Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter

A/N: I just wanted to thank you for all your lovely reviews! I'm so glad you guys agree with me when I said I didn't wanna rush this story just to get it out there :) I don't wanna compromise the quality of this story because I'm actually pretty proud of it! I'm writing this story as the story I always wanted to find on here but never did, even though there are some wonderful Slytherin!Hermione stories. The great thing about this community is that there's always room for more and enough readers to go around for everyone lol. Btw, I finally signed up for Tumblr after being hounded into joining by my bff lol there's nothing too exciting on my page so far but my screen name is 'vaderwasaslytherin'. I'll put the link if you're interested. I'm actually planning on posting this fic on there too, but I'm curious to see if there's anyone who would be interested in making a collage of slytherin/hermione/draco as the teaser. I'm absolute balls at technology lol. As always, thank you so much for your reviews, they inspired me to get this new chappie up! Please let me know what you think!

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Chapter Thirty: My 'Mione

Gods, it even still smelled the same after all this time.

Hermione had landed them at Selwyn Cottage, the one place she was sure she'd never lay eyes on again. Draco hadn't stirred, even as she levitated him onto the familiar couch gently. The brunette dragged a shaky hand through her battle-ravaged hair, which had long come out of the messy bun she had thrown it into hours before. She took a deep breath to center her thoughts, even as she could feel the pounding of her heart clearly in her ears.

It was reckless to bring him here, really. Her father-in-law could very well have set up alarms around the property to alert him if anyone stepped foot within. The security measures that Theo had put up around their home would have weakened or completely disappeared with his death. Nott Sr. would be absolutely salivating at the chance to capture her, if given half the chance.

Draco shifted jerkily and let out a low and pained moan in his sleep, bringing her thought back to the blonde. She turned to go to the bathroom, hoping there was a potion to help beyond her healing skills. Unfortunately, all she could find was a vial that was basically the wizarding version of morphine. It would make him loopy in the head but would at the very least stave off the pain of having a chunk taken out of his side long enough to get him back to Malfoy Manor in one piece...more or less. Narcissa could deal with him from there, no doubt keenly prepared for just such occasions as these.

Sighing in agitation, she had to wake him enough to be able to swallow. Kneeling next to him while shoving a slender arm under his neck and lifting his head, she murmured his name. Red rimmed grey eyes blinked blearily at her as they tried to focus on her lips, as there were moving quite rapidly but he couldn't understand what they were saying quite right. "Your head is rather heavy, you know. Swallow this, it will help with the pain," she proffered. The wizard eyed the vial for a moment before letting her tip it back into his mouth after deciding it was safe.

The effect was instantaneous.

She watched as the silver began to recede from his eyes and the pupils dilated almost comically. He let out a shuddering sigh of pure relief and Hermione let his head fall gently back down on the small couch pillow. "Thank you 'Mione…." he smiled lazily at her, reaching up a dirt and blood streaked hand to cup her face affectionately. She stiffened slightly at the contact. He hummed before smiling again. "My 'Mione. I used to always call you that, 'member? 'Cause you were mmmmyyyyyy 'Mione and no one else's," he drawled, patting her cold and dirty cheek. She fought the urge to groan in annoyance. She needed to get him to activate the portkey she knew he always had on his person to take him back to Malfoy Manor. She really didn't have time for this, lingering too long was very dangerous.

"Draco, I need you to try and focus. You are very badly hurt. You must get back to the Manor. Where is your portkey?"

He snorted a laugh and smirked. "You'll have to search me, 'Mione," he said in a sing song voice, trailing a finger down her cheek before dropping his hand from her. "We don't have time for this, Draco. Focus on the words coming out of my mouth. Activate your portkey NOW," she bit out, anxiety making her terse. Maybe giving him the potion was a mistake, but there was nothing for it now. He locked his eyes on her mouth. "Your mouth…. you've always had the most perfect mouth, 'Mione. So soooffttt and it tastes good. Did you know your mouth tastes good? Like a mint Bertie's….my fav'rite…." he slurred slightly, attempting to reach up to her mouth but the witch brushed his hand away gently. This was getting them nowhere.

