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    oOo

    "Picking up the pieces, of the wreck you went and left. And I'm dealing with dilemmas in my now so stressful life. And I'm drinking stronger spirits, I made my home here on the floor and I'm losing all ambition and goals..."

    oOo

    After four years...

    "You're drinking again" Pansy said as she padded inside her best friend's room.

    Draco tore his eyes away from the newspaper he's reading and stared at the petite raven haired woman who's standing near his bed. "Hey Pans" he greeted.

    Pansy frowned and walked towards the couches; she sat right in front of him and crossed her legs. "Still obsessing over her, I see" she observed.

    Draco blatantly ignored her comment and took a sip of his scotch; "I don't know what you're talking about Pans, I'm just reading the paper" he replied.

    Pansy sighed and studied her best friend's gaunt face; "Draco...it's been four years...Don't you think it's time to move forward?" she softly said.

    Draco threw the paper on the coffee table and frowned; "I don't understand what you're saying Parkinson. I'm perfectly fine" he replied coldly.

    Pansy shook her head; "After all these years, you're still in denial. No wonder you can't move an inch from where you were before" she said.

    Draco huffed; "It's my business, mind your own. What brings you here anyway?" he snapped.

    Pansy rolled her eyes; "I'm here because I had to hand-deliver your invitation to the wedding. Theo doesn't want me to owl it because he knows you'll blame the owl if the invitation gets lost. We don't want you ditching the wedding after all" she said.

    Draco chuckled and took another sip of his drink; "So, you two are really doing it? No more drama?" he teased.

    Pansy laughed and threw a pillow at Draco; "That was before! Don't bring that up, you prick!" she replied.

    Draco just smiled and shook his head.

    Pansy took a peek on her watch and stood up; "Well I better go, I still need to deliver a couple more invites" she said while fixing her dress.

    Draco nodded; "I'll be at your wedding, I wouldn't miss it for the world Pans" he promised.

    Pansy smiled; "I know you wouldn't. I'll see you soon love" she said while walking towards the door. She twisted the knob and pulled it open; she was about to step out but abruptly stopped. "Draco?" she said.

    Draco raised a brow; "Hmmmnn?"

    "Please control your alcohol intake, you've been drinking so much in the past years and I'm worried about you..." Pansy said.

    Draco took a deep breath and nodded; "I will Pans, don't worry about me. I'm alright" he replied.

    Pansy studied his pale face and nodded; "I'll see you soon" she said.

    "Take care" Draco said.

    Pansy stoops out and began walking towards the stairs; she was about to move towards the staircase when she heard a distinct voice.

    "Pansy?" Lucius called out.

    Pansy stopped in her tracks and turned to face the older Malfoy; "Oh! Hello Uncle Lucius, it's been a while" she said while smiling.

    Lucius smiled back and padded towards his son's best friend; "Indeed it is, have you seen Draco?" he asked.

    Pansy nodded; "I did a couple of minutes ago, I just gave his invite. I already gave yours to Aunt Cissy" she replied.

    "That's nice to hear, where is Theo?" Lucius asked.

    "He delivered some invites to Switzerland, we decided to work separately so we can work faster" Pansy said.

    Lucius smiled knowingly; "Merlin knows there'd be a lot of distractions between you two" he teased.

    Pansy's cheeks redden in embarrassment.

    Lucius laughed heartily.

    Pansy cleared her throat and raised her chin in defiance; "Well, I better be going then. It was nice seeing you, please tell Aunt Cissy that I'll talk to her soon" she said.

    "Alright dear, you take care" Lucius said.

    Pansy smiled and walked towards the staircase, descending gracefully.

    oOo

    Meanwhile...

    Draco took a huge gulp of his scotch as he read through the front page for the millionth time.

    "Hermione Granger, one third of the Golden Trio spotted in Diagon Alley! After 2 years of seclusion from the Wizarding World, our heroine comes home. The question is, will she stay for good? Or will she disappear again? See page 6 for further details and pictures"

    He imperiously turned the paper to the said page and felt his heart ache a bit as he stares at the moving picture of the girl he once had. He took a deep breath to control the swirling emotions that are resurfacing and felt his grip tighten as each scene showcased her expressions that he misses so much. Gently, he place placed the paper on top of his lap and leaned his head back on his lazy boy. He closed his eyes tightly and bit his lower lip; keeping himself from screaming on the top of his lungs.

    Knock...Knock...Knock...

    His eyes snapped opened and let out a loud groan.

    "Draco?" Lucius called out.

    Draco sighed but just kept silent, letting his father believe that he's not inside the room.

    "Draco, I know you're in there, I just saw Pansy a couple of minutes ago, open this door" Lucius said.

