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I'm With You by Secondincharge

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 3,050
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings:

Genres: Drama, Romance
Characters: Ron, Hermione, Draco, OtherCanon
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Draco/Hermione

First Published: 05/23/2006
Last Chapter: 07/13/2006
Last Updated: 07/14/2006

Summary:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting *In response to another author's challenge to write a one-shot fic based on the song "I'm With You" by Avril Levigne* Hermione is all set to go to the farewell ball with Ron when he suddenly abandons her for Lavender Brown. Lonely and inquisitive, she seeks Ron out... but finds solace in someone she never expected...


Chapter 1: I'm With You
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As the summary says, this is a fic written in response to another author's challenge to write a one-shot Dramione fic based on the song "I'm With You" by Avril Levigne. This is my first time writing this ship so bear with me… I had to do a lot of explaining at the beginning to fulfill the requirements of the challenge, but the end makes up for it! :-) R&R with your thoughts please!

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The rain covered everything, teeming down in a continuous sheet of gray mist on the world. It trickled down windows and traced endless, desperate, jerking paths down the aged stone walls of Hogwarts castle; a coating of liquid solace to wash away the remnants of abandoned and forgotten objects.

Hermione Granger stood as motionless as a stone herself, half-sheltered from the downpour under the long, drafty stonework bridge that offered a typically serene view of the Lake. Now the vision was blurred by the mist and looked black underneath the cover of clouds rumbling overhead. Water trickled and dripped from a few leaky spots and one splash landed on Hermione’s neck, making her shiver; the first sign of life. She blinked away the tears in her eyes and hurriedly wiped them with one hand and pulled her cloak closer with the other. Memories of a few hours before and then the years before had been flooding her mind like the rain was flooding the landscape, but Hermione had a drowning feeling that she didn’t think would go away even after the real storm had passed… and the worse knowledge was that there would be no one coming to save her.

I'm standing on the bridge
I'm waiting in the dark
I thought that you'd be here by now
There's nothing but the rain
No footsteps on the ground
I'm listening but there's no sound.


Hogwarts had suffered so much in the last year. After the attack in her sixth year, Hermione and the other students had gone home over the summer not knowing whether they would ever come back again or not. She had spent the summer with the Weasley’s preparing for Fleur and Bill’s wedding and over the course of the time she spent there she realized more and more that she was falling in love with her best friend.

Ron had always been clueless. He never knew how she felt, despite the signs. He had picked on her in her first year, bickered constantly with her thereafter, and had even chosen her purely as a last resort in her fourth year when he was dateless for the ball. All along she had loved him and he had finally admitted that he loved her over the summer… before everything changed.

Voldemort had steadily gained power and everyone was on edge in anticipation of the battle that was destined to take place. Then when the attack came, no one had expected it. Bill and Fleur’s wedding day…

Hermione squeezed her eyes shut, hearing the screams that had haunted her since that day. The shouts… Fleur’s screaming… then her own—but it was already too late….

Hermione shuddered again as another raindrop landed on her hand. Harry had taken on Voldemort on his own… dueled him yet again… always on his own… and he had won—almost. Hermione remembered how the Dark Lord had fallen when Harry had caught him offguard… but then…she had screamed. Voldemort was nearly finished... but she had seen him go for his wand-- in hindsight, she couldn’t recall why she had yelled his name instead of using her own wand to stop him… in fear perhaps—or in shock. In those last moments she had cried out and Harry had turned. Tears welled up in Hermione’s eyes at the memory of his face. Harry had just enough time to turn… always trying to protect her… making sure she was safe… before Voldemort seized the split second and shouted the curse. Harry was hit fully with Avada Kedavra and crumpled to the ground… so helpless looking… so broken… then another voice had screamed. Draco this time—“AVADA KEDAVRA!”… the Dark Lord had fallen… Harry had not seen the victory. Hermione touched her forehead to the cold stone of the archway, coming back to the present momentarily, and the numbness in her bones. From the moment Harry died, everything had changed. She couldn’t help but feel as if it was her fault he had died… somehow it just seemed like if she could have reacted quicker, he would still be alive. She knew he would be. Things would be set right… she would be happy again…

Hermione didn’t want to keep thinking of that day, but the only one who had ever understood… or that could help her forget… didn’t love her anymore. He had deserted her to become prey to those memories again. Ron was supposed to be taking her to the Farewell ball tonight… but at the last moment, he had dropped her for Lavender Brown. This added to her agony in ways Ron would never have comprehended…

Isn't anyone tryin’ to find me?
Won't somebody come take me home?


“I just can’t do this anymore, Hermione,” he had said.

“What do you mean, you ‘can’t do this anymore’? Can’t do WHAT?” She had been exasperated and her heart was pounding.

“THIS… it’s too much, Hermione… I’ve just been thinking more and more often about how things were… before… and… I’ve tried to avoid it, Hermione but the longer I’m with you the harder it gets for me to move on—and that’s important.. we both have to move on.”

“But can’t we move on together?”

