Author: Ar-Zimraphel PM
A physically and mentally wounded Draco needs someone to help him, whether he wants to admit it or not, after his father lands in Azkaban and his entire world crumbles. DMHG. AU with release of HBP and DH.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Angst - Draco M. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 31 - Words: 59,468 - Reviews: 1,180 - Favs: 751 - Follows: 89 - Updated: 08-23-04 - Published: 02-29-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1754261
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Harry Potter doesn't belong to me, so forth and so on, etc. etc.
He opened his eyes and stared at her. "It doesn't hurt…" he breathed, astonishment apparent on his face.
Hermione drew a shuddering breath. "Draco, I"—
"You did the spell?" he whispered.
She nodded mutely.
"Then…" he seemed to be having difficulty putting two and two together. Surprising both of them, he suddenly reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her down to meet his lips.
She sighed into the kiss and slid to her knees. He broke the kiss and whispered in her ear, "Me too."
They lost themselves for a moment until a soft "ahem" made them come to their senses. Hermione parted herself from Draco reluctantly and turned, her eyes widening as she saw her best friends standing, ashamed, at the entrance to Draco's private room.
Hermione swallowed, and moved aside so that they could see Draco, who scowled and pushed himself up, making sure he looked as arrogant and intimidating as ever.
"Uh…" Harry began, still refusing to make eye contact.
"Yes?" Hermione prompted, slightly apprehensive of the coming words. She moved backwards so that her hand touched Draco's. She hoped that the small gesture would give her strength.
"Let me start, Harry," said Ron wearily, running a hand through his hair. He looked weary and exhausted. "Look… Malfoy…" he began. "I don't like you," he said bluntly. "You know that. But… I think that I've been selfish enough these past few months. He swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing nervously. "I'm sorry. I said some things that were"—
"Weasley," said Draco shortly.
Ron looked up.
"Forget it," said Draco, smirking. He crossed his arms over his chest. "You don't have to apologize to me. I'm not dying."
Ron looked distinctly relieved, but he plowed on. "Then, I wanted to tell you…" He turned his attention to Hermione. "If being with—with him makes you happy, then that's what I want for you. I'm sorry about the way I've been acting. You were right, in the Three Broomsticks… I was a prat. And I'm sorry."
Hermione nodded wordlessly, her eyes brimming with tears. She didn't trust herself to speak; she had missed this side of Ron dreadfully.
"I'm sorry too," said Harry. "To both of you." He walked towards Draco's bed and held out his hand. "Truce, for her sake?"
Draco hesitated for a second, but then clasped Harry's hand. "Truce. But it's off the record," he said, his face breaking out in his infamous smirk.
"Of course," said Harry courteously. He turned to Hermione. "Friends again?" he asked nervously.
She nodded, barely holding back the tears, and then flung herself at her two best friends, both of whom looking quite awkward. "Thank you, thank you," she whispered, over and over again.
Harry patted her awkwardly for a few moments and then they broke apart. He turned back to Draco. "And by the way," he added, an amused smile on his lips. "Nice catch of the snitch, Malfoy."
Draco remembered the catch he had made the game that the bludger had hit him in the stomach. He grinned. "Thanks, Potter."
"Hermione…" Ron asked as he directed his queen to kill Harry's bishop.
Hermione walked over from the stairs to the girl's dormitory. "Hm?" she inquired, her eyes briefly evaluating who was winning the chess game. It wasn't hard to guess; Harry was looking dismal as his second bishop was taken from him.
"Are you going to Hogsmeade with Malfoy?" asked Ron, leaning back, just moves from victory.
"Yes, actually. He told me to tell you that if you guys wanted to come, he wouldn't mind," said Hermione. Draco had said no such thing, but who were they to know that? She knew when she needed to spend time with her friends.
"Really?" said Ron, brightening. "Hey, Harry, want to go?"
Harry shrugged as he recovered from the loss of his bishop. He looked up. "Yeah, absolutely."
Hermione, Ron, and Harry met Draco, who was standing slightly in the shadows of the Entrance Hall, with great gusto.
"Hey, Malfoy," said Ron. It only sounded a little bit forced.
Draco looked up and his eyes widened in surprise for a split second. "You came?" he said, casting an eye over to Hermione, who mouthed, You wanted them too, remember?
Draco changed his attitude. "I mean… You came. That's great…" he said with obviously false gladness.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Prat," he muttered.
"Arrogant bastard," Harry fired off, grinning.
Draco clapped his hand to his chest while Hermione looked on, amused, at the ritual that took place every time Harry and Draco met. "Ah, Potter. You're on to me," he said, smirking.
Harry let out a short bark of laughter.
Ron allowed himself a laugh. "Come on, then…" he said, his eyes not missing the subtlety with which Draco took Hermione's hand and intertwined his fingers with hers. His keen eyes didn't overlook the small smile that Hermione gave the Slytherin, nor the one he gave her in return. He sighed. She was his, and he finally accepted it.
Author's Note: Ach. You guys were really on me for some kind of continuation, you know that? Well, here's my peace offering to those of you that felt the ending was too abrupt. To explain why it WAS abrupt, here's the answer; the pairing of Draco and Hermione is so lucrative that when they finally do get together, both end up acting completely OOC. I'm not even entirely sure about them in this, which is why I kept the Draco-Hermione stuff to a minimum. Anyway, I hope this sated your 'Impressions' needs… And I promise, if I ever get the urge to continue this story, I'll let y'all know.