    Draco groaned again; "What do you want?" he asked.

    Lucius knocked again, ignoring his son's question.

    "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU BLOODY WANT?" Draco shouted louder.

    The door vanished as Lucius padded inside the room; "I tried asking nicely but you continued to ignore me, now your door is nowhere to be seen" Lucius said.

    Draco rolled his eyes; "Why can't you take a hint? Its common courtesy that if you knock at someone else's door and they did not open it, it means that they don't want to be disturbed" he snapped.

    Lucius raised his pale brow and walked towards the seat that Pansy vacated; he sat down and crossed his legs. "It's also common courtesy that if your father is knocking on your door, you should open it or you should answer politely" he challenged.

    Draco ignored his father's chastisement and threw back the remnants of his drink.

    "You shouldn't drink too much you know, you're mother is having fits seeing you sleeping on the floor because you're too drunk to crawl your arse up your bed" Lucius said.

    "I don't sleep on the floor Father and if by chance I do, it's my choice, it's my life and you and Mother cannot do anything about it" Draco replied snidely.

    Lucius eyed his son and sighed; "Is this still about the mud-muggleborn witch Draco? It's been four years son, don't you think it's time to forget about it?" he asked exasperatedly.

    Draco hastily stood up and pointed his wand at his Father; "Get out of my room!" he shouted.

    Lucius sat still and continued staring; "Don't point your want at me boy, you still live under my roof."

    Draco didn't lower his wand and stared at his Father fiercely; "I live here because Mother begged me to stay but if I can have my way I would've left a long time ago without looking back. You destroyed my life and you don't get to say how I decide to waste it further. You don't get to call the shot's anymore Father, you don't own me" he hissed.

    Lucius quietly stood up and turned to walk away; he stepped out and conjured the door again.

    "One more thing Father" Draco said.

    Lucius stopped in his tracks and turned around to face his son.

    "Don't you dare call Hermione a Mudblood" Draco hissed.

    Lucius said nothing and just closed the door behind him.

    "Lucius?"

    Lucius turned to face his wife; "Yes, love?" he asked.

    Narcissa furrowed her pale brows; "Did you talk with your son?" she asked.

    Lucius sighed and nodded; "If that's what you call talking, then we did" he replied.

    "Is he still drinking?" Narcissa asked worriedly.

    "Yes he is" Lucius replied.

    Narcissa sighed; "I just wish he'd stopped drinking...it's bad for his health...he's been like that since...since she left..." she half-whispered.

    "I know..." Lucius replied.

    Narcissa cleared her throat; "Don't you think it's time to let them be together?" she asked softly.

    Lucius felt his jaw tighten; "What are you saying Narcissa?" he asked.

    "He's ruining his life...We forced him to leave her didn't we? It is our fault that our son is slowly deteriorating right in front of our eyes..." Narcissa said sadly.

    Lucius looked away.

    Narcissa sniffed and gently touched her husband's hand; "It's been years Lucius, I think it's time to concede and let him find his happiness. Even if it's with her..." she said.

    Lucius turned to face his wife and gathered her hand's in his; "Am I in the wrong Cissy? I only wanted him to have the best" he said.

    Narcissa squeezed his hands; "I know you just want the best for him but he's no longer a child, love. He is a grown man and he has the right to choose what he wants in his life. We've already done enough damage when we chose to follow the Dark Lord, let's not make him suffer further. I think he loves the girl..." she replied.

    Lucius took a deep breath and nodded; "Alright, I won't stand in their way anymore but I also won't proactively encourage him to pursue her. If he wants her back then he should make a move on his own" he conceded.

    Narcissa smile widely; "That's all I ask of you love, thank you" she said sincerely.

    Lucius planted a soft kiss on his wife's lips.

    oOo

    "I'm going all out, I'm thinking you're just as bad..."

    oOo

    "I hate that rotten bug! If I knew by then that she would still be this troublesome I would've squashed her a long time ago!" Hermione ranted as she scanned the contents of the paper.

    Luna studied her best friend's fuming form and smiled; "Ainee, come on. She didn't write anything libellous like the last time, give it a rest" she said.

    Hermione threw the paper on the coffee table and took a deep breath; "I know Lu, I just hate it. I don't want the whole town to know that I'm here" she explained.

    Luna raised her pale brow and sat right in front of her best friend; "Why is that?" she asked.

    Hermione leaned back on her chair and crossed her arms on top of her chest; "You know why..." she said.

    "After all this time? You're still carrying his torch?" Luna asked.

    Hermione felt her cheeks redden so she opted to look away.; she then leaned forward and grabbed her drink.

