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It has been years since the war took place and a lot of things have changed. Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived, finally defeated the Dark Lord and helped rebuild the Wizarding society. Ron Weasley, the temperamental part of the triad, followed his dream to become the youngest Keeper of Chudley Canons and now living the ultimate bachelor's life. Hermione Granger, the smartest witch of their age, declined numerous offers from the Ministry of Magic and pursued her passion in healing - landing her a sure spot at Erudstrass, the most prestigious school in France. On her first day in her new school, the most unexpected thing happened; she bumped into the person she never thought she would ever see again.

Draco Malfoy, the most misunderstood and misguided boy of their year, decided to choose the Light after being given the task of assassinating Dumbledore. When he realized that he couldn't go through with it, he convinced his Mother to switch sides and both never looked back. He always excelled in Potions, so when he received an invitation from Erudstrass, he didn't think twice. He kissed his Mother goodbye, packed his trunk and took the first portkey out of London. He couldn't stay at Wiltshire any longer; he had too many horrific memories there. Leaving it all behind is the only solution he can come up with - a fresh start, that's what he exactly needs. Having that new mantra in mind, he braved his first day at school with his head held up high. He was too busy looking around his new surrounding that he didn't notice a petite woman walking towards him until it's too late.

"Ooommphhhh"

Draco quickly grabbed the woman's arm, preventing her from toppling over. "I'm so sorry, I didn't-Granger?!"

Hermione's head snapped up, her eyes widening in shock. "Malfoy?"

Draco awkwardly pulled his hand away; "Sorry about that, I was not paying attention" he said sheepishly.

"It's okay, I wasn't looking too" Hermione replied. She then pulled the book she's reading to her chest, hugging it; "I assume you're a student here" she said.

He nodded, "First day in Healer training" he replied.

"Healer training?" Hermione asked dubiously.

Draco, misinterpreting her reaction scowled; "Don't think I have the brain for it?" he challenged.

Rolling her eyes, Hermione stood straighter; "Don't put words into my mouth Malfoy, it's just a question" she retorted snippily.

He studied her face for a moment before retracting his proverbial claws, "Fine."

Hermione checked her watch, "Bollocks!" she mumbled.

An amused smirked crossed Draco's features, "Who would have thought, ey?"

"Thought what?"

"That you actually know how to curse, I'm impressed."

Hermione rolled her eyes for the second time, "Whatever Malfoy" she replied. She then shifted her book bag on her shoulder before pointing towards the hallway, "I have to go, I have classes in 10, see you around" she said as she resumes her brisk walk.

"Granger?"

Hermione halted her steps and turned her face towards his direction, "What?" she asked, impatience evident in her voice.

"What are you taking up again?" Draco asked.

Hermione threw him an uncharacteristic smirk, rivalling his. "Healer Training" she replied before walking away. "I suggest you get your slow poke arse moving Ferret, you don't want to be late on your first day" she added as an afterthought.

An uncanny encounter on a breezy September morning turned into the most unlikely friendship. A lot of people might say that it's been a long time coming since it only takes time for two brilliant minds to come together. If Hermione Granger only paid attention to Divination, then she might have seen how closely intertwined their stars are.

"Dray looks at me I fake a smile so he won't see. What I want and I need, everything that we should be..."

Three years later:

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Hermione Granger asked.

"Like what?" Draco Malfoy answered back with his own question, his silver-grey eyes twinkling with amusement.

She tucked a stray curl behind her ear, a nervous behavior she somehow didn't manage to outgrow. "I don't know, like that."

He let his eyes linger on her for a moment longer before standing up. He grabbed his bag from the adjacent chair, "I have to go, Anatomy classes" he explained.

"Oh" she said, checking her watch for the time. "You're 20 minutes early?"

Pulling away from the table, Draco threw her his trademark playboy smirk. "You don't want to know" he said before turning on his heels.

Sighing dejectedly, Hermione watched Draco's retreating back. "Bloody insensitive git" she mumbled as she flipped to the next page.

"Mione?"

Hermione's head snapped up, "Hey Nev" she greeted half-heartedly.

Neville Longbottom sat down on the chair that Draco vacated, "You okay?"

She couldn't help but smile at her friend's thoughtfulness, "I'm fine Nev, really" she replied.

He studied her face for a moment, "Where's Draco?" he asked.

Hermione forced to keep the smile on her face, "Anatomy classes" she replied.

"That's new," he mused.

"What's new?"

He shrugged his shoulders, "Making you walk alone to one of your classes-"
he paused, "Wait, you're still sharing the same classes right?" he asked.

Stealthily, Hermione averted her gaze by pretending to scan the page she's reading. "Yeah, he's still my classmate" she replied.

"Okay..." Neville replied.

"And I don't need him walking me to classes; I can very much do it myself."

"If you say so..."

"I don't need him hovering, no - let me rephrase that, I don't bloody need him" Hermione said.

"Uhuh..."

She snapped her book shut and shot up from her chair, making it tumble behind her.

Neville cringed with the sound of the impact, "I know that Mione, please calm down."

"I am calm" Hermione snapped.

"Yeah and Snape is my favorite Professor" Neville replied sarcastically.

Her friend's statement instantly snapped Hermione out of her funk; she shifted on her feet, her cheeks burning bright with embarrassment. "I-I'm sorry Nev, I didn't mean to be a bitch..."

"It's your third time this week, what's really happening between you two?" Neville asked.

She leaned forward to grab the chair from the floor, "It's just stress, you know how I am during exam week and there's nothing happening between us, we're good" she lied. She then pasted another fake smile on her face, "Sorry again Nev, I promise to be less of a bitch - you don't deserve it" she said apologetically.

Sighing through his nose, Neville stood up. "You know you can always tell me anything right?"

"I know that..."

"Okay then," he replied. "Come on, I'll walk you to your class, I'm headed there anyway."

