year, I even knew that. But I knew that part of what was going on with him was because of me.
At 10 pm I found myself in front of the door for the Room of Requirement. He was already inside. He was waiting for me. I had waited about a month to be alone with him again, but I didn’t know what to expect this time. Before I left to meet him I spent a while getting ready. My hair was tame and cascaded down my back in soft curls; I had swiped on some mascara to bring out my eyes and painted my lips with a light pink chapstick. I didn’t want a gloss or lipstick incase I got to kiss him. Always hearing Lavender and Pavarti talk about kissing boys with sticky stuff on their lips didn’t sound too appealing. I wore one of my ‘sexier’ outfits consisting of a short pleated green skirt, black tank top which showed what little cleavage I had and the only pair of heels I owned. They were black maryjanes with a 2 ½ inch heel. The outfit kind of gave me that naughty school girl look that boys always fawned over, or so I was told.
I don’t know why I felt the need to dress up, but I wanted to look nice. Draco always looked so put together and I felt sub par compared to him. This time I was going to match his style. I took a deep breath and opened the large oak doors. Slowly I stepped into the candle lit room. The faint glow of light showed off the red and silver décor of the room. There was a fireplace with a beautiful mantel, a rich red velvet couch in front of it with fluffy silver pillows, and a small bistro table piled high with petit fours and other desserts over by a window. It was all so beautiful I let out a slight laugh. I couldn’t believe all of this was for me… from a Malfoy.
I ran my hand along the top of the velvet couch and a smile spread across my face as I felt a hand brush my hair off my shoulder and a gentle kiss was placed upon my skin. I had missed those lips. “Hi.” I whispered still not turning around.
“Hi.” Draco’s husky voice filled my head as he wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and buried his face in my neck planting soft sweet kisses on my fevered skin. I couldn’t believe he had asked me to come. He wanted to hold me again. It was unfathomable. “Thank you for coming.” He whispered against my neck.
I turned in his arms to face him and wrapped my arms around his neck. His silver eyes swirled with mixed emotions. He looked scared, unsure, nervous but also happy. I tried to give him a smile. “Of course… I’ve wanted to see you for weeks Draco. I thought I’d have to forget what happened between us. It’s been killing me; having to pass you in the hall, seeing you during meals and in the classroom and not being able to do anything about my feelings.”
Draco placed a soft lingering kiss on my lips. I tried to intensify it. It was what I had been waiting for, but he gently pulled back and looked into my questioning eyes. “I haven’t been able to think about anything else since that night. Your lips, your eyes, your hair and skin. The way you felt in my arms. It’s been so hard not being able to express how I felt Hermione. I’ve wanted to hold you for so long…”
I trembled at the sound of my name rolling off his tongue. He had never said it before. It sounded like heaven. He was being so sweet and loving. Gentle and tender were not descriptions I thought I would ever use for Draco Malfoy. He was different. He was special. I already felt myself falling.
“Say my name again Draco…” I breathed against his lips and closed my eyes. I swear I could hear him smirk.
“Hermione…” He whispered. “Hermione, Hermione…Hermione.” He brushed his lips against mine as he moaned my name over and over again. My entire body trembled against his before he devoured my mouth.
It didn’t matter what our past was like. It didn’t matter he was a pureblood and I was a muggleborn. After that first kiss in the Astronomy tower all that mattered was being together. That night in the Room of Requirement we shared dessert, many more kisses and stories about our lives. We forgave each other for our pasts and vowed to start anew. We met up almost every night after that in the ROR or the Astronomy tower just to catch some time together. Draco was amazing but eventually all good things had to come to an end I supposed.
Draco became distant as the Christmas holiday started to approach and I was starting to notice Ron again. Before Draco I had always fancied Ron. I thought we would have been together, but he just hadn’t noticed me until every time I was taken. Draco pulled away even more from me as December progressed. Things were happening around the school, bad things. Harry constantly blamed the blonde Slytherin and I constantly tried to defend him in a nonchalant way, but I had my doubts.
