Hermione watched Harry twirl his girl friend of 8 months, Pansy around the dance floor. They looked so peaceful dancing together, each in sync with the other and they were happy. Harry and Pansy never fought about anything and everyday they seemed to fall more in love with each other. Hermione couldn't help but sigh thinking about them. Why couldn't her love life be that simple?
The person she had feelings for had come back to Hogwarts this year completely different. He didn't attend class often and when he did he looked tired and upset. He hadn't said a word to the trio all year, and Hermione hadn't missed the fact that he had lost a lot of weight. She didn't want to be thinking about Draco on Christmas, but she couldn't help it. Hermione had hoped he would have been at breakfast that morning and they could have talked like they did every Christmas, but he hadn't come. He had stayed back at the castle, she knew that for a fact but he seemed to be trying to avoid people at all costs.
Hermione was brought from her inner thoughts with an arm wrapping around her waist
"Are you enjoying this party, my little lion?"
"Comrac don't call me little lion" she whispered unwrapping his arm from around her waist
"You seem to be avoiding me? Seems strange as you were the one who invited me"
"I'm not avoiding you, we are having this conversation right now, aren't we?"
"You always have a way of twisting words" Cormac whispered with a smirk
A smirk. Draco. How could everything remind her of Draco?
"You know if I didn't know better id think you were thinking of another boy"
She blushed slightly "No of course not, lets just dance"
He pulled her towards the dance floor and together they awkwardly moved around. He was watching her; she could feel his eyes roaming over her body. Hermione felt so uncomfortable against his body, it wasn't like fourth year when Draco and her body had just melded together. Cormac began leaning down, as if to kiss her when a loud bang sounded and the doors to the party opened
Filtch held Draco in his greasy hands, yelling something about how he found him lurking outside the party. Draco was angrily denying it and demanding to be let go. The episode last about 10 minutes and finished when Snape took Draco out of the party.
"Cormac, I've got to go" without looking back at him she left through the same doors Draco and Snape had gone through not a second before
She followed their voices down the hall. Snape was demanding to be told what Draco was planning. Snape was practically begging, mentioning an unbreakable vow and protecting Draco.
"I don't need your protection! It's my job, he gave it to me and I'm doing it, I've got a plan and it's going to work, it's just taking a bit
longer than I thought it would!" Draco yelled at Snape and then ran away
Snape quickly turned on his heels and returned to the party, but Hermione followed the sound of Draco's feet carrying down the corridors. He had stopped walking in front of a wall. A wall, which would turn into a door if she allowed him time to think. The room of requirement.
"Draco" she called out to him. His whole body stiffened as he heard his name called. He slowly turned and faced her
"What are you doing here? Have you been following me?!" he yelled at her, she could tell straight away he was angry
"Well yea I've been following you. I'm worried about you" she said walking closer to him
"Well don't be worried about me! Run along to your party, I don't need you here"
"I thought maybe we could go to the library together?" she tried to reason with him
"Well you thought wrong didn't you?!" he yelled
"What is wrong with you?" she yelled back at him
"we aren't 11 years old anymore Granger! I don't need you! I hate you! Go away!" he wanted her to leave. He couldn't crack in front of her. He refused
She felt a small pang of hurt hit her when he yelled the words I hate you. Could he really hate her? Maybe harry was right. Maybe he was evil
"I just want to help" she whispered
"You can't help you mudblood whore, just leave" Draco had hoped she would get so upset that she would run away. But the opposite occurred. He watched her face scrunch in anger, as she took big striding steps towards him, the next thing he knew his head had been slapped to one side.
"How Dare you!!" she screeched, she pulled her hand back ready to slap him again but something stopped her. Something small. The tear rolling down Draco's cheek.
suddenly he pulled her towards him and she didn't protest as he held her against his chest. She felt him shake as more tears spilt from his eyes. She felt his chest rise and fall as he tried to control his breathing and his emotions. After a few moments he seemed to get control of himself and he let her go.
She took his hand and gently led him to the wall where they slid down it together and simply sat there.
"You can tell me anything, you know?" she whispered
"No, Granger sometimes we have secrets we have to keep"
"Draco let me help you" she grabbed his hand and held it in her lap
Draco looked down at their intertwined hands. Why was she so sweet? Why couldn't she have been ugly and mean, it would make it so much easier to hate her. But she was not ugly, nor mean and he knew he could never hate her.
"If you knew what I was doing, what I have to do, what I am, you wouldn't want to help"
she stiffened slightly at his words
"You have the mark don't you?" it was barely more then a whisper
She looked at his face and one lonely tear rolled down his cheek. That was all the answer she needed
"Tell me what happened"
There was silence for at least 5 minutes before he could even begin to speak
"He took my parents one night, while I was sleeping. A couple days later He held a formal meeting where he tortured them in front of me; he said it would stop when I was his
I couldn't let my parent's die or going insane, if I could do something about it. So I took the mark" tears were rolling more freely down his cheeks now, he wasn't even trying to stop them "I thought if I just stayed away from the meetings, maybe he would forget I was even one of his slaves"
he had referred to them as slaves not followers, Hermione realised he never wanted to be a death eater he just had no choice
"I was wrong, of course. I was 'summoned' a week before school started back, and now I have an impossible task and if I don't complete it, his going to kill my parents!"
"What's the task?" Hermione asked quietly
"I have to kill" he whispered. The word kill got her attention
"No! No Draco join the order! Ill vouch for you, we'll protect your parents, I promise. Please don't kill, once you commit a murder you break your soul!"
"I can't join the order"
"Yes you can! Please Draco let me help you, we will go to Dumbledore now"
He was silent for a moment. He looked at her face, she was close to tears he could see it. God could it be that easy? They go to Dumbledore and he and his family were safe? What did he have to loose?
"Okay. Lets go"
She looked stunned for a moment, then quickly grabbed his hand, and ran with him through the halls. Together, side-by-side, they ran through the school, every so often bumping against each other. when they reach Dumbledore's office they both had to stop and catch their breath
run?" Draco panted
you didn't have
your mind" he smiled over at her
you come up...with me?"
I'll wait for you here"
He just nodded and headed towards the entrance
"Wish me luck" he whispered
"You don't need luck" she replied
then he was gone
Hermione was almost asleep, she was sitting against the wall, thinking about everything and noting, then she felt a hand on her shoulder
She opened her eyes to see Dumbledore smiling at her
"You are an extraordinary person miss Granger"
she looked at him for a moment and the replied "Thank you sir, but umm why?"
"You saved a boy and his family from a dark fate Miss Granger, and you did it with love"
Hermione couldn't help but blush "I only wanted to help sir. Is Draco okay?"
"He will be fine, he should be down soon. Goodnight Miss Granger"
With that Dumbledore walked away leaving Hermione on the floor looking after him
"Granger" the voice came from the other side of her. Draco held his hand out to her so she could get up. As soon as she was standing Draco pulled her into a tight embrace "thank you" he whispered in her ear.
"Next Christmas will be different I promise. We will spend all day together"
she smiled "I'd like that"
"I'm sorry for earlier, for what I said. I just didn't want you to see me so weak"
"Weakness is what makes us human Draco" he seemed to ponder what she said
"Everything, First year, second year, third and forth year, even last year. I know I don't deserve you as a friend, but I'm glad I have you"
The word friend echoed through her mind. AS A FRIEND
"Yes well I'm very good at being a friend" she said bitterly
"I know" he didn't notice the bitterness
"I'm going to go now" she whispered quietly
"I'll see you around then?"
"Of course" she put on her best fake smile and gave him a quick hug "Happy Christmas Draco"
"Happy Christmas Hermione"