Hermione nodded; "Okay" she said as she gathered her things from the table. "Get a grip Granger, green doesn't suite you" she thought.

"I'll bet she's beautiful that girl he talks about and she's got everything that I have to live without..."

"You were late, where have you been?"

"Right where you left me, where else?" Hermione replied as she shoved her books inside her bag.

"Oh, I see" he replied flippantly.

She zipped her bag close before meeting his eyes, "I'm off, are we still on for tonight?"

Draco winced, "About that..."

"Yeah?"

A guilty look marred his features, "I can't-I have a date."

A sharp pain pierced her heart, making her see spots.

Draco's hand shot forward, grabbing her arm to steady her. "Whoa there"

Hermione closed her eyes, trying her best to soothe the ache that his words inflicted. A few seconds passed before she opened her eyes, "I'm good" she softly said.

Narrowing his eyes, Draco studied her fast paling face. "You don't look so good" he said.

Hermione snatched her arm away from his grasp, "Well spotted" she snapped.

Draco's eyes widen in shock.

She took a deep breath, reining her temper in. "I have to go" she said. She then spun on her heels, walking towards the door like Voldemort is on her heels.

Draco seems to snap out of his stupor; he snatched his bag from his chair and jogged towards her. "Hermione wait!"

Set on ignoring the insensitive git, she yanked the door open and hastily stepped out into the corridor.

"Would you bloody stop!" Draco snapped.

"Go away Draco, I'm really not in the mood" Hermione replied.

Draco threw her back an incredulous look, "In the mood for what? Talking? Walking? What are you on about?" he asked, confusion evident on his tone.

"I'm just not feeling well Draco, let it go" Hermione said through gritted teeth.

"Is it about the date?"

"I don't care about your bloody date!" Hermione bellowed, still not slowing her pace. "Date to your heart's content, I don't care."

"Then it's because I'm ditching your study session" Draco concluded, still hot on her heels.

"How stupid can you get?" Hermione thought angrily. She turned on the corner without looking, accidentally running into someone.

Draco automatically braced his hands on her shoulders, preventing her from toppling over.

"I'm sorry!"

"It's okay" The blue eyed witch replied, cradling her arm to her chest.

"Look what you did" Draco said as he pulled his hands off of her shoulder. He walked towards the woman standing right in front of them, his eyes full of concern. "Are you okay? Does your arm hurt?"

A melodic giggle escaped the other woman's lips, "I'm okay Drake, no biggie" she replied.

Hermione watched the interaction between the two for a moment, realization dawning on her, "Oh bloody flipping hell-no!" she cursed mentally.

Draco noticed the dumbstruck look on his friend's face, "You remember Kirsten right? She's in our Anatomy class" he said with a meaningful look.

Hermione felt a tennis ball sized lump in her throat, "So she's the girl he keeps on blabbering about" she thought glumly. "Y-yeah"

"Kirsten Ward" The blonde eyed witch said pleasantly, offering her hand for a shake.

Hermione grudgingly lifted her hand to hers, "Hermione Granger" she replied.

Kirsten's eyes twinkled with excitement, "I know who you are, I've been dying to know you" she gushed.

Draco cleared his throat, his eyes directed at Hermione. "She's been wanting to know you for quite some time now" he explained.

Kirsten's face turned bright red, "Draco!"

"Don't sweat it love, she's had her fair share of this" Draco said affectionately.

Hermione pulled her hand away, "It's nice meeting you Kirsten," she said.

"Same here" Kirsten replied.

Adjusting the strap of her bag on her shoulder, Hermione cleared her throat. "I have to go, I still have a lot of things to do" she said.

"I thought you're not feeling well?" Draco prodded.

Hermione waved her hand dismissively, "I'll survive" she replied. She then turned her eyes towards Kirsten, "I'll see you around" she said politely before making her swift escape. "Don't you dare cry Hermione Granger, you will not cry" she hissed to herself.

"Dray talks to me, I laugh 'cause it's so damn funny. I can't even see anyone when he's with me. He says he's so in love, he's finally got it right. I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night..."

Days passed by and Hermione was able to lick her wound in peace. To her surprise, avoiding Draco was not as hard as she deemed it to be, especially with a certain blue-eyed bombshell in the picture now. During her moments of exile, she heard from the school grapevine that they have become official. The news hit her hard but she already knew from the moment she'd seen them together that it's only a matter of time before they become a couple. Knowing Draco and his ways, Kirsten didn't stand a chance.

"I'm sorry Hermione but I really have to go"

Hermione lifted her eyes from her book, "Okay, I'll just owl you if we need any revisions" she said with a re-assuring smile.

"I'll keep an eye out" Adam replied, still not budging from his seat.

"Adam?"

"Yeah?"

Adjusting the perch of her glasses on her nose, Hermione stared at the man right in front of her. "I thought you have to go?"

"Right" Adam said, his cheeks turning a tad red. "Can I ask you something?"

"Shoot"

"Canyougotothedancewithme?" Adam blurted out.

Hermione narrowed her eyes, not comprehending her thesis partner's words. "I'm sorry Adam, can you repeat that? I didn't quite get it."

Adam took a deep breath before speaking again, "I said, can you go to the dance with me?" he repeated more clearly.

Taken aback, Hermione felt her jaw drop.

Scratching the back of his neck, Adam winced.

"I-I..." Hermione stuttered, completely out of words.

"You're wearing glasses now, new?"

Hermione instantly recognized the voice but she kept her eyes on Adam, "Yeah" she replied to Draco's question.

"O'Shea, didn't see you there mate" Draco said, thumping Adam's shoulder.

"Malfoy" Adam acknowledged. He then threw Hermione one last glance before standing up, "I'll wait for your owl Hermione and you can think about my other - err - question" he stuttered. He then nodded at the imposing blonde man on his side before scampering away.