    Luna chuckled and shook her head; "No need to be shy love, I think he's just as bad" she said.

    Hermione almost choked on her wine and coughed uncontrollably.

    Luna laughed and summoned a glass of water; "That's what you get from drinking wine in the middle of the day!" she said while handing the glass.

    Hermione wiped her mouth with her hand and gingerly took the glass of water from Luna's hand; she took a sip while staring at her best friend, willing her to continue.

    Luna took interest on the crisps on the table and began gathering few pieces on her hand; deliberately ignoring Hermione's questioning eyes.

    Hermione placed the glass on top of the coffee table and continued staring.

    Luna gingerly stuffed the crisps in her mouth and chewed slowly.

    Hermione sighed; "Common Lu! Stop the theatrics, tell me what you mean!" she said.

    Luna chewed the last bit and took a swig of her water; "What do you want to know?" she asked.

    "What do you mean when you said that he's just as bad?" Hermione asked.

    Luna bit her bottom lip and sighed; "You know I've been friends with Blaise right? Well he's been telling me some things about Draco..." she trailed off.

    Hermione swallowed hard and kept silent, urging Luna to finish her speech.

    "He told me that ever since you left four years ago, he's never been with any other witch and he's been spending his time in a pub or his Manor, drinking his life away..." Luna said. "Blaise is very much worried you know, because it's very bad for his health, he doesn't even go out to socialize anymore..." she added.

    Hermione bit her bottom lip and looked away.

    Luna sighed.

    "It's up to him what he does with his life you know; whatever he does right now is his choosing. I will not lie about it, I still care and part of me still loves him but I will not jeopardize what I have right now for him..." Hermione whispered.

    "I know love," Luna replied.

    Hermione stood up and walked towards the large windows; she faced the garden and closed her eyes.

    Luna stood up and padded towards her best friend; she stood beside her and placed her arm on her shoulders. "Let's stop talking about the ferret, its making you gloomy" she teased.

    Hermione opened her eyes and smiled; "You're right, let's just go out and drink!" she said.

    Luna rolled her eyes; "Drinking again aye?" she asked.

    Hermione laughed; "Of course!" she replied.

    oOo

    "No sleeping at night but I'm going from bar to bar, why can't we just rewind?"

    oOo

    "Draco?" Blaise asked exasperatedly.

    Draco took a swig of his beer and turned around; "Blaise my old mate! It's nice to see you here!" he said jovially.

    Blaise sat right in front of him and studied the bottles on top of the table; "Looks like you had an early start mate, 5 bottles aye?" he asked.

    Draco smiled widely; "Indeed! I had to escape that dreadful place my parent's call home!" he replied.

    Blaise shook his head as he grab a bottle of beer from the bucket; "Why choose a muggle place tonight?" he whispered.

    Draco took another swig of his beer and leaned on the leather settee; "She's home mate, I can't afford an unexpected run in" he explained.

    Blaise grabbed some nuts from the bowl and began munching; "I did see the paper, she still looks the same though. I wonder where she hid" he said.

    Draco snorted.

    Blaise shook his head; "It's insane I tell you, Luna tells me she's been around France, partying like a hell-cat but avoids London like our country has plague! I thought she left Hogwarts early to be Healer?" he asked.

    Draco grabs a handful of nuts and ignored his friend's question.

    Blaise took a swig of his beer and raised his brow.

    "What?" Draco asked.

    "Didn't she become a Healer?" Blaise asked.

    Draco shook his head and sighed; "I don't know mate. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. I don't know" he replied.

    "I thought you were stalking her all these years?" Blaise asked.

    Draco snorted; "I did not!" he replied.

    Blaise laughed; "Yes you did! Why do you keep all those new paper's clipping then? Why do you always go to Paris?" he replied.

    Draco felt his face redden so he looked away.

    Blaise laughed harder; "Admit it mate, you still have it bad! Like what I said awhile ago, I've been talking with Luna, one of her best friends. Luna told me she's not seeing anyone seriously. She goes out on dates but never a serious relationship after you, you know?" he offered.

    Draco scoffed; "Our relationship was never a serious one, she broke up with me, right?" he said bitterly.

    Blaise rolled his eyes; "She broke up with you because she caught you red-handed!" he reminded his best friend.

    Draco looked away.

    "Well, it's the truth. I'm your best friend so I will tell you all the things you don't want to hear. It was your fault and you should suffer the consequences. But it's been years mate, don't you think that's enough penance for what you did? Don't you think it's time let go and move on?" Blaise asked seriously.

    Draco kept silent and continued nursing the beer in his hands.

    Blaise took a swig of his beer and sighed; "Forgive yourself for the things you cannot change. Don't waste your life drinking and bar hopping, it won't do you good" he then stood up.

