Ron and Hermione's kiss ended as quickly as it had started and the two pulled away from each other.
"Well…" The Weasley started to say
"Let's never do that again"
The two burst out laughing as they realized what they had done. Hermione wiped off a drenched strand of hair away from her face, "Why'd you kiss me anyway?"
The youngest Weasley son shrugged, "I had to give it a try"
"Give it a try?" The muggle-born raised her eyebrow at her best friend
"Yeah, I mean, if we really had feelings for each other"
"Oh. And what did you find out?" Hermione asked softly
Ron gave Hermione a heartfelt smile, "Same as you"
The Gryffindor princess' eyes widened with surprise and worry, "Ron, I…"
"Don't worry about it," the Weasley comforted his best friend, "I've kind of felt it for a while now. I'm not completely clueless about these things you know. Mind you, I was pretty angry when I realized what was happening. That punch I threw that day after he woke up, during breakfast, wasn't entirely about that git insulting my family"
"Well, I don't feel like hitting him anymore but I'm not exactly happy about the situation. But you know what? You shouldn't sacrifice your happiness just because it annoys the hell out of me that the slimy ferret has once again beaten me at something"
Hermione lunged at the red-head and enveloped him in a hug, "Thank you Ron, hearing that from you really means a lot to me. Are you sure you're alright with this? With me and Draco—not that we together right now, just the possibility."
Ron nodded, "Kissing you made me realize that you never belonged with me anyway. I felt like I was kissing Ginny—not that I've ever snogged my sister. Only that it felt wrong."
The muggle-born threw her head back and laughed, "That's disgusting Ronald"
Ron chuckled, "Where is that bloody ferret anyway? He said he was going to follow us after he dealt with those Slytherins"
Hermione gave him a pointed look.
"What?" Ron said defensively, "I said I've accepted your sick, twisted love. I didn't say I was going to be nice to him"
The Weasley chuckled as Hermione punched his arm, "Let's look at the map. We need to find Harry anyway"
They hunched over the Maurader's Map and kept a look out for their friends. They found Harry standing in front of an empty space on the map.
"Look Draco's over there!" Hermione pointing at the footprints labeled as Draco Malfoy moving in towards Harry.
His footprints were moving faster than the others, as if he was running. When he reached Harry another group of footprints were coming towards them from the right side. It was Parkinson, Zabini, and Nott being chased by at least eight other Slytherins. Then suddenly they all vanished.
"Where did they all go?" Hermione exclaimed frantically as she flipped the pages of the map to see if they had reappeared somewhere else.
"Room of Requirements?" Ron suggested
The muggle-born narrow her eyes at him, "Wow, you're on a roll today. First you "understand" the whole Draco Malfoy situation with minimum blood lust then you figure out that they're in the Room. What's next? Are you going to do my potions homework for me?"
Ron rolled his eyes, "I'm so glad you think so highly of me. Come on, Hermione. Let's go after them they probably need help with those wankers after them"
The two started jogging out of the Chamber.
"How'd you figure out I liked Draco anyway?"
"Pfft. Have you seen the way you look at him?" Ron teased
Hermione groaned as her face flushed, "That's what Harry said too"
The Weasley laughed at the muggleborn as they raced towards the Room of Requirements to help out their friends.
It turns out they really did need their help. Ron and Hermione skidded to a halt as they came face to face with giant angry flames. They stood by the entrance of the room looking for signs of Harry and the others.
Hermione's eyes began to water as the heat was getting too intense. Suddenly she spotted two figures flying above the flames in the distance, "Ron, there!"
The Weasley turned his attention towards what Hermione was indicating at. It was Harry and Draco on separate broomsticks trying to dodge the flames and falling debris. Harry had Theodore seated behind him and Blaise dangling, holding on his right hand. Draco had Pansy clinging onto him—a sight that made Hermione's blood boil.
They watched the two try to reach them. Draco was ahead of Harry and he floated on top of Ron and Hermione.
"Oi, what happened!" Ron called out
"Sodding Crabbe set the room on fire. Here take Pansy, I have to go back and help Potter. His broom is being weighed down too much by three people"
Sure enough Harry's broom was fighting to keep above the flames. If they didn't move any faster the fire will reach them soon.
