Chapter 1 : The Heroine and the Villain
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A story of remembrance, love and its trials
Chapter 1 - The Heroine and the Villain
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of its characters, settings etc.
A/N: Hi everyone! Here's a quick Dramione short story that I hope you'll enjoy! :)
Just a little note, the war is still going on in this fic but the main characters are no longer in Hogwarts. It's also not compliant to pretty much all of DH. :)
The Reason by Hoobastank
The woman was dancing in a meadow of daisies, the sun's rays glittering down on her vivid curls. The grass was lush as she tumbled backwards, almost gracefully; laughing as she rolled down the hill. She grinned, face up to the sky. The clouds were white puffs of cotton candy and the sky an endless ocean of blue. It was, in short a beautiful day. The fair skinned woman turned to the man accompanying her, meaning to flash him a bright smile but her mouth was no longer there. Her facial features began to fade slowly away until her face was nothing but a distant blur. A faceless slate of no emotion or recognizable features.
Hermione woke up screaming.
Immediately, there was a flurry of activity around her.
"Check her pulse!"
"My wand, damn it. Get me my wand!"
She started to thrash, her limbs swinging wildly about her. The dream had disturbed her, the woman's disappearing face haunting her.
And yet, Hermione's mind registered dimly that there was something...not quite familiar about the scene but not completely unknown either. Something about it had hit a nerve inside her and she had no idea why.
Along with the dream, came a bizarre sense of attachment, of nostalgia and even a bit of longing for the man dressed all in black, standing stoically watching the woman. But that was impossible. She had never seen the odd pair in her life!
And odd they were. The woman seemed exuberant and vibrant, enthusiasm practically glowed from her. Then, there was the man who had seemed like the quieter type, not one to wear his emotions on his sleeve.
Hermione grimaced, her eyes still firmly closed. Here she was, in god knows where analyzing her dream's characters for Merlin's sake!
Next thing she knew she'd be pulling out a Divination book and pretending that her dream predicted the future just like that woman-
Here Hermione stopped short. What woman had she been thinking about again?
She rewinded her thoughts carefully. She had been thinking about her strange dream and then she had started analyzing it, then comparing herself to...who?
Her eyebrows furrowed together in confusion. Why couldn't she remember?
Forgetting a detail wasn't something she was used to at all! She racked her brains frantically for useful piece of information and discovered quite the opposite.
Hermione Jean Granger's mind was blank.
Her eyes flashed open in shock and alarm.
They fluttered, not used to the bright lights of the room. Squinting Hermione looked around.
She was clearly in a hospital, most likely St. Mungos by the looks of it. Bed sheets and pillows of sterile white surrounded her. A cloying, sickly scent stuck to her, making her wrinkle her nose slightly.
There were also people in the room. Healers and Medi-witches also dressed in white and a man dressed all in black sitting beside her bed. His robes were quite the contrast to the rest of the room.
And so was his expression. He had his eyebrows creased together, his mouth set in a thin line. His face was pale, gaunt even, dark circles haunting his eyes. But his eyes! His eyes was which that had caught Hermione's attention. Silver mercurial spheres burning with an intense flame. Enigmatic, solemn and as they met hers, agonised. Who was this curious man?
And why, as she lowered her startled gaze to their weaved fingers, was he holding her hand?
She ripped her hand away quickly, it wasn't safe to hold strangers' hands at this time. Why exactly, the tidbit of information had escaped her mind but that wasn't of importance. Not really.
"Who are you?" She asked indignantly.
This question seemed to pain him. His glorious eyes screwing together in a half hearted grimace.
Not really wanting to see him in pain, whoever he was, she softened her tone. "I'm sorry, I don't think I know you, could you tell me who you are?" She added with an afterthought, "Please?"
His voice was hoarse and tired, as if he had been by her bedside for a while now. "Draco. Draco Malfoy."
She cocked her head to the side, running the name through her mind to see if it rang any bells. Draco.
No, she didn't know him. She thought she'd remember eyes like his if they had met before and she was certain she had no recollection of them.
She nodded to him, smiling politely despite the circumstances, "Lovely to meet you Mr. Malfoy. I'm Hermione."
He swallowed visibly at that. "Just Draco please. " He smiled weakly. "Pleasure to meet you too...Hermione." He breathed the last part, her name, in a whisper. The sound of her name in his deep voice sent shivers up her spine. The same sense of longing she felt while dreaming reappeared. She shook it off.
"Could you tell me where I am? And why I'm here? " The more information she had, the better.
"You're in St Mungos Hospital." He replied.
After a short pause, she prodded, "And why?"
He clenched his fists and she heard his teeth come together with a snap. There was a drawn out pause and she decided to push again. She was the one in the patient's bed after all, she deserved to know.
"Why am I here Draco?"
Loudly, he wrenched his chair back from her bed. It toppled over, a booming crash in the otherwise silent room. The Healers had all left by now. He turned away from her and she could see his chest rise and fall with his frantic breathing.
