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“ Ron? “ Ginny walked up to Ron who was lying on the grass hours after he visited a very unconscious Hermione at St. Mungo’s. The stars were shining clearly tonight above their home, a wind played over the hills and forests surrounding them.

“ Hey, Gin, “ he said without opening his eyes.

“ I visited Hermione too, “ she said. “ Together with mum, dad and with Bill- Hermione looked…” she fumbled for words. “ At peace…”

“ They cast a spell on her, it should take two to three days they say, before her external wounds are healed. He-who- well, Voldemort’s ashes gave them a hard time. Those burns were nothing like they’d seen. “ He looked at his arms and saw shiny scars, which a mediwizard said should be gone in a week.

“ I’m glad you’re okay, “ she finally said.

Ron opened his eyes and smiled at his ravishing redhead of a sister. “ Thank you. “

“ I’m still worried though…about Hermione and Draco and everyone else that had been hurt real bad. What took them so long to respond, Ron? “

“ Dementors. They came, only half powerful as they had been before. I thought- we all thought they had been banished, forgotten. They’ve been resurrected; they’ve been used once more. Blaise and the rest- “ Ron’s voice choked, recalling Hermione suffering. “ We thought we wouldn’t make it. Hermione was dying in my arms, I could feel it…she entrusted me her wand, after mine had been destroyed…and Lupin had gone off, it was just the two of us. I had never been more afraid in my entire life. Draco had been then been hurt real bad. He couldn’t stand, he couldn’t move. I thought I was going to die. I had even thought Draco was dead by the time we got to him. Both Hermione and Draco were unconscious, Marko Sarovic was killed by Blaise- “

“ I heard Blaise lost his- “

“ He went crazy. I suppose he couldn’t take the failure. After we did what we could for Hermione and Draco, we found him, kneeling on the ground, his eyes wide open in shock, he kept mumbling things like: ‘master’, or ‘I’ve failed you’. “

“ The others? “

“ They were arrested soon enough. They were too battle worn and weak to move anyway. With Nott no longer fighting for them, with Blaise gone insane…there was no hope for another shot at that resurrection ritual. “

“ And the artifacts? “

“ Safe in the vault. They’ve been reconstructed. Voldemort’s wand was finally destroyed completely. Snape’s journal had to be kept, however, in case he hid something more from all of us. The pendant was reconstructed too, the dagger was kept. “

“ Draco and Hermione weren’t revived…” her voice trailed off. “ Why? “

He shuddered, recalling Voldemort’s face, his slithering, scaly looking hands tearing through Hermione’s chest. He shuddered again, recalling Voldemort’s emaciated greenish, putrid and rotten body coming out of Draco’s heart. “ They were hurt too bad… Voldemort- his fingers dug into Hermione’s flesh…I thought she was going to die…I thought I was going to die…”

“ You didn’t. You’re a Weasley. Weasleys never say die, “ she said quietly as she hugged her brother tightly. “ Don’t you ever scare us again, Ronald Billius Weasley! “ She conked his head and pouted. “ Mum nearly cried herself to death when she heard you were badly injured! Dad was shaking so bad, and Fred and George couldn’t stop pacing around to hear about you! Fleur was crying- I was crying! Don’t you ever-! “ and she began to cry again, relief flooding over her.

Ron smiled at her and hugged back. There was a very caring heart underneath all that red hair and passion for bringing out the news. “ Ginny, I want to get married. So why would I risk my handsome looks? “

Ginny punched his shoulder. “ You’d better! And some girl I’ll like, please? “

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“ I’ve been waiting for you to come around, “ the voice said quietly. Her eyes slowly opened and she saw sunlight streaming through the windows, the room filled with flowers and get well cards and other gifts of comfort.

Her throat hurt badly, she realized. She looked at the figure talking to her. He seemed vaguely familiar. Red hair with freckles, concerned dark brown eyes…gangly…a hand reached out to touch him.

“ Hermione, “ he said.

And she shook her head and held his face gently, as if holding on to some dream…and she knew that he was someone she had known for some time now…why was she in this white room? It was a very clean one…reminded her of a hospital…was she in one? She looked at her arms and saw bandages…why did she have bandages? Did an accident happen? Maybe she was dead…and what she was seeing was some other world… some world she had no idea of…

“ Hermione, “ the voice said louder this time.

