“Hottie alert, headed down the hall and to your office!”  The intercom on my desk whispered at me.


I chuckled to myself and shook my head before pressing the button on the little box.  “Thanks Anna, I’ll be sure to give myself a once over before the “hottie” comes in.”


Anna was my middle age secretary in my department at the Ministry.  She had been trying to fix me up with eligible bachelors for years now.  I tried to appease her, but I knew no one would ever do.


I worked as an Obliviator.  It wasn’t a glamorous job, and some days it was depressing.  One day I’d be feeling pleased that I could erase bad memories that victims held onto and others I thought about my mum and dad and how I wiped away their memories of me.  I eventually found them, emphasis on eventually.  Things have never seemed the same since though.  Memories restored, back to living in Britain, but I will always resent what I did to protect them.  And I’m afraid they will as well.


A knock on my door brought me back to the task at hand.  Ah yes, the hot stranger come to pay me a visit.  I quickly swiveled my chair around and took glanced quickly in my compact mirror before calling out a “Come in.”  After hearing the door open and close I slowly spun my chair back around.  My mouth dropped and my eyes went wide as I took in the gorgeous specimen of a man standing in front of my desk.


I coughed twice before finding my voice.  “Draco…” My voice still wasn’t strong.  Emotions swam through every inch of my body. 


I stood up and slowly walked towards him.  His eyes were trained on mine, a glassy look to them.  When I was no father than foot away from him he reached out to me.


“Hermione…”  He whispered lovingly.  I snapped.


I whipped my hand across his face as hard as I could, the tears streaming down my cheeks now.  No matter how much it must have hurt him, he didn’t pay any mind to his throbbing red cheek.  Draco recovered quickly and grabbed my wrists to pull me into him when I started pummeling his chest with my fists.  His arms had me in a vice grip.


“HOW COULD YOU!  WE THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!  HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME!!”  I screamed and sobbed into his chest as he held me tight.


My first true love was ‘back from the dead’ and holding me in his arms.  It was too much.  Too much for my long time broken heart to handle.  Too much for my brain to process.  I don’t know how long he held me and whispered “I’m sorry” and “I’ve never stopped loving you” to me, but I do know that I eventually passed out...


I could hear voices around me as I tried to claw my way out of the darkness.  Blurs appeared first, but quickly formed into shapes.


“Oh thank Merlin.  Hermione… Hermione can you hear me?”  Draco was crouched over me on the couch.  I suppose he had laid me down after I fainted.  His eyes were full of concern, his face streaked with fresh water marks.


I couldn’t keep in the gut wrenching sob that broke forth as he pulled me into his arms.  He was alive.  The man I had loved and thought I had lost 3 years, 2 months and 6 days ago was now back in my arms.


“You bloody asshole!  You inconsiderate prick!”  I called him all the names I could think of while he tightened his grip on me and rocked us back and forth.  He didn’t try to explain; he just held me to him and murmured “I know” over and over again.


When my hiccupping and tears finally slowed down he pulled away a bit to gaze down at me.  Faster than lightning his lips were upon mine, claiming me as his once more.  Not that I had ever really been anyone else’s since we ‘parted.’  I couldn’t fathom being with anyone else.  I was his for all eternity.  Draco’s kiss was hard, possessive.  He needed me as mush as I needed him.  I’m afraid I would have stripped him of all his clothes and made love to him in my office if I hadn’t heard someone clear their throat behind us. 


I pulled away and looked over his shoulder and into the faces of two of my best friends.  Harry and Ron were looking at us with pained eyes.  I expected them to be in shock as much as I was that Draco had appeared again, but somehow deep inside I knew.  They had known all along that he was alive.  They betrayed me.  They let me go on for years believing the one man I truly loved had left this earth and left me hear alone.


I untangled myself from Draco’s grasp and pushed him away.  The hurt and confusion in his eyes almost had me pulling him into my arms again.  I backed away from the three men in my office.


“How could you?”  I whispered fiercely to Harry and Ron.  Draco took a step towards me, but I turned my glacial glare on him and he stopped.  “Don’t come near me Malfoy.”  I growled and his face fell at the use of his surname.