I had approached him about it numerous times until he blew up at me one night and I stormed out of the ROR, ignoring the calls behind me. We didn’t talk for a week. I ended up taking Cormac McLaggen to Slughorn’s Christmas party for two reasons. One to annoy Ronald who I was beginning to have feelings for again because Draco was ignoring me. And two because he was the only other guy that actually wanted to go with me. That night was torture. I tried to avoid McLaggen as much as possible.
During the party I felt my heart jump into my throat. Draco was dragged in by Filch and accused of lurking in the corridors. I didn’t know what he was up to. I was scared. He met my frightened eyes for a second before Snape escorted him out. After that night I thought about him even more than normal. I also thought more about Ron and his ‘girlfriend.’ I was jealous. I shouldn’t have been because I had Draco…but I knew in my heart I wouldn’t have Draco for much longer. Things were changing. Harry kept going away with Dumbledore, the world was getting darker and Draco was most definitely up to something.
The last night I saw him ripped my heart out. He had been injured by Harry whom I scolded my friend for time and time again. Draco sent me a letter to meet him in the ROR right after dinner and so I did. It had been ages since I had been alone with him. My holidays were terrible. I was enjoying my time with Ron, but my heart wasn’t in it. I missed the my Slytherin Prince. I missed his smile that he saved just for me, his stormy grey eyes, and his perfect pink lips.
As soon as I opened the door his lips were on mine. His hands tugging my hair and moving me further into the room. I knew that night would be the night. I wanted him to be my first; I needed him to be my first. He laid me on the bed that had materialized in the middle of the room and climbed on top of me. His experienced hands slowly peeled the clothes off my body and my inexperienced ones shed him of his shirt then pants. We spoke no words; we silently knew we both needed each other. I needed to feel him. He made slow sweet love to me that night. It was the best time of my life. It would have been the best night of my life if he never told me what he did after we finished getting dressed.
As I was lying against him he waved his wand at his forearm. I watched in horror as a snake and skull appeared on his pale skin. I couldn’t do anything except push him away and fall onto the floor sobbing and screaming my lungs out. I was in love with a Death Eater. He had become one of them and hadn’t told me. Harry was right. He was on the other side.
“Hermione… Hermione please listen to me.” Draco pleaded with me and crawled onto the floor beside me. He tried to reach out but I moved away and looked into his eyes with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t make any words flow out of my mouth, I just kept shaking my head back and forth and periodically a sob escaped my throat.
“I didn’t want this, you have to know that. It isn’t who I am. I was forced Hermione. He would have killed my family if I didn’t do this. If I don’t serve him then he will kill my parents and me. I had no choice.” His eyes began to glisten and I saw a few tears escape the corner of his eyes. I just continued to shake my head back and forth and crawled further and further away from him. More tears rolled down his cheeks and a pained look crossed his face. He reached out for me… a lost cause.
“I loved you… I LOVED YOU!” I screamed at him finally finding my voice. His face contorted with even more pain. “How could you…”
“Hermione please… I love you so much. I just- I couldn’t let anything bad happen to my family.” Draco loved me. We had never said it, I knew I loved him. Sure I liked Ron, but I loved Draco. Now I wasn’t so sure. My heart was breaking. I made love to my former enemy. My enemy still apparently.
I stood up and turned my back on him. “It was you wasn’t it? You’ve been the cause of all of the mishaps at Hogwarts…” I whispered but he heard me.
“Yes.” He sighed sadly. I couldn’t believe it.
“Harry was right. He was always right. You haven’t changed. You’re the same selfish prat you always were.” How could he do this to me? How could he just harm innocent people like that? How did I expect any different from him…
Draco’s hands grasped my arms gently. “You know I’m not the same person anymore Hermione. You of all people should know that. I love you Hermione, but I love my family too. I had to do this… for them. For me. For you.”
I rounded on him and poked him in the chest. “FOR ME?! NONE OF WHAT YOU DID WAS FOR ME! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT!”
