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Chapter 1 : I Wont Give Up
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Hermione entered the counseling room that Professor Mcgonagall had assigned her. She had volunteered to be a councilor for the school for that term, possibly longer. It was half a year after the war and most of the students were still struggling with after effects and emotional trauma. Hermione had always been tough and though she, too, had faced a lot of pain and lost a lot of friends, she knew that she was one of the people who had it easier. The Weasleys, for example, were in a much worse state than she was. So when Mcgonagall asked her if she would like to help other students cope with their loss and pain, she agreed almost immediately.
So there she was, sitting at her desk in a cleaned up classroom in an abandoned corridor on the fourth floor. She was playing with her quill, waiting patiently for the first student assigned to her. She hoped she got somebody she knew well already so that it would be easy for both of them- her to understand the person, the person to open up to her.
The door of the room opened and she sat up straight, putting the quill down beside her parchment. The person that entered froze immediately upon seeing who his councilor was. His stormy blue eyes immediately filled up with anger and hate.
"Malfoy?" Hermione spluttered.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Draco Malfoy asked, varied emotions flashing through his eyes too quickly for Hermione to register.
"I actually should be asking you that question", Hermione said, praying to god that there was some kind of mistake and Malfoy just "happened to stumble upon" this room.
"I'm..." Draco trailed off, unsure what to say, "I asked first!" He sounded so childish all of a sudden that the corner of Hermione's mouth quirked upwards.
"What the hell are you smiling about, Mud- Granger?" Draco spat.
"Nothing, Malfoy", Hermione said, shaking her head, "Lets just get to the point here- you couldn't have accidentally found this classroom. Are you here for counseling?"
Draco took three long strides to the desk and leaned over it, his eyes boring into hers, "Listen, Granger, even if I was, I refuse to open up to a stupid Gryffindor. Especially someone like you." She looked into his eyes, refusing to back off. She was here for a reason. She wanted to fulfill that reason.
"I can help you", She said, her voice holding a softness she hadn't meant to include. Because of that very softness, the wall of hatred in his eyes faltered for a few seconds before coming back up again. But those few seconds were enough for Hermione. It was enough for her to read him at least to a certain extent.
"I don't need your help", Draco said.
"I'd say you do".
"Yeah? Why's that, you stupid know-it-all?"
"I’m not in the mood for riddles. What about them?"
"They hold much more than you allow us to see", Hermione said, that same softness kicking in once again, "You know, if you didn't always have that hard front in your eyes, people would actually find them quite beautiful."
When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well there's so much they hold.
And just like that, the "hard front" disappeared again.
"It’s true isn't it? There's much more than you're willing to show", Hermione said, "I know it. You're facing so much more than you allow anyone to see."
"You don't know anything, Granger", Draco said, leaning closer to her face, his eyes back to cold and dark.
"That’s where you're wrong", Hermione said, confidently, "I can see that you've come really far in life. You're struggling, though, with everything that happened. Why else would you be here?"
"Don’t pretend like you know me", Draco growled, standing straight again and taking a few steps behind. Hermione stood up.
"Maybe you should give this a chance, Malfoy, I could help you", Hermione said, "Let's face it, though we're all still seventeen and eighteen, we're mentally much older now. Our hearts are older. We've matured so much more because of this one event. It changed all our lives. I know its hard to admit it, but you need to try."
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
"I know I’m the last person you'd open up to. I'm well aware of that fact", She continued while he continued to watch her, "Something brought you to this room, Malfoy. We both know what. You want help. And despite everything that happened in the past, I’m willing to help you. Just because you tormented me all my life, it doesn't mean Ill give up on this so easily. Hell, it'll be harder for you to make me give up on this than you think."
"I don't want to open up to a damned mudblood like you!" Draco snarled, his emotions a mess. She could see it in his eyes too. She flinched a little at his insult but ignored it, telling herself that he was just feeling conflicted and thus, taking it out on her through his insults.
"I’m ready for all your insults, Malfoy. I'll sit through it all. Things are really rough for you right now, which will mean that things will get really difficult for me as well. But I’m not going to give up. I’ll give you everything you need to get better. Just you watch", She said with so much determination that Draco was shocked. How could she be willing to help someone who tormented her for so many years?
"I'll be here any time you need me, Malfoy. Same time. I know you'll think over what I said. I’m not going to tell anybody about this, if that’s what you're worried about", Hermione said, "I’m still looking up, you know? Looking up to the fact that I have a feeling you will come back. You know why? Because it says so in your eyes." She smiled a little, surprisingly for both, quite genuinely. He shook his head as if trying to get thoughts out of his head. He then turned on his heel and briskly walked out of the room.
