A/N- Welcome to my new story! It took me awhile to nail down an outline. This story isn't going to be as dramatic as my last two due to complaints. I hope it still meets your expectations. Also, this is going to be a slow-burn romance between Draco and Hermione. Don't expect them to get it on in the first five chapters. Anyways, I hope y'all enjoy my story.

Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. All the characters belong to our Queen, JKR. The storyline has been done tons of times so it's hardly original.

Chapter 1

August 1, 1998

Hermione was dreading this conversation. However, it needed to be had if not for any other reason than she needed her sanity. She and Ronald made much better friends than lovers.

Not that she had gone there with Ron. Their kiss during the Final Battle in the Room of Requirement had been full of the fiery passion that she had longed for for years. Every kiss and fondle since then had left her wanting more, needing more. She hated to say that he fell short of what she needed, but it was the truth. Hermione knew that it would be a blow to his ego that he wasn't keeping her satisfied, but she couldn't act like there wasn't a problem any longer. She could only hope that he would take it with grace.

Hermione took a seat in one of the outdoor tables at an out-of-the-way diner in a less populated part of Diagon Alley. She had only just ordered a cup of tea to settle her nerves when Ron arrived.

They pair usually spent all their time together but the last two weeks, Ron had been disappearing. He had passed it off with the excuse that he was visiting Neville or just taking time to himself to process the loss of his brother. Hermione had believed him; the loss of Fred had been hard on his whole family.

Harry had gone out the night before with Ginny, both to stay at Grimmauld Place after their night out. Hermione had expected Ron to want to spend time with her but he had been glaringly absent. She hadn't seen him since noon yesterday, after Harry's party. Ron sat down with a heavy plop and waved the waitress over to order his own cup of tea. After the stunning blond had disappeared back into the diner, Hermione turned her full attention to her boyfriend.

"Ron, we have to talk." Her boyfriend nodded and bowed his head in a way that made her feel like he was feeling guilty. He raked his hands though his hair and grimaced slightly before he began to speak.

"'Mi, I truly love you. Just not as a girlfriend. We don't have the passion that I want in a couple. It's like we're brother and sister trying to be in love. Which leads me to a confession."

Hermione felt her heart clench just a little at the fact that he wasn't the least bit remorseful at the fact that she wanted to call off their relationship. She was completely broken-hearted at the fact that she and her best friend hadn't worked out. Not only was he alright with it, he had a confession.

"I've been seeing Lavender for a week. Mostly it was just comforting each other, me with Fred and her with her wounds from Greyback. We have snogged a few times and it does nothing but make me feel guilty. I have to call this off." Hermione couldn't stop the sting of tears when she realized what he was saying.

Ron agreed with her, which was great, but he had cheated on her. More than once. The fact that he could do that to her broke her heart. She had thought that she had been good enough to at least warrant loyalty.

However, she loved Ron as a friend and brother. She never wanted to lose his friendship. She knew that he expected her to lose her temper over his cheating. Honestly, if she did, he would deserve it. Ronald knew it too. Yet, he had still told her the truth out of respect of their friendship. Even though his infidelity cut her to the core, she decided to let him off easy.

"I'm disappointed that you cheated on me, Ron. That makes me feel like I wasn't even worth the truth from the start. But I agree with you wholeheartedly that we aren't meant for each other. I too, have felt the absense of passion in our relationship. I've always wanted a man that held a fiery passion for me, as I had for him. That's obviously not what we have between us." His eyes widened slightly at her words.

"I've done things I'm not proud of, Hermione. That's why I'm being completely honest with you now. I want to call it off with us and hope that we can keep our friendship while I pursue a relationship with Lavender."

Hermione knew that he was regretful for wrongs that he had done her. She could tell by the look on his face and the regretful tone of his voice. She knew that the only thing she could do was to forgive him and give her blessing for any relationahip he pursued with Lavender. No matter how much it made her want to scream. She reached her hand out and took his, curling her fingers around his.

