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They arrived in Hermione’s flat past four in the morning. They were both quiet as they sat beside each other on a couch staring at the open doors to her tiny balcony. She had placed two mugs of coffee on a low table in front of them.

“ Sleepy? “ he asked all of a sudden.

She shook her head. “ No, “ she replied. Without another word, she leaned her head against his shoulder. “ Are you? “

He shook his head. “ After a whole night of looking for you, definitely not. “

“ Draco, “ she began.

“ Hmm? “

“ Nothing. “

“ You like ‘nothing’ a lot. “ Draco felt a light wind play on his face as it entered through the open portico.

“ Not all the time. “

He gave a short laugh.

“ You apparated, “ she suddenly said.

“ Had to, “ he replied.

“ Is it okay to? I mean with…? “ she began; looking at his eyes.

He nodded. “ Well, I guess it is. I’m alive and unhurt aren’t I? “

“ I hope it stays that way, “ she said.

“ It will, if you stay with me. “

She laughed and held his hand in hers gently.

“ Hermione, “ he began.

“ What? “

“ I think, “ He laughed and shook his head. “ Forget it. “

“ Really, what is it? “

“ I’ll tell you later, “ he finally said. “ Want to eat? “

“ I always eat when I’m with you. “

“ I’m eating a lot so that you’d eat a lot. You’ve got a nice figure and all, but I’m afraid your jobs will take their toll on you, “ he said.

She scrunched up her nose. “ Right, “ she said. “ It’s…what time is it? Four fifteen? “

He nodded. “ So? It’s not like there are no cafes for night owls like us. “

She smiled again and grew quiet again.

Draco liked the quiet moment for some reason. There was no sound, but he could hear his heart beat as she sat beside him, as she held his hand. He had never been happier.

Hermione felt Draco’s shoulders heave up and down each time he took a breath. How could something as simple, as plain as sitting beside him make her so happy?

There was a tiny pop in the living room and Draco quickly stood up and spun around, wand in hand. His eyes widened. Hermione stood up and sensed something awful as she stared at Draco’s face. Her eyes trailed to where Draco was staring at. She gasped as the man who had just apparated fell on the floor.

“ Ron! “ she cried out for him. She quickly cradled his head on her lap as she felt her heart beat erratically. “ Oh god! Ron! What happened! “

Ron opened one bloodied eye. “ Death- “ he mumbled. “ Couldn’t- caught us off guard- “ His face grimaced as Draco held his arm.

Deatheaters? Draco’s eyes widened even more. It couldn’t be! Harry… he and everyone else fought off to destroy them! They almost died doing it! Draco held up his wand.

“ Stop, “ came Hermione’s voice. “ I’ll do it. “

He grudgingly put his wand down as Hermione took his wand from him. She whispered a few spells and the superficial wounds on Ron’s body began to heal slowly.

“ I hope he doesn’t have internal injuries, “ she whispered as she put Ron to a sleep. “ I can’t… we’ll have to take him to St. Mungo’s. “

Draco nodded.

“ I’ll have to apparate, “ she began. “ Just hold my hand and hold Ron’s. I’ll get us there. “

“ I can do it. “

There was a look in Hermione’s eyes that made him stop. He nodded and held her hand. A second later, he felt his stomach lurch.


Hermione slept beside Ron’s bed, her head near his arm. The healers had done their best, and had placed him in a deep sleep.

Draco stood outside the room at St. Mungo’s, waiting for the rest of the Weasleys to arrive. He sat on a chair with a cup of coffee staring at the walls. It was just as he had remembered them. The white walls, the hushed voices of healers. There were no P.A systems in St. Mungo’s. Here, true TLC existed. They treated you with magic, with their touches, not with cold stainless steel and uniformed surgical garb.

It was here, more than a year ago, that he had been dying. There was this indescribable pain; he felt his body scream every time he moved. His heart was giving up on him. He thought he was going to die in a hospital bed, without honors, without the grandeur of reclaiming his family’s glory days, without the chance of showing to the world how generous his little cold heart could be. But now- he was alive and well. He was here, with Hermione…and Ron Weasley.

But- the Deatheaters…were they truly back? He suddenly felt apprehensive. No one had heard of them in the longest time. They were bad memories to the wizarding world. They were bad memories to him. He had never wanted it. Only to please his father. His mother was stricken with grief at that time. He had thought that being a Deatheater would kill him. He was wrong. His own body had almost killed him.

He sighed and took another sip of his bitter coffee. There was the shuffling of shoes. He looked up and saw Molly and Arthur, along with Ginny. Molly stepped forward and enveloped Draco in a warm hug. Draco stood, a little surprised.

Molly and Ginny immediately went inside the room, as Draco found himself shaking hands with Arthur. Arthur greeted him cordially and went inside.

