Chapter 1 : Flashes
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Dressed impeccably, white-blonde hair gelled back, and a sharp face which spoke that he had been well taken care of. Eleven year old Draco Malfoy, sitting in his compartment, bragging about his superiority by name and knowledge about Hogwarts was surrounded by many new eleven year old admirers.
He was already changed into his brand new Hogwarts uniform, with green and silver robes on top. He already knew he was going in Slytherin house, partly because he was a Malfoy, and there is only one house for them, and partly because he was a conniving, ambitious, little snake. Perfect Slytherin traits. He was already anticipating his meeting with Harry Potter, who has been all the talk in Malfoy Manor this summer. He was supposed to befriend the hero, his father's orders, because if it were up to him, he would be the only hero at Hogwarts. Best friends with a hero felt like coming second and he was just not the material.
The door of the compartment opened with a loud creak and in came a massive glob of frizzy brown hair. For a second he thought it was an inverted broom walking. Realizing it was a small girl with the most bizarre hair, he barked a laugh before he could stop himself. Following his lead, all the other inhabitants of the compartment started pointing and laughing at the little girl. Hurt flashed through her eyes but the next instant it was gone and replaced by hard resolve. Her tiny chin rose high in the air, her shoulders squared and she looked him right in the eye, "Have you seen a toad?" her voice controlled but seeping suppressed anger.
"I am looking at it.", he taunted and everybody rolled in raucous laughter around him. The girl turned red, glaring daggers at him, she swiftly left the compartment, shutting the door with a loud bang.
Growing up under the grueling, controlling dictatorship of Lucius Malfoy, humiliating people was second nature for him. But for some unexplainable reason, her embarrassment, flickered an odd discomfort and the young boy was astounded.
Turning around at his to-be-minions, he saw a disgusting toad in Goyle's hand. Snatching it out of the chubby boy, he ran out, after the odd girl.
Seeing her coming out of the opposite compartment, he blocked her way and smirked. She tried to push past him, visibly annoyed.
He looked down at the girl and realized she really was hideous, even in her new Hogwarts uniform. She didn't exactly look like one but, to him, she resembled to a cute little elf. Ugly but adorable. Maybe he could ask his father to keep her.
As she brushed past him, he grabbed her hand and placed the toad in her palm and left.
He was a Malfoy and Malfoy's don't help others, especially without an ulterior plan, ever. So, confusion didn't even begin to cover what he felt for doing that for the plain girl.
He had been searching for Crabbe for about an hour. He needs to see him really bad. Crabbe was the perfect punching bag for his foul mood.
'Why was SHE petrified? Granted she was a mudblood, lower than an elf even, but she was his mudblood. He needed to see her roaming the Hogwarts halls, available to be tormented. She was like a bad hobby that he couldn't get rid of, planned to everyday and lost to the urge every single day.
It should've been Potter, petrified, and dying in the hospital wing. Not her. She shouldn't die, not yet. And if she must, only by his hand.
Finding Crabbe was a lost cause, he was too dumb to even find his way back to the common room.
Deciding he was bored out of his mind and too restless to retire, he turned towards the hospital wing. He hated that she was smart. Smarter than him. But just this once he was grateful to her brilliance, it saved her life, however slight it maybe, and in turn his fun.
Entering the wing, his eyes scanned each bed and stopped when he spotted her. She was just lying there, frozen. Her hair, impossibly bushier than they had been before. He didn't like it, she should be moving about, answering questions in classes, throwing glares at him, fighting him.
It was all father's fault, he thought angrily. If only he had agreed to giving him the mudblood as a birthday present. He had said it doesn't work like that. It should though. Why does it not? She would've been safe, under his protection. Huh.
Looking at her now, he thought if he'd get burned if he touched her dirty skin. Maybe he could try, just his tip though. It won't hurt that bad, right.
Bracing himself for the pain, he poked her cheek with his forefinger.