Draco grabbed my wrists in his hands and pulled me towards him. I tried struggling out of his hold but to no avail. I screamed into his chest and began to sob as he held me in his arms.
“Shh… it will all be alright Hermione. Please don’t hate me…” I could tell Draco was crying along with me, his voice was thick with worry and anguish.
I wanted to hate him, but I couldn’t. Not after what happened moments before. Not after he made love to me and voiced that he loved me too. I finally held onto him as well and didn’t let go until he pried my arms from around him. He held my face in his palms and looked deep into my eyes. “Please never forget that I love you with all my being Hermione. Come on, I’ll walk you back to your common room.”
Once we were at the portrait of the Fat Lady Draco kissed me long and passionately. It felt like he was saying goodbye. In my heart I knew he was. I stroked his cheek with my hand one more time before opening the portrait. When I looked back I whispered to him.
“Goodbye Draco.” His eyes went wide and I heard his sharp intake of breath before I retreated into my dorm.
Later that night my world shattered. Draco let Death Eaters into the castle. Into my safe haven. Dumbledore was dead. And Draco and Snape had fled the castle. I was devastated. The boy I truly loved was gone. Gone to serve Voldemort.
One piece of information made my heart ache a bit less. Snape had killed Dumbledore. Draco was lowering his wand. He was not a murderer.
Months passed with no news of Draco. Our world was crumbling, we were all preparing for a war. Throughout my time with Harry and Ron searching for Horcruxes I felt Draco being pushed to the back of my mind. I spent more and more time observing Ron. My feelings for him came to the forefront of my mind. I didn’t feel as strongly for him as I had for Draco, but I had no idea where Draco was. He was a Death Eater and he could have been dead for all I knew. I really didn’t want to think of him that way though.
Ron and I grew closer and closer. I could tell he liked me as well. Maybe we had a future after all. After a fight one night he left. He left me just like Draco had. I felt like a shell again. All the men I had feelings for abandoned me. They didn’t want to fight for the greater good. Ron eventually came back, but I was still heartbroken. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to fully forgive him. The sad thing is that I knew if it was Draco that had come back I would have forgiven him in an instant. Then I would have made love to him and never let him go again.
After one of our adventures we were captured by snatchers and brought to the one place I never thought I’d be happy and also terrified to be at the same time. Malfoy Manor. When we entered the room that contained the Malfoy’s I felt my heart beat even faster than it had been. I saw Draco’s head of blonde hair over one of the backs of a chair. He didn’t know we were there until he was summoned to determine if Harry was Harry. He claimed he didn’t know when he clearly did. I was grateful and glad to see he wasn’t like the others. He was right. He was different, he had changed.
And then our eyes locked. They asked him if we were Weasley and Granger. His eyes went wide as he stared at me. His mouth kept opening and closing. I pleaded silently with my eyes for him to help us. Draco told them he wasn’t sure; it could be us but he wasn’t positive. And then the terror really began. Harry and Ron were brought to the dungeons… and I was tortured.
With every scream that came from my lips as Bellatrix crucioed me I could see Draco squirm. I tried to control my pain. I didn’t want to see him hurting because I was hurting, but after a while all the pain consumed me. I locked eyes with Draco and saw tears streaming down his face. I knew he wanted to help me, but if he did, it would mean death for us all. He was right when he said he had no choice. If he refused Voldemort then he would have been killed along with his family. At least he was alive… after almost a year of not knowing if he had survived I was elated that he was alive and as well as could be expected. My love was safe… for now anyway.
We all eventually escaped with the help of Dobby. I chanced one last glance at my beloved. Draco looked relieved but also pained as I apparated out of there. Before I was completely gone I swear I saw him mouth ‘I love you’ to me. I still loved him as well, but I didn’t see how that made any difference with the way things were going.