    "Where are you going?" Draco asked.

    Blaise smiled; "I'm meeting Luna" he replied.

    Draco raised his brow; "You two getting serious?" he asked.

    "We are..." Blaise replied.

    Draco smiled sincerely and nodded; "Good for you then, see you around" he said.

    Blaise smiled back; "You should go home after that last bottle mate, you drink too much" he said.

    "Yes Mum, I will" Draco replied.

    Blaise shook his head and began walking away.

    "Blaise?" Draco called out.

    Blaise turned around and faced him; "Yes?"

    "Thank you" Draco said.

    Blaise smiled; "You're welcome" he replied.

    oOo

    "Oh remember at 16, oh the crazy drunken night we had. When I kissed you in the hallway then i took you straight to bed. Two years on and I'm still that same boy I was..."

    oOo

    "Head Mistress, Mr. Malfoy is at the gates, asking for permission to enter" Filch said.

    Minerva tore her eyes away from the tomb she's reading and fixed her glasses; "Mr. Malfoy? Is it Lucius?" she asked.

    Filch scratched his head; "I'm not sure Head Mistress, but I think it's his brat, the young one" he replied.

    Minerva sighed and stood up; "Let him in and bring him to my office" she said.

    Filch nodded and began walking away.

    Minerva padded towards the large windows and stared at grounds, thinking why the young Malfoy is here.

    oOo

    Filch opened the gates; "The Head Mistress wants me to take you to her office" he said.

    Draco nodded and followed the Old Care Taker.

    oOo

    "Mr. Malfoy, what a pleasant surprise" Minerva said. She gestured for him to sit down, while she took her seat.

    Draco obliged; "I'm sorry for the late and un-announced visit Head Mistress" he said.

    Minerva smiled warmly; "No need to address me so formally Draco, you can call me Minerva, you have graduated after all" she said.

    Draco smiled; "It will take a lot of practice...Minerva" he replied.

    "So what brings you here?" Minerva asked.

    Draco looked down and studied his feet; "To be honest, I also don't know why I'm here. I guess I just want to look around and think" he replied honestly.

    "Something is bothering you I presume?" Minerva said.

    Draco just nodded solemnly.

    "Then go ahead, feel free to roam around, I give you my permission" Minerva said.

    Draco's head snapped upwards and stared at his former Head Mistress.

    Minerva just smiled; "Putting up old ghosts to rest is the only way to move on, I believe you have a lot to settle" she said.

    Draco just stared.

    Minerva then stood up and waved her hand dismissively; "Go now, I'll see you next time Draco" she said.

    Draco stood up and just nodded; he walked towards the door and pulled it open. "Professor" he called out again.

    "Yes?" Minerva asked.

    "Thank you" Draco said sincerely.

    Minerva smiled widely; "You are welcome" she replied.

    Draco exited the room and closed the door.

    "I just hope you find the closure you needed, it's time" Minerva said to herself.

    oOo

    Draco walked towards the old head's room and stood outside the door. He was about to pull it open when memories suddenly crept in.

    ***Flashback***

    "I beat you Granger!" Draco said smugly.

    Hermione bent forward and braised her hands on her knees; breathing heavily. "You cheated!" she huffed.

    Draco snorted; "I did not! You were slow as a slug!" he teased.

    Hermione glared at the blonde boy standing right in front of her; "I have alcohol in my system you prick! Of course I will be sluggish!" she snapped.

    Draco laughed louder.

    Hermione rolled her eyes and began walking towards the door; she was about to whisper the password when she felt her arms being pulled away roughly and her back being shoved towards the wall beside the door.

    Draco stood closely right in front of her; caging her in while smiling predatorily.

    Hermione's eyes widen in shock; "What are you doing?" she squeaked.

    Draco smiled widely; "What do you think? I'm taking my price, of course!" he said.

    Hermione swallowed hard; "What price?" she asked.

    "The price for winning this race" Draco said.

    "I—I did not accept the challenge..." Hermione said breathily.

    Draco's face came closer, as his eyes bore to hers; "Oh, naughty Gryffindor, you did that's why you ran. I didn't know that you were a coward, what would your Dear-old-Godric would say?" he teased.

    Hermione bit her lower lip.

    Draco moved his hands towards her face; tugging her hold on her bottom lip. "Don't bite it love, I would do the honours" he said while lowering his lips towards hers.

    Hermione was about to reply when she suddenly felt his lips on hers; she started pushing him away but all struggle left her when she felt him nibbling on her lower lip. Moaning into the kiss, she wound her arms around his neck instead pulling him closer.