She blinked and suddenly, the events of what had happened last night flooded into her head. And she began to cry, her lips were trembling and so were her hands. “ Oh Ron, “ her voice croaked as she buried her face in her hands. She looked up, her eyes darting wildly around the room. “ Draco- where’s Draco? “ she held his shoulders tightly, terror and apprehension flooding out.

“ Hermione- calm down…” Ron soothed her, as he stroked her back.

“ Where is he? “ she cried.

Ron held out her palm, the one without bandages. It was pale but Ron decided she had a good grip after being asleep for two days straight. And from his own hand, he slowly slipped something heavy into her palm. He said nothing and waited for her reaction.

Hermione felt the weight of the object, and she opened her palm wide. And she began to cry, a vacant cry, a cry that said everything was gone, someone was dead, someone was never coming back. And she clutched the object to her chest suddenly feeling the urge to throw things, break glass and kill herself.

“ Hermione, “ he held her face. “ He’s asleep. “

And she stopped and choked on another cry. Her eyes wet with tears, she looked at the object she was holding once more. It was the broken pendant. It saved them all…it saved her and Draco…

“ Can I- can I see him? “ she asked quietly.

Ron shrugged. “ I don’t know yet, Hermione. He’s still asleep. He hasn’t woken up. And I am glad to see you awake. “

“ But Draco- “ she began and then she felt dizzy and clutched her chest, her robes.

“ Lie down, “ Ron ordered. Hermione obeyed and he proceeded to explain once more. “ Hermione- the mediwizards and witches are doing everything they can. They’ve never seen such damage in their entire life, physically and psychologically- they told us the damage was too great, and that it was a wonder he survived. His heart was badly damaged. They gave Draco a day to survive. He’s lived two days already, Hermione- “

“ I need to see him- “ she began.

“ No, “ Ron said sharply. “ Hermione- “ his voice changed into a softer one. “ I almost lost you…we almost lost you; I felt that you were dead and at that moment I wanted to die too. I felt that if we both had lost Harry and that I had lost you, nothing was worth living for anymore. I wanted to save you, but there was a shield- and he-who-must- well, he was on your throat; intent on seeing you and Draco dead. He faded away Hermione. It worked. Your plan, what you kept from us, from me- it worked. When you’re better I want you to explain it to me, but right now...just rest.”

“ No! “ Hermione said in a louder voice. “ I want to see Draco! “

“ Hermione- “

“ He’s avoiding me, isn’t he? “

A mediwitch scurried in and saw Hermione wide awake, her eyes in tears. “ Miss Granger, “ she began. “ You still have to rest. “

“ No, “ she said stubbornly. “ I want to see Draco- “

“ Mister Malfoy is resting as well. Miss Granger, I must tell you, no one can visit him, under strict orders from the St. Mungo’s heads. Perhaps some other time when he has shown good prognosis. “

She sank back into her pillows and tried to collect her thoughts, her actions, herself. Her hands shook still and so did her lips. Good prognosis?! What did it mean?! He was dying, wasn’t he?

“ Miss Granger, please, don’t exert too much effort. You are still under observation- “ the mediwitch began.

Hermione touched her bandaged chest and felt a twinge of stabbing pain. It was still there. She nodded, finally relenting. And the mediwitch went out and she looked at Ron once more. Circles under his eyes, tousled hair. She saw that there was a coat over the old couch across the bed. He had slept here…” Please? “ she started. “ Tell me what happened? “

Ron sighed and looked at her eyes. “ Hermione…I don’t know…it’s been such a- Hermione…damn it. Why didn’t you tell me you had a way to save Draco? You shouldn’t have kept it- “

“ Someone told me to. A certain Angus Tied…” her voice faltered, not knowing if she should be defensive or completely ashamed of what she had kept from Ron and her other comrades. “ I’m sorry, Ron- “

“ Angus Tied? “ Ron shook his head in disbelief. “ Hermione…Alright. I’ll tell you what happened, and please, no violent reactions. I don’t want you dying in front of me or something like that. “ He took a deep breath and he started to narrate everything.

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Draco woke up, his head heavy, his eyes heavy. He flinched upon seeing light from a lamp. The light hurt. The darkness was more comfortable, more welcoming. His vision swayed as he tried to sit up. It was difficult. He felt like an invalid.

He heard a sound. He looked sideways and slowly. No one was there. Where was he? Why was he alone? The door creaked open and in came a blonde woman in her early forties.