“No… I… it’s too hard, Hermione. I’m sorry. When I look at you now… I can’t… I just…” his hand roamed over his eyes. For a moment he didn’t remove it but when he did Hermione could see the wetness on his cheeks. “Harry is dead, Hermione.”

“Well spotted, Ron—don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I miss him too? But the only we are ever going to get through this is if we stick together—“

Ron was shaking his head stupidly again. “No, Hermione. You don’t get it—you don’t feel what I—“ Ron was getting exasperated. “You couldn’t possibly understand what I’ve lose because of you!” He froze suddenly, biting his lip. He hadn’t meant to go that far. Tears streamed out of the corners of Hermione’s eyes.

“So that’s what you think… you feel that way too, do you? You think I killed him. You think I meant to do it? Don’t you DARE tell me, Ronald Weasley, that you thought for even one SECOND that I haven’t wished every minute of every day that I couldn’t take back what I did—“

“I know, I’m sorry Hermione—but I can’t keep holding you knowing you played a part in Harry’s death, willing or not. You know you've blamed yourself too-- that's why you were constantly holing yourself up in the library and the girl's lavatory...” Hermione stared at him open-mouthed. Ron continued without noticing, “In fact I think you ran to everyone except me.. and everywhere except where I was!” He threw his hands up and shook his head. “I just… I couldn’t understand why you didn’t come to me… and then there was Lavender… she always wanted to talk to me about it… she helped me forget…”

“But you helped me forget!” Hermione blurted. Ron sighed.

“I don’t know what to say, Hermione… I just know that I can’t go on this way. Something has to change… and I think dating other people would be the first step to recovering from what has happened to us both.”

Hermione couldn’t speak. She was crying uncontrollably and reached for Ron’s cloak but he stepped away, leaving her to crumble to her knees sobbing. His eyes shone with tears.

“I… guess this is goodbye,” he whispered. Quietly, he turned away and hurried back to the castle, leaving Hermione where she lay.


She had been there ever since.

It's a damp cold night
Trying to figure out this life


Hermione was so immersed in her own thoughts she didn’t hear the cloaked figure approaching her behind. He had his hood pulled so that it hid his face. She jumped when she felt a warm hand on her shoulder.

“Ron?” she asked hopefully, trying to make out the strangers face. He hesitated, then nodded and she smiled, melting into his embrace. He wrapped his arms around Hermione tightly and warmth rushed over her. His hand rubbed her lower back gently and she closed her eyes, willing with everything in her that she wouldn’t wake up and find that he wasn’t a dream.

“Hermione…”

Hermione froze. That wasn’t Ron’s voice. She looked up at his hidden face for answers but none came.

“Who are you?”

“That doesn’t matter… what does matter is that I’ve come to tell you something, Hermione, that I’ve wanted to tell you for quite some time… and… it’s not easy… and I don’t know if--” the stranger stopped, frustrated with his own awkwardness with words. “I don’t know if you could ever feel the same… but I just came to tell you that… that I love you, Hermione… and I just thought you should know,” he finished lamely.

Hermione’s brain told her she shouldn’t let this stranger hold her. Part of her was screaming for her to run… not to talk to strangers… but on the other hand, the second half was telling the first to buggar off.

Won't you take me by the hand
Take me somewhere new
I don't know who you are
But I... I'm with you
I'm with you


The stranger spoke again. “Will you do something for me, Hermione—I mean—I want to tell you who I am, but… but this isn’t the place.”

Hermione nodded uncertainly after a moment.

“Yes?” he asked again.

“Yes…I want to know.” She answered shakily. The face beneath the hood smiled but Hermione couldn’t see it.

“Then meet me at the dance in the Great Hall… it starts in an hour… can you be ready by then?” His voice was eager. Hermione couldn’t help but think it sounded strangely familiar, even if she couldn’t match it with a face. For reasons that were beyond her, she nodded again.

“Good,” the boy said, releasing her. She almost gasped from the sudden wave of cold that returned as he stepped away. “I will meet you there.” He turned and began to walk back to the castle when Hermione shouted after him.

“Wait! How will I know it’s you?” she asked, her teeth chattering.

“You’ll know. I promise.”

I'm looking for a place
I'm searching for a face
Is anybody here I know?
'Cause nothing's going right
And everything’s a mess
And no one likes to be alone


Hermione stood alone in the Great Hall an hour later. She had dressed her best-- better even than she had planned on looking for Ron. It had taken quite a bit of magic to get her looking presentable. Her eyes were no longer red and puffy and her hair was free of frizz after an afternoon in the rain. She had kept her makeup light, but her dress was stunning on her. More than a couple of students had stopped to stare at her as she entered the hall. She only had eyes for one admirer though. Where is he?

Isn't anyone tryin’ to find me?
Won't somebody come take me home?


The dance had begun. Music was playing softly and the lights were low. Hermione still stood alone in the corner away from everyone else. Isolated.

It's a damp cold night
Trying to figure out this life


He’s stood me up, she decided, feeling close to tears again. It was all a joke.. someone pulling a prank… I can’t believe I thought I was needed… I should have known the truth… Hermione wheeled to march out of the door but bumped into someone on the way, she nearly toppled over but he caught her and pulled her close. She nearly jerked away but he held her tighter. Suddenly she relaxed, recognizing the warmth that rushed over her while she was in his arms. Hermione found herself inches from his ear, crushed against him—his blonde hair tickled her face.