    Draco moaned happily to the kiss and pressed himself closer; he continued kissing her deeply until they need to part to breathe.

    Hermione groaned when he pulled away; catching her breath heavily.

    Draco began peppering her face with butterfly kisses; "You're so beautiful..." he murmured.

    Hermione smiled while playing with his hair.

    Draco took her lips again and ground his hips towards hers; "Let's take this inside" he whispered.

    Hermione groaned with the contact and nodded.

    Draco hastily pulled her off the ground and wrapped her thighs around his waist.

    Hermione squeaked; "Put me down, I can walk" she said.

    Draco chuckled and continued kissing her face, trailing it towards her neck.

    Hermione moaned in pleasure as she moved her neck to give access.

    Draco began walking towards the door and murmured the password; he struggled with the knob but successfully opened it after a couple of tries. He then closes the door with his foot and continued walking towards his room.

    Hermione caught her breath when Draco bit her neck playfully; "Where are we going?" she asked.

    Draco ascended the stairs towards his room without difficulty and hastily opened his door; "Taking you to bed of course" he said a matter of factly.

    "But my room is on the other side..." Hermione whined.

    Draco nipped her neck as he lower her down his bed; "Well, let's just say that you're staying here with me tonight" he whispered seductively.

    Hermione opened her mouth to reply but Draco cut her off with his lips again.

    He kissed her deeper and began settling himself between her thighs. He then trailed his kisses towards her neck as he began loosening her tie; "Is this alright?" he asked.

    Hermione moaned as she nodded; "That feels so good..." she replied breathlessly.

    Draco pulled the tie away and began unbuttoning his blouse; "You're so beautiful" he whispered.

    Hermione felt her face and neck flush.

    Draco then sat on his hunches and pulled Hermione towards him; "Stand up love, I need to take this blouse off" he whispered.

    Hermione giggled and obliged.

    Draco was pulling away her blouse when Hermione caught his hands, making him stop. "What?" he asked.

    Hermione motioned towards the door; "Can you at least close the door?" she asked.

    Draco turned towards his door and chuckled; "Oh I forgot" he said candidly. He hastily stood up and walked towards his door; he closed it and whispered the strongest locking charm he can muster. He then turned towards the brunette; "Can we continue now?" he asked.

    Hermione took off her blouse and threw it at his face; "Come and get it" she said seductively.

    Draco laughed and began walking towards his bed with a big smile on his face.

    ***End of Flashback***

    "Malfoy is that you?"

    Draco was torn away from his trance and turned to face the man standing a few meters away from him; "Longbottom?"

    Neville walked towards him while scratching his head; "Yes it's me," he replied.

    Draco scrunched up his face; "What are you doing here?" he asked.

    Neville chuckled nervously; "Well, I work here. I'm the new Herbology Professor, how about you?"

    Draco's eyes widen and nodded in understanding; "That's not surprising, you have always been good with plants" he said.

    Neville felt his face redden; "Errr" he said.

    Draco grinned; "Well it's true, even Snape can't contest that" he said.

    Neville scratched his head again; "Err, thank you then" he replied.

    Draco nodded.

    "It's not that I'm prying but you cannot imagine my shock when I saw you standing there, what brings you back?" Neville asked.

    Draco sighed; "I guess I'm just here to clear my head" he replied seriously.

    Neville nodded; "Do you need company? I can't sleep as well" he offered.

    Draco thought for awhile and nodded; "So, Long-Neville, it's been a long time" he said.

    Neville smiled; "Yes it's been...Draco" he replied.

    oOo

    After a couple of cups of tea and a packet of fag:

    "So that's why Hermione left without saying goodbye" Neville said.

    Draco nodded as he took a long drag of his fag; "It's my fault. I've been an arsehole, a big stupid arsehole" he said dejectedly.

    "Did she know the real reason why you did that?" Neville asked.

    Draco looked away.

    "I thought so, typical Slytherin!" Neville said.

    "I didn't want to involve her with my problems, she's in enough danger by being Potter's best friend, and I didn't want to put another tab on top of her head!" Draco replied.

    "But you know Hermione right? You should've explained it to her before you made that horrible decision. She'd have your head for deciding without asking her opinion" Neville explained.

    Draco flicked the fag away and sighed; "I know..."

    Neville studied Draco's face; "You still love her?" he asked bluntly.

    Draco flinched uncomfortably; "That's no longer important now" he replied.

    Neville leaned forward; "But it is!" he replied.

    Draco's eyes widen; "What do you mean?" he asked.

    "I think...I think she still love's you..." Neville said softly.

    Draco huffed; "After what I did to her? Even I, wouldn't forgive myself!" he exclaimed.

    Neville just chuckled.