"Draco, land so I can get off," Pansy said from behind him
"No time. Catch, Weasley!"
"Draco don't you fucking dare—"
The Slytherin rolled in midair sending Pansy falling and cursing towards the Weasley whose excellent Keeper reflexes caught her.
"Draco Malfoy you git. You selfish wanker. When I get my hands on you and—Weasley have you always been this fit?"
But Draco didn't have time to listen to whatever Pansy had to say to him or about Weasley's body. Nor did he time to care that Hermione had been standing too close to the said Weasel. He shot forward again towards the flames to help Potter. The fire was getting bigger and angrier now and it has spread almost halfway across the room. The Slytherin positioned himself under the Chosen One.
"Blaise! Jump down!" He called to his friend
The Italian looked down—a decision he regretted as soon as he saw the sea of red, angry, death.
"Are you insane!" He shouted, "I am not jumping down to that"
"I'm going to catch you, you arse!"
"And I'm just supposed to put my life in your hands? You've never won a Quidditch game"
"HEY! The only games I didn't win were the ones against Gryffindor! Why am I even trying to save you?"
At this Harry rolled his eyes, "We really don't have time for this." And with that, the Chosen one let go of Blaise's hands and shot forward with Theodore as Draco dove to catch Zabini.
"See. If you had just done what I told you then maybe you would have been spared the heart attack," Draco berated his friend who had clumsily climbed aboard.
Suddenly there was an explosion behind Draco as the wooden ceiling panels were starting to crack and break down. The Slytherin caught up to the boy-who-lived and the two wound their way towards the door. There was another loud burst behind them. The two didn't need to look back to know the increasing urgency for them to escape. Ron and Hermione started shouting for them to go faster.
Draco made it out first. He landed roughly just outside of the room. Hermione had made a move to help him up but he coldly refused her offer. Hermione frowned at as his odd behavior but she shook it off as there were more important things at the moment. He looked back in the room, "Come on, Potter" the Slytherin muttered to himself.
As if on cue Harry and Nott came tumbling out as if the Room of Requirements spat them out. His broom had been partially burned making it impossible for him to control it those last few seconds.
"Harry!" Ron shouted as he tossed the basilisk fang at the Chosen One who had rolled a bit further down the hall. Harry caught it plunged it into the diadem. Black liquid and smoke spilled out of it immediately and the Weasley quickly kicked it back in towards the angry flames. The group watched it transform into three heads that looked like Voldemort, coming towards them. The door to the Room of Requirements closed before it ever reached them.
Their small victory was short lived, however, as the air was invade by the cruel tones of the Dark Lord. The group suddenly felt weak and in pain as they listened to his voice. When his message ended the group stood in silence staring at the boy-who-lived unsure of what to do.
"Well..." Pansy started to say
"He's not going, Parkinson!" Ron barked at the Slytherin
"Come on, let's get to the great hall," Hermione said breaking the tension and the group complied.
It was a sad sight and countless were lined up across the hall. Families stood by their fallen loved ones, grieving. Ron, Harry and Hermione had immediately left the Slytherins as they saw the Weasleys huddled over a figure on the floor. Draco watched the red-head's face contort into pain as he recognized who it was.
"Hey, mate. Were going to sit over there if you need us," Blaise broke into the Deatheater's thoughts, "You're welcome to join us"
Draco nodded but did not make a move to follow his friends. Instead he turned the opposite direction and started walking along the bodies of the dead. He stopped in front of two bodies laying side by side.
"I was related to her, did you know?" Draco spoke as he felt a presence fall instep beside him
"No, I didn't" Harry said
"She's my cousin. Her mother was my mother's sister. We never talked about her though. I just found out through the family tree"
The boy-who-lived didn't say anything.
"Didn't she have a child?"
"Yes. I guess that makes him your nephew"
"What's his name?"
"Tonks mentioned once about naming him Teddy—Theodore, after her father"
Draco lifted his eyes from the motionless husband and wife, "Potter, I think you need to see something." The Slytherin reached into his pocked and produced a small vial—the same vial that his mother had returned to him.
Harry reached for it cautiously with a question look in his eyes.