"As disappointed as I am, you're still my best friend and I only want you to be happy. If Lavender makes you happy, I wish you the best of luck. You should go to her. Tell her the good news that we're over and you can start something with her." Ron reached out and tried to squeeze her hand.

"No, I'm fine with spending the evening with you. We're friends and I don't wanna ditch you when Harry is occupied with Ginny. You deserve someone to lean on too." Hermione gave him a small smile and waved her hand.

"I promise, I'm fine. I came here with the intention of calling it off with you. I knew what it would entail. Go see Lavender. Make her day with our news." Ron gave her a bright smile and leaned across the table to kiss her cheek.

"Thanks, 'Mi. You're the best friend a guy could ask for." As he stood and left, her heart clenched at his words.

Would she ever find someone that loved her for who she was? Everyone was enthralled with her, true, but they were obsessed with her because of her role in the war. She just wanted someone who loved her for herself.

The Gryffindor paid for her tea and Ron's, knowing that in his haste to get to Lavender he had forgotten. Deciding she wasn't quite ready to face Molly Weasley after their decision, Hermione decided to wander the Alley, considering her options for the future.

Kingsley had made it clear that any department of the Ministry would be willing to admit her. However, she couldn't help but feel incomplete without her N.E.W.T. scores.

Harry and Ron had both decided to go into Auror Training. At first she had been appalled that they would continue in life without their N.E.W.T.s, but after a bit of reflection, she realized it was typical of them both. Neither one of them had enjoyed school; nothing short of wild horses could drag them back.

However, Hermione felt like she needed the stability and comfort that school had to offer. Once the war had come to an end and the dead had been buried, Hermione had searched for her parents. She had hoped against all hope that her memory charms would be enough to keep them safe but she had been wrong. So wrong.

The Gryffindor had instilled within her parents the urge to leave. It had been an urgent need. Just not urgent enough. Only three days had passed between the time the charm had been cast and the day of their flight. However, Death Eaters had found them at the airport and slaughtered not only her parents, but nearly fifty other people. Since nobody had known her whereabouts once they realized her parents were dead, she had never been notified.

Hermione had been destroyed when she learned the truth. Not wanting to make the Weasleys draw their attention from mourning Fred, Hermione had gone off on her own and seen to her parent's burials.

None of her friends had ever asked about her parents and what she was doing in regards to them. None of them ever knew that they were dead. Hermione tried to lie to herself and say that she didn't care, tried to make excuses for Harry, Ron, and Ginny. However, it just didn't work in the end. She dealt with it by herself and nobody questioned her sadness over the months.

Hermione considered a return to Hogwarts as she strolled the Alley. She had received an invitation to return, even an offer to be Head Girl. That had been her dream since she had been a first year. In fact, missing out on Head Girl and sending her parents away had been the only two things that had made her sad about joining Harry on the horcrux hunt.

Her mind continued to wander as she passed several dark alleys. The world had become infinetly safer since the Final Battle. However, there were still Death Eaters on the loose, those whom had evaded capture at the end of the Final Battle. Everyone knew they were out there, but there has been absolutely no sightings of them and it was widely believed that they had all fled the country.

Hermione knew better, of course, she knew they were simply biding their time until it was much more beneficial to endanger themselves. However, her mind was elsewhere as she strolled past the dark alleys.

It was a complete and total surprise when a bright red curse came hurtling towards her in the sinking sunlight. Hermione had always had amazing reflexes so her wand was in her hand and held aloft in less than two seconds. When a second curse was shot her way, she threw herself to the ground and rolled behind the dumpster to her left so she could use it for cover.

Hermione instantly began firing curses back at the figure in the alley. She couldn't help but wonder if it was one of the missing Death Eaters or just a disgruntled family member looking for revenge. There had to be plenty of those that wanted to make the Golden Trio pay.

The pair exchanged wand fire for several minutes and Hermione was happy to say that she was doing better than she expected in the duel. She had been hit by a stray cutting curse on her shoulder but had so far remained unhurt aside from that. Her next curse was an incarcerous in hopes of capturing her attacker and her aim was true.