    Draco's brow furrowed; "What's so funny?" he demanded.

    "Well that makes you two different. Hermione is a bleeding heart; she would've forgiven anyone for murdering her cat, given that it's for a viable reason!" Neville replied.

    "Of course not! She loves that beast deeply!" Draco replied aghast.

    Neville shook his head; "She will!" he replied.

    Draco scoffed.

    Neville threw his head and laughed.

    Draco smiled; "You're not so bad you know" he said.

    Neville smiled back; "You're not bad yourself Malfoy" he replied.

    oOo

    "You might blame it on me but you insisted that we fall. Wiped your hands of me and said you needed more, more, more"

    oOo

    Flashbacks: (Some scene from Between the lines)

    Hermione let out a small smile; "We may not have ended what we have in better circumstances but I would not deny to you or myself that for the short time we've been together, I was happy and I still want to thank you for that. Thank you for teaching me how to love Draco and I hope you'll be happy. Have a nice life" she said sincerely.

    Draco opened his mouth to reply but Hermione just shook her head and closed the door behind her.

    Draco braised his elbows on each knee and buried his face in his palms; he felt a sharp pain in his chest and groaned.

    Hermione leaned back on the closed door and stifled a sob; she then wiped the tears on her cheeks and took a deep breath. "You can do it Hermione Jean Granger, you know you deserve more" she murmured to herself. She then cleared her throat and pasted a smile on her face; she walked towards the corridor and never looked back.

    After a couple of minutes Draco composed himself; he then stood up and walked towards the door. He pulled it open and left the room.

    oOo

    "Hey ma—you're drinking?" Blaise asked as he sauntered towards his best friend's room.

    Draco ignored him as he continues to sulk; he took a large swig of his drink and cringed at its bitter taste.

    Blaise sat on his bed and studied Draco's face; "Are you alright? What happened?" he asked.

    Draco let out a bitter laugh and shook his head; "I'm fine, better than I've ever been!" he shouted.

    "Is it about Granger?" Blaise asked while furrowing his brows.

    Draco hissed.

    Blaise sighed and shook his head; "I don't get it, you obviously love that witch. Why would you put yourself in such predicament when you can just tell her the truth?"

    Draco laughed again; "And what? Send her to her grave? If the Dark Lord finds out about her, she will be dead even before I get to say I love her!" he hissed.

    "It's better than hurting her with your lies" Blaise replied.

    Draco felt his face redden in anger as he faced his best friend; "I would rather have her hate me for thinking that I can't give her more than see her coffin being hauled towards her grave" he said darkly.

    Blaise sighed; "Can I have some?" he asked while pointing towards the whiskey.

    Draco took a deep calming breath and nodded.

    Blaise flicked his wand and summoned a glass towards him; he took a sip and continued staring at Draco. "You ended it then?" he asked.

    Draco took another gulp of his whiskey; "Nope, she did" he replied.

    "Oh..." Blaise uttered.

    Draco bit his tongue as he felt another wave of tears clouding his eyes; he sniffed loudly and looked away.

    "I guess it's for the best then..." Blaise said.

    "It just sucks you know..." Draco suddenly said.

    Blaise took a sip from his glass; "What sucks?" he asked.

    Draco sniffed again; "Having her give up on me without even fighting" he said. "It's as if she wiped her hands clean of me and just stopped when she felt that I cannot give her what she needs..." He added.

    Blaise kept silent.

    Draco shook his head and gripped his tumbler tightly in his hands; "She gave up because she feels I don't care about her. I mean, what the fuck does she think I am? A fucking flobberworm who does not know how to fee?" he yelled as he threw his tumbler towards the wall.

    "Mate I think you should calm—"

    "I DID IT FOR HER! I fucking cut my heart open for her to live and yet she still say that I don't love her!" Draco yelled again as his shoulder began shaking; angry tears flowing freely down his cheeks.

    Blaise took a deep breath and stood up; he walked towards Draco and sat beside him. He lifted his arms and placed it on top of his shoulders, giving him comfort.

    Draco buried his face into his palms as he sobbed.

    End of Flashback:

    Draco stirred from his trance when he heard footsteps approaching.

    "You're home early and you're sober" Lucius said as he padded towards his son.

    Draco sighed and turned his gaze towards the starry sky.

    Lucius padded towards the chairs and sat down; he studied his son's stony appearance and sighed. "You win" he simply said.

    Draco's head snapped towards his Father and raised his brow; "What do you mean "I win"? he asked.

    Lucius crossed his legs and continued staring at the sky; "You can do whatever you want to do, that includes dating whomever you want to date" he replied.

    Draco's eyes widen.