No pain. Her skin was warm, soft and pretty.
Maybe it's only the blood. It's definitely the blood that burns. Turning around, he left the hospital wing, planning to convince father, next summer, for his present.
'How could exceptionally crinkly hair, blast into an insufferable, unmanageable smash of tussles', he asked himself, again.
She was unbearable now. Rabbit-teeth, prim clothing, always reading and hugging bloody weasel after every five minutes.
She should be imprisoned seriously, preferably in Malfoy Manor. Seeing her leaving the great hall, obviously for the library, he went after the dirty mudblood.
Seeing her rapid walk, he increased his pace and forcefully brushed past her, causing her to fall on her face. She hit herself and disappointingly he got no pleasure. He did it for some relief and he got none. Why? Why? Why?
Glaring down at her, he brought his leg back to kick her, hard. But stopped when he saw her bleeding. He saw red.
Her blood was red, just like his. How is that possible? She is a mudblood, it should be brown, like mud not red, not shiny pureblood red.
Everything was wrong with the world.
He was behindhand for the ball, and not fashionably. Hence the running. He hated Pansy but having an argument with father, over her would be ludicrous. Betting his cards that she would be delayed too, later than him, probably covering her pug-face in coats of powder. As if that'll make her pretty in his eyes.
He liked undiluted, simplistic beauty in all things, particularly the female kind. He hadn't found one yet. Even his mother, the prettiest woman he knew, and his opinion was not clouded because she was his mother. That woman truly was splendid, downside being her beauty was anything but simple, it was detailed and high-end.
Shoving his trivial thoughts aside, he turned the corner and slowed his pace. He was taking the side stair entrance into the great hall. Main entrance was too common for his holiness, at this occasion.
And then he stopped in his tracks. A perfect but simply dressed girl was hiding behind an armored statue, next to the stairs. He slowly moved closer to get a better look and with each silent careful step, his heart beat paced.
She was petite, her light sun kissed skin exactly to his liking. Suspecting she was a Beauxbaton veela, he moved sharply and got in front of her, to throw a vulgar pickup line.
He had a tiny heart stroke, just then. She was no veela. He'll be damned but she was Hermione fucking Granger.
Mind-numbed beyond a sensible syllable, he dumbly stood there.
Her cheeks reddened under his scrutiny and he cursed because that made her look even more breathtaking.
Shaking his head, furiously pulling his hair, he tried to unravel the mystery of her transformation. She had always been his ugly duckling, his guilty pleasure, his pathetic fixation, his filthy mudblood. So when did she turn into a beauty, a veela-equivalent beauty.
Jarred to the heart by her traumatizing beauty, he hissed, "Fucking Mudblood". Violently, prodding her aside, he ran all the way back to his dormitory with tongue-lashing from his father, the least of his worries.
Malfoy looks. Easily manipulated, slytherin chits at his disposal. Torturing first-years behind the safe facade of his prefect duties. Life was good.
Except a certain unquenchable pain in his chest. Being Malfoy, he had it all. She was nothing, but so did she. At least she sucked at Quiditch, he mused pettily on his way from Quiditch practice.
Sweaty and smelly, longing a hot bath, he thrusted inside prefects bathroom. But what a fucked up luck he had.
SHE was there. In a towel. He reluctantly got excited.
Her eyes widened and she took a step back, "Get the fuck out of here Malfoy."
Like a man possessed, he stepped forward. Silent with a predatory gleam in his silver eyes, he stalked her like a hawk.
Stopping a breath away, he touched a wet curly tendril, hugging the side of her steamy face. Frowning at its softness, he grazed his knuckles across her cheek. Confused by its glowy warmth, he moved his hand to her lips. Astounded by their beauty up close, her sweet breath skimming his skin, he circled his hand around her neck. Bewildered by its incredible length, his gaze fell on the towel, barely blanketing her heaving voluptuous breasts. Imagining ripping the towel away from her hidden body, his heated eyes flew to hers. The anguished glare in her golden ones, brought him back to reality.