"It's Snape's. His memories before he died. He knew Voldemort was coming after him and he gave me this to keep safe. I don't know why but I think he knew that I would end up here"
Harry watched the Slytherin. Draco's gaze had fallen on Hermione as she comforted the crying Weasley. Harry followed his gaze.
"She likes you, you know. I know you like her too"
Draco didn't say anything and started to walk away.
"You don't have to believe me. I'm just telling you what I know," Harry called out.
Draco turned around to retort but the boy-who-lived had already walked away. He watched Harry disappear up the stairs. He looked back at the muggleborn and his fists clenched at the sight. She looked up at him and smiled comfortingly. Draco felt a horrible pang in his chest. He needed to get out of here. He dismissed her smile and left Hermione there frowning at him as he walked out of the great hall.
"I knew I'd find you here,"
Draco didn't look up to know who it was. He felt her sit down beside him in the cramped broom closet.
"I mean, this was the third broom closet I've checked but I knew you'd be in one," Hermione rambled on, "You've always…"
"Why are you here?" Draco asked indifferently
Hermione didn't answer for a while, "Harry's gone. He went into the forbidden forest. And you just…you just disappeared in the great hall. I was worried…"
"Well, you don't have to worry about me anymore, okay?" the Slytherin snapped looking at her square in the eyes
The Gryffindor scrunched up her face in confusion, "Draco what—what is going on with you right now?"
"Nothing," the Deatheater said looking back down in front of him, "Look, just leave me alone. Why don't you go back to Weasley? I bet he's looking all over for you"
His words cut through the witch's heart like a knife but she masked her pain with anger, "What is your problem?"
The Slytherin said nothing.
"I saw you, okay?"
Hermione's heart plunged to her stomach.
"I saw you with him."
"Draco that's not…"
"Please don't lie to me," Draco said weakly, "Everyone else has but not you…please"
"I'm not lying! Would you please just listen to me—" The Gryffindor shouted in frustration
"You know, it's for the best anyway," Draco said, his anger rising, "When this is over we'll probably have to go our separate ways. You'll have to go back to your sort and I'll have to go back to mine"
"Go back to my sort?" Hermione said angrily, "And what "sort" is that exactly?"
Draco narrowed his eyes at her, "Mudbloods"
Hermione slapped him hard across the face and she blinked back her tears, "You don't mean that…"
The Slytherin looked away. The slap had made him realize what he had just said to the Gryffindor and he felt horrible about himself but he couldn't take it back now. It wasn't because he was too proud to but it was because he had realized something when he watched Hermione with the Weasleys awhile ago—that it was really better this way. She belonged with them, not with him.
Draco got up and inched towards the door but the witch turned him around and grabbed him by the collar, "Tell me you didn't mean it!"
"I did," the Slytherin said, still not meeting her gaze
"You're lying," The witch said, her tear-filled eyes searching his empty silver ones, "You're lying…I can see it…"
Draco looked at her, "It doesn't matter anyway, nothing will matter in the end"
"Of course it matters. Harry…Harry's going to win and everything will be better—"
"No it won't be!" Draco shouted angrily startling the witch, "Potter…Potter is going to die"
The Gryffindor got angrier and she shoved the Slytherin back, "If you knew then you should have helped him! You just let him go there alone!"
Draco stood silently, unaffected by the Gryffindor as she continued lash out on him, "I…I let him go there alone…maybe we'll have time to go after him…maybe…"
The Slytherin caught Hermione's arm mid-air.
"Let go of me! Let go—"
But the Slytherin didn't. Instead he brought her even closer and held her in his arms.
"There's nothing we can do. He has to die, Hermione. He needs to die," Draco said softly, "You've known all along too, haven't you?"
The Gryffindor shook her head against his chest in denial, "It's not fair…it's not fair…"
Draco smiled sadly. I know, the Slytherin thought as he stood there in silence, letting the warmth of the Gryffindor wash over him. Suddenly a pain shot through his arm and the Deatheater clutched at his mark. Voldemort's voice in his head did not help either.
"Draco what's wrong?" Hermione looked up at him.
"Harry" Draco forced out through the pain. The Gryffindor, alarmed by hearing her best friend's name, struggled to get out of the Deatheaters embrace but he held her in place.