“It’s you…” she whispered.

“Yes… I’m sorry I’m late...I’ve been watching you but I wasn’t sure how I could tell you the truth, but…” He pulled back from her and Hermione gasped, pulling her hand away in surprise.

“Draco!”

He didn’t smile, he only offered his hand again. “Please, Hermione—don’t say anything.. not yet… just… one dance… please?”

Won't you take me by the hand
Take me somewhere new


Hermione hesitated but then something triggered in her mind from that afternoon. She had felt so safe in his arms. This was not the same Draco that had called her Mudblood all of those years… this was the Draco that had turned spy for the Order… the Draco that had killed Lord Voldemort… this was the Draco that—dare she believe it?-- loved her. Without another thought, she lifted her hand and allowed him to clasp it in his own and lead her out onto the floor, while several students looked on in shock.

I don't know who you are
But I... I'm with you
I'm with you


“You don’t hate me do you?” Draco whispered in her ear as he turned her around slowly on the floor.

“No.”

“Good…” he paused. “Are you afraid?”

“Of a dance, Malfoy? I think—“

“No… of falling in love again,” Draco cut her off.

Hermione avoided his eyes but finally sighed. “A little,” she admitted.

“You don’t have to be… not with me. I would never do anything to hurt you, Hermione… I know I’ve been a jerk in the past… but lately I’ve caught myself falling for you and I tried to ignore the feelings… but it has only gotten progressively harder…I love you, Hermione!” He paused a moment, sighing deeply. “Today… after I heard about what happened between you and Ron.. I felt awful because somehow, deep down… I wasn’t sorry it had happened..”

“What?”

“No.. don’t get me wrong.. I was angry that he had hurt you… but I knew that this gave me a window… a small one at least… that I could show you the real me—and maybe you would like it.” He stalled again. “Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Do you think you.. could ever… like—or love me?” Draco asked quietly. Hermione stopped dancing for a moment and fear flashed in Draco’s eyes.

Was this a trick? She wondered. Draco’s heart was pounding. Had he said the wrong thing? He relaxed a little when Hermione put her head down and started swaying to the music again.

“I don’t know…” she whispered weakly. She looked as if she would cry again. Draco couldn’t bear it. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer. Hermione didn’t resist. She lay her head on his chest and remained quiet, her eyes closed. Draco rested his cheek on her head and rubbed her back gently as he had done beneath the archway. Hermione shivered. Why did something this wrong feel so right?

Why is everything so confusing?
Maybe I'm just out of my mind


I’m not ready for this… this is too soon… Hermione thought.

Then tell him! You won’t let any man break your heart again, Hermione… you know you couldn’t take it! her own voice answered her.

Maybe this time will be different…

Oh posh! You can’t believe that!

No… I guess I don’t really know what to believe anymore… A boy’s voice reached her ears and her eyes shot open. Ron was dancing only a few feet away with Lavender, who was smiling and laughing animatedly. Hermione stared until she felt Draco’s hand pull her chin up to look at him. She could feel hot tears stinging her eyes.

“Don’t look at them, ‘Mione… it’s not worth hurting yourself over… and he’s not worth the tears if he couldn’t see you for what you are.”

“He did see me for what I am… a murderer.”

Draco looked startled. “Do you mean Harry’s death?”

“You were there… you saw what happened…” Hermione said bitterly.

“That’s right, I was there! So I know that Harry’s death had nothing to do with you—“

“But if I hadn’t—“

Draco put a finger to her lips. “Nothing you did was wrong. Don’t ever let anyone say it was your fault. Harry died fighting for a cause… he wanted those he loved to live… that includes you, Herimone. He didn’t die so you could spend the rest of your life letting the world pass you by because you thought you were at fault.”

Hermione nodded. “I guess you’re right… I just… I only—“

“I know…” Draco silenced her again. “You don’t have to explain… what’s in the past is in the past… Harry would have wanted you to be happy, no matter what.”

It's a damp cold night
Trying to figure out this life
Won't you take me by the hand
Take me somewhere new
I don't know who you are
But I
I'm with you….
I'm with you…


“Yes…happy…” Hermione said weakly, glancing again at Ron. Strangely, she didn’t feel like crying when she saw him now. He looked up from Lavender and his eyes met hers. Maybe someday she could even be friends with him again... but she wasn't ready to forgive him completely just yet. She calmly looked away and stared up at Draco’s steel gray ones. He smiled warmly at her. For the first time since Harry’s death, she smiled back. Given, it was frail… but it was genuine. Draco’s heart was on fire. He brushed a strand of hair away from Hermione’s face and she leaned against his chest again. Finally the song stopped and all the couples stood motionless momentarily until a new song started.

Draco leaned down and whispered in her ear, “Do you think you could give me a chance?”

Hermione bit her bottom lip… then nodded. “I think so.”

Take me by the hand
Take me somewhere new
I don't know who you are
But I
I’m with you…
I’m with you…


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