And he pushed himself away from her. Giving her one last look, he dashed out of the room.
She was a disease, infecting his very being. He needed a thorough cleanse, right down to his soul. It was time to drown himself in carnal endeavors and Pansy was just a nod away.
Opening his eyes, he looked around and registered his surroundings. He cursed loudly and profusely, for the whole bloody wing to hear, when he remembered how he had gotten there. Harry-nosy-Potter had followed him into the loo and had the audacity to cast a curse that ripped his entire skin into massive scars and nearly killed him.
Agreed his father was a cruel delusional man who had gotten the entire family in this sticky situation where Malfoys held no power anymore, not in the ministry, not in the red pits of The Dark Lord and definitely not with anyone at Hogwarts.
That's the reason why he was killing himself over trying to kill Dumbledore for You-know-who, which was damn near impossible. Also why, he was cursed by Boy-wonder who was still roaming Hogwarts and not expelled.
If it were old times, he would have been thrown in Azkaban for trying to cross a Malfoy. And he would've had the entire slytherin house outside the hospital wing trying to sneak in to see him. To get in his good graces of course.
Sadly these were dark times, for him as well. And he was rotting in a lumpy bed all alone. He would never admit it in a million years but this loneliness, not just now in the hospital wing but all through this year, was eating him away, clawing his beating heart out of him.
Waking up had been pointless. He was in pure agony, his wounds seeping blood and would probably leave scars all over his body. He was hot and cold and not in a good way.
Closing his eyes, begging for the blissful haven of nothingness, he tried to sleep again. Seconds ticked, minutes passed, hour changed but sleep was nowhere near sight. And then he heard the rustling of clothes and a strong smell of apples. He opened his eyes and was face to face with her.
His mudblood had come to see him. He was probably dreaming but who the fuck cares. And it's not the first time that she had invaded his dreams. His bed was next to the fireplace and she was leaning against the hearth, staring down at him. Levelling his eyes with her, knowing she was itching for the conversation to start, he kept quiet. Fidgeting uncomfortably, she entwined her small hands and sighed, "How are you, Malfoy?"
Yup, he was most certainly dreaming, because that was one hell of an odd question to ask.
He could barely move and seeing that he was only in his boxers, covered in ghastly scars, he had only one thought in mind, 'What a timing to see me naked Granger'.
"Why do you care?"
Brushing her fingers across the edge of the blazing fireplace, feigning indifference. And failing miserably because he was too damn observant, what with growing up under the same roof as Lucius Malfoy. He held his tongue though, getting a perverse joy out of her act.
"I don't. And you definitely deserved it."
That mudblood, how dare she speak to him in such insulting manner. She should be bowing in front of him. He was her...
Cutting him mid-thought, she continued, "But one also deserves friends around after a life-threatening accident. As you have none, I'll have to make do."
Raising his sharp eyebrows for a dramatic effect, he snorted, "Accident? Right."
"Oh Harry didn't know what that curse does when he hit you with it. He wouldn't have casted it otherwise."
"He is no saint. He knew and he still did it. You are all just too blind to see. Besides I don't see him here, apologizing" And then after a pause he added "Mudblood."
She laughed, acting all viscous but looking too cute to be anything but that. "Apologize! What alternate universe are you in right now, Malfoy?"
"He should if he almost killed me, unintentionally."
"Don't be sarcastic you condescending ferret. Harry is not vile."
Potter. Fucking Potter. Damn lucky Potter. Fury burning, metal hot, in him. He snarled, "Why are you here then? Why don't you run back to Potter?"
Breathing heavily, her shoulders shaking, she spat, "I came because you almost died and you had no one. And you have changed, something is wrong with you. Seriously wrong, it's pretty obvious actually. I didn't come to have you badmouth about my bestfriend. So yeah I am leaving."