I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up.
* * * *
Hermione jumped in her seat just a little and looked up as the door opened at 4:15 three evenings after the little meeting with Malfoy.
Draco couldn't believe he was doing this. Of all the people in the bloody Wizarding community, they gave him know-it-all bushy haired Granger. Yes, he needed help. He couldn't cope with the events that followed the war. He was continuously whispered about, continuously made fun of and mocked- something he used to do, not be the victim of, continuously thrown hexes at, continuously having rude gestures thrown his way. And not having anybody to help him deal with it. He was alone. His father was in Azkaban, his mother was under house arrest and he hadn't gone to meet either of them since they were taken away. He couldn't face them. He had been a coward during the war. He had always been a coward.
He hadn’t spoken to any of his "friends" since the war either. Crabbe and Goyle's father were thrown into Azkaban while their mothers, like Narcissa, were under house arrest. Goyle had chosen not to return to Hogwarts for his final year. If it weren’t for his studies, he wouldn't have returned either because unlike Goyle, he wasn't planning on living off his father's money all his life. He wanted a decent job but he felt like that was highly impossible at this stage, judging from the treatment he was on the receiving end of. He needed help though. That he had to admit. Or he felt like he would have a mental break down.
"Malfoy." Hermione nodded in greeting, keeping a poker face though inside she was smiling to no end. She was right! She knew he would come!
"You're late." She said, "Take a seat please."
"Don't tell me what to do", Draco snapped, pulling the chair opposite Hermione's out roughly and sitting down.
"I apologize", Hermione said, leaning back in her seat, "So. What would you like?"
"Another person would be nice." Draco muttered.
"You were assigned to me. The only other person I can get you is Luna Lovegood, would you like that?" Hermione asked.
"Never mind", Draco mumbled and that, she smirked.
"So tell me, where would you like to begin?" She asked.
"I- there's no one else I can talk to", Draco said, looking anywhere but at her.
"Okay... what would you like to talk about?" Hermione asked, patiently.
"I- that’s just it. There's nobody else I can talk to", Draco said. He took a deep breath before saying, "Ihavenofriends."
"I’m sorry, can you repeat that please?" Hermione asked, leaning forward and resting her folded arms against the desk in front of her.
"I have no friends", He repeated very quietly.
"Have you tried making new ones?" She asked, wishing he would look at her just so that she could read his eyes again.
He shook his head, unable to believe that he was actually doing this.
"Have you spoken to your mother about this?" She asked.
"No, she's... I’m not very comfortable discussing my parents", Draco said. He suddenly stood up, "Actually, I’m not very comfortable discussing anything at all." He began striding towards the door.
"Malfoy, I know you don't like this. But I'm here to help. Always. Ill be here patiently waiting till you're ready to come back. I understand that you need your space. So when you're ready, you know where to find me", Hermione said. He nodded curtly, opened the door and left. Hermione sighed and leaned back again. This was going to prove to be very challenging...
And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find
* * * *
Hermione was walking down the corridor on her way to dinner that night when she stopped in her tracks. She could hear someone crying softly from somewhere to her left. She turned to the direction of the sound and realized it was coming from the boys’ toilet. She quietly moved towards the entrance and looked inside. Her jaw fell open.
Draco was leaning against one of the sinks, staring into the mirror in front of him, watching himself cry. His robes had been discarded on the ground beside him and he was standing in his white shirt and dark green vest.
Hesitating just a little bit, she took a step into the bathroom and walked towards him. As soon as he saw her in the mirror heading towards him, he wiped his face with his sleeve and spun on his heel.
"What the hell are you doing here?" He spat, anger in his eyes and just a little embarrassment.
"You don't have to be embarrassed you know", Hermione said, stopping where she was, "Its okay to cry."
"I wasn't crying!" Draco snarled, "Mind your own business."
"Even the strongest people cry sometimes, there's nothing wrong with it", She said quietly, "Sometimes it's too much to take... we've just got to learn how to handle it."
He pushed past her, causing her to stumble a little to the side and headed for the entrance. Why couldn't she just mind her own business?!
"Draco, you're worth it", She said firmly, making him freeze where he was.
"What did you say?" He asked and he sounded almost dangerous for some reason.
"You're worth it", Hermione repeated, closing her eyes, "And I'm not giving up on you."
