A/N - Itty bitty drabble in this AU from one of the times when Draco and Hermione snogged for hours because I'm such a helpless sap of a dramione shipper even in a tomione.

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Draco pulled away from Hermione and said what he'd been dreading telling her since he'd gotten the owl that morning. "They finalized the betrothal contract," he said. "I'm marrying Pansy directly after graduation."

Hermione brushed a stray lock of his pale hair out of his face. "Are you okay?" she asked. Her blue tie was half out of her bag where she'd shoved it after he'd tugged it off, desperate to unbutton her shirt, desperate to touch her one last time even though he knew it couldn't possibly be anything but wrong now.

He nodded, half miserable but also relieved she was taking this so well.

"We knew this was coming," she said and he nodded again. "Draco," she said, very seriously now, "this was never meant to last, not this part of it, but we'll be friends forever."

"I just…" He stopped and shook his head, trying to clear the endless half-images of her as someone else. Someone fiercer. "We aren't really cousins, you know. It wouldn't have been - "

She put her hand to her heart and gasped in mock dismay. "Are you telling me that paperwork your grandfather hauled out isn't real? That I'm not really your fourth or fifth cousin via some bastard squib but just a Muggle born? I'm wounded."

"You aren't just anything," he said with a snort. "And the very moment having you as a Malfoy cousin becomes useful, you'll be ensconced in a suite at the Manor and you know it."

She sighed. "Cuz," she said. "You will be happy with Pansy, right?"

"I like Pansy fine," he said. "It'll be fine." He did too. He just resented being pushed into a marriage, even one he might have sought out, without so much as a by-your-leave.

He didn't mention how his grandfather had hauled him aside the last time he'd been home and said, fear behind his eyes, that he needed to break things off with 'the Granger girl.' "Be friends," Abraxas Malfoy had said. "Be best friends, but keep your hands off her. She's not for you." He'd added, inexplicably, "As she is now, she's not for anyone."

Draco thought of the dream he'd had the night before where he'd watched Hermione scream on the floor of the Manor as a woman he didn't know - his dead aunt, he supposed, given people had called her Bella - did things that made his blood run cold even now, hours later with a whole, not tortured woman watching him with worried eyes.

"I'll be fine," he said again. "We'll make you godmother of the Malfoy heir and everything." He added impulsively, the vision of her in agony haunting him, "Hermione, you know you can count on me no matter what, right? We'll be friends always and no matter what happens I'll… I won't desert you. You could become downright evil and I'd stand by you."

She twined her fingers through his. "Friends, always, right?"

"Godparents of each other's children," he vowed. "Always."