“Hermione listen-”  Harry started but I cut him off.


“Don’t you dare try to explain yourselves to me.  You knew.  You knew he was alive didn’t you?”  I looked back and forth between Ron and Harry’s faces.  I already knew the answer but I wanted them to confirm it.


Seconds, then minutes ticked by before Harry sighed and slumped his shoulders.  “Yes.”  He finally admitted.


My heart ached.  I felt even more alone and devastated then I had for the past 3 and so on years.  “Why?”  I whispered as I stepped backwards till my legs hit the edge of the sofa.  I sat down and braced my elbows on my knees, my head in my hands.  “Why!”  I screamed when no one answered.


“It was for your own good, to protect you and-”


My head shot up and I glared at Harry once more.  The words stopped flowing from his mouth.  Next I turned my gaze on Draco.  He was looking at me like he was pleading with me to understand.  I didn’t of course.  How could he just leave me like that?  If he loved me then how could he let me go?


He stepped toward me and cautiously bent to his knees in front of me.  My eyes automatically closed and tears fell as I breathed in the scent of him, summer, Hogwarts gardens, sweat fresh from the Quidditch pitch; pure male.  His fingers caressed my cheek and I let out a strangled whimper as I remembered the beginning of ‘us.’


…… The war was over.  We survived.  Some of us anyway.  We knew we had to move on in memory of those we lost.  We had to show them that they didn’t die for nothing, and so we had to rebuild.  We rebuilt our world, our lives.  Hogwarts would never be the same, but it was a start.


May passed in tears, June much the same.  July and August smiles started to appear again.  The Hogwarts Express called to us as September neared.


One last look around Platform 9 ¾ and we boarded the train to start our final year; one we missed and were determined to make up.  Harry, Ron, Ginny, Neville and Luna marched on to find a compartment while I went in search of McGonagall and the Head’s compartment.  No surprise to my friends, I was named Head Girl.  It was an honor, I couldn’t wait to make a difference in Hogwarts.


Upon entering the Heads compartment I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to calm myself.  Opening them back up I gazed straight into Draco Malfoy’s grey orbs.  There was no malice or snear on his face.  In fact a slight upward curve danced at the corner of his lips. 


“Malfoy.”  I nodded and took a seat on the bench across from him.


“Granger.”  He acknowledged me then went back to his reading.


My heart beat wildly at the thought of him being Head Boy.  This meant we would be sharing a dorm, a bathroom… private space.  Not bedrooms thank Merlin.  I don’t know if I’d be able to handle something so intimate with the boy I had developed an insane crush on over the last weeks of the summer.


Draco and his mother had been staying at Grimmauld Place while Death Eaters were being captured.  His father was serving some time in Azkaban and the two of them needed protection.  At first it was difficult to see past our prejudices, but everyone eventually became civil with one another or just didn’t acknowledge each other.


Throughout that time I found myself watching Draco.  The way he stood, walked, talked, ate; everything about him fascinated me for some reason.  He seemed like nothing bothered him, except when he thought no one was watching.  At those times he seemed worn.  Thousands of things must have been whizzing through his mind as he gazed into the fire late at night, when he sat in the library staring out the window, pretending to read.


I was fascinated by him.  I wanted to know who he was, of course wanting that was complete rubbish.  He would never open up to me.  He tolerated me, only because we shared a house, but other than that I meant nothing to him.  That fact hurt more than anything as my obsession with him grew.  Not a glance, not even a glare anymore shot my way by the end of summer.  Sometimes it was as if I didn’t exist to him.


Back on the train I tried not to stare.  I tried to calm my breathing every time I would think about how close we were in the tiny compartment.  I hoped he couldn’t hear my heart beating a million miles per hour…


After the welcoming feast McGonagall showed us to our dorm.  My room was up the stairs on the right and his on the left.  A bathroom joined our rooms in the middle, a door on each side.


When we were left in the common room alone I didn’t know what to do.  I looked towards Draco to see his eyes fixed on my face.  A look of confusion clouding his features.  Two seconds later he shook his head slightly, murmured a ‘goodnight’ and strode up the stairs to his room.  I didn’t sleep well that night.  He was a room away, just like at Grimmauld Place, but this time we were the only ones here.  I didn’t know how to look at him, be in his presence every day and not make my feelings known.  Practice I suppose.