The potioned wizard frowned at her. "Why do you always do that? Yer' always pushing me 'way," he pouted, his eyes locking with hers. Exhaling a deep breath, the Slytherin witch decided to try a different tactic. "Draco...I'm trying to help you. I'm not pushing you away. I'm right here with you," she reasoned gently, slipping her hand into his. He seemed to be soothed at the contact.

"Show me the portk-"

"You coulda' been with me furever tho…..you pushed me 'way then, too. Why did you push me 'way, 'Mione? You ran 'way from this, from us together…. I just wanna be with you…. with my 'Mione…." he mumbled, his eyes softening as he took in her sad expression. Her chest ached at his confession. The memory of their first kiss in their Heads common room came unbidden to her. Her amber eyes stung as tears threatened to spill over.

"Oh Draco…."

"Love you, my 'Mione, always 'ave. Don' you love me too?" he confessed quietly, his eye refusing to leave hers as he bore into her thoughts. She seized her breath. "You know I will always love you, Draco, as my dearest frien-" He turned away from her angrily before she could finish, taking his hand from her as if she had bit him. "Liar! You lied then too and ran 'way to Nott. You didn' love 'im I know you didn' cause you loved ME. I felt it when we kissed an' you did too!" he insisted, facing her again with accusation in his sluggish eyes. His movements were sloppy, but the emotion was sincere.

Hermione honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the situation she had found herself in. It would be all so ridiculous if it wasn't so incredibly sad. They would keep going round and round in this vicious cycle for the rest of their lives. He would never let her go and move on if she didn't stop being so selfish. What was left for her anyway? She needed to set Draco free from her lies, for his sake if not for hers. She licked her dry lips nervously. She could do this.

"Alright Draco. I promise to tell you the truth if you get your portkey out and ready. Can you do that for me?" she asked, watching as he clumsily pulled a glamoured chain from his mangled shirt eagerly. A plain ring dangled from it, which she was sure was the portkey. She nodded to herself. This was the moment she had always feared. She suddenly wished she had some of that legendary bravery Gryffindors were always going on about. However, she was just a cowardly snake and always had been. She needed to do it now or she never would, and she wouldn't forgive herself for it as long as she lived.

"You're right, Draco. I do love you. I've loved you since we were sixteen years old and even before that as my first and best friend. Your laugh, your wicked sharp tongue, your eyes when they glow with secret joy…. your loyalty to your friends, even when we don't deserve it. You're a right git when your stubborn streak shows but it's only because you believe so much in the things you place your trust in. You're the only one who could go toe to toe with me in an argument and challenge me intellectually. You were never afraid of my success because you knew it didn't threaten your own. You really are the best friend I've ever had, you know. I still love you to this day. I love you enough to tell you the truth now. I did want to marry you, Draco. More than you could know, I wished that I could have said 'yes' to you with all my heart," she drew a ragged breath as her vision swam and warm wet trails fell down her pale cheek.

Draco furrowed his clammy brow, the potion starting to wear off and lucidity returned slowly to him along with the pain. He was trying very hard to focus on her words. His throat was suddenly parched. "Why, 'Mione?" he croaked, his gaze never leaving hers.

"I was so afraid of you finding out my greatest secret…..you would be disgusted and hate me for it. It would have ruined me," she paused, gathering her thoughts up and preparing for the worst. "I could never have entered a formal contract with anyone because…. because my parents are muggles."

Draco blinked slowly, uncomprehending etched on his face. "You're a…...you are a muggleborn…. that's why you married Nott. No betrothal contract, no background…. you told him?" he glared accusingly at her, a hard edge to his voice. "Not until after. He had his own reasons for forgoing a contract," she answered quietly, shaking her head. He huffed harshly before attempting to sit up. The witch instinctively reached to help him, but he visibly flinched at her touch and she snatched her hand back.