The chair beside her was pulled away from the table, making a loud screeching noise. "I haven't been seeing you lately and what's with O'Shea?"

"Busy with school work and he's my thesis partner"

"That's not up until next month Hermione"

"I know that" Hermione replied, grabbing her book from the table.

Draco pried the book out of his friend's hand, closing it with a snap.

"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?" Hermione screeched.

"Saving you from yourself" Draco simply replied. He then leaned sideways towards the table, his eyes boring into hers. "You're running yourself ragged by studying and as your friend; it's my duty to remind you."

"Friend, that's all you will ever be" Hermione thought dejectedly. Losing the urge to fight him off any longer, she leaned back on her chair. "Is there anything you want to tell me?"

"You go first; it looks like you're the one who has a lot to share" Draco said.

"I have nothing to share."

Draco couldn't hold it in any longer; "Really Hermione, O'Shea?"

"What's wrong with Adam?" Hermione asked.

Nose scrunched up with disgust, Draco pins his friend with a disapproving stare. "You do know that he got his crotch hexed for cheating on his ex right?"

Hermione chuckled, "I know that"

"Then why on Merlin's beard did you not reject his invitation?"

She shrugged her shoulders, "Maybe because he's just asking me to be his date and not to date"

"Loads of bollocks!" Draco blurted out.

Hermione shook her head, "You're impossible" she replied. She then took a deep breath and braced herself for what she's about to ask, "Now that we have that out of the way, tell me, why are you really here?"

Draco immediately sat straight, his silver-grey eyes lighting up with happiness. "Guess what?" he asked excitedly.

"You're turning bloody mental" Hermione's subconscious yelled loudly inside her head. She already knew what he's about to tell her but she still thrived on, "What?"

"Kirsten and I are official! She said yes to me-I already have a bloody girlfriend!"

With her heart breaking in the seams, she still managed a large smile. "Congratulations are in order then" she croaked.

Draco's face breaks into a large satisfied grin; "I already have a bloody girlfriend!" he repeated. "After three long years of playing around, I think I found the one - I finally got it right this time Hermione!" he added enthusiastically.

Hermione felt her beaten heart plummet down to her stomach, "I'm really happy for you" she said with the sincerest smile she can muster. She then pushed her chair back and waved her wand, making all her stuff disappear from the table. "Look, I have to go - Claire forgot her wand inside our room so I need to be there before she comes home" she said as she shakily stood up from her perch.

"Can't you send her a Patronus instead?" Draco asked, annoyed with her abrupt departure.

"I would really love to stay and chat more but I can't, next time?"

"Fine but you owe me" Draco said petulantly. He then stood up from his perch, "Come on, I'll walk you back" he said.

Hermione hastily shook her head, "There's no need for that, I'll just disapparate from here - you go on ahead - spend some quality time with your - err, the one."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive, goodnight" Hermione said before disapparating without any preamble.

"Someone's in a hurry" Draco mumbled.

"He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar. The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star. He's the song in the car I keep singing don't know why I do..."

Christmas Dance:

"What the bloody hell do you mean she left?" Draco hissed.

"Exactly that, she left - period" Neville replied.

"But she can't leave! We're supposed to take the portkey back to London together."

Neville stared at Draco for a moment before shaking his head, "You really are clueless" he said disappointedly.

"Clueless about what?"

"If you don't know what I'm talking about then you're a bigger fool than I thought you were" Neville mumbled.

Throwing his hands up in defeat, Draco stalked away - his face red with anger.

Neville watched his friend's back disappear from the crowd, "She's been in love with you for years you dolt, you're just too blind to see that" he said lowly.

oOo

London, England:

"Mum?"

"Yes hon?"

Securing the knot on her trench coat, Hermione peeked into the study. "I'm meeting Harry at Piccadilly, can I borrow your car?" she asked.

Helen Granger raised an inquisitive brow at her daughter, "Piccadilly?"

"Yep"

"Not Diagon Alley?"

Hermione smiled, "He's buying Arthur a last minute gift and you know how he is."

Helen smiled back, "I see, sure - drive safely."

"Will do" Hermione replied. "I'll be back before you know it."

"Okay" Helen replied before shifting her eyes back to her book.

Hermione closed the door behind her and made her way towards the breakfast bar. She grabbed the car keys from the hook before heading to the backdoor. She stepped out into the garage and giddily pointed the small black remote towards the car, automatically unlocking the silver Audi right in front of her. She slipped her fingers under the door latch, opening it with flourish; "I've missed you Auds, it's been a while since I last laid my hands on you" she said as settle herself down on the leather clad seat.

oOo

"Hermione! I'm here!"

Hermione stopped in her tracks, her eyes scanning the crowd. She felt her eyes sting with tears when her gaze landed on her best friend's familiar face. Without much thinking, she ran towards him, flinging herself into his waiting arms. "Harry!"

Laughing, Harry Potter wrapped his arms around Hermione's waist, keeping them from sprawling down the snowy ground. "I've missed you too MIone"

"I've missed you so much Harry!" Hermione replied, her voice muffled by Harry's coat.

"I can see that" Harry replied with a chuckle.

Hermione thumped his back good naturedly before pulling away, "Don't be such a prat!"

Harry lifted his gloved hand to wipe the tears that escaped the brunette's eyes, "There's really no need to cry love, it's not like I'm dying or anything" he joked.

Hermione swatted his hand away from her face, "It's tears of joy" she explained. She then narrowed her eyes, "And stop talking about death! I'm still sore with you and that death-defying mission you volunteered to last time" she chastised. "You and you're stupid hero complex" she added.

"I already apologized for that!" Harry bristled. "What do you want me to do? It's my job Hermione"

"You're in command, send your Senior Aurors to missions - you don't have to head it every bloody time" Hermione replied diplomatically.

Harry groaned, "Not you too!" he whined.