"Draco, what are you doing? We have to go get him. We have to go finish—" Hermione said frantically
"What are you talking about!" The Gryffindor shouted, "We can't let his death just go to waste—"
Draco kissed her.
To say that Hermione was shocked was an understatement. She didn't know what surprised her more. The fact that Draco Malfoy was kissing her or the fact that she was letting him. Draco held him tighter and she let herself melt into him. The kiss was slow and sweet and it made her feel warm all over. She wanted to hold on to him forever but unfortunately he pulled away.
Instead, Draco cupped her face with his hands and started to leave light feathery kisses trailing from her lips to her eyelids to her forehead. She closed her eyes.
"This is how I want to remember you, Hermione. Just like this," Draco whispered in her ear
Hermione frowned, confused by what he said. She opened her eyes to ask him but instead came face to face with the broom closet's door swinging shut and the lock clicking.
"Draco?" Hermione said as she tried the doorknob. Locked.
"Don't even bother. You can't break through the door's charms. It's connected to me, only I can open it."
"Draco!" the witch tried again, growing worried
Outside, Draco rested his forehead against the door barely keeping his tears in, "You have to stay in here, Hermione. I have to keep you safe"
"Draco, what are you talking about?" Hermione started to panic, "This isn't funny, let me out!"
"I'm sorry for kissing you. It was really selfish of me. But I guess you already knew that about me"
Hermione banged on the door with her fist, "Please Draco, you're starting to scare me"
"But I'll make it right. I'll make everything right," Draco sobbed through the door,
"Draco, whatever you think you need to do, you don't have to it alone! Please just let me out we can face this together," the witch cried frantically
"No. You need to get out of this alive. A lot of people need you. I need you. Your family needs you. Weasley…," Draco added painfully, "Weasley needs you"
"Why are you doing this," Hermione pleaded, "Please, just open the door, Draco"
"I love you, Hermione," the Slytherin said through the door.
Hermione bit back a sob and she let it course through her entire body. Just then, the Slytherin's warmth on the door had disappeared.
"Draco? Draco! DRACO!"
But Draco had already walked away. He wiped away his tears and put on a brave face as he let the sounds of Hermione's angry screams and spells rip through hallway. He was comforted by the fact that the door would hold on unless something happened to him. He hoped that when that "something" did happen—which he already accepted would be his imminent death, Voldemort would be too."
The Dark Lord sneered from across the court, challenging anyone to come join his side. Draco looked over at the half-giant who was carrying the boy-who-lived laying limply in his arms.
The Slytherin's attention snapped to his father who was still standing amongst the Deatheaters. The fighting had taken a toll on him as life looked like it had left him. Draco felt everyone's eyes turn to him.
"Draco!" his father hissed again.
The Malfoy heir clutched his fists. He couldn't bring himself to step over there, to join the side that took everything from him.
"Draco" his mother's voice came.
Draco looked at his mother who was pleading him to come to her. He could never refuse her and he slowly made his way to Voldemort's side.
The Slytherin walked alone. He watched the Dark Lord's face split into the eeriest smile he had ever seen. He eyed the elder wand in his hand—was he the wand's master now that Potter's dead? He had only walked halfway towards Voldemort when he stopped.
The Dark Lord looked amused, "Draco, is there something you wanted to say?"
The Slytherin stayed silent for a while. He thought about Hermione who he had left in the broom closet. He thought about the kiss he shared with her and he let that fill him with courage.
Draco smirked bravely, "You're nothing but a filthy half-blood and I will never serve you"
Voldemort laughed cruelly, "Well, this is rather disappointing. Crucio!"
The door to the broom closet clicked open.
A/N: Okay, this took me forever to write, I've been so distracted. I've been writing and updating another story plus my beach/road trip is tomorrow and I've been planning/packing like crazy. Anyway, I needed to update this before I go on my trip because vacations tend to make me forget how to do things...like proper penmanship ha ha ha. Ok. I'm rambling now. Good-bye. Hope you liked the chapter!
P.S. Draco is not going to die.
P.P.S. My other story is called, Thirty Saturdays, if you want to check that out. It's another Dramione fic.