Briskly walking towards the exit, she stopped near his bed and took out a book, typical Granger, and a wand. He stiffened at the wand, she was going to hex him. Deep down he acknowledged that he had brought that upon himself but he still would've hit back because he was a top-notch jerk, if he had his wand with him. It was still in the boy's lavatory, Snape had told him when he had admitted him here.
So he just kept looking, resigned and awaiting his impending torture. But then she placed the wand on top of the book on his bedside table and he was flabbergasted, because she had brought him his wand.
He was speechless. They were just that intrinsically different.
Before he could come out of the shock, she left, probably to get back to her friends. And he was left with his loneliness, his depravity and his pain which were suffocating in that moment, so he grabbed the book. The intricately written title brought a reluctant smile to his lips. 'Gone With the Wind'. A Muggle book for him, she had a rebellious streak. Impressive.
She shrieked in agony and something irreparable broke inside him. His heart was torn into a million microscopic pieces, with each gurgling wail from her mouth.
It was not the perfect time but mind is a funny thing, his even more so. So in those atrocious helpless moments of torment, he accepted that she was better than him, in everything that matters. He conceded that they were living in a wretched world and he was on the wrong side of the line. He admitted that she did not deserve to be here, did not warrant this hell. He acceded that he was in love with the poor girl and prayed that it had been him in her place.
Getting killed was a safer bet than this terrible unending torment so he readied himself to shoot some green lights and give her a glimmer of a chance at escape. If she fails and dies, atleast it'll end her torture.
But then Potter came with Weasley right on his toes, like always and they rescued his girl.
He abhorred Potter, always will. But he owed the man his life now.
Still not quite grasping that he had been invited to the one year war anniversary. The gala was more of a tribute to the war martyrs and veterans and Draco Malfoy was in attendance.
He and Lucius had done some deep groveling in the past year. Charities for post-war reformations, charities to St Mungo's for the treatment of war injured.
Re-establishment after war was thriving. The Ministry was messed up though, just like it had always been. Same conniving politicians, same old game plays, that cycle never changes. Fill the hungry bastard's pockets with galleons and they'll sing your praises, loud enough to change the entire world's opinion about you.
One year of careful maneuvering and he was in everybody's good graces again, well almost everybody. Some Gryffindor's are too smart and stubborn to be moved.
Reclining against the balcony railing, outside the ballroom where guests were mingling, he took a deep breath to calm himself down. She was here. Of course, she was here. She was being awarded tonight for all her war heroics. Hard to bite, it was well earned, golden-trio did deserve it.
They were all here, being showered in praises and nauseating flattery. Same old tactics, get the damn heroes on your side and the balance will tip in your favor. From his earlier scrutiny, he wasn't sure if it was working though. Maybe they did it too much, flickered doubt instead of assurance.
But he couldn't mock anyone for their poor performance, one look at her and he had ran out of the room like his expensive, designer, charcoal robes were on fire. She was sumptuously dressed, delicate but graceful, his mother would approve. But she was uncomfortable, slightly jumpy, either due to all the attention or because of what the day entails.
Whatever her reasons were, he was too submerged in his own Granger-issues to add that to the list too. He craved her as if he was dying of thirst and she, cool sweet water. She was way out of reach though, and he had no desire to self-inflict pain thus the balcony.
After much drinking and too much waiting for the event to end because clearly, it hadn't been the best choice, he heard someone come and stop next to him. He didn't look up, what was the point. She sighed.
"How did you handle this facade, layer upon layer of pretense?"
He jumped because the person talking to him was the one he had been trying to avoid the whole night, in a way, his entire life.
Lightly hitting his foot on the railing, he responded indifferently, "Survival instinct teaches you everything."
"Okay. But then how do you do it now?"
He smiled. She was such a curious, information hungry, nerd.
"Force of habit."
"So I have no hope."
"None.", he smirked and shook his head.