She heard nothing but Draco's breathing for a few seconds before he left the bathroom. She opened her eyes, took a deep breath and after shrinking his robe, which he had forgotten, and putting in her own robes' pocket, she left for the Great Hall.
She entered the hall and sat beside Ginny and across Ron and Harry, who were scoffing down food like they had been starved for years.
"Honestly, boys! Manners!" She said, looking absolutely disgusted.
"Chill ou' 'ermione", Ron said, shoving a piece of cake into his mouth. Hermione rolled her eyes and began eating, chatting with Ginny and occasionally joining in the boys' conversation. At one point through her dinner, she looked towards the Slytherin table and noticed that Draco was sitting alone at the end of the table. Everyone at his table was shooting looks of pure hatred at him. A dark haired, dark eyed boy sitting a few seats away from him kept looking at him. She recognized him as Blaise Zabini, one of the only Slytherins who were neutral during the war. Hermione made a snap decision and pulled out a piece of parchment from her bag. She scribbled down a note quickly and pointing her wand at it, she muttered a spell and watched it disappear.
Draco was sitting alone at the end of the Slytherin table, unable to get the words of a certain brown haired witch out of his head. "You're worth it" he kept repeating to himself every time someone at the table shot dirty glances at him. He was about to take a bite into a carrot when suddenly a parchment materialized on his plate. Furrowing his eyebrows together and putting the carrot down, he picked up the parchment.
"You should give Zabini a chance, he seems to want to get to know you" It said, along with a smiley face drawn beside the words. There was only one person in the entire hall who was working towards helping him. He lifted his eyes from the parchment and scanned the Gryffindor table until his stormy blue eyes met her chocolate brown ones.
Hermione nodded towards Blaise and then smiled at him a little.
"Why are you doing this?" He looked away from her and wrote on the parchment, sending it back to her.
She looked up and his eyes didn't hold much hatred anymore. Instead, they held genuine wonder. She wrote back quickly and it appeared in his hands. He looked down at the parchment and the words on it surprised him greatly. If he guessed correctly, he'd say they were from some muggle song-
"Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
I won't give up..."
He looked up at her and she was back to talking to her friends. Friends... perhaps she was right. Maybe instead of waiting for people to come to him, for once he needed to go to them. He stood up, pushing his plate away and headed to the Slytherin common room, where he made a decision to wait for Blaise Zabini. If it didn't work out, then he was back to square one. If it did, then... well, he wasn’t going to keep his hopes up.
* * * *
Draco took a deep breath and pushed open the door to that blasted room for the third time that week. He entered and shut the door behind him. Hermione was sitting at her desk as usual, writing on a parchment in front of her at an unnatural speed.
"I see you made a new friend", She said, without even looking up. She had entered the Great Hall that morning and had been pleasantly surprised to see Draco not sitting alone that morning. Blaise was seated opposite him and they were discussing something.
"A friendly acquaintance", Draco corrected her, sitting down.
"Somebody all the same", Hermione said. She put her quill down and looked up, "So you listened to me."
"And you said I was worth it", He said, shrugging, "I haven't heard that in... forever."
Hermione smiled at him, "How do you feel?"
"What did you both speak about?"
"Quidditch. He likes playing chaser."
"That's nice, are you both planning on joining the team this year?"
"He is. I’m probably not."
"Why is that?" She asked. She always assumed he would try out for seeker again.
"The Slytherin captain hates me", He said simply.
"You don't know that", She said, her eyebrows furrowing together.
"Oh I do", Draco said, "All the Slytherins hate me."
"Except Blaise", He agreed, nodding.
"Is there anything else you would like to speak about?" Hermione asked, unsure of how to proceed with someone like him.
"I... Why won't you give up?" Draco asked, looking down at his hands.
"Why should I?" She challenged.
"Everyone else has."
"I’m different and I'm here to make a difference. I’m not walking away so easily", She said. He nodded and stood up.
"I haven’t spoken to my parents ever since the war", He said, "You think I should?"
"That’s not the question. The question is do you think you should?" She asked, standing up also.
"I don't know..."
"Think over it. Properly. They're your parents. At least your mother would want to meet you again. I’ve spoken to her before, she didn't even mind that I was a muggle-born", Hermione smiled. He looked up, a little surprised at his mother's actions.
"Really?" He asked. She nodded.
"I'll... uh... see you later", Draco said, opening the door. Just before he stepped out, he looked anywhere but at her and mumbled, "Thanks", before leaving quickly. Hermione smiled and sat down, glad about the progress they were making. She was finally getting him to open up and trust her... at least, she hoped so.
