Love is Worth Forgiving For

Chapter One – Have You Any Dreams You'd Like to Sell?

If I am wise

I will walk away

And gladly

But sadly you're not blind

It's hard to tuck away

The memories that you prize

Love is worth forgiving for

Now I realize

Everything worth living for

Is there in his eyes

-Song From Jehkle and Hyde, the Musical

Draco Malfoy often used the peace of the early morning to reflect on the the state of affairs that shaped his life. The young blonde wizard was feeling smug right now. Content. Anxiety was present, but diluted with the assurance that things might, might, be finally looking up.

Draco Malfoy was in love with a mudblood.

He didn't use that word, though, not anymore. Not ever since Hermione Granger became a figure in his life. His salvation. His ruin. She glowed with ferocity and energy and life, and the harder Draco had pushed her, the harder she pushed back. One day, she pushed him into something crazy; a kiss. The rest, as they like to say, had been history.

Draco sighed and held Hermione closer to him in his bed. It was the seventh year for the class that came in together and it had become a nightly ritual for her to creep from her private Head Girl dormitory to his Head Boy dormitory. Graduation was upon them, and that night they had sealed their love with a physical promise.

Draco looked at the sleeping figure of Hermione. She was not the awkward twelve year old he had despised growing up. Although still extremely smart and rather bossy, she was a beautiful woman with auburn colored hair and caramel colored eyes that glistened like gold. Seventeen years had progressed Hermione to come a long way. She was smart and brave, and lived up to the Gryffindor name. It was the popular opinion that she was on the fast track to becoming the first Mistress of Magic, and, although modest Hermione would never admit it, she was in the same league as Dumbledore when it came to magical ability. She was already, at seventeen, a fully registered animangus. An accomplished witch, she could turn into a cat, tiger, panther, or any of the feline family at will. Hermione Granger was astounding. And she was his.

Draco smiled sadly at the dark space above his head. He would take this time and treasure it the rest of his life. Voldemort was gone, but whispers remained of those who were loyal. The lives of the pureblooded children were precocious at best, and despite the best efforts of all decent wizards, the prejudice against muggleborns was still a dangerous reality. Romeo and Juliet. Draco and Hermione.

Draco knew, in a dark part of his heart, that he was going to have to hurt her to keep her safe from everything he had grown up with. Lucius Malfoy was still a cold hearted bastard and had already betrothed Draco to Pansy Parkinson, and Draco knew Lucius would have no problem in killing anyone who decided to cross him. Draco and Pansy where to be married soon after graduation.

The thought of marrying Pansy sicked Draco, but his father insisted that with her name and money, she would produce strong heirs who would carry on the Malfoy legacy.

Breaking Hermione's heart would be easier than watching his father break her body and spirit. Draco

had no choice.

"Hermione? Sweetheart? Time to wake up. We have potions in two hours, and you want to get

something to eat, right?" Draco nudged the sleeping girl gently.

"Mmmhmm." Came a muffled sound from a still half asleep Hermione.

They both got up and quickly dressed, talking about their upcoming graduation and N.E.W.T. scores. After exiting through a portal of an old fashioned looking couple (the first head boy and girl, as a matter of fact.) Hermione slipped her hand into Draco's and they started to walk down the long corridor. It wasn't long before they came across a very ancient looking piece of parchment, which reminded Hermione strangely of the infamous Marauders Map. They stopped to see if it was a piece of fallen homework. As head boy and girl they tried to make life easier for the rest o the student body. Draco picked it up for a closer look, but no sooner had his fingers brushed against the yellowed parchment, Draco felt a pull behind his navel, as though a hook where trying to jerk him backwards. They plummeted though swirling colors at breakneck speed to land on a very hard stone floor.

Draco realized with a sinking feeling exactly what it was, one moment too late.

"Was that a portkey?" Hermione asked, dazed.

"Shh!" Draco said sharply. "Yes."

"Where-?" Hermione let the question hang.

"Malfoy Manor."

Hermione's hand covered her gasp, but just then Draco saw a figure emerge from the shadows. The man had long White blood hair and was strikingly handsome. They man looked remarkably like Draco, only worn by decades and magic no wizard should touch.

"Father." Draco acknowledged his father steadily. Nothing would be gained by allowing the older Malfoy to feel that Draco had dissapointed him in any way that mattered.

"Draco." Lucius Malfoy said calmly.

Draco noticed Lucius's fingers where wrapped tightly around his snake-headed cane, his wand concealed inside. "Draco," his father continued in the same tone. "Kindly tell me why you let a mudblood share your bed?"

Draco was startled, as well as Hermione, who's eyes blazed in fury and embarassment. Lucius looked at him, then at her, and Draco saw a look he was grown up to fear and dread. He knew what he had to do, even as his heart was breaking.

"Absolutely nothing that a man shouldn't do before he marries his betrothed," Draco said smoothly. "Is it wrong to have a little romp here and there before settling?"

Lucius's mouth quirked up at the corner, and Draco felt himself relax a fraction. Amusement would save them both.

"A tryst before honor binds you?" Lucius said thoughtfully. "I admit, the trash is good for that. It is unfortunate that Hogwarts is a haven for those...individuals. There is nothing more...?"

Draco steeled himself and hit home the final nail in his coffin. The final nail in both their hearts.

"A good lay, father, nothing more." he said. "I have every intention of marrying Pansy as we have planned for years."
"Very well." Lucius said, satisfied. He was the one, after all, who told Draco there was nothing wrong in giving into temptation as long as he didn't produce anything unseemly from the union. "You both may leave."

Draco sighed, but turned away in shame from his father and Hermione as he felt the hook behind his navel once more. He didn't turn quickly enough to avoid Hermione's gaze however, and the sight of the tears spilling across her cheeks burned into is memory like a brand.

Eight months later, Draco Malfoy awakened, lying beside his wife, Pansy Parkinson, from a dream that has been haunting him since the day he and Hermione Granger shared their last kiss.