Weeks passed, I tried to ignore him and my feelings as best I could.  But of course they grew with every glance my way, every word spoken to me at prefect meetings, every time I was in a room with him.  One night changed everything.  After patrolling the halls I entered our common room to find Draco asleep on the couch, an open book across his stomach.  I tiptoed across the room and carefully lifted the book off him and placed it upon the table.  Looking back I couldn’t help but take him in.


He was beautiful.  His blonde hair swept across his eyelids, his lush pink lips just begging to be kissed.  With a mind of its own my hand reached out and my fingers gently traced his lower lip.  I didn’t realize what I was doing until a pale hand closed around my wrist.  My eyes snapped to Draco’s and I tried to pull away, but he brought my fingers back to his lips and kissed each one, slowly, sensually.


My eyes closed, from embarrassment or longing I don’t know.  I do know my breathing started to hitch and I moaned low in my throat.


“Hermione… look at me.”  Draco’s hot breath fanned across my face.  My eyelids fluttered open, he was only inches away.


I tried to back up but he held me around the waist, held me against his body.  His glorious, hard body…


“Why have you been ignoring me?”  He looked straight through me, he wanted an actual answer.


“I haven-” 


“Don’t lie to me.”  He brought me closer if that was possible.  His whole frame pressed against every inch of mine.  I braced my hands on his shoulders, they were solid just like the rest of him and they felt wonderful beneath my touch.  “Why don’t you want me anymore?”


My heart started pounding, ‘why don’t you want me anymore?’… oh Merlin…


“Wha- what do you mean?”  I tried to struggle out of his grasp and look away.  Deny Hermione, yeah… that never turns out well.


Draco held me tighter and forced my eyes back to his.  “I know you watch me.  I see how you follow my every move.  At first this summer I thought you, the Golden Trio, were keeping tabs on me.  But then I noticed it was just you.  The others didn’t give me the time of day.  Sure we tolerate each other, but they left me alone.  Not a word or glance in my direction.  But you… you see everything.  And I see everything too.  I know you watch me when you think I’m not aware of anything.  I know how you feel, because I feel it too.  Or how you felt anyway. 


“I couldn’t stand being near you for fear of doing something stupid, something that would get me slapped again.  Then a switch was flipped.  You ignore me, avoid me.  I don’t understand, but tonight… you can’t do something like that and not have any feelings for me.”


I couldn’t breath.  He was right, about everything.  I still had feelings for him, big problem causing feelings.  I tried to free myself again but to no avail.


“Draco please…”  I looked away and was caught off guard when his lips met the skin on my throat.  I gasped and felt my heart stop for a moment.


“I want you Hermione.  And I know you still want me too.  I didn’t know how to approach you, but this is just going to have to do.”  He lifted his head to look me in the eyes again.  I stopped struggling, my heart now leaping for joy.  He wanted me.  Me.


Draco’s hands gently framed my face and his thumbs rubbed soothing circles on my cheeks.


“Kiss me Hermione.  Don’t make me wait any longer.”  His lips were mere inches from mine.  What have I got to lose?  My heart?  I was pretty sure it was gone the moment he said he wanted me.


And so I took a leap of faith and dove in to claim his lips.  His hand tangled in my hair bringing me closer still, the other pressed me to him.  I clung to him for dear life.  That night I would always remember.  My first kiss with Draco, the night that I fell in love with him.



….. I came back to the present when I heard a voice stop short.


“Hermione are you ready for lun-”


My eyes shot open and I looked over Draco’s shoulder.  A very pregnant Ginny stood in the doorway looking at Draco with wide eyes.  Oh Merlin.


“Wha- Draco?”  Ginny gasped out and nearly fell to the floor as her knees gave out.  Harry and Ron rushed to catch her then sat her down in an office chair.


“Ginny…I- well.  Yeah.  I don’t know how to explain.  I still don’t fully know what’s going on either.”  I stood up and away from Draco who went to join the other two.  I kneeled down beside my best girlfriend and leaned my head on her big belly and let the tears flow.


