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All Grown Up
'Damn it, Granger - sorry, Weasley, are you going to make this a sob story? I'm hiring you. That's all there is to it. I'm going to need the best attorney to get custody over Scorpius, and despite my intense dislike of you, you probably are the best in this department, so there we are. Agreed?'
Malfoy searched for a white, silk handkerchief inside his jacket and took it out. Hermione held out her hand for it, but he disregarded this, and took her hand between his. He dried the coffee gently away. He was concentrating on what he was doing so he did not see Hermione's eyes search him wonderingly, as if surprised at this soft gesture.
Ups And Downs
There he was, standing right behind her, wearing the sunshine yellow robes that qualified him as a Healer, holding a chart in his hands and looking almost as worried as Hermione felt. She blinked. She hadn't heard him say her first name before, and in this moment of panic, it was a strange source of comfort. Draco Malfoy walked towards her.
A Mother's Grief
'It's okay, Hermione, she's going to be all right,' he repeated, and he put his arms around her. 'Come here.' He pressed his hands against her back and pulled her gently towards him, comforting her, asking her without words to let her grief out by trusting him; unconciously, she let him, not caring whose body was comforting her, as long as there was one to cry on. She felt a vague sensation of numb disbelief that this could be Malfoy, but her grief as a mother pushed it away - her desire to be told that she was not a failure forced her to forget that this was her archenemy.
Touching The Past
Their eyes locked as Hermione decrypted his true message. She wanted somehow to let him know that she couldn't fill his longing, that she couldn't be his, not now, not ever, and yet she didn't even know if he really wanted her or if he was using her. She stood up, and the magic was broken.
Old Marriages And New Lovers
Hermione stood there, sandwiched between the wall and him. It was a long time since she had been this close to a man other than Ron. There was a tiny sliver of a space separating their waists, the rest of her was pressed up against him, and suddenly her skin felt hot and feverish under his fingers.
Another Safe Haven
'Not this, Hermione,' he said. He leaned forward as hesitantly as she had and kissed her. It was a much different kiss, and it was Hermione who drew back this time, looking a little helpless. 'That's what I want, and I know... I know you can't give it to me.' He dried the tears from her eyes. 'Not now. Come on.'
'God, Hermione, how could this ever be unreal?' he whispered and laid his forehead against hers, the lengths of their noses touching, their lips inches apart. Hermione desired nothing more this moment than to breach that distance, but she had promised...
'If this,' he whispered, still holding her, his arms around her waist and his face inches from hers, 'if this is something to do with Ron, then I -'
She looked down at her coffee, which had now gone cold. Images seemed to flash before her, images of their marriage and of how proud Molly and Arthur had been; of Hugo's birth and Ron's glowing face; of the time Rose got her acceptance letter to Hogwarts - she and Ron had been up at dawn just to greet the owl who delivered it; when Ron got his driver's license and tried to convince Hermione that he had done it honestly; the way that Ron made the most perfect hot chocolate... And then the images vanished, and all that was left was Ron's pale face, staring at her fearfully.
An ending that Dramione lovers may rather choose to believe.
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