Hermione woke up, feeling a hand on hers. It was Molly. She smiled a strained smile. Ginny hugged Hermione and Hermione whispered a few words of comfort. She excused herself after a few minutes and slipped outside, to see Draco sitting on a chair, holding two cups of coffee in his hand.

She sighed softly and sat beside him. “ I- “

“ It’s not your fault, “ he said firmly.

“ I should’ve been there… we were supposed to go together- “

“ Circumstances led you to a different situation. “

“ I should have been there! And now…oh god…are they really-? “ she stopped and buried her face in her hands.

He was quiet. How would he assure her, when he had almost been one himself?

When Molly hugged him, he felt welcomed, and it was as if the bad memories, the bad side of him had never existed to the Weasleys at all. Felt ‘welcomed’…the word was strange to his head…a pure blooded family despised by his father, had greeted him with some respect, like he had given some all along.

He looked at Hermione and suddenly felt a faint tug of despair. Were they really back? His childish fears would resurface again. The bitter memories of betraying his own father, the Dark Lord, the hurt he gave his mother to please his unsatisfied ego…they were all coming back to haunt him. And Draco recalled the night wherein he had come face to face with the Dark Lord.


He felt cold, like the Dark Lord’s touch stole his warmth little by little. Like his touch was more fatal than that of a dementor’s. He felt like he was going to die. He had not even kissed his mother goodbye. The price for betraying the Dark Lord for his other human counterparts would be his own life.

He stood, despite the pain. How many curses had he received? Were his new ‘friends’ alright? Dumbledore was gone, he had almost killed the man, and he suddenly felt the urge to bring the old man back to life, to save him from it all. He was afraid. Only once in his life had he been truly afraid…when he had been tasked to kill Dumbledore. Perhaps this was a good second?

And he felt the Dark Lord’s breath; close to his skin, and his feet were dangling a few feet from the ground, a shocking strength from a not so recovered Lord Voldemort. This was it.

And then he heard a shout. There was a burst of light, and he fell to the ground, rendered unconscious until he felt a hand on his arm. Ron Weasley, all bruised and bloodied with Hermione Granger, knelt beside him, and he could scarcely make out the figures, but he knew it was Harry fighting Lord Voldemort…


He felt a hand on his hand and he looked sideways. Hermione smiled at him gently. It told him not to worry, that she was here. He smiled back, uncertain of how his smile seemed to her. And she clasped his hand tightly, to reciprocate his smile.




“ He’s awake! “ Ginny shouted excitedly. Hermione bolted up and so did Draco. She ran in the room to see Ron both eyes open, and she quickly hugged him.

“ I was so worried! Ron! I am so sorry! “ Hermione’s voice cracked.

Ron scrunched his nose. “ Really, Mione. Stop it. I’m fine, fit as a fiddle- ow! Gin! You’re holding my hand too tightly! “

Hermione laughed and tried to stop the tears of joy. “ I’m so sorry! “

“ It’s okay, “ he said quietly. “ Might I have some time to talk with her please? Just the two of us? “ Ron eyed Draco, and Draco quickly left, followed by the rest of his family members.

There was an awkward silence. Ron cleared his throat as he began to sit straight. “ Hermione… I… I didn’t mean to hurt you back there, when you heard everything, although I’m telling you now…I never wanted you to know. “

Hermione hung her head and sat beside him and held his hand.

“ Thanks for being brutally honest, Ron. “

He smiled a little and turned serious again. “ Hermione… Harry, he- “ Ron cleared his throat and frowned, as if trying to recall everything. “ Before Harry died, do you know what he said to me? “

She shook her head slowly.

“ He said, ‘Ron, that’s the girl I’m going to marry! That’s the girl, I love’. And I’ve never heard Harry say such a thing, except for that night, when we had our party. I couldn’t forget that, Hermione. He loved you too much. Loved you so much, “ Ron said.

Hermione nodded and looked long and hard at the white sheets. Ron’s hand moved over hers.

“ Hermione, Harry wanted you happy. You do remember me saying that; right? “

She nodded. “ Ron, it’s- “

“ Perhaps Harry’s telling me now to let my own little grudges go. It’s his heart in Draco, after all. I want to see you happy, Hermione. And I’m sorry for being such a prized git…maybe I just can’t get the Hogwarts years out of my system yet- “

“ What’s the whole point of this talk, Ron? “ She was close to tears.

“ Don’t be afraid to be happy, “ he finally said. “ Even if I’m sometimes a prick when it comes to Malfoy, it won’t be easy for me, but I’ll try like hell for you. “

Hermione nodded and smiled as she felt a tear fall down her cheek. “ Thank you, Ron, “ she whispered holding his hand.