“Shh… Hermione.  Will someone please explain?”  Ginny stroked my hair and held me to her. 


“Well-”  Harry started to explain but Draco cut him off.


“I was on assignment.”


“And that means?”  Ginny sounded frustrated now.  Don’t mess with a pregnant lady.


“I was forced into hiding.  Mainly because some rogue Death Eaters were still after me.”


I gasped and looked up at Draco.  He dragged a hand down his face and walked to the fireplace.  “The Ministry asked me to go under cover, pretend I was still one of them so I could infiltrate their camps, gather their plans and destroy them from the inside.  One night went wrong.  Someone followed me, they overheard me talking with a couple of Aurors and when I got back to camp I was ambushed.  They tortured me for hours… thought I was dead.  I was ordered to go into hiding after that, just until all those involved were captured.”  He pounded a fist against the stone mantel.


“It has taken 3 years, 2 months, 6 days and 11 hours for them all to be captured and I have not once forgotten your face Hermione.”  Draco turned towards me, eyes glazed over with tears.  “I have dreamed of this day, wanted to hold you in my arms every second of every hour I was gone.  I pictured you beside me each night and each morning.  I talked to you when I was alone, begging you to understand.  It was too dangerous.  I couldn’t risk your life.”  He was kneeling beside me now, holding my face between his hands.  Both of us had tears streaming down our cheeks.


He brushed his lips gently over mine.  “I love you beyond words Hermione and I know it doesn’t make what I did any better, but I am so very sorry for what I’ve put you through.  I couldn’t let them get to you.  If I was dead to them then they had no reason to harm those I loved.  Please, please forgive me.”


I held onto him as tightly as I could.  I knew he did it because he loved me, and I know that’s why Harry and Ron didn’t tell me either, but I needed him.


“I’ve loved you since that first kiss Draco, since you first said you wanted me.  That’s never wavered.  There would never be anyone for me but you.”


He lifted me off the ground and hugged me to him again before burying his face in my hair.


“Please tell me it wasn’t the two of you that put him up to this.  You two were the Aurors he was overheard with weren’t you?” Ginny was glaring at Ron and Harry. 


“Ginny please…”  Harry stepped towards her.


“Don’t you Ginny me Mr. Potter.  You will be sleeping on the couch tonight.”


Harry stopped in his tracks and sulked. 


We all turned toward the door when we heard it creak open followed by:


“Cassiopeia!  You slow down this instant!”


I froze in Draco’s arms as he did in mine.  No, no not yet…..


A tiny blonde headed girl with curls wobbled her way into my office followed by Mrs. Weasley.


As expected Cassie took one look around the room before landing her big grey eyes on me.


“MUMMY!”  My precious little girl ran over to me and wrapped her arms around my leg.   


I felt Draco release me and take a step back.  Not good.


“Dra- Draco?”  Molly was frozen in the doorway just like her daughter had been.  In no time she was across the room and engulfing Draco in a hug.  “Oh my boy… we’ve missed you so.”


Draco I feared was on auto pilot and hugged Molly for a fraction of a second before stepping away again.


She stepped back and looked at all the faces in the room then realization dawned across her features.  She walked back to where Cassie and I were now embracing and took my little one’s hand.


“Come Cass, let’s let Mummy and your aunts and uncle and uh the nice man talk.  We can come back a little later.”  Molly tried to pry Cassie from my arms.


“I don’t want to.”  Cassie held tighter to me.


“It’s ok baby, I’ll see you in a little bit.  I just need to do some more work then I’ll be home.”  I kissed her cheek.


“Come on Cassie, if you’re a good girl I’ll get you some ice cream.”  Molly always used that line, and once again it worked.  Cassie grasped Molly’s hand and tried to sprint out the door.


“I love you baby.”  I called after her.  Now it was time to deal with some things.  I turned around and faced Draco.


“You… you have a child?”  He looked heartbroken.


“No Draco.  WE have a child.  That was your daughter.  Cassiopeia Narcissa… Malfoy.”


“My what!?”  Draco screeched before falling to his hands and knees.





A/N:  I do NOT own Harry Potter.


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