“ Draco, “ she gasped softly. “ You’re-you’re awake. “ And she rushed to him and kissed his forehead as she brushed his messy blonde hair back.

“ Mother…” his voice trailed off. He slowly touched her cheek with the side of one finger, unable to distinguish if she was a dream or not. Well, was she? He felt half-dead…either he was a stranger in her dreams, or her…

“ Draco, my Draco, “ she was crying now and he felt her tears drop onto his own pale hands. They were cold…” Please, speak to me? Do you not recognize me? “

His mouth opened slowly, no voice came out. Instead he looked down at his heavily bandaged arms. He looked at her again. “ My chest….it hurts…”

And Narcissa Malfoy cried once more. The relief of seeing him talking was more than a reward.

“ How are you? “ he found himself asking.

“ Draco…” Narcissa began. “ do you know how many days you have been asleep? How many days you’ve hovered between life and death? Six days, Draco. Six days of unconsciousness…. And now- “

“ I’m alright, “ he said. “ Are you alright? “ he asked her with concern in his eyes.

She looked at her son, swathed in bandages; his chest was slowly healing, although they told her it would take some time and that he would never be free from pain. They could not believe he had lived through it. He was the first living horcrux they had come across. A Malfoy, a Deatheater, a pureblood.

His eyes darted back to his mother’s. “ Hermione! “ he suddenly gasped. “ Where is she?! “

“ Draco, she’s alive- “

“ I need to see her- “

“ You have to rest! “

“ No! Let me see her! Mother, please? “ And he suddenly gasped again and clutched his chest.

“ Draco! “ Narcissa cried, horrified. She ran out and in a second, a mediwizard trailed behind her.

“ Young man, “ the mediwizard said as he held his shoulders, trying to make him lie down on his bed once more, “ Please, don’t exert effort- “

“ Hermione! “ he said in gasps. “ I need to see her! “

“ Later, young Malfoy, “ the bespectacled mediwizard took out his wand to put Draco to sleep.

“ Don’t you dare put me to sleep, “ Draco said in a low tone.

“ If you want to stay alive, you will adhere to this, “ the doctor said gently. “ Miss Granger is well, she is resting. Both of you need it. You’ve gone through much- “

“ If you put me to sleep- “

“ You’ll what, Mr. Malfoy? “ the mediwizard began, straightening his spectacles.

He suddenly felt tired. “ Nothing, I- can’t I see her? Even for awhile? Just a few minutes? “ His eyes felt heavy.

The mediwizard shook his head. “ Perhaps another time, when you no longer have chest pains? “ he smiled at him. “ Sleep for now. “

Draco shook his head. “ You just- put- some spell on me, “ he muttered, his eyes dropping off. “ Hermione-

And he was asleep.

Narcissa looked at her sleeping son. It was hard to imagine that he had indeed survived that ritual. According to experts, no one can survive to be a living horcrux. Hermione…she had somehow figured out something, she had done something to make Draco live. She should be thankful…

And she walked out of the room and headed down the hall for Hermione Granger. She opened the door without knocking. The room was empty.

A mediwitch was cleaning up the room.

“ Hermione Granger? “ she began. “ Where is she? “

“ Checked out awhile ago, ma’am. “

Narcissa turned around and saw Lupin heading down her way. “ Lupin…Hermione Granger, where is she? “

“ Home, most likely. She’s stubborn. Didn’t want to stay here for another day, “ he replied. “ I was on my way to see Draco. How is he? “

“ Asleep. He threatened one of the mediwizards, he wanted to see Hermione Granger badly, “ she smiled. “ Where does this Hermione Granger live? “

“ A muggle place. Skye Apartments. Number 7, “ Lupin told her. “ You’re going to visit her? “ he smiled.

She nodded. “ I think I will. “

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She had apparated near the apartment. She saw a quaint, Mediterranean inspired building with mailboxes that said ‘SKYE Apartments’. She breathed in fresh air as some leaves fell around her. It was a nice place. She saw a mailbox that read ‘Hermione Granger #7’. She slowly walked up, wondering if she really was at home. She suddenly began to feel nervous…she was going to see Hermione Granger for the first time…

She walked up the gaily colored steps and walked up another flight of stairs. She saw a brass number 7 on a light brown colored door. She hesitated to knock on it at first. Then she did, twice. She heard a voice. The door flung open.