Hermione smirked, "Ginny talking your ear off, huh?"

"Stop smirking like that, you're starting to look like the amazing bouncing ferret" Harry said.

Hermione flinched, "I am not" she replied, tucking a lose curl behind her ear.

Harry threw Hermione a knowing look, "Why don't we grab a cuppa first?"

Hermione shook head, "No, we should go look for Arthur's gi-"

"I already know what to get him and I'm sure it will still be there later" Harry insisted. He then wrapped his arm around her shoulder, not giving her a chance to escape.

Sighing dejectedly, Hermione gave in to his demands.

oOo

Harry placed a large cup of hot chocolate right in front of Hermione, "Extra whip and a dash of cinnamon" he said proudly.

Wrapping her hands around the warm cup, Hermione smiled. "You and your uncanny ability to remember mundane things" she teased.

Harry snorted as he plopped down on the opposite couch, "You bloody nagged me for getting it wrong for years Hermione, that is not mundane for me" he quipped.

Her smile turned wistful, "The good old days."

"Except the part that all of us almost died, yeah - all was good" Harry said.

Hermione winced, "Yeah, that part wasn't that great" she agreed. She then lifted her cup and took a tentative sip, "How's Ron doing these days?" she asked.

"Danish delight this time."

"What happened to Ms. Bulgaria?"

"Replaced by Danish delight, what else?" Harry replied dryly.

Hermione scrunched her nose in distaste, "He's still a pig then."

"Well what do you know, pigs can fly after all!" Harry joked.

Hermione burst into fits of giggles.

He plucked his cup from the table, taking it with him as he leans back. "So, now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, are you ready to cut to the chase now?" he asked bluntly.

"I don't know what you're talking about" Hermione replied, her eyes moving towards the large glass window on her side.

"How's Draco doing?"

Hermione shrugged, "Last time I checked, he's still alive" she replied before taking a sip of her drink.

"Still in love with him then?"

Hermione choked on her drink, sending her into a coughing fit.

Harry leaned forward, placing his cup back on the table and pushing a wad of napkins towards her.

"What the bloody hell Harry!" Hermione shrieked.

"I call it as I see it" Harry replied plainly. He then braced his elbows on top of his knees, tenting his fingers under his chin. "So, are you?"

Blushing profusely, Hermione kept her eyes downcast. "You already know the answer to that question, why are you still asking?" she murmured.

Harry sighed, "Did you atleast tell him?"

"Why on earth will I do that?" Hermione asked, aghast.

"Because Draco's E.Q is in the same league as Goyle's I.Q"

Hermione couldn't help it; she threw her head back and laughed. "You're horrible Harry"

"But it's true" Harry insisted. "He's as thick as a cauldron."

Shaking her head, Hermione made a grab for her drink. "I can't argue with you about that."

Harry mirrored her gesture, grabbing his own cup. "You really have no plans on telling him?"

Hermione licked her lips, averting her gaze again. "It's too late for that Harry..."

"What do you mean?"

With her heart aching, she answered him truthfully. "He already have a girlfriend, he's found his one."

Harry's eyes widen in surprise, "He what?"

Hermione cringed as she placed her cup back on the table, "You heard me, don't let me repeat please" she pleaded.

"Wow" Harry said with a sigh. After a moment, he leaned forward and gathered her hand in his, "I'm sorry love, I really am..."

She pulled her right hand, wiping a stray tear that managed to escape her eye. "I'm fine Harry, let's just not talk about it...I'm good."

Harry sighed again, "Okay, we won't. But you know I'm always here right?" he asked.

Hermione managed a smile, "I know you are."

oOo

Crack

"Bloody buggering hell!"

"Watch your mouth young man!"

Draco dropped his bag on the floor before turning around, "Hi Mum, sorry about that" he said sheepishly.

Narcissa Malfoy rolled her eyes as she pads towards her son; she studied him for a moment before opening her arms, a large smile blossoming from her lips. "Welcome back"

Obediently, Draco walked towards his Mother's open arms, hugging her tight. "I've missed you, Happy Christmas."

"Happy Christmas too my love" Narcissa replied. She then pulled away and took a step back, her forehead creasing. "Where's Hermione? I thought you would be sharing a portkey?"

Draco's demeanor instantly changed, annoyance radiating from his body. "We're supposed to but she ditched me on the last minute" he grumbled.

"Did you two fight?"

"No" Draco replied.

"Did you upset or offend her again with your crassness?"

"Why do you always assume that I'm at fault?" Draco asked, irritation seeping from his tone.

Narcissa just arched her pale brow as a response.

Draco glared at his Mother; he then snatched his bag from the floor and walked away with a loud huff, making his displeasure known.

oOo

Harry stared at the snow covered car right in front of them, "Are you sure you want to drive back? The snow is really heavy Mione, I don't think it's safe" he said cautiously.

"I'm sure I can manage Harry, I've been driving for years" Hermione replied.

"Just drive safely" Harry said with full seriousness.

Hermione smiled, "I will" she replied. She then stood on her tip toes, kissing her best friend on the cheek, "I'll go now and try not to worry your pretty little head about me, I will be fine."

"Okay" Harry relented. He then shifted towards the car, pulling the door open; "In you go" he said.

"Always the gentleman" Hermione teased before she obediently slid inside the console.

Harry leaned forward, planting a chaste kiss on her forehead. "Call me if you need anything Mione and I mean anything."

"Will do, tell Ginny I'll see here before I leave?"

"I will"

"Happy Christmas Harry"

"Happy Christmas Hermione"

oOo

Draco snatched his mobile phone from the side table for the nth time. He swiped his thumb on the screen, unlocking it. He scrolled down through his contacts until he reached Hermione's name, he gritted his teeth as he glared at the brunette's number, contemplating if he should call her and demand an explanation for abandoning him. "Bloody buggering hell" he cursed as he tapped on the call icon.

oOo

Hermione was tapping her hands on the steering wheel when she heard a familiar tune playing, eyes firmly fixed on the road she made a grab for her mobile phone from the passenger seat. Without checking the caller, she connected it to the Bluetooth device that is wired into the car. "Hello?"