In the moment that her curse hit her opponent, she saw his Death Eater robes in a random ray of sinking sunlight. A wonderful sense of satisfaction overcame her as she realized that she had just taken down one of the missing Death Eaters all on her own. Harry would complain about her being on her own, but would be proud nonetheless.

Her sense of pride, however, made her sloppy. In the moment that she was basking in her single-handed capture of a Death Eater, she didn't hear the second person behind her. It wasn't until she heard the dreaded words leave his lips that she spun to see nobody there.

"Sectumsempra." The curse hit her straight in the chest and the pain was unbelievable. She slumped to the ground against her will and watched as a second DeathEater appeared by her side. Hermione couldn't believe she hadn't considered someone being disillusioned. When her attacker spoke, she could hear the glee in his voice.

"Die slowly, Mudblood. I hope you last for hours before you finally take your last breath." Without casting her another glance, the Death Eater walked to his bound companion and freed him so they could both disapparate.

It was in this solitary moment that Hermione realized she would likely die alone on the ground in a dark alley if she didn't do something. Despite the excruciating pain and the ever-growing puddle of blood underneath her, Hermione began to drag herself out of the alley and back out onto the main fairway.

Once she was visible, it didn't take long for someone to notice her. Her consciousness was beginning to fade as she felt someone kneel at her side. She faintly heard her savior yell to someone.

"It's Hermione Granger! We have to get her to St. Mungo's right away!"

The last thing that Hermione felt before she slipped completely into the darkness was the familiar suction of apparition.

-O-

Healer Melanie Cubster had had a great day so far on her shift. Nothing catastrophic had come in so far and she only had one hour left of her shift. She was excited to go home and see her boyfriend. She was on her sixth day straight at the hospital and hadn't seen Tommy for more than two hours total since her last day off. After the week she had had, she definetly needed a good fuck and Tommy would only be too happy to give it to her.

Her mind was wandering to the things Tommy would do to her as soon as she got home when she ran into her mediwitch, Casey. They had both bonded when she began at St. Mungo's; both were from the same year at Hogwarts, albeit different houses, and they were both muggleborns. Melanie regained her balance quickly but was still thrown for a loop when Casey spoke urgently.

"You're the only healer close enough. A good samaritan just brought in Hermione Granger. She's bleeding to death from what appears to be the Sectumsempra Curse. You have to come help her now."

Thoughts of how she was going to fuck Tommy flew right out of her mind at Casey's words. There was no way in heaven or hell that she could allow Hermione Granger to die. The wizarding community as a whole would crucify her. Not to mention that the muggleborn witch was a personal hero to Melanie.

Melanie took off at a sprint towards the intake room for emergency patients, mentally running through the counter curse for the Sectumsempra Curse. She had learned it during the war. An anonymous person had sent in the curse, what it did, and how to treat it. Melanie had been sceptical at first, but when she tried it on the first victim and the spell worked, she couldn't have been more grateful.

As Melanie burst through the door, Casey was right on her heels. The mediwitch instantly went to work, hands pressing down on the war hero's chest trying to staunch the bleeding. There was already a huge pool of blood on the floor beneath the slight witch. Just by that sight alone, Melanie knew that the Gryffindor didn't have long.

The healer flew into action, yelling for the aide to gather healing potions, invigoration draughts, strengthening draughts, and blood replenishing potions. Melanie instantly ripped the young girl's shirt open, exposing all nine of the long jagged cuts across her chest and abdomen. Having no time to mess with the petite woman's bra, Melanie simply vanished it before she began her chant.

As she continued her healing chant, the cuts began to mend together, healing both the flesh exposed and the flesh within. The young girl was still not breathing well though. Once the flesh was mended, Melanie turned her wand and attention to the girl's chest, specifically her lungs.

Sure enough, one lung was punctured and her chest cavity was filling with blood, effectively drowning her. With a wave of her wand, Melanie had vanished the excess blood and was starting the repair of the deflated lung. Casey was monitoring the heart rate and airway of Hermione Granger, becoming more distressed by the moment. Her voice came through calm, but Melanie knew her mediwitch well enough to know she was terrified that they were going to lose their patient. Melanie couldn't help but agree with Casey.