Stomping her foot like a little girl, she fumed, "Well that settles that. I wish I could just leave. Now. But if I go back in there, I'll be smothered in bribes and butter. I swear I'll kill someone if I am offered one more vacation house. Apparation is blocked, and I am stuck."
"So you are hiding out here?"
"And you aren't.", she retorted.
He shrugged nonchalantly and a welcoming silence prevailed between them.
She visibly stiffened as if realizing, too late, that she was sharing pleasurable silence with HIM and immediately started to leave. He didn't want her to go away so he blurted without processing, "I know a way out. A hidden passageway, if you wanna leave."
She wanted to take him up his offer, he could see that. But she measured him suspiciously and he changed tactics, "Alright then, I am off, you could follow me if you want or you could waste a few more hours here." And without giving her a second glance he turned and walked across the length of the balcony and entered stealthily into another room adjoining the ballroom, through a window.
She didn't follow him at first and irritation sparked in him. He was betting on her coming after him. After pacing a couple of times, in front of the fireplace, he gave up and decided to leave alone. Swearing at the opportunity lost. But right then she came running, through the window and halted when she saw him by the hearth, "Floo network is blocked too, you know that right?"
With a calculating gaze, he observed the cemented fireplace and then brought his hand to the right top corner and twisted the hidden notch, and it opened like a door, exposing the previously hidden passage. With a mischievous look at her, he bowed and whispered, "After you."
She frowned but then squaring her shoulders, she entered. He entered behind her. Five minutes of quiet walk and they came out of a wooden lid, opening outside the gates of the castle.
Getting out, they stared levelly at each other and she started laughing. It was infectious so he joined in too. But then Hermione spoke softly, "I never expected to say the words to you, ever. But thank you Malfoy."
Fixing his piercing silver eyes on her, he said, in a husky voice, "Wanna thank me over coffee?"
Her eyes widened, his stance hardened awaiting rejection. But after watching him squirm under her deliberate silence, she acquiesced, "Coffee'll do."
They apparated to the nearest muggle coffee shop, 'Gloria Jean's' and from that moment onwards, a whole new series of memories began to form, none of which were joyless.
He looked down at her big bright eyes for the hundredth time, in disbelief. Who would've known Hermione Granger, boookish good girl extraordinaire, was such a freak in bed.
Last night she had come home with him and having covered all the other bases in the past year of dating, they drove for the final one. He had expected her to be shy and timid, a lot of coercion on his part, but she just went for it with equal ardor.
He gave her another incredulous look and she cracked up in giggles.
"What? I am just in shock. You were sinfully raunchy Hermione."
"Get used to it love. You are not the only one with skills."
"Exactly. I am highly, I don't know how to put this delicately, experienced. You were a virgin until last night so... "
Getting off her back, the sheet slipping away from her delectable figure, exposing her creamy unblemished skin, she sat across him and breathed, "Experienced, seriously. And honey I read all sorts of books, not just course related."
"Oh so you got good just by reading. I am fearful of how you'll be with some experience."
"Well I always love getting an O."
"I'd be happy to give you many Outstandings."
Grabbing her arms, he got her on her back again, with him on top. Her laugh ringing like wind chimes in his ears. One minute he was smiling, his eyes shining with mirth and the next his gaze was dark and stormy, his pupils dilated.
Lowering his lips, he kissed her softly on the lips and whispered, "You are something else Hermione. Don't ever change. Not for anyone. Not even for me. You are perfect just the way you are."
Smiling her sweet, smile-inducing smile, she placed her hand, feather-softly, on his left cheek and held his gaze, as if she was seeing inside his deep dark soul and liking what she saw.
"Thank you Draco. You are important to me too. You have shown me how beautiful the naked truth behind a mask can be. In the past year that we've been together, you have made me happier than I have ever been."
He had planned for days, for some epic way to say this to her, but let it not be said that he ever lost a chance to muck things up. So he blurted, "I am in love with you Mione."