"Why did you ditch me?"

Hermione's eyes widen in shock, her heart beating furiously inside her chest.

"Hello? Are you still there?"

"Yeah, I'm still here" Hermione replied.

"Where are you? Your background sounds weird"

"I'm inside the car, driving home"

"Then why the bloody hell did you answer the phone? You're not supposed to talk and drive"

Hermione scowled, "Then why did you call?" she asked as she navigated towards the intersection.

"I wouldn't have if you didn't ditch me"

Temper flaring; Hermione took a sharp turn, jostling her towards the steering wheel. "Fuck!"

"What the hell happened? Are you okay?!"

Out of breath, she replied. "I'm fine"

"You don't sound alright, where the hell are you now?"

"I'll call you when I get home, I can't talk and drive."

"Herm-"

She didn't let him finish, she disconnected the call hastily. Her eyes are starting to blur with tears so she opted to pull over to the side. Once she's sure she's okay, she leaned her head back on the headrest and took a deep calming breath. She fisted her hands on the steering wheel, succumbing to the tears for the very first time.

"Dray walks by me, can he tell that I can't breathe? And there he goes, so perfectly, the kind of flawless I wish I could be. She better hold him tight, give him all her love. Look in those beautiful eyes and know she's lucky 'cause..."

January:

"Granger!"

Pasting a smile on her face, Hermione turned around to face him. "Hey Malfoy"

Draco quirked his brow as he made his way towards her, "Malfoy?"

Hermione shrugged her shoulders, "You called me Granger."

"Right" Draco drawled as he fell into step with her. "Forgot something?"

"Huh?" Hermione asked.

Steering towards their left, Draco led her to vacant bench. "Sit"

Hermione frowned, "I'm not a dog" she spat.

"I didn't say you are" Draco replied. He then braced his hands on his hips, obviously waiting for her to sit down.

Grudgingly, Hermione sat down; "What is this all about?" she asked irritably.

"Why don't you tell me?" Draco said softly as he sat beside her. "I'm not stupid Hermione; I know you've been avoiding me."

Turning on her seat, she faced him. She let her eyes drift to his face, taking note of the crease on his forehead. "There's nothing wrong Draco, I'm just busy with school work."

"That didn't stop you before" Draco mumbled. "You used to make time for me before..."

Hermione felt the familiar thud inside her chest, hating how his words still affect her after she made a pact that she would stay within the proverbial boundary that she drew. "Things have changed, I guess."

The crease on Draco's forehead deepened, "Changed? What are you talking about?"

"As thick as they come, Merlin!" Hermione thought. She placed her bag on her lap, giving her hands something to fidget with. "Come on, you know what I'm talking about"

"Is this about me having a girlfriend?" Draco asked.

Hermione moved her eyes towards the stream of students that's exiting the building right in front of them, "Not really" she replied.

Draco swivelled towards her, his eyes boring into the side of her skull. "Not really? What kind of answer is that?" he asked.

"The answer to the question you just asked me" Hermione replied. She then took a deep breath before meeting his gaze, "Just accept it Dray, things are not the same as before" she said before standing up. "I have to go, I need to meet Adam to finalize some revisions" she added before walking away.

Draco watched Hermione, his mind more boggled that it was before.

oOo

"We're done!" Adam announced happily.

Hermione smiled, "We are" she replied.

Adam returned the smile before standing up, "Grab a cup of coffee with me before Anatomy starts?" he asked nonchalantly.

Closing the book, Hermione stood up. "Sure, let's go"

oOo

"Drake stop it! We'll be late!"

"Just five minutes love, we won't be late"

Hermione's steps faltered upon hearing the familiar drawl; she turned her head to the broom closet on her left, her eyes boring into the door.

Adam laughed, "Looks like they're at it again" he said with amusement.

"Huh?" Hermione croaked, her chest starting to feel heavy with every giggle she hears.

"Malfoy and Ward" Adam replied.

"Oh"

The door flew open, exposing the red faced couple.

A melon sized lump formed in Hermione's throat, preventing her from speaking.

"Err - hi" Kirsten sputtered, her whole face burning with embarrassment. "Bye" she said before making a bee line towards the nearest loo.

Draco smiled sheepishly, "Hermione, O'Shea" he acknowledged.

Hermione forced out a fake smile before walking towards their classroom.

"Are we still on for tonight?" Draco called out.

"I can't, I'm meeting Harry" Hermione lied.

Draco's eyes widen in surprise, "Potter is coming?"

Hermione nodded, "Yeah" she replied. She then moved her eyes back to Adam, "Come on Adam, we have to go" she said before disappearing inside the room.

"Aye aye Captain" Adam chirped with a mock salute. He then threw Draco an amused look, "Demanding little Minx, isn't she?"

Draco frowned, "Stop calling her that" he warned. "And she's not demanding."

Taken aback by Draco's enmity, Adam took a step back. He narrowed his eyes at the blonde before wordlessly following his partner inside their classroom.

oOo

"A howler Hermione? Really?"

Hermione lifted her eyes and saw her best friend leisurely walking towards her, "Please don't be pissed."

"Hard not to when a howler is yapping at you in the middle of a staff meeting" Harry grumbled, his voice seeping with sarcasm.

"Fuck" Hermione cringed. "I'm really really sorry Harry..."

Harry waved his hand dismissively as he plopped down beside her, "So, what's so important that you have to drag me all the way to France?" he asked.

She knew that it's only a matter of time before she's reduced to tears and today seems to be that day. She moved closer to Harry, leaning her head onto his broad yet comforting shoulder.