Maybe something was wrong with her and he didn't want her to know. She had a right to know though! Stubbornly, she asked once more. "What am I doing in the hospital?"
In a fluid movement, he had knocked the glass vase off the night table. Its pieces shattered across the floor. He walked jerkily to the door, scattering the glass.
Once arrived at the door, he paused. His hands were clamped on the doorframe, shaking ever so slightly. His voice was choked, "You want to know why you're here, Granger? It's because of me. It's my goddamned fault you're here."
"That bad, huh?"
Theodore Nott entered Draco's bedroom, tossing him a sandwich. Draco had returned to his and Hermione's flat after storming out of the hospital, where Theo visited them often, a good friend to them both.
"I don't want it." Draco said listlessly.
Theo shook his head resolutely, "You have to eat, mate. Keep up your strength."
He raised a hand to stop Draco's protests. "For her, at least."
"What the hell's the point anymore? If Voldemort doesn't find me and Avada my ass, watching her-watching her like this- it's going to kill me Theo."
"She called me Mr. Malfoy today, you know." He turned his despairing eyes on his best mate. "Even after the accident, it's always been Draco. She's getting worse. Shit, she's getting even worse Theo." He repeated numbly.
Theo studied his friend. The war had changed them all, sure. But Draco had probably been the one to change the most out of all of them. The smirks, the cutting wittiness and the occasional stuck-up attitude were all still there but being in a war had balanced them out with patience, wisdom and passion.
Now nineteen years old, Draco had turned a man far sooner than any boy should have had to.
And Theo knew; even if Draco wouldn't admit it himself, that Hermione Granger was the major reason that Draco had changed for the better and why he was who he was today.
He hadn't believed it, back when the day had first gone public, announcing themselves as an official couple but then again, who had?
It seemed the stuff of fairytales, the heroine and the newly-changed villain. A template that just wasn't applicable to Draco and Hermione.
But the couple had been determined to push through every prejudice, every rumour, every single camera and journalist waiting for them.
Obviously, as they both had high tempers and sharp tongues, their arguments could be heard from outside the flat they insisted on renting. But their personalities complimented each other and they both kept the other firmly grounded. For every scowl from Draco, there was a comforting hug from Hermione and for each of Hermione's scolds there was a signature smirk from Draco.
Hermione and Draco's friends all waited anxiously for the seemingly inevitable fallout but it never came.
Months passed, and no one could deny the two were hopelessly in love. They were always together, always touching as if they had to constantly reassure themselves that the other was still there.
And Theo could honestly say that they were both better for it. Although he had only gotten to know Hermione for a short while of time, he thought she was a perfect fire to Draco's ice. They balanced each other out and although an inconvenient pairing, they were more than happy. Any fool could see that and that was all Theo needed.
Theo had always felt like a protective older brother to Draco. They had met before their Hogwarts years as their families were very closely affiliated. Whenever the grownups would talk business, the two boys would wander out in the garden to play. As they grew older, they practiced duelling, read books and talked girls with each other.
But they also approached more serious topics.
In hushed whispers they would contemplate the rising of the Dark Lord and what it would mean for them. Draco had had it worse than Theo, his family was higher on the pureblood social ladder and therefore he had an stronger obligation to join the Death Eaters.
Neither of them, fortunately, had the Dark Mark. Together, the pair had planned an escape from their families, their inheritances, everything they had been raised with and taught to believe, before they could be marked.
Another reason that Draco and Hermione were a matching pair. Gryffindor was known for their boldness and bravery but Draco was his own brand of courage. In Theo's opinion, it took far more guts for someone to give up everything they've ever known because they believe in a cause than for someone who had already been raised to believe in that cause since their childhood.
"It's not your fault Draco, don't torture yourself like this. The Healers are doing everything they can right now. She'll come back to you Draco, she will."
Draco shook his head jerkily. "Not my fault? How can you say that?"
Draco hung his head in shame and regret, "You weren't there that night Theo. I was. I saw every second of it!"
He raised a finger to his head, "Every moment of it is imprinted in my brain and let me tell you..." He gave a bitter laugh, "It was all my bloody fault."
Three weeks ago
It was a small rescue mission. It should've been a simple in and out procedure. They were to sneak in, get Tonks and Remus who had been captured a few days past and then get out. All the while blasting any Death Eater that got in their way.
Because of the lack of wizards and witches that were able to duel efficiently Draco had insisted on a two person team. And as Draco and Hermione were two of the best fighters, who better than them to go together?
Especially if it meant more time alone with his witch, as they rarely got a quiet moment together with the war going on. Granted, perhaps a rescue mission wouldn't exactly be a quiet moment either but the two were damn good in a fight together and he relished the feeling he got when they were back to back, covering each other's back with a furious array of hexes.
Everyone had protested to his idea, arguing that it was too dangerous and that the Order couldn't afford to lose two of their best soldiers.