He waited desperately and she only sighed blissfully. And then she cried, her face happiness personified, "I love you too Draco."
And they began working on Hermione's experience.
"Draco are you alright? You seem a bit peaky." his lovely girlfriend exclaimed worriedly, placing her hand on his forehead, checking his temperature.
He was sweating, profusely, which was a first because he never perspires, not even under the direst of conditions but this particular predicament was getting on his every nerve. He would never admit it to a living soul but he was afraid of the upcoming endeavor. It was the hardest thing that he had ever done and he had gone through some pretty rough patches. Why he was doing it then, you ask.
Because she was worth every single throb of pain and nervousness, of course.
Before he had a panic attack while bracing himself for the act, he ran his hand through his hair, forcing himself to suck it up and just do it.
Easier said than done though, because how do you propose to the girl who is your anchor to sanity, your reason for living, your glimmer of hope. Who is a far better human than you could ever even imagine to be?
Sweating and shivering now, clearly hyperventilating, he just took a leap of faith and went on one knee. That is how it's done in muggle world right? At least the starting must be to her liking.
His favorite eyes were round with shock, and he flinched, his heart cracked ready to break.
"What? Why?" he babbled without thinking, clearly over the edge now, from happiness or shock, he wasn't sure.
"You are questioning why I said yes, really?"
"Of course I am."
"Honey we have been over this. I love you. You have changed. You are worthy of love and happiness. So zip it."
Unconvinced but grateful beyond a coherent response, he produced a ring out of his jeans and put it on her waiting finger. Committing to himself that he'll never jeopardise the current place of that jewel.
A sudden collective holding of breath after the magnificent entry of the bride, indicated how utterly perfect she looked.
Guests had held their breath at the sight of her, one look at her and Malfoy couldn't breath.
Malfoys are a messed up lot. Believing that they are entitled to the best of the best and ensuring that they technically do, no matter how undeserving they may be. Getting married to Hermione Granger was just that.
Her hand on his arm, walked down the aisle by none other than Harry Potter, she had eyes only for him. Her piercing gaze calmed him and the last thought before she reached him and he took her hand from Potter's was, ' Draco Malfoy, you lucky fuck'.
Potter being the drama queen that he is, before leaving the raised platform, whispered menacingly, "Hurt her and I'll castrate you Malfoy."
Ouch, even the thought brought an unsettling painful feeling. But he kept his cool. He had gotten the girl, from right under their noses, he could handle the threat. Besides he would kill himself, himself if he screwed his marriage up with her.
His eyes were moist. They have never been moist, he doesn't cry, he is a Malfoy God damn it. But tears were flowing uncontrollably from his eyes, staining his face. His hair, unkempt sprouting whichever way, his clothes, a disheveled mess, his hands, shaking. But his wet eyes were fixed on her.
She was covered in blood, lying there, her unblinking eyes fixated on one spot. Her skin was sickly pale, blankets were lying around her and she looked worryingly vulnerable.
And he didn't know what to do. The healers had just left. Only one thought was skimming through his convoluted mind, 'Life was changed forever'
He walked towards her on his shaking legs and slumped on the bed next to her. Hugging her fiercely, providing her warmth, he looked at the spot in her arms, where her bright gaze was fixed. She was cradling, their newly born baby in her arms, whispering and kissing her adorably.
He look down at his baby girl, and he finished his thoughts, 'Life would never be the same again, life had changed for the better because he was a father now.'
And he embraced the two most important people in his life, promising to never let them go.
Hey guys. Sorry for the mistakes I made in the story. This is a product of late night binge writing. Also I wanna thank chrissy, she was my very first reviewer. So shout out to you girl. Who knows about 'Gloria Jean's? ;)Lastly, please review. Reviews keep me going. Oh one more thing, 'Gone with the Wind' is one of my favourite books, after Harry Potter of course. Read it if you haven't.
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