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Hermione placed a hand on her forehead. It was a cold day, fall had come. A stout woman came in carrying a few folders and placed the stack in front of her.

“ Here it is, darling. A written report on the Wales incident, “ she said, unceremoniously dumping a little stack of folders with parchments containing full details of everything that had occured in Wales.

Hermione smiled tightly. “ Great. Just Wonderful. “

Her office was an average sized room with a little fireplace with views of good old London. She sniffed as the woman left. She had been fairly busy since the reported activities of dark magic in Wales had been occurring. Busy was good though, busy was very good...although...she somehow now longed for a break once in a while. Strange enough.

There was a knock on the door.

She looked up. It was Ron.

“ Thank heavens, “ he said entering.

Hermione was quiet, still unable to forget the bookshop incident. They had not spoken in a few days already. She knew where this was leading to. Ron may have quite some pride and so did she but-

“ I came by from work to… apologize. “ He had interrupted her thoughts.

“ Ron- “ she began. She stood up and walked toward him.

“ Wait, let me finish. I wanted to apologize for my erratic behavior. Hermione… you mean a lot to me, you’re half of what remains of the golden trio. I just… I didn’t find it easy, to see him with you, I know it was childish of me, and I’m sorry. “

Hermione shrugged. “ Ron, you knew it hurt… It hurt me too much. I thought you wanted me to let go and then you remind me of him and all that bull- God, Ron, we're just really good friends-“ she almost choked on the words she chose. Good friends? Since when were Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger good friends?

“ It’s just that he’s Malfoy… it didn’t seem fair to Ha- “ Ron stopped. “ Forget it. “

Hermione smiled and hugged Ron. “ S’okay. It’s been a long time since we had a nice little fight. The last time we had it was when we couldn’t decide what to get Fleur for her birthday. “

He laughed. “ That was horrid, wasn’t it? Not speaking at the party? “

She nodded. “ Terribly. “

“ Well, now that that settles it, how’s work? “

“ Terrible, “ she immediately replied.

He grinned. “ You’re not the only one. I had to get up at two in the morning just to check if there was some disturbance in Ireland. They owled me, the Irish Ministry, saying they had signs of dark magic stirring in the west. Needed help from us, their manpower wasn’t enough. Wales was something uncalculated too. “

“ Before you know it, we’ll be out in action again, “ Hermione gave a smirk.

A face appeared in Hermione’s fire. “ Ronald Weasley, is he there? “ an old man said gruffly.

Ron grinned. “ I’ll be up in a minute, sir. “ He looked at Hermione. “ Well, that’s the end of our little chit-chat. See you, Mione. Don’t forget we’ve got a meet in Wales, I’ll owl- err… call you later to see what time it’ll be. “

She nodded as Ron left.

------

It was past six o’clock and Hermione was tired. An overtime of three hours was the ticket to a good night’s sleep. Sure, it had been fun with Draco around though. He was…oddly attractive. Attractive? Okay...now she was displaying symptoms of overworking now..." Just what are the symptoms of overworking? " she thought. " One- you think about being in someplace else with someone and that someone is Draco- two, you think of someone in another place, you're still with Draco- " she shook her head violently. " What the bloody heck am I saying! "

She walked out of the old building, a gray looking one, with three stories in the muggle world, which had more than five stories underground. The night was cold and some cafes had just opened up at the sidewalks. She walked to where she had parked her car when she saw a man wearing a black coat standing beside the passenger door.

She laughed. “ What are you doing here? “

He smiled and handed her a single long stemmed white rose. “ I missed you. Did you have to ask? Like it wasn't obvious. Really, the top notcher of Hogwarts missing out on something so simple? "

Hermione was surprised. She smiled, feeling her cheeks burn. And she was glad that it was getting dark or else he would have seen her girlishly silly blush. She took the rose from his hand quickly to avoid his gaze.

“ Would you like to go somewhere? “ he asked.

“ You have a car, I have a car- “

“ I took the train, “ he said.