The next time I saw him was today. I had just kissed Ron earlier and come to the conclusion we were better off as friends, I just hadn’t discussed it with him yet. Draco and I met again in the Room of Requirement; the place that held one of the best and also one of the worst memories I had. Draco didn’t have it in him to kill, I knew that. He lowered his wand and only fought us off in order to get away. He didn’t want us hurt. When a killing curse was sent my way I saw Draco glare daggers at his friend and then his pained eyes turned to me when Ron had called me his girlfriend. He took off after that.
My heart raced and I felt my eyes start to tear as I saw Draco dangling above the fiendfyre created by Crabbe. I made Harry and Ron turn back. We couldn’t leave them. I couldn’t leave him. I could see in his face that he was still hurt, but grateful when we saved him and Goyle. When we escaped the room he sent one last longing look to me and then took off once again. My chest tightened and my heart wanted to reach out to him… but I let him go.
While Harry went to the forest to meet with Voldemort I discussed my feelings with Ron.
“I know Hermione… I felt it too. I just didn’t know that you did. I didn’t want to let you down. Friends?” Ron smiled and held out his hand.
“Best friends Ron.” I said as I hugged him. I was free. I was free to love another till my hearts content.
We thought Harry was dead. My heart couldn’t take it. Then Draco left our side. He joined his parents and Voldemort once again. I felt dead inside. I was a mess. I had to lean on Ron as I looked into Draco’s eyes across the vast space. He was fuming as Ron’s arm went around my waist to support me incase my knees gave out. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I looked from Draco to Harry in Hagrid’s arms. And then a miracle happened. Harry wasn’t dead. We continued to fight. Another miracle happened. The Malfoy’s joined our side. I saw flashes of blonde hair here and there as we all fought off the Death Eaters together.
And then we all watched on in horror as Harry battled Voldemort one on one. Then he fell. He was dead… Voldemort was dead. The Death Eaters were captured and taken to Azkaban. And I was running.
I was running towards a man who was running towards me. His blonde hair whipping around in his eyes, his clothes dirty and slightly torn. He looked beautiful. I was anxious, sad, angry, and happy, every emotion was flooding through me as I reached him.
He lifted me off the ground with his strong arms and I wrapped my legs around his waist while my arms went around his neck. Tears left my eyes as my lips molded to his. I kissed him with all the pent up longing, lust, passion and love I had for him since the night he left Hogwarts last year. It felt so good to be back in his arms. I could taste his tears mixed with mine as he continued to hold me tighter and kiss me with everything he had.
“What- about- Weasel?” Draco breathed out between our kisses. I did the same with my reply.
“When Harry- went to- the forest- with- Voldemort- Ron and I- talked and- decided we- were better- off as- friends.” When I finished with my answer he pulled his face away from mine and gasped for breath as I did.
“You mean…?” Draco began and I nodded my head. A slow smile appeared on his face and he set me down onto my feet. I cupped his face in my hands and looked deep into his silvery eyes.
“You Draco. It’s always been you. Since that first night on the Astronomy tower you’ve had my heart. I didn’t know what love was until that night. I love you more than anything Draco Malfoy and I always will.” He leaned his forehead against mine and closed his eyes.
“I’m so sorry for everything Hermione. I love you so much. I wanted to help you…”
“Shh… there was nothing more you could do Draco. You saved our lives. You didn’t confirm it was us even though you were 110% sure it was. You helped save the world Draco. You are a hero.” I tried to assure him. He brought his lips down upon mine in a sweet tender kiss.
“She’s right you know.” I heard Harry’s voice behind me. Draco and I ended our kiss quickly. His eyes were wide and frightened… probably afraid Harry would punch or curse him. I turned around in Draco’s arms and leaned back against his chest. His arms tightened around my waist and I felt him relax a bit.
Harry, Ginny and Ron were all standing in front of us with looks of sadness, confusion and amusement on their faces. I explained to them my relationship with Draco. They were surprised to say the least, but accepted us in the end. Even Ron was happy I had found someone I loved and loved me the way I deserved; with all his being.
It is May 2, 1998. Many lives ended today… but mine truly began.
A/N: I do NOT own Harry Potter or anything you recognize in this story.