As soon as he was able to steady himself enough to stand, he shot her a scathing glare before grasping his portkey and spitting out the activation phrase.

"Strawberry sugar quills."

He was gone before he could see her cry. He still remembered her favorite candy, even after all this time.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Draco landed hard and an involuntary shout left him as he felt his wound in full force. Curling up on the drawing room floor, he grunted out for a terrified elf to get his mother. Moments later, purple robes flickered into sight and a feminine gasp filled his ears. "I'll floo Severus," Narcissa informed him softly before moving quickly to the floo. He heard her murmuring into the flames before stepping back to allow the headmaster of Hogwarts through. Draco allowed himself to be rolled over on his back as black eyes surveyed the damage.

"He's going into shock, 'Cissa. I need blood replenishing potions, I know you have them," his dark tenor ordered the mistress of the manor before whipping out his wand and casting a warming charm on the prone body in front of him. Draco sighed slightly as he had been starting to shake from a cold deep in his bones. He closed his eyes as his godfather started weaving a complicated healing spell over him in a surprisingly soothing manner. He allowed his mother to slip a vial in his mouth and swallowed.

His eyes closed and Narcissa brushed his hair back gently and placed a cool hand on his forehead to try and lend him some of her own mother's magic. She watched as the gap in her son's side slowly started to stitch itself back together, crudely but effectively. He would always have that large scar as a reminder of nearly dying today. She sighed.

Draco peered an eye open at the noise. "Is it true?" he asked wearily. He watched as her mouth turned down slightly. "Is what true, darling?" she asked, slipping a hand into his and patting it. "Hermione. She found me before I came here…. she told me…. she told me everything."

"Draco…now is not the time…you need to save your strength…" she encouraged him to close his eyes again. "Tell me!" he winced as he tried foolishly to sit up before Snape glared at him and continued on with his spells. Draco didn't miss the look shot between the two adults. Snape knew too, that secretive arsehole.

"Hermione is a very complicated witch, Draco. I know it's hard to see it right now, but she was just trying to do her best in a difficult situation…."

"Bullocks! She lied about everything! You always taught me that blood would out! I was supposed to know, wasn't I? I was supposed to have figured out she was nothing but a filthy mudblood," he stopped ranting at the cold look Severus gave him and his mother's pursed mouth.

"Never call her that again. You know better than anyone in this room just how special she is. Don't let your anger make you say things you will regret," Narcissa clipped tightly.

Draco closed his eyes tightly and they felt hot with his tears. "She told me she loved me and that's why she left me. She married him because he didn't want a contract. The fucked-up part is that I'm not sure if I hate her because she lied or because she told him the truth and not me."

His mother patted his hand sympathetically. "Oh son…. you don't hate her at all. You hate that you still love her and always will."

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Hermione left her old home seconds after Draco and made her way back to Shell Cottage. She wiped the tears off her face harshly, berating herself for feeling rather sorry about her existence. She had no business crying when she's the one who made the bed she had to lie in, after all. Pushing the door open, she was greeted with a wand to the face courtesy of Ginny Weasley. "Well well well, look what managed to slither back. Who was the one that first brought you to Shell Cottage?" she sneered, hoping desperately the brunette would answer incorrectly so she could blast her. "Remus Lupin."

She almost rolled her eyes at the pouting redhead who slowly put her wand away. "Well where were you then? Nobody saw you after the fight was over, we all assumed you tucked tail and ran, like the little coward you are," Ginny pressed meanly, crossing her arms over her puffed up chest. Hermione sighed at the childishness of Gryffindors. "I was injured so I risked a trip back to my old home to drink a potion. Thirty minutes is not exactly a long enough time to plan a thorough escape plan, after all. Oh, yes, and my only child is still here, that was a bit of a problem too." She turned from her before the witch could reply and searched for Nathaniel. It was well past any sort of reasonable bedtime, and she was pleased to see him in bed fast asleep.

Stripping herself from her bloody robes, she quickly washed her face before dropping in next to the boy. Hopefully things would be better in the morning, but she sincerely doubted it.