Ron smiled. “ Hermione, I don’t know where this is going to lead us, but I’m afraid that being with Malfoy may put you in danger. “

Hermione looked up to him. “ I know. “

“ I’m glad you know. Hermione, when they attacked us, I’m not even sure if they were indeed deatheaters… they were strong Hermione, like when we fought he-who- oh heck, Voldemort. They knew what they were doing. They knew spells we never anticipated. They were experienced. “

“ Ron, “ Hermione began. “ It’s not like I can’t protect myself, I’m an Auror too. “

“ It’s because you’re an Auror that you’re put in danger, an even greater danger is when you’re with Malfoy. “

“ Are you suggesting I stay away from him? “

“ Putting it mildly, yes. “

Hermione sighed and placed a hand on her forehead. “ I don’t get it. You just told me to- “

“ I know. But Hermione, understand this: You have to lay low for awhile. Stay away from him. Break contact, just for now. “

She shook her head as she listened to his words. Suddenly, it sounded better when he had insulted Draco. Suddenly it sounded better when they had fought.

“ Ron- “

“ I know it’s not easy Hermione… “

“ You have no idea! “ she suddenly said in a higher tone. “ Ron, I’ve never been more happier and now… hearing this… it contradicts everything that you said earlier… you want me- “

“ I want you happy! “ he said. “ More than anything else, but I can’t embrace the fact that you’d be in danger every time you’re with him! People know, the wizarding society knows- “

“ You make it so hard. “ Her voice cracked.

“ Look at me, Mione, “ he said. “ The healers told me I could have bled to death, were it not for your quick aid and have you heard about the others? They’re more than bruised, one of us almost went crazy with a Cruciatus- “

“ Stop it, “ she said, trembling.

Ron looked down on his bandaged hand. “ Mione, I know this is hurting you, hearing all this. But I just had to break it to you, even if it hurts. “

“ It hurts! “

“ I want you safe. Harry wanted you safe. He told me- when he had fought with Voldemort- that if he couldn’t make it, I had to risk my own limbs and life to see you alive and safe. “

“ I can help you fight. I’m going to the Ministry tonight. I’ll clear things out, find who started this whole thing- “ She stopped, looking at Ron’s face. “ I’ll be fine. “

“ You can’t go alone. Some of our mates are coming. Go with them. “

“ Ron, I can apparate fine, thank you very much. “

“ Hermione, “ his voice sounded strained. “ Even in apparition… they can intervene. “

Her eyes widened. “ How? It’s only the individual that can determine his or her… “

“ I don’t know yet. But I’ve proven it; you saw what happened to me yesterday… “

She was silent again. Did it mean that the wizarding world was unsafe again? Lord Voldemort’s memory was indeed hard to suppress. He was still trying to rid the world of blood traitors and muggleborns.

“ Hermione, promise me, promise it to me, while I’m bloody alive, promise it to Harry’s memory. “

She finally gave a resigned nod. She squeezed Ron’s hand and silently exited the room to tell Draco something she never wanted to say.

Draco looked straight into her eyes as she came out of the room. The Weasleys went back inside again, with Molly eyeing both of them as she entered last.

Hermione felt her lower lip tremble. How was she going to say it? Would she even say it to him? Could she? She took a deep breath. “ Draco- “

He looked at her, gave a smile sigh and said: “ It’s okay. I know. “

She nodded and tears began spilling out of her eyes. “ I’m so sorry…I wanted to… but with Ron like this and you and- “

He held her shoulders gently. “ It’s okay. You know I want you safe. “ He looked at her face and saw her nervousness, her perfectly shaped lips trembled when he had held her shoulders.

“ We can fight… I can fight this, nothing to it. “

“ Staying away from me doesn’t mean it’s the end. “

“ It sounds like it, “ she said taking another deep breath, trying to compose herself. The words were all silly now. Nothing could make it sound right.

He shrugged. “It just sounds like it, “ he said quietly. “ That’s not true; you know it’s not true. “

“ It might become the truth, “ she responded holding his hand.

“ No, it won’t, “ he said firmly.

“ Draco, “ she began. “ You should know…. I love- “ she stopped.

He smiled and looked sideways. “ It’s okay. You don’t have to force yourself. I’ll be alright with that. “ And he kissed her cheek lightly and turned around.

Hermione stood quietly as she watched Draco walk away. Her heart almost broke, and she almost cried, and she didn’t. But somewhere, in the silence of the hall, she could hear a heart dying.




Author notes: since i uploaded fast, i expect some lovin'. haha. I find this chapter very soap-opera-ish. i hope this doesn't become one, as i have outlined my story already. but some things might change to cater to new ideas. i'm happy i've got positive responses from you, dear readers; as i've put my heart into this story.well, review away? also, i'm sorry if anonymous reviews haven't been getting the personal thanks from me, let's call it a case of laziness. hehe. ^_^

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