AN: sorry for the delay. Real life caught up with me...for a while. no beta. hope you're amused. Thanks for reading.

Pansy was outside sunbathing while Theo was next to her falling asleep. There was a great owl that landed on the arm of her chair. Pansy removed her sunglasses and looked at the owl. She reached out and untied the letter attached to it. The owl said nothing and flew off. She looked at the envelope and her eyes widened. She hit Theo on his shoulder.

"Theo! Wake up!" Pansy said

"What?!" Theo whined

"I got a letter from Narcissa! Why is she writing me?" Pansy said

"Open it!" Theo said sitting up

Pansy broke the wax seal and started reading.

"Draco's an idiot!" Pansy said handing him the letter

Theo started reading the letter. Pansy walked into her room and started packing using her wand. Theo walked into her room and saw that she was packing.

"You're really going?" Theo asked

"It's our friend Draco, we can't abandon him, even if he's being a total wanker" Pansy said

"Give me 5 minutes, and I'll be ready"

"I knew you wouldn't abandon him"

Hermione watched her parents walk in the park, completely unaware of her presence. She watched them enjoy the day and then walk back to their house. She watched them smile and laugh. She watched them every day for a week before it became too much for her. Still unable to reverse the memory charm on them she left Australia again. Every place made her miserable. Every place seemed empty without them, without him.

At the end of the week, she obtained an international portkey back to London. She ended up at the Ministry looking for Harry.

It wouldn't be until they ran into each other at Diagon Alley a week later. Draco was accompanying his mother on her shopping trips, ignoring the glares they were getting from people. Hermione saw him the first time in months, his hair was cut short, his pale skin showed no signs of ever being in the sun, there was no facial hair at all. He stood there stoic with no expression on his face. She wanted to reach out to him, to touch him, to tell him that she missed him. Her feet moved on her own. Harry who was with her, watched her walk towards Draco. He reached out for her, to stop her from what would be a very public conversation.

"Draco" Hermione said when she was finally close enough to him

Draco turned and saw her standing there. She had changed so much. Her short hair was growing out, it was past her chin now, but still bushy and wild. Her skin was still tan, she had never left the sun. He wanted to reach out to touch her, but felt the hand and arm around his. His mother would want an explanation.

"Hermi, I mean Granger" Draco said

"I...I…." Hermione started to say

"Malfoy, Mrs Malfoy," Harry said from behind Hermione, "Hermione just returned, we would love to have you over for tea"

"Tea?" Draco asked

"Yes, tea. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon?" Harry said

"Harry, what are-" Hermione said

"My mother is busy, but I am available to join you for tea" Draco said

"Draco, do no not answer for me, I am right here. And the invitation was extended to us both" Narcissa chided

"I shall open the floo to you both then. Tomorrow, say 3 o'clock? You know the place, Kreacher will be happy to see you" Harry said

"Yes of course. Tomorrow then" Draco said

"Lovely, let's go Hermione" Harry said as he pulled Hermione away

The two walked down the street, and Harry put his arm around her, causing her to look at him.

"What are you doing?" Hermione asked

"Preventing you from making a very colossal mistake"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You're about to have a conversation with him, in a very public place. A conversation with someone you haven't seen in tend to get loud"

"I do NOT!"

"See you're doing it right now!"


"Look, you can talk to him tomorrow. My original plan was to just get him, and he played along but his mom decided to come along. I guess I can show her the Black Family tapestry then"

"You'll run interference?"

"Yes Hermione, that's what friends do"

The floo roared to life at 3 o'clock and out stepped Draco with his mother. Kreacher was ecstatic at their arrival. Harry had convinced Narcissa to look at the Black family tapestry upstairs. Hermione looked at Draco and reached out to him. Her hand pressed up against his chest, he felt warm, always so warm.

"I had to make sure you were real" Hermione said

Draco reached out and pulled Hermione into his arms and kissed her. Hermione kissed him back, it had been months since she had last touched him, felt him, tasted him.

"I'm sorry, I didn't want to assume" Draco said

"I missed you"

"I missed you too"

"I wasn't sure if you wanted to see me"

"I wanted to see you everyday since I left"

"Then why didn't you?"

Draco's fingers brushed against her cheek.

"Because you deserve better"


"I'm a death eater, when I came back, that's what everyone labeled me as. It's all I'll ever be"

"There was a trial, you were aquitted! You were a child!"

"None of it matters, they still hate me, hate my mother. She served her house arrest and we're still greeted with scorn whenever we go out"

"It doesn't matter, none of it matters. I don't care about any of that"

"Well you should. I'll only drag you down"

"Why are you doing this?"

"I don't deserve you, I never did"

"But that time we spent together in California"

"It was the happiest time in my life. We were free, we could be who we were, no one cared, but here they do. I'm a deatheater, you're the brightest witch of her age, who should not be in the company of someone like me"

"Stop making decisions for me!"

"I can't do this to you, I can't knowingly do this to you. You deserve so much better than me"

"Stop saying that, stop telling me what I deserve. What I deserve is to be happy, and I was happy with you in California with your stupid songs that all sound the same, and my terrible skateboarding skills. I just want to be happy is that so wrong?"

"You deserve the world, you deserve everything Hermione, but I'm not it"

"But I love you. I feel it when you're here, and I felt it when you were gone"

"I'm a coward Hermione"

"Draco don't say that"

"One day someone will love you properly the way you deserve it" Draco said as he kissed her on her forehead, "But that someone is not me"

Draco walked away from her and back to the floo.

"Don't you dare walk away from me!" Hermione yelled

Draco dropped the floo powder, calling out for the Manor. Hermione grabbed onto him and they both disappeared into the flames.

Narcissa and Harry stood there for a moment as they watched them disappear.

"So….tea?" Harry asked

"Yes I believe we have much to discuss" Narcissa said