“ Ronald Weasley I told you no more flower- “ she stopped and stared at a fine looking blonde woman in a grey robes with a letter ‘M’ golden pin at the center. She bit her lower lip. “ I’m so sorry, “ she said flustered. “ I thought you were Ronald Weasley- I- Would you like to come in? “

“ Yes, thank you. “ She went in as Hermione closed the door.

Hermione began heading for the kitchen counter. “ I am so sorry- I haven’t had time for groceries- I just got out of- I- well, I only have Earl Gray- “

“ That’s fine, I’ll do it myself, “ she took out her wand as everything began to prepare itself. “ I don’t want you tired. Sit down with me. “

Hermione wanted to drown out of nervousness. She sat opposite to Narcissa, one arm still in bandages; a bandage was swathed around her chest too, as evident by a white patch against her black spaghetti strap top.

“ I suppose you know who I am? “ she began. There was a chink of china as the tea cups swirled in midair to land in front of them and on the low table Hermione got from a flea market.

Hermione could barely nod. “ I- yes…I think I do. “

“ Hermione- “ she began. “ I visited you, because, because I wanted to see you. I wanted to see the girl my son fell in love with. “

“ Madame Malfoy, “ she began.

“ Narcissa, call me Narcissa, “ she told her.

“ Narcissa, “ she took a deep breath. “ I- I’m sorry I couldn’t do better- I tried, I really did- “

“ I know you did, seeing you in front of me like that is evidence enough. For that, I am grateful. Hermione, never in my life did I expect that a muggle-born witch would save the only son I have. And I am glad it’s you. “

Hermione’s head was swimming. She was glad? Narcissa was not being prejudiced? How was this possible? “ Draco, “ she began. “ How is he? “

“ Asleep. He woke up just awhile ago, looking for you, “ she gave Hermione a soft smile. “ You’re pretty. I’m glad my son was right about you being pretty. And of course, they were all right about you being the smartest witch at Hogwarts in 50 years or so. “

Hermione smiled. “ I- I don’t know what to say- “

“ Let me do the compliments, dear, “ she said. “ I’d like to show you something. She took out something from her robes. It was a letter. “ I would like you to read it. “

Hermione reached for it and opened it.


~

October 31, 2005

Mother,

When you awake, you will find me long gone and my task completed. I apologize for having had to put you to sleep- I had to mother, for I want you unharmed and alive. I have sensed that you have feared that I would become like the man you married, for I am his son, after all. Sadly mother, I have become somewhat like him…and I know I cannot turn back. If I had to turn back- I would have escaped this a long time ago and I would have not allowed it to go this far.

I hold an unbearable curse, mother, that of Harry’s heart- that of me being the horcrux and I know I should have told you about the latter, but I could not. It’s both pride and the need to see you safe. And yes, Hermione’s included in that need. For I love her mother, for the first time, I truly loved without fear, without regret, without father’s voice; screaming that I should not, for my bloodline’s sake.

I am caught mother; I am caged between this temptation of power and the need to live to see you safe for the moment. You’ve told Lupin of my activities, I know, no matter how much you hide it, and I cannot blame you. I am humbled by the love you have given me, your concern to keep me safe. Live for me, for I know I won’t. Love for me, for I feel I will no longer have the opportunity to do so. Thank you so much for everything…

Draco

~



“ The letter was all about you, Hermione, “ Narcissa said as Hermione looked up at her after reading it. There were tears in Narcissa’s eyes. “ I read it, only after I had awakened, he put me to sleep. I read that letter first. After that came the letter from St. Mungo’s. I cried, Hermione. I thought my son was gone. But...you saved him. How did you do it? “

Hermione’s hands shook, suddenly recalling the events.



~

She was hurting, he was hurting. And she did not know which was the greater agony, her pain or his. Voldemort clutched her chest. His spindly fingers were reaching into her heart; she gasped and clutched at Voldemort’s cold hands as he smiled in victory. “ It is finished…”

~




“ Someone…someone gave me a pendant. I didn’t know what it was for. But that pendant did many things for all of us. Snape’s journal had been deciphered, Voldemort’s wand had been reconstructed- we thought there was no hope. Ancient runes were used. They had not deciphered everything. I did. I tried to. There was another prophecy. Some prophecy that had probably been stolen…. It was about someone’s downfall. I don’t know who made that prophecy…

To end the cycle, one must perish. Blood of the servant or the blood of the master, sacrificed blood… gained or lost. The heart that has been opened will be closed by the same entity. The living horcrux must be stabbed to where it lies. The heart… The dagger of serpents… the pendant of the triad of heirs…innocent blood and tainted blood, drip for the ground and into the cauldron- open fire for the notebook, to seal this secret- whoever you are, well done…you will either make the master live or make him expire...do what is right…follow the trail of blood…” she took another breath.