Wordlessly, Harry lifted his arm and wrapped it around her shoulders, tucking her to his side. "Go on then, have at it."

Hermione didn't need to be told twice, she cried.

oOo

"Drake?"

"Hmmmnnn?"

"I think I know why Hermione bailed on your study session" Kirsten said mischievously.

Draco pursed his lips, "I know why she ditched me, Potter is coming for a visit."

Kirsten's head snapped to the side, her eyes widening. "Harry Potter?"

Draco groaned at Kirsten's blatant delight.

Pointing towards the bench near the Rose Garden, Kirsten asked. "That's Harry Potter then?"

oOo

"Feeling better?" Harry asked softly.

Hermione lifted her head from his shoulder with a sniff, "Y-yeah" she croaked.

Harry turned her face towards him, wiping the tears from her cheeks. "I'm not being mean but your eyes are bloodshot and you have a very runny nose."

Hermione let out chuckle as she bats his hand away from her face, "Well spotted Harry, very well spotted."

Harry smiled, "Now that's better" he said.

"What's going on here?"

Both Hermione and Harry turned towards the booming voice, "Draco, it's nice for you to join us" the latter said dryly.

Draco stood right in front of them, his silver-grey eyes flashing with puzzlement. "Why is Hermione crying?"

Harry shot up from his perch, his brow quirked. "I should ask you that question"

"What are you on about?" Draco asked.

Recovering from shock, Hermione yanked Harry's arm. "Harry."

Harry rolled his eyes, "Fine, let's go" he said grudgingly.

Draco moved his gaze towards Hermione, "Hermione?"

Hermione shook her head, "Nothing, Draco" she replied. She then stood up from the bench, "Let's go."

Draco felt a slight tug on his arm, making him turn his head. "Huh?"

Kirsten threw him a meaningful look, excitement radiating from her in folds.

Hermione fought the urge to roll her eyes at the other woman's display.

Draco cleared his throat, his eyes moving towards Harry. "Harry, this is Kirsten Ward - my girlfriend."

Harry's eyes twinkled with amusement, "Girlfriend?"

"Yeah" Draco replied, his eyes moving back to Hermione.

Kirsten automatically offered her hand, "It's nice meeting you Harry," she said.

Harry threw Hermione a look before shaking Kirsten's hand, "Nice meeting you too Kirsten" he replied politely.

Hermione tugged on Harry's arm again, "We should go Harry" she mumbled.

Taking an obvious cue, Kirsten pulled her hand away. "Yeah, you should."

"You still haven't answered my question Hermione, why are you crying?" Draco reiterated.

Hermione let out an exasperated sigh, "It's really nothing Draco,"

Draco narrowed his eyes, "It's clearly not nothing, your face says it all."

With an internal groan, Harry decided to intervene. "Crookshanks is sick"

Hermione threw Harry a grateful look, "Y-yeah, that's right. I'm upset because my cat is sick."

Draco threw Harry and Hermione a suspicious look, "I thought he died last year?"

Hermione mentally cursed, forgetting that tiny detail.

Harry shifted on his feet, "Crookshank junior, he's the son of her - err- original cat" he lied.

"Your cat is male, is he not?" Draco asked, his eyes narrowing further.

"And he's got balls therefore capable of reproducing" Harry said. He then made a show of checking his watch, "Look at the time, we have to go or we'll be late for dinner" he said.

"That we are" Hermione said. She looped her arm around Harry's and began nudging him to move, "See you around you two, have a good night" she said.

"Enjoy your dinner!" Kirsten replied jovially.

"See you around Draco" Harry said before giving in to Hermione's relentless tugs.

"Okay" Draco replied, his eyes never leaving Hermione's retreating back.

"So I drive home alone as I turn out the light. I'll put his picture down and maybe get some sleep tonight.

"Are you planning on murdering me Hermione?" Harry asked anxiously, his eyes surveying their dark surrounding.

"Don't be so dramatic" Hermione replied as she expertly navigated her way through the dark.

Harry was about to open his mouth to ask again but wasn't able to do so when bright lights assaulted his vision.

"Sorry" Hermione said sheepishly.

"Where are-what the hell is that?"

"Large metal contraption that runs with four wheels, what do you think it is?" Hermione asked cheekily.

Narrowing his eyes, Harry glared at Hermione. "I know what it is! Are we breaking and stealing someone else's car?"

Hermione threw him an affronted look, "What do you take me for? I'm offended!"

"Then whose car is it?"

"Mine" Hermione replied flippantly.

Harry felt his jaw drop, his eyes wide as saucers; "You bought a bloody car?"

Walking towards the driver side, she unlocked the door. "I didn't buy it."

Harry followed her lead, moving towards the passenger side. "Your parents bought it for you then?"

Hermione slipped inside the car, closing the door behind her with loud snap. "Draco bought it."

"I'm sorry, but did you say that Draco bought it?" Harry asked as he tugged on his seatbelt.

"You heard me right Harry" Hermione replied with an exasperated sigh. "It's was his birthday gift last year"

"He bought you a car for a birthday gift?" Harry asked incredulously.

"He's an over the top prick"

Harry shook his head, "No wonder you fell for him" he mumbled.

Hermione's head snapped to the side, her eyes narrowed into slits. "What do you mean by that?"

"That came out wrong" Harry said with a wince. He then turned on his seat, facing the fuming brunette beside him. "He gave you mixed signals - that's what I'm trying to say. Who buys their friend a car for a birthday gift? I mean, I would misinterpret it too, you know..."

"Exactly my point!" Hermione screeched. "He's been giving me these-these stupid more than friend's gestures then two years after he's in love with someone else? What the bloody hell is wrong with him?"

Harry threw her a sympathetic look, "I don't know what to say Mione..."

"No, let me rephrase the last statement, what the bloody hell is wrong with me?"