Melanie worked for almost fifteen minutes, completely healing the lung and making sure that more blood was no longer pooling in her chest cavity. The healer had just reached for the blood replenishing potion that the aide had brought in when Casey spoke, her voice thick with tears.

"She's gone, Mel. There's nothing else we can do." Growing up muggleborn had ensured Melanie really hated being told that something couldn't be done, that it wasn't in the scope of her practice. Because of this reason only, Melanie knew that she only had one more chance at saving the young hero. The healer dropped the vial of potion on the table between her patient's legs and placed her hands on the girl's sternum, right between her breasts.

A gasp escaped Casey's mouth when they realized that Hermione Granger's appearance was changing. Melanie had always been of the opinion that Granger had been beautiful, if only a little unkempt. Now, even covered in blood and surrounded by white, the young witch was now heart-breakingly gorgeous.

She remained the same height but her curves became fuller. She was still nowhere near what could be considered plus sized or pudgy, but the girl was far from skin and bones. Her breasts had grown some, her waist now dipped inward and her hips flared perfectly. It was the figure that women around the world would kill for.

Her hair had went from a chocolate brown to a shining blond, almost platinum. Reaching up, she pulled up an eyelid and discovered that her eyes were no longer an amber color. They were a bright green now with yellow lines zigzagging across the surface. Her hair had lost most of it's curl but still had a soft wave to it. In short, this woman was now a siren. She was dragged out of her thoughts when Casey sniffled with tears. Melanie began compressing the Gryffindor's chest, counting to four as she went. When she stopped, Casey bent down to give the breaths, finally realizing just what it was that Melanie was up to.

The two women continued this process six time before there was a soft sputter and a faint heartbeat. Snatching the vial of blood replenisher up off the bed, Melanie began to dribble it into her open mouth while Casey massaged her throat so she would swallow.

When they had coaxed all the different potions down her, Melanie sat back a heaved a sigh.

"Praise Merlin's saggy sack, we saved her. Get her moved up to another room and I'll start the paperwork on this end." Casey nodded before she cocked her head to the side, staring contemplativly at her charge.

"Why do you suppose her appearance changed?" Melanie looked up at her mediwitch and gave her a serious look.

"Miss Granger isn't who she says she is. Her usual appearance was a glamour. Since she technically died on this table, her glamour vanished. There will be many questions tomorrow when she wakes and sees herself like this." Casey simply nodded, covered the witch, and levitated her out of the room.

Without another thought, Melanie started in on her paperwork, excited there was something to keep her mind busy until she could finally go home.

-O-

Epoxymoch rifled through the papers on his desk as he considered just going home. Sorting out estates in the last months had taxed his patience. Yes, goblins loved money and loved to make it, but he needed his health as well. This stress was beginning to affect his health. A panel on his desk turned bright blue, indicating there was pressing business that needed handling.

The goblin rifled through the files in his desk and found the one glowing blue. Taking it out, he saw the name and nearly fainted. This girl had been missing for almost nineteen years; she was now located in one of the private rooms in St. Mungo's. He could only assume she had been injured. Grabbing a quill and ink, Epoxymoch began to pen a letter to the next of kin.

When he was finally satisfied with the letter, he hauled his testy owl Ares out of his cage and instructed him where to go and to not return until he had seen that it had been read. With a small shake of his head at the unbelievable things in life, Epoxymoch straightened his papers and left for home.

-O-

It was hours later when Hermione opened her eyes to see that she was in a room colored stark white. She could only imagine that she was at St. Mungo's. Not able to keep her eyes open any longer, she slid back into the comfortable darkness that was reaching for her.

A/N- There she is, kids. Just like my other stories, I'll try to post as often as I can. My life is insane so bear with me! Hope y'all liked it and continue to read. Leave your thoughts for me (;

Love,

A