She grinned. “ Like a muggle. “

“ Just like a muggle. “ He held out his arm in gentlemanly fashion. She smiled and locked an arm around his." Quite a fun day today actually, as I got in the train. There was this old lady seated beside me, reading a magazine- Vogue. " He laughed and eyed her. She was smiling. " My eyes caught her reading your article. 'Hermione Granger' in bold font. And I peered in to see what the title was, unconsciously, i hope- and lo and behold- the old lady turns her back and tells me spitefully 'Get your own magazine you queer man!' "

Hermione laughed aloud. " Did you say anything back? Anything at all? "

Draco grinned. " Nothing, but I noticed the man seated on my other side slowly sliding away from me. "

“ You… you surprise me. “ She smiled again, thinking of how wonderful it was to see Draco Malfoy say nothing at all to an old muggle woman and just smiling through it all.

“ You sustain me, “ he grinned.

She laughed. “ What does that mean? “

He shook his head. “ Nothing. Got anything in mind? Where to eat? “

She bit her lower lip. “ Um...I’d like to eat…Japanese. “

He frowned, as if trying to remember something. “ Ah! Oishi! Let’s eat there. They serve fabulous California maki. “

“ You know a lot of places, don’t you? “

“ What can I say? I’m the man. “

“ How can you be the man? “ she asked laughing.

“ What do I have to do to prove it to you? Dance? Sing? “

She was laughing.

“L- is for the way you look at me, O- is for the only one I see- “ he sang loudly as they walked. People were smiling as they passed by. Surely they thought he was proclaiming his undying love, and embarrassingly at that.

Hermione stopped.


~

“V is very, very extraordinary, “ Harry belted out winking at her.

Harry laughed unable to finish. He was enjoying himself actually, despite knowing how hot his ears were from his act. He couldn’t carry a tune, but what the heck, Hermione was enjoying it.

~


“ Hermione? “ Draco asked. “ Is something wrong? “ Draco touched her shoulder gently, and it brought her back to her senses, it brought her back to her present.

She smiled and shook her head. “ Nothing… your singing… it’s horrid. “

They both laughed.

“ You’re as sensitive as a hippogriff, “ he began.

“ At least I didn’t bite you, nor did I send you to the hospital wing, moaning for your life. ‘I think I’m dying!’ “ she mimicked.

“ Hey! I was immature! “ he protested. " I didn't know what I was doing! And- it was painful! You saw that, right? " he asked defensively, crossing his arms in the process and raising his eyebrows as well.

Hermione laughed.

“ You look tired, “ he said.

She grinned. “ It’s just how I look when I’m hungry. “

“ Quit a job, you’ll feel more relaxed. “

“ No way! “

“ Yes way! You’re a workaholic. “

“ I most definitely am not! “

He kissed her forehead. “ Yes, you are. “

She could see herself melting in her mind’s eye.

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Ron stood frozen at the back alley as he held his unlit cigarette.

He watched them walk away, both of them unaware that he was staring at them as they walked towards another street. He frowned. Hermione had been to fairly comfortable with Draco Malfoy. He knew that there was some part of him that still remained immature. Some part of him that still wanted to kick Malfoy’s ass.

Harry had prevented him from doing that when they were in their final year. Draco had been a help in defeating Voldemort, so said Harry. But then Harry had died. And he had imagined once in awhile, as he reminisced about their Hogwarts days of how lovely it was to see Malfoy’s face in muck, all bruised and bloodied.

And the mother of all unexpected things just had to arrive. Draco Malfoy was once again untouchable. The circumstances were against Ron again, during Harry’s death. He could not deny Draco of the opportunity. Lady luck voted for Draco. Draco was a lucky son of a bitch.

And now Hermione!

It was almost too much! But he knew he had to keep himself even-tempered. He respected Hermione. He wanted her happy. Who didn’t? After what she had been through? But it just had to be Malfoy! He respected Malfoy to some degree…but for him to see Hermione, to actually enjoy Hermione’s company…Ron felt unsure of him. As far as he was concerned, Hermione was unsafe.

It was probably time to have a man to man talk with Draco Malfoy.

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Draco was busily leafing through some papers; it was another week, another Monday, past eleven in the evening. Hermione was at home, sleeping, tired from work. He was the only one left in his office building, aside from a sleepy looking security guard at the first floor. It was a two story modern edifice with glass walls and metal staircases. Only five cars were on display in the showroom. A few lights glowed from the showroom, boasting its bold designs.