"Nothing is wrong with you" Harry said firmly.

"But there is..." Hermione said, slumping towards the steering wheel. "Unrequited love sucks."

"It does" Harry agreed.

Hermione turned her head to the side, her cheek resting on her arm. "How would you know?"

"Cho" Harry replied.

Hermione pursed her lips, "I can't believe you fell in love with her" she grumbled.

Harry chuckled, "I can't believe you fell in love with the amazing bouncing ferret"

"Touché" Hermione replied. She then took a deep breath and sat up; she grabbed the tiny black remote from the dashboard and pointed it towards the ribbed metal door. "We're going for a ride"

"Where to?" Harry asked, excitement evident in his tone.

"Muggle Paris" Hermione replied as she lowered the hand break. "I owe you dinner and a proper Parisian tour."

"Excellent."

oOo

"You sure you can drive alone? I can go with you and just disapparate there" Harry said.

"You being here is more than enough Harry" Hermione said with a smile. "I'm sorry for the howler," she added.

Harry smirked, "You should have seen the look on Finnigan's face, he was utterly mortified."

Hermione cringed, "Sorry..."

Harry pulled her into a tight hug, "You will be alright Hermione, just give it time" he said.

"I know I will" Hermione replied. "Thank you again for coming, give Ginny my love?"

"Always" Harry replied as he pulled away. "When will you be coming home again?"

"June-ish"

Harry rubbed his hands together, "Just in time for my birthday" he said cheekily. "You planning on buying me a car too? I'm your best friend after all..."

"Harry!"

Harry chuckled as he pluck his wand from his pocket, "I'll go now" he said.

"Go" Hermione said with a smile.

"Bye!"

"Bye Harry" Hermione chirped.

Harry winked at her before disapparating with a loud crack.

Hermione stared at the empty spot for a few seconds before climbing inside her car. Once comfortable, she grabbed her bag and started rummaging it for her mobile phone. Grasping the device in her hand, she unlocked the screen and tapped until she reached the photo gallery. She swiped the screen a couple of times before she found the picture she's looking for. She leaned her head back, her eyes fixed on Draco's face; "You've hurt me truly and you don't even have the slightest idea - how bloody pathetic can I get?" she asked herself. She stared at his picture for a couple of more minutes before locking her phone again and revving the engine.

"He's the time taken up but there's never enough and he's all that I need to fall into..."

June:

"Time heal all wounds my arse" Hermione grumbled to herself as she watch the happy couple exiting the building.

"Two months"

Hermione tilted her head up and saw Neville looming over her, "What?"

Neville smiled as he plopped down beside her, "Two months" he repeated.

"Care to elaborate?" Hermione asked.

"Draco and Kirsten's expiration date" Neville answered flippantly.

Hermione's eyes widen with mortification, "You-what-Neville!" she gasped.

"I'm not as thick as a cauldron Mione, I know you're in love with him" he paused, his eyes studying her face. "Unfortunately, you still are."

Covering her face with her hands, Hermione fell back on the grass. "Buggering hell"

Neville chuckled.

Hermione pulled her hands a fraction, only revealing her eyes. "Does everyone know about this?"

"If you're asking if Draco knows then the answer is a resounding no" Neville replied. He then offered his hand towards her, "Come on sit up" he said.

Putting her hand in his, Hermione let Neville pull her up. "How did you know?"

"I have eyes" Neville said. "Too bad he's not using his"

"He is, he's just not interested - big difference" Hermione replied sulkily.

"Buck up Hermione, they're coming this way" Neville whispered.

"Can't wait for this stupid day to be over" Hermione whispered back.

"Hey you two" Draco greeted with a large smile.

Hermione pasted another fake smile on her face, "Hey" she replied.

"Are you excited to go back to England Hermione?" Kirsten asked as she wrapped her arm around Draco's waist.

"I can't wait" Hermione replied.

"We're still taking the portkey together right? You're not planning on bailing on me?" Draco asked, his eyes locked on Hermione.

"No, I'm not bailing."

"Great, Mum is looking forward to seeing you; she gave me loads of crap last time I came home without you."

Hermione grabbed her bag and stood up, "I'll see you later then."

Neville followed suite, "I'll go with Hermione."

"Where are you two off to?" Kirsten asked.

"Far away from you" Hermione whispered to herself.

Hearing his friend's rude response, Neville nudged Hermione. "Coffee shop, I promised her a cup."

Draco checked his watch, "Don't be late, see you in 30?" he asked, looking at Hermione.

"Sure" Hermione replied before turning on her heels.

oOo

"You're late!"

Hermione rolled her eyes as she walks towards him, "Don't be so dramatic, we still have 5 minutes."

Draco stared at Hermione, studying her demeanor intently. "You've been snapping at me for months, did you realize that?"

"I've been snapping at you because you annoy me at times" Hermione replied. She fell into step with him, looking at him expectantly. "Where's the portkey?"

Draco pulled a small stamp from his pocket, "Here" he said. "I annoy you that much?" he asked quietly.

Hermione bit her tongue to keep herself from lashing out. Once she's sure that she won't spill all the beans, she forced out another fake smile. "At times, I didn't say all the time."

"Oh"

Hermione lifted her hand and placed a finger on the stamp, "Let's just go home" she said.

Draco opened his mouth to respond but wasn't able to do so when he felt the familiar tugging on his bellybutton, pulling them both into nothingness.

oOo

London, England:

Crack...

Narcissa automatically stood up from her chair, "Welcome home!"

Hermione turned around and saw Draco's Mother walking towards them, "Hi Narcissa" she said with a sincere smile.

Narcissa pulled Hermione into her arms, "It's been a while darling, I've missed you"

"I've missed you too" Hermione replied.

Draco watched the interaction between his two favorite women with a smile, "I can see that."

"I have to go, my Mum and Dad is waiting for me" Hermione said as she pulls away.

