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[Rewritten 11/6/07] The pale face of Draco Malfoy shone out the darkness, the rain trickling down his forehead and bringing out his grey eyes.
[Rewritten 11/6/07] But Azkaban had changed Draco. His eyes shone brightly in his hollowed face, his teeth gritting in fierce determination.
[Rewritten 11/7/07] What do I want? What do I want? I want him to feel the pain of having loved ones gone forever.
[Rewritten 11/8/07] Yet there was something human left of him yet.
"You know you just have to lie low for now," said Ron. "We all know the real person Malfoy's after is you...we just have to hope he doesn't hurt Hermione."
Two dark figures appeared near the base of the Whomping Willow. With a quick spell from the taller person, the tree stopped moving, and the pair entered, with the shorter one being dragged in by the other.
Harry and Ron ducked skillfully beneath the flailing branches of the Whomping Willow until they reached the entrance. Quickly, they climbed down beneath the earth, running through the dark passageways of the Shrieking Shack until the reached an old, wooden set of steps. Harry leapt in front of Ron and whipped open the door of the room directly in front of him and let out a shout.
Suddenly, in the dim light, she saw a doorknob. Slowly turning it, she pushed the door open and stumbled into a brightly lit room. It seemed to be some type of a dining room, not too much different from the Malfoy manner. The table was adorned with candles and expensive plates, looking as if someone had just eaten. Hermione jumped as she heard soft voices to her left.
Then, without warning, Draco leaned in closer to her. Hermione felt it coming – she felt his warm breath on her cheek, and yet she didn’t move. Something felt perfectly right about it. She felt a thrill she had never felt when Harry kissed her, and as much as she loathed to admit it, she liked it.
Hermione was still breathing unsteadily. Draco carefully pulled her into his arms. She looked so beautiful, lying there. He nearly let himself think about what could be if the two were not enemies – if all this would not have happened.
Draco reached forward and brushed a tear from her cheek. Now that he had Hermione, she had almost become a burden to him. The only thing that kept him going was the fact that he was going to hurt Potter in the cruelest way possible. Potter was going to watch as Hermione slowly fell in love with him and thought Potter only a common thief.
It was Draco’s voice speaking to her from her dreams. And suddenly she remembered who she was. Where she was. What was happening. She felt cold arms slip around her. Smothering her. She screamed.
Another emotional toward Hermione had risen up in him, an emotion he swore he would never feel. Love. Or so he thought at the time. He should have known – Malfoys were incapable of love, or at least incapable of being loved. He had thought Hermione might have loved him back, especially when he saved her from being killed by Zabini, but that night, when he had tried to kiss her, she had rejected him.
The rain poured down heavily along the abandoned streets of the neighborhood, shallow puddles lining the streets. A lone figure, pulling a dark cloak tighter around their shivering form, made their way down the street, dodging the puddles at their feet. Their wand was out and they jumped at any small noise – the person was obviously terrified, either at where they were or at what they were doing. Reaching a small house beside many others, the figure raised their hand and knocked on the door apprehensively.
“Once you join the Death Eaters,” said Draco bitterly, “there is no turning back. The Dark Lord does not deal with betrayal lightly. There is no place I can hide that he can’t find me. And I have no guarantee of protection, now that your precious Headmaster is dead.” He sighed, running a pale hand through his hair. “What do you want, Granger?” he asked impatiently.
“No, Granger,” said Draco in a low voice, drawing closer to Hermione. She backed away until her back was up against the wall, but still Draco came closer until his face was inches away from her’s. “I hate you.”
“Potter,” he said stiffly. Harry pushed harder against Draco’s arm, furious but unable to gain any ground. “I’ve made a mistake,” Draco continued. “I’ve come to apologize.”
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