A fire was crackling in the fireplace. Draco heard a tiny pop from behind him. Someone had just apparated. Now who would do that, and in his office? He gave a smirk as he eyed the man. “ Fantastic suit. “

The man who had arrived looked at him coolly. “ Nice office. “

“ Never been in this side of town? “

“ No, afraid not. “

“ Scotch or Chardonnay? “ Draco offered going to a stylish looking black cabinet. He opened the cabinet as his fingers skimmed over labeled bottles of alcohol. He finally selected a round bottle with fine gold engraving. Chardonnay it was then.

The man sat down. “ Chardonnay. You’d prefer that too. “

He grinned. “ Have a seat. “

“ Sure thing. “

“ Let’s discuss this quickly, “ Draco said looking at his desk. “ I still have a lot to do- “ He eyed his paper work, and he knew he was in for another long and sleepless night. He just had to be distracted by him!

“ We have a lot to talk about, “ the visitor corrected. He eyed his glass of wine against the fire and it almost glowed as Ron's hands moved up and down. He finally took a sip and felt the sweet and sour taste mingle in his tongue.

“ Heard that there was some activity going on in Wales and Ireland? “ Draco said drinking from his own glass.

“ Yes, somehow connected to you, “ the man replied shortly.

“ Oh come now, redhead, I mean Weasley, “ he gave a wily smile. “ I haven’t even been active with magic anymore- “

“ Your father, it seems that his memory was hard to suppress… “

Draco’s eyes narrowed. His facial expression instantly changed. He frowned. “ What- what’s that supposed to mean? “

“ Wales and Ireland, twice an unforgivable curse had been performed. I’m trying to clear things out. Apparently, in the scenes your father’s cane had been found in one, the other a part of your father’s torn glove… with the initials 'L.M'-“

Draco scoffed. “ Why’d you have to talk to my about this? I’m not related to the ministry. I haven’t held my wand in months… almost a year- ‘

“ I know. We’ve been keeping track on you. Someone wants your father’s memory to surface, let Voldemort surface. Some people just won’t let him die, they refuse to… but your name may be carried in this. “

Draco stood up and looked out of the window. “ Why the hell… Any idea? “

He shook his head. “ I’m sorry, none. “

“ Typical of them, “ Draco rolled his eyes. " Typical of the Aurors- " He eyed Ron and saw his eyes widen slightly. He just felt this intense need to actually make the man loose his temper. So much fun doing it-

Ron sighed, slightly irritated. “ We’re doing the best we can. “

“ Sure you are. Bloody hell you are. “

“ Just stop being a git will you? “ Ron snapped. “ It isn’t easy for me or for anyone who might know of you and Hermione- “ Ron felt his temper rise. Draco Malfoy was always good at doing that. He had this 'temper-curse' around him! Anyone who stayed for more than a minute with him was sure to feel annoyed, five minutes with him was sure enough for Ron to commit murderr-

“ I told you, we’re not a couple. “

“ Cut the bullshit. “

“ Okay, so we are. “ Draco grinned.

“ I’m worried for her- “

“ You always are. Ever since- “ he paused and looked at the fire.

“ That’s right. Ever since Harry’s death, “ Ron continued, staring at Malfoy’s back.

------

Hermione smiled as she carried two cups of coffee. She had just greeted the sleepy security guard and he let her in, recognizing her instantly as “Mr. Malfoy’s beau “ of two months. She had thought of surprising him when she had awoken from sleep, at past ten in the evening. Perhaps they could catch a late night movie later on. She walked slowly and silently, eager to surprise him. Just as she reached the landing, there were voices, talking in masculine tone. She saw the shadows cast by the half open door and the lights to his office. She stopped abruptly in front of the door.

“ That’s right. Ever since Harry’s death, “ a man said.

Hermione blinked. Harry? Why was she hearing his name?

“ You’re going to hurt her, “ the same man said. “ Directly or indirectly. You’re going to! “

“ Damn it. What is it with you and that notion! “ Draco snapped.

She felt like a snoop, an eavesdropper. But she had never heard this kind of tone from Draco since they first hung out. It sounded like- the old Draco. The sarcastic and stubborn him.