I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts
We got yeah we got a lot at stake
* * * *
The next morning, when Blaise and Draco were discussing their potions essay, an envelope materialized beside Draco's plate.
"What’s that?" Blaise asked, leaning over the table.
Draco shrugged but had a small incline on who had sent it to him. He ripped open the envelope and two laminated parchments fell out. He lifted one and read it. Yes, he definitely knew who had sent it to him.
On the parchment it said "House Arrest Pass- Draco Malfoy" with the Ministry Of Magic seal below it.
He picked up the second parchment and realized it was another pass. Why would she give him two? He scanned the Gryffindor table and his eyes met her's. She smiled softly and nodded towards Blaise after which she went back to chatting with the Weaslette.
She wanted him to go with Blaise? He looked down at the parchment. There was no name on it like the first one. She wanted him to go with someone. He didn't know whether he trusted Blaise enough yet though...
He tucked the passes into his robes' pocket and went back to talking with Blaise, who realized that Draco didn't wish to speak about the envelope so he didn't ask.
* * * *
Hermione was a little disappointed when Draco didn't turn up for their meeting that day. Perhaps he was angry at her for prying into his life and getting him those passes... Just when she was about to stand up and leave the room, a beautiful grey eagle owl swooped in through the window, dropped an envelope on to her desk and flew right out without waiting.
She picked up the envelope and a weird kind of sadness and disappointment settled in her stomach as she realized that it was the same envelope she had sent him that morning. He was returning the passes. She sighed and opened the envelope but surprisingly enough, only one pass was inside it.
Her eyebrows furrowing together in wonder, she upturned the envelope and a small piece of parchment fell out. She read it and smiled to herself. It said- "Come with me?" She pocketed the pass and exited the room, for some reason unable to get that smile off her face.
* * * *
"Hermione, where are you going?" Harry asked, when Hermione came hurrying out of the girl's dormitories in jeans and a crisp white semi formal shirt, her snow boots hung around her neck by the shoelaces. She was mid way through putting on her trench coat. She was so late!
"Mcgonagall wanted me to go out somewhere with someone this evening", Hermione said, "I'll see you guys at around dinner time, okay?" The others nodded, a little confused and waved goodbye to her.
"It seems like Ms. Granger is late, would you like me to-"
"I’m here, I'm here!" Hermione exclaimed, stumbling into the Headmistress' office while tying together her second boot's shoelace. Draco smirked at her hassled state. He was dressed in a black jacket and black jeans with black sneakers. How typically Malfoy.
"Sorry! I overslept!" She mumbled, joining Draco by the fireplace.
"Remember both of you that I am allowing you to leave the castle under special circumstances so you must not speak of this to anybody, am I clear?" Mcgonagall said, handing them floo powder. The two students nodded and Draco stepped into the fireplace.
"You wait there for me, Malfoy, understand?" Hermione said. Draco nodded and vanished into green flames. She stepped in next, smiled at the Headmistress and saying "Ministry of Magic!" She was thrown out of the fireplace at her location and tumbled out, just barely holding herself up and not falling. She looked up and saw Draco standing a few inches away from her. She lead him to a particular room on the second floor of the building and entered a room with a door marked "House Arrest floo network". She pushed the door open and told him to wait behind for a few seconds. She muttered a password into the doorframe and she could practically feel the security wards going off. She nodded her head at Draco as a sign to ask him to follow her.
She tossed some floo powder into the fireplace in the plain, grey room lit up eerily by only a single torch. She stepped inside and gestured for him to step in with her.
"Narcissa Aquila Malfoy", Hermione said in a clear voice. Green flames immediately engulfed them and the next time they opened their eyes, they were stumbling out of a neat fireplace of a well kept, pretty little living room.
"Draco?!" They heard someone exclaim. Both were on the floor and they looked up to see a lady with long black hair with white streaks and brown eyes, her facial features sharp like Draco's, sitting on the sofa in front of them. Narcissa Malfoy placed her book down and stood up and moved towards the two seventeen year olds. Draco stood slowly to his feet and stared at his mother...how long he hadn't stood so close to her and looked into her caring eyes.
"Draco..." Narcissa said quietly, placing her hand slowly on Draco's cheek. She couldn't believe this... "Five months..." She pulled Draco towards her and hugged him tightly. She suddenly noticed Hermione, who was sitting on the floor awkwardly looking anywhere but at them. It hadn't yet occurred to her that she could stand up and move away.