Draco frowned, "So soon? But we just got here."

"I have to go" Hermione repeated firmly.

"You'll visit me soon, yeah?" Narcissa asked.

"I will as soon as I'm able. We can even go to Diagon Alley to shop" Hermione said with a smile.

"I'd love that" Narcissa replied.

Hermione grabbed her bag from the floor and pointed towards the door, "I'll take my leave now" she said.

"I'll walk you out" Draco grumbled, clearly not pleased with her immediate departure.

"It's okay Draco, the door is just there - I can manage" Hermione insisted.

"Like what you've mentioned, the door is just there."

Sensing the tension between the two, Narcissa decided to intervene. "Humor him Hermione; I'm sure my son just wants to make sure that you reach the gates without being chased by our peacocks."

Sighing in defeat, Hermione relented. "Fine."

Draco snatched Hermione's bag from her hand, "Let's go" he said.

"Bye Narcissa!" Hermione said as she trails behind Draco.

oOo

"Can I have my bag, please?"

"Not until you tell what's really wrong" Draco said, his face full of determination.

"I already told you, nothing is wrong" Hermione replied. "Now, can you hand my bag over? I don't have-"

"Stop lying to me!" Draco said, cutting her off. "I'm not as daft as you think I am! You've been avoiding me and been throwing stupid excuses at my way every time I want to spend time with you! If that's a sign that everything is okay then I'm Merlin!"

Hermione felt her jaw drop with Draco's outburst, making her incapable of speech.

Draco placed his hands on his hips, his temper flaring even further with her lack of response. "This started when I told you that Kirsten and I are official" he said accusingly. He then paused, his eyes comically widening in with realization. "You're jealous-that's why you're acting like this!"

"I'm not!" Hermione replied, tucking a stray curl behind her ear.

"Aha!" Draco said, pointing his finger on her hand. "You always do that when you're nervous or lying Granger!"

Dumbfounded, Hermione let her hand drop. "You're not making any sense Draco, I have to go."

"I'm making full sense!" Draco snapped. "It's the only viable reason why you have avoided me like plague!"

"Fine! Conclude what you want to conclude but I'm not staying, give me my bloody bag!"

"You're not leaving until we settle this!"

"Don't be such a child! You're the only one who keeps on insinuating that we have a problem, when in fact we don't! No stop acting like a mental person and let me leave!" Hermione said, stomping her foot to prove her point.

Draco wanted to laugh with her reaction but he knew that if he as much as smile, she will hex his balls off. "I'm not the one being a child here, you are."

"Give me my bag" Hermione said firmly.

Trying a different tactic, Draco appealed to her more sensible side. "You're my best friend; we're supposed to tell each other if something is bothering us. I am telling you now that this" he paused, gesturing between them. "is bothering me - big time."

Hermione just stood there, waiting for her heart and mind to come up with a response. "Should I tell him how I feel so he can stop sending me mixed signals?"

"Hermione?" Draco softly called out.

"That would get him off my back" Hermione thought. "And probably out of my life" she added as an afterthought.

With worry creased forehead, Draco shifted closer, placing his hand on her arm. "Hey?"

Hermione automatically snapped out of her trance, "Yeah?"

Draco frowned, "Did you hear what I just said?"

Lifting her gaze to meet his, Hermione felt her resolve strengthen. "What the heck, you already lost him - might as well go with a bang" she thought. "I'm in love with you."

Draco's jaw drop, his pale brows seem to disappear to his blonde fringes.

"You want to know why I have been avoiding you - that's your answer" Hermione said boldly.

Throwing his head back, Draco let out a full belly laugh.

"Why the hell are you laughing?" Hermione asked, seething.

Draco didn't respond, he just continued laughing.

Hermione felt her face redden with the potent combination of humiliation and hurt, "You're an arsehole" she screamed in rage. She leaned forward and yanked her bag from his hand unceremoniously, "I'm through with you" she spat before turning on her heels and stomping towards the gates.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, Draco stopped laughing. "Come on, you aren't serious are you?"

Hermione grabbed her wand from her pocket before turning her face towards him. She stared at his face for a moment, committing every detail into her mind.

"Hermione?" Draco asked, a hint of panic edging his voice.

"I've been dreading and dreaming this day ever since I've accepted that I fell in love with you" Hermione paused, a sad smile gracing her sullen face. "You are right, I am your best friend and I expected more respect than that."

"Hermio-"

"Don't" Hermione said, cutting him off. "I know I should've told you about my feelings because friends do that, they talk - even if it's hard. I have my fair share of faults too so I can't really blame you. I can't change the past but I can do something about the present. I need time to get over this - to get over you. So I'm asking you now, as your best friend. Give me time to deal with this, to get over you. Because Draco, I can't do this anymore, I can't pretend that I'm okay with you with her. I can't pretend to smile eventhough I know deep inside I'm really hurting" she paused, taking a deep breath. "I can't be with you."

Standing rooted on the spot, Draco doesn't seem to know how to respond.

"I'm sorry if my avoidance caused you any duress, that's the last thing I want to do" Hermione softly said. She then threw him one last sad smile before disapparating into thin air.

"Bloody hell..." Draco gasped.

"Dray looks at me, I fake a smile so he won't see..."

-FIN-

A/N: And I'm back with a spur of the moment fic, Yey! (^-^)/

This bunny has been hopping inside my head for years now so I finally decided to put it to rest. ^-^ For some unfathomable reason, every time I hear this song, it somehow reminds me of Dramione and I don't know why.

I'm still not sure if I'll write a sequel or just end it here, I'm thinking about using Taylor Swift's "The Story of Us" to write Draco's POV after the confession, what do you guys think? Are you up for it?

Let me know what you think lovelies! Cheers!

PS:

This story is written using Hermione's POV, just FYI. (^-^)

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