“ I know you will. It runs in you. It’s in your blood- “

“ Not here! “ Draco had yelled. He was pointing to his chest. “ Not anymore! This, “ he pointed to his chest again, “ This isn’t even mine! Even if this were mine, I still wouldn’t! “

“ Just because I’ve no longer got justifications to kill you, it doesn’t mean I won’t, “ The man’s voice scorned.

“ Go ahead! “

“ Don’t pressure me you bastard, I had half the mind not to give it to you once I knew that it was. “

It was Ron’s voice. She was sure of it. What was he doing here?

“ Too late now? “ Draco smirked. “ And it’s not like he had much of a say right? He was dead when he gave it- “

“ Stop that! You son of a-“

“ Word games, Weasley? Challenge me. “

“ Get away from her, never ever let me see you with her, she’s not for you! Never for you! “

“ What are you? Her mother? You’re not! You’re just one-fourth of what once was the golden trio! If you plan to hex me just try. “

“ Grow up, Malfoy! “

“ I have! “ he said. There was a loud bang. Draco had just slammed his palms on his table. “ Ever since I knew that I had that debilitating malady! Would you think it was easy for me? To live like that? To stop using magic- incorporate with muggle medicine- To lose all my Malfoy pride…and to… to have Potter’s heart to survive! “

Hermione gasped.

Her hands began to shake. Dreadfully. Uncontrollably. Her breathing had gone shallow and fast. Oh god. She had never known. She had not bothered to even know. She had thought she had seen something when they spent that night at his place but it never occurred to her that… but… oh god! Harry…in Draco! Harry’s heart was in Draco!

The coffee cups dropped on the floor with a splatter. The cups rolled at her feet, back and forth.

Ron’s eyes suddenly darted to the door. So did Draco’s.

” Evanesco! “ Ron yelled.

The door disappeared in front of their eyes.

Draco’s eyes widened, seeing a blanched Hermione clad in pants and a black turtleneck, with her hands shaking uncontrollably, her lips paler than her face. “ Hermione, “ Draco began. He felt blood leave his face and hands. He felt like a little boy of three, caught in his first crime- how was he going to-

Ron’s heart dropped. She had heard all of it. He felt it. He knew it.

Draco took a step towards her.

“ Don’t you dare take one more step! “ she suddenly cried out. “ Stay away from me! “

Draco opened his mouth. “ Hermione, please let- “

“ I heard everything! “ her voice shook. Her vision started to blur. The damned tears were coming. The god damned tears were coming! “ Why didn’t you… Ron! “ She stared at Ron. “ Why didn’t you tell me! “

“ Hermione… We… I had to keep it. We weren’t sure you were to keen to know that Malfoy received Harry’s heart, “ Ron began. " We had to! Hermione- "

Suddenly she felt cold again. Like Harry had just died. Again.


~

The white sheet slipped and she saw a dark line, an incision on his chest. Hermione gasped.

She reeled back in horror and Ron caught her just in time. “ Oh god! “ she gasped again.

She trembled even more as she held Harry’s hand with Ron supporting her back.

“ He’s gone, Ron, he’s gone…”

~


She could see it in front of her. Harry’s corpse... The dark incision was still there. They had taken away his heart. Draco had taken his heart. She looked at Ron. “ You- you gave the approval right? Did you know it would be- him! “ she cried out.

Draco eyes flinched as she said the word ‘him’.

Ron shook his head. “ Only the day after that, “ he said in a low voice. “ You were still heavily sedated. I went to check the donor consignment, the doctor who was there, was someone I knew, he worked as a muggle doctor but had some experience with wizard healing. He told me that it was Malfoy who received it. I went to visit Malfoy that same day about a few hundred miles away-“

Draco brushed a hand up his hair. “ Hermione, “ Draco began tiredly. “ I- “

“ Don’t say anything! “ she said. “ I don’t want to hear anything from you! You’ve… It was Harry then! I thought I- “ One hand kept going up and down her temple. She didn’t finish. A millisecond later, she was running down the short flight of cold stainless steel stairs that were suddenly stinging her palms, out of the building, and away from two people…

One she had loved like a brother.

The other, she loved almost like she had loved Harry himself.

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TBC….i hope you enjoyed this chapter, because, personally, i enjoyed making it. hehe. What do you guys think?Please leave me your comments or thoughts.

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