"Oh Miss Granger, is that you?" Narcissa asked, pulling away from Draco. Both looked towards her and she smiled and nodded.
Draco smirked and surprisingly held his hand out to her. A little shocked at his kind gesture, she put her hand in his and he pulled her to her feet.
"What brings you here?" Narcissa asked, sitting down on a couch, "Please sit, dears."
"Uh, she's here because she's my... uh ..." Draco searched his mind for a word other than "councilor".
"Friend", Hermione completed. Draco turned to his side to look at her, a little surprised. She smiled at him softly, "I’m his friend." And for the first time ever, Draco Malfoy smiled at her. No, not a smirk or anything close to it. He full-on smiled at her.
They spent the rest of the day with Narcissa and surprisingly enough, Hermione didn't feel awkward at all. They chatted about school, work, possible future careers, their other friends and Narcissa even asked how Harry was doing and how he and Ginny were doing together. All in all, Draco realized that this was the best thing Hermione could have done for him and was extremely happy and seeing Draco's lit up face, Hermione couldn't do anything but feel happy either.
* * *
Hermione and Draco arrived back and that evening, all smiles. He bid her goodnight and left, but not without mumbling a quiet "See you tomorrow" which was a huge beginning for Hermione. She couldn't stop smiling as she made her way back to Gryffindor Tower.
"Were you with a boy?!" Ginny exclaimed, sitting up straight as soon as the brown haired witch entered throughout the portrait hole.
Ron and Harry immediately bolted to their feet, Harry saying "Who do we need to beat up?!" Hermione laughed and sat down with them, taking off her trench coat.
"Relax, would you?" She said, still unable to stop smiling, "I was just...out. Its none of your business." She stuck her tongue out at them. She wasn't technically lying at all but she couldn't tell them that she was hanging out with Draco Malfoy, could she?
Imagine Ron's reaction, she thought to herself, I may as well put a firecracker up his arse and watch him go boom. She had to cough to cover up her sudden urge to laugh at her ridiculous thoughts.
The good part of their new "friendship"? They weren't expecting anything to work so if it didn't, they wouldn't hurt. At least, she hoped they wouldn't. For now, learning how to bend their own ways without anything falling apart with their other friends were their top priority.
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we didn't tend,
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn, how to bend without the world caving in
* * * *
Draco flopped down on the bed on his back, that stupid annoying smile refusing to leave his face.
"Have you been with a girl?" A voice asked and the bed shifted as someone sat at the foot of it. Draco looked to his side to see Blaise grinning at him. He grabbed a pillow and chucked it at the boy's face.
"Mind your own business, Zabini", Draco grinned.
"First time Draco Malfoy is smiling so much. Yep, definitely been with a girl", Blaise laughed, "Who was it?"
"Was it Granger?" Blaise asked in a whisper. Draco bolted up on the bed.
"It was!" Blaise exclaimed, "Oh my god. You've been shagging Granger."
"I haven't been shagging Granger! She's just my... friend", As soon as Draco said the last word, he smiled again. She was his friend... She had taught him to come to terms with whatever happened, taught him to change his life around and open up, taught him who he was and who he could be. She had changed him in a matter of a week and for that, he was more grateful than he had ever been to anybody else.
I had to learn what I got, and what I'm not
And who I am
* * * *
"'Morning", Hermione smiled, putting aside her book.
"Hey", Draco said, sitting across her, "What book?"
"Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen", Hermione said, "Muggle book."
"Which is something else I need to change..."
Hermione raised one eyebrow, sending him a questioning look.
"I want to get over my prejudices- for muggles and muggleborns", He said after taking a deep breath. A look of hurt crossed her face and realization dawned on him as to why it had, "No, no! I’m not prejudiced to well, you. You're different. I’m still prejudiced against others though. You're a special case", He offered her a smile which she returned, looking a little relieved.
"I’ll help you", Hermione said, nodding, "Of course I will."
"You will", Draco said. His eyes met her's and they both smiled. They weren't anywhere close to giving up. On this, on their friendship, On each other.
I won't give up on us
God knows I'm tough enough
We got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up.
So thats done :D Haha i know it wasn't anything great and all but I really enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it! I usually don’t like getting Hermione and Draco together within a one-shot unless it’s one that stretches across a long period of time so here, it’s like the start of something new :)
Do review, it would be great if you did!
Ps: TOR readers, your Epilogue will be up right after this ;)
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