Narcissa looked on, absorbedly.

“ I’m sure it was made recently, it spoke of the horcrux….the dagger was from Marko Sarovic’s collection, “ she paused, remembering Ron say that he was dead. “ The triad of heirs meant the pendant of Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. I’d assume they made that after Slytherin left Hogwarts…the tainted blood and innocent blood…it’s still vague to me. But I understood it as my own blood and Draco’s. When our blood mixed, the pure blood of his became tainted…” she shuddered, recalling Voldemort’s burning hands on her skin and Draco’s gasping…



~

“ You fool- “ Voldemort’s snake-like tongue flicked out. “ A heart for a heart…? It will not work…!” His now wide eyes glowed red and green.

“ Hermione…” Draco gasped out with all he had. “ Do it, even if it!- “ He cried out as Voldemort’s face smoked up despite his rapid evolution, the pendant still on top of Draco’s chest.

“ Do it! “ Draco shouted, tears pouring out of his eyes, blood coming out of his mouth. Voldemort’s figure gave a scream as Draco did too...

~



“ Hermione? “ Narcissa began. “ Are you alright? “

She nodded, breaking free from her recollection. She still dreamed of Voldemort at night…still thought he would rise up from the ashes to kill her off, along with Draco. “ I- yes. “

“ Vague or not…you saved him. You saved us all, “ Narcissa said. And she reached out her hand for Hermione’s own. “ How would you like to see Draco later? “ she asked.

Hermione’s face lit up all of a sudden. “ I- I would like that very much. “

“ Will you tell me how you two met again? He never got to tell me the story of how you two met, “ she gave a wistful smile.

Hermione smiled as Narcissa reached for her tea. “ Well- you wouldn’t expect it- I didn’t. “



~

A silver colored Jaguar roadster stopped behind hers. The man wearing designer sunglasses looked ahead, seeing a seemingly pretty, wavy haired woman in heels, a black skirt and plain white long sleeves. She had her back turned and apparently had car problems.

He got down. “ Can I help you? Miss? “ he asked approaching her.

“ Well as a matter of a fact- “ she spun around and her eyes widened.

His eyes widened. “ Do I know- “ he began. The man had light blonde hair, wore a blue polo shirt with a few loose buttons and shiny leather shoes.

She stepped back and stared at him. “ M-Malfoy? “

He took of his sunglasses off and stared at her. “ Granger? “ he said in an awed voice….

~



Narcissa laughed. “ But I guess you figured it out after you knew that he had a heart transplant? “

She nodded. “ I did. I found out at a very inconvenient moment. “


~

“ 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. He had just slammed his palms on his table. “ Ever since I knew that I had that debilitating disease! Would you think it was easy for me-!? To live like that? To stop using magic-To incorporate with muggle medicine- To lose all my Malfoy pride-And to- to have Potter’s heart to survive-?! “

~



“ Dear, Draco had a very hard time adjusting to the fact that he had gotten Harry’s heart. Even I could not believe it. But- I had to accept it. That Harry saved him once more. Draco cried when he knew. It hurt his ego, his Malfoy stubbornness, and then he fell for you. He felt that Harry’s heart was toying with him because he fell for you. “

“ I didn’t- I- “

“ Dear, I’ve never seen Draco so enamored for someone, “ Narcissa told her. “ I’ve never seen Draco so enamored of you. “

“ I- I don’t know if he still feels the same…” she whispered.

Narcissa looked at her eyes. “ You’ll know soon enough, Hermione. “

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A/N: Okay, i couldn't resist. I had to upload and for good reason...Hermione's alive! Draco's alive!!! Wee!!!! aren't you all happy?!! hahahaha!!! a lot commented on how i also showed the lives of the others- i had to, it was tempting to my writer's soul. Most of the questions were answered here. About the battle and all. As a writer, i try my best to explain things, so if i have any shortcomings, critique me so i will learn. i like to learn. ^_^

three more chapters to go, i think. PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW! thank you all!!!

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