Alright, they hadn't actually said "two of their best soldiers" but Draco was cocky enough to fill in the blanks.
He was also logical enough to point out that it was the only option they had left. Potter and Weasley had left on a secret mission of their own, much to Hermione's displeasure and annoyance and without them there wasn't enough of the Order left to defend their safe houses and send more than two people on the rescue mission.
Hermione especially, had disagreed vehemently to his plan. "This is risky. What if something goes wrong Draco? I won't lose you!" She had her hands on her hips, lips pursed and eyes flaring in what he had come to call the classic Hermione pose.
"Relax Granger, nothing will go wrong. It's only a minor Death Eater headquarters, there shouldn't be more than seven of them there. You know that. You're the one who's done the research." He drawled lightly.
"And we've fought through a lot more. Seven will be a piece of cake. Five for me, two for you." He smirked.
She growled at him, a low noise in the back of her throat. He found it incredibly arousing and grinned.
"Come on Granger. Come to bed, it'll all be over tomorrow."
Hermione let out a drawn out sigh. She envied him his confidence for everything. As she crawled under the covers and snuggled into his warmth she mumbled, "Alright, but if anything goes wrong I'm blaming it on you."
As she started drifting off into unconsciousness, she added smugly, "And as I'm the better duelist I'll probably have knocked them all of their feet before you could utter a single Stupefy."
Despite last night's teasing, the atmosphere in their flat on the morning of the mission was filled with tension.
Draco brushed it off as normal, they were always cautiously professional on a mission. Despite his teasing nature and her tendency to exaggerate they would always take every precaution. After all, it was a war and Draco had every intent on coming out of the war alive and taking the time to court Hermione properly.
"You ready to go?" Hermione glanced at him, smiling lightly.
He gave her a nod, "I wouldn't mind a quickie before we leave but-"
She scolded him but he could see a familiar grin threatening to emerge. "Get your mind out of the gutter Draco."
"Your loss Granger." He smirked and Hermione's lips twitched in an unwilling smile. She also rolled her eyes but that was beside the point.
They Apparated a quarter of a mile away from the safe house they were supposed to infiltrate so they could have the advantage of knowing where the Death Eaters were and which position it would be best to strike from.
They approached from the left together, taking care to be silent and keep low in the tall grass.
Following the plan to a tee, they stopped at a shattered, filthy window where Draco held out his arms to hoist Hermione up and through. He grunted quietly at her weight, chuckling when she shot him a glare.
He whispered playfully, "To think Granger, with all the exercise we've been getting, you'd be a little lighter."
"I'll have you know Draco, that muscle is a denser material than fat and therefore weighs a lot more." She scowled. What an arrogant arse.
He rolled his eyes lightly. Typical defensive Granger response.
They didn't speak after that as they had entered the house, wands at the ready in a practiced stance. Tonks and Remus were reported to be in the cellar so the pair inched their way towards the stairs at the end of the hall, both highly alert.
There wasn't a Death Eater in sight and Draco wondered where they had all gotten to. Their spies had reported that there were at least four around each day, always on the main level. Could it really be this easy?
"Ladies first." Draco gestured backwards down the stairs, his gaze concentrated in front of him.
Hermione hissed in annoyance, "You just want me to go first because all the guards are supposed to be on this level, you prick. I can handle myself as well as you! Better, even!"
He nearly growled in agitation. Did her argumentative, feminist side really have to come out at the most inconvenient moments? It didn't help that she was right either.
Besides, couldn't she just take it as a compliment like any other witch?
He snorted to himself. Of course not, because then she wouldn't be Granger. She wouldn't be half as interesting.
Draco glanced at her, she was primed for an argument, heat practically radiating from her. "Just get down the stairs Granger, for your friends if not for me." He played on her Gryffindor morals, knowing that that particular tactic would work until the end of time.
"Fine." She snarked.
"You'd better be right down here though or I'm coming back up to kick your arse." She stepped up on her tip-toes to give him a quick peck on the lips, pulling away mischievously when he tried to lean in closer for some tongue. "Focus Draco, we're on a mission."
Draco took a moment to watch her descend the stairs cautiously and disappear into the darkness of the cellar before sweeping the room one last time for any hidden targets. Finding none, he prepared to cast a quick Muffliato so that no one around- if there even was anyone around- would hear any commotion in the cellar. But before he could, a piercing, panicked cry erupted through the silence. "Draco! Run!"
The scream went straight to his heart. Hermione.
What had went wrong? The Order had calculated and re-calculated every single detail leaving nothing to chance. The Death Eaters always stayed on the main floor!
She cried again for him to leave her, jolting him into action.
Draco snarled, there was no bloody way he was leaving her here to get tortured or worse. She was his partner, his friend, his witch. And no one touched his witch.
He slipped into the inky shadows of the cellar.
Thank you for reading! Let me know what you thought please! :)