    Lucius turned and faced his son; "I've been hard on you these past few years because I thought you can forget her but I was wrong. A love like that deserves a chance and this time I won't be on your way" he said.

    "Why?" Draco asked.

    "Because I love you more than my ideas" Lucius simply said.

    Draco seems to accept his answer and nodded.

    Lucius studied his sombre face and raised his brow; "What's the matter? I heard Ms. Granger is back."

    Draco took a deep breath; "She is but I don't know how to go on about it"

    Lucius chuckled; "You are a Malfoy, nobody can refuse you" he said.

    Draco rolled his eyes; "You do know that it's Hermione Granger right?" he asked.

    Lucius thought for a couple of seconds and he stood up; "Then, you will have to grovel son" he said while walking away.

    Draco stared at his Father's retreating back and let out a loud laugh; "Not a bad idea...Dad" he said.

    Lucius smiled as he continues to walk away.

    oOo

    The next day:

    Draco was walking aimlessly around Muggle London when he spotted a familiar chestnut haired lass sitting outside his favourite cafe. He argued with himself for a couple of minutes, deciding if he should approach her but his heart won in the end. He dragged his feet towards the iron fence and stood right in front of the woman who still has his heart.

    Hermione sat quietly outside a Muggle Cafe, taking a breather from the all the commotion that she brought when she came back to London. She was thinking so hard that she didn't notice the person standing besides the iron-fence railing beside her table. She's sipping her coffee when she felt a strange presence near her; she slowly lifted her face and felt her heart skip a beat when she recognized the face staring right back at her.

    "Hermione, it's been a long time"

    Hermione swallowed the lump in her throat as she forced a smile on her face; "Draco, it's been awhile"

    Draco let out an easy smile and moved closer towards the fence; "Can I join you?" he asked.

    Hermione furrowed her brows and leaned back on her chair; "Why?" she asked.

    Draco cleared his throat and felt his ears heating; "Errr..." he replied nervously while scratching the back of his head.

    Hermione shook her head and smiled; "I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable Draco, please do join me" she said cordially.

    Draco let out a huge sigh of relief and smiled; he lifted his foot and began straddling the fence.

    Hermione's eyes widen; "What on earth are you doing?" she asked.

    Draco froze and threw her a look; "I'm joining you, why?" he replied.

    Hermione rolled her eyes; "Get down from there and enter this cafe the normal way" she chastised.

    Draco felt his cheeks redden as he stood down; he muttered a quick apology and began walking towards the entrance.

    Hermione chuckled as she sat down; she straightened her blouse and crossed her legs.

    Draco rounded the corner and padded towards her table; he quickly pulled a chair right in front of her and sat down. "I'm sorry about that, I was just eager to sit down" he explained.

    Hermione took a sip of her coffee and nodded; "I saw that," she replied. "Aren't you getting anything?" she added.

    Draco cleared his throat and stood up; "I will, is there anything you want from the bar?" he asked.

    Hermione thought for a second but shook her head; "No, thanks" she replied.

    Draco eyed her for a couple of seconds and grinned; "They have the meanest Pecan Pie here you know, one of the things I always come back to" he said.

    Hermione felt her cheeks redden and cleared her throat; "Errr, sure" she replied shyly.

    Draco nodded triumphantly and began padding towards the store front.

    Hermione watched him leave and left a huge sigh; "What do you want Drake..." she whispered to herself.

    After a couple of minutes, Draco padded towards the table with a huge tray; he placed it on top of the table and sat down on his chair.

    Hermione eyed the tray and raised her left brow; "You're a coffee addict now? Two cups?" she asked.

    Draco smirked; "The other cup is for you, I noticed that your cup is almost empty" he replied.

    Hermione rolled her eyes; "Slytherin" she muttered.

    Draco smiled wider while serving her the coffee and pie.

    Hermione accepted the food and drink and cleared her throat; "So, are we catching up like old friends do?" she asked.

    Draco was about to take a sip from his cup but froze midway.

    Hermione sighed; "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it to come that way" she hastily said.

    Draco brought the cup into his lips and took a sip; he then placed it back on the table and took a deep breath. He then moved his fringe away from his eyes and stared at her directly; "The reason why I'm here is because I want to apologize, I'm sorry Hermione, I was a complete arsehole before and there's no justification for what I did. For whatever it's worth, I really am sorry..." he said sincerely.

    Hermione's mouth instantly went slack as she tries to grasp what he had said.

    Draco took another breath and clasped his hands together nervously; "I was a coward, a bloody scared little boy who is terrified to disappoint his father" he chuckled darkly.

    Hermione finally gathered her wits and began opening her mouth to butt in.

    Draco shook his head; "Let me get this all out before I'm too scared to continue, please?" he said.

    Hermione studied his weary appearance and nodded.

    Draco smiled gratefully and continued; "I was in love with you did you know that? I was so in love with you that I pushed you away because I knew that if Father knew you we're as good as dead" he paused and cleared the lump in his throat. "I diverted my feelings to other girls to somehow forget you, I planned to make you hate me so much to the point that you would leave and I guess I succeeded in the end because you left" he said hoarsely.

    Hermione wiped the tears running down her cheeks and sniffed.

    Draco smiled sadly; "I've been the worst kind of person to deal with and yet you gave spared me the time of the day and even gave me your heart. I didn't deserve the love you gave and yet I crave it, with every fibre of my being, Merlin I wanted it and I still do."

    Hermione's eyes widen with his confession; "Draco..." he whispered.

    Draco hastily stood up and kneeled right in front of her.

    "What are you doing? Please stand up Drake..." Hermione said while pulling his hand, egging him to stand up.

    Draco shook his head and gathered her shaking hands into his; "This would not be enough to let you know how sorry I am love, I know I don't deserve it but please forgive me..." he half-whispered.

    Hermione studied his pleading form and felt her heart twitch in sadness; "Please stand up Drake..." she whispered.

    Draco bowed his head and slowly stood up; he moved to his chair and sat down, not meeting her eyes.

    Hermione sniffed again and cleared her throat; "That was a lot to take in..." she said honestly.

    Draco sniffed.

    Hermione bit her lower lip and took a deep breath; "Why now? The war has been over for four years Draco, why just now?" she asked.

    Draco's fist was clenched tightly on top of his lap as he kept his head bowed; "I didn't want to cause more pain. I didn't deserve you from the beginning and I don't deserve you up until now..." he replied.

    Hermione felt anger flaring in her chest; "BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE FOR ME!" she half shrieked.

    Draco cringed; "I know..." he replied.

    "I was already in danger by being Harry's best friend, my life is already on the line! You didn't have to break my heart along the way!" Hermione hissed.

    "That's my point! I didn't have to add another reason for them to hunt you! You were tortured in my house, right in front of my eyes! My mother had to keep be under her wand to stop me from running to you! If Aunt Bella knew I was pinning for you then she would've killed you right on the spot, Voldemort be damned!" Draco replied.

    Hermione was taken aback.

    "You are the only person who kept me sane Hermione, I couldn't risk you being slaughtered by one of my family member. I would rather you hate me and stay alive than continue our love and dig your grave" Draco said.

    Hermione sniffed.

    Draco moved closer and gathered her hands in his; "I still love you and I will always love you Aine...I don't deserve you but I don't care, I want you for myself...please, please, let's give this one more chance..."

    Hermione bit her lower lip and bowed her head; hiding her face from his.

    Draco lifted his left hand and gently cupped her cheek; "I can't promise that I will never hurt you because you know I'm a prat. What I can do is be a better man and love you the way I know how..."

    Hermione leaned her cheek on his hands and closed her eyes; "I'm scared..." she whispered.

    Draco hand's joined his other and cupped her face fully; "Open your eyes love," he whispered.

    Hermione obliged; tears running down her face.

    Draco wiped it with his thumbs and stared at her directly; "I'm scared too but what I feel is much stronger that my fear. I want to be with you Aine, we'll make this work this time, we would not give up. Please do this with me...Please say that I can have you again..."

    Hermione felt her heart soar as she pondered about his words; she then bit the bullet and let out small smile "I will definitely castrate you if you hurt me again Malfoy" she threaten.

    Draco's face brightened with a huge smile; "You can castrate me right after I hang myself after hurting you. Thank you love...thank you!" he said.

    Hermione chuckled as he stared into his eyes; "What are you waiting for then?" she asked.

    Draco raised his brow; "Waiting for what?" he asked.

    Hermione rolled her eyes; "I always do everything!" she murmured as she hastily pulled his face towards hers, locking their lips together.

    Draco smiled in the kiss and wrapped his arms around her waist; pulling her closer.

    Hermione pulled her face away; "Oh! I love you too by the way" she said.

    Draco laughed and pulled her into his lap; "Funny you forgot that you witch!" he said while pulling her face closer to his; "I love you Ainee" he murmured before sealing it with another kiss.

    Hermione moaned and kissed him back; after a couple of minutes she pulled back. "We're not through here yet Mr. Malfoy, you haven't grovelled yet, and believe me you still will. This doesn't mean we're together..." she said.

    Draco smiled; "I know love, and I am yet to prove my worth, even if it takes my whole life" he replied.

    Hermione smiled back.

    -FIN-

     

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