This is really sad; I can't believe I've finally finished this thing. It's been a part of my computer life for so long, it's hard to say good bye…
One more thing, no matter what happens, keep reading… please?
Chapter Thirty- A Polyjuice Ending
So came the day that Draco had, for a short time when he had first arrived at Hermione home, wished for more than anything. But his wish had changed, and he soon wished more than anything for the day to become never ending.
The day started off hectically and Draco and Hermione had little time on their own. Ron and Faith came over to say good bye, as they were moving off to France again. They promised to return soon, for now that Ron had settled his dilemma with Molly, he was eager to stay home, but Faith had to resolve some things back in France before they could return to England for good.
"Make sure you use that owl of yours this time, Ron. You hear me? If you don't owl me within the first week of your return… I will Floo over to France and strangle you." Hermione said thickly, before pulling Ron in for a tight hug.
Hermione held on to Ron as tight as she could and he could tell she was upset. He pulled away to look at her face and he could see tears in her eyes. "Hey, what's wrong, Gran?"
Hermione pursed her lips tightly, but shook her head as a reply, which Ron didn't approve of. "Bollocks! Tell me… please?"
Hermione remained silent and Ron glanced around the living room to see that Draco and Faith were not there, so Ron whispered dramatically. "Hermione, I know that you hate seeing me leave, but Faith mustn't know. If she finds out…"
Hermione smiled and laughed softly. Ron grinned and hugged her to him. "Don't worry, love." He said in a severely accented voice. "All will spin to a conclusion eventually."
"Wise words from a Weasley?" Faith asked coming down the stairs. She was alone.
"Draco not with you?" Ron asked looking up the stairs.
Ron grew sly. "Tired him out, did you?" This caused Faith to frown at him and Hermione to whack him over the head.
"Well if that's what you think of me, Ronald, I guess I'll be leaving." Faith said and she disaparated with a pop.
"Ooo, now you've done it." Hermione said snidely.
Ron flashed her a gigantic grin. "Nah, she loves acting. But I should go now anyway. See you soon, Hermione."
Quickly Ron gave Hermione an embrace and a kiss on the cheek before he too disaparated with a pop. Hermione heaved a great sigh and felt terribly lonely. Harry and Ginny were off on their honeymoon, Ron and Faith were going back to France and Draco would be leaving within twenty-four hours.
Then Hermione would be alone.
"Did they leave?" Draco questioned from the top of the stairs.
Hermione nodded and walked into the kitchen. Draco followed her in and they both sat down to a gloomy silence. They were not left alone long because just as Hermione opened her mouth to speak, the doorbell rang.
"Yay!" Hermione exclaimed jumping to her feet. She squealed, "Friends!" and rang to the door. Upon opening it, Hermione saw a tall man standing there.
"Can I help you?" Hermione asked in a friendly tone; she thought he looked oddly familiar.
"Hermione Granger, you don't remember me?" He asked and as soon as he spoke, Hermione recognised him.
"Blaise Zabini. Merlin… look at you. You've changed, you know." Hermione said stepping out of the doorway and beckoning him in.
As he walked into the living room Blaise replied teasingly, "So have you, Hermione. Not for the worse, either."
"Oh hush." Hermione snapped with a smile on her face. "I'll bet that you haven't come here to see me though, have you?"
"As much as I would like to say that I have… but…" He said bowing his head in a mocking sorrowful pose. "No, I haven't… I have come to see someone who lives here, though. Does that count?"
"It could." Hermione said pensively.
"I hope it does." Blaise said nodding in an almost sincere way.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You're as bad as Draco."
"That's what you get." Blaise said, and then he added, "A small sacrifice for happiness, I suppose."
"Huh?" Hermione asked, confused.
Blaise replied quickly. "Never mind. It still hasn't happened, I take it." He added the last bit as an afterthought, to himself.
Hermione looked at him questioningly, but Draco walked into the room, so she had no time to ask Blaise what he meant. When Hermione turned to see Draco walking in, she had not prepared herself to see him grinning so genuinely, and it took her a moment before she remembered what was going on.
"Blaise, what the Hell are you doing here?" Draco asked as he indicated to Blaise that he should sit down. He sat down and Blaise followed suit, giving Draco a pointed look that promised a discussion about Hermione when they were alone.
Hermione closed the front door and turned to look at the two men. She cleared her throat and said, "I think I'll go see Luna, and let you two… talk."
Blaise turned to give Hermione a broad grin and Draco just nodded. Hermione smiled back at Blaise. "Make sure he behaves."
"Of course, Hermione." Blaise replied. "I wouldn't want to face your wrath if I didn't. Say hi to Luna for us… she was the dizzy one, wasn't she…?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You want me to say hi for you to someone you don't even remember?"
Blaise nodded, not grasping what she meant. "Yep."
Glancing at Draco with an exasperated look on her face, Hermione shook her head. Draco chuckled softly and Hermione smiled at him before disaparating.
There was a moments pause before Blaise burst out laughing. Draco scowled deeply at him and waited until he stopped before snapping. "I don't find it funny, Blaise. So shut up."
Blaise stifled his mirth and tried to put a serious expression on his face. "She's as bad as you."
Draco frowned and waited for Blaise to continue. "She's as much in love with you as you are with her, quite ridiculous really."
Draco stayed silent and began brooding. Blaise looked at him reproachfully. "You are going to tell her aren't you?"
Draco hesitated before nodding without looking at Blaise. "When?"
Draco shrugged, but Blaise could tell there was something Draco wasn't telling him. "You have a plan don't you?"
Draco made no reply, but he did steal Blaise's wand. "Coffee?"
"You're changing the subject!" Blaise accused.
"No." Draco stared him in the eye. "I already have, you're just lingering on the past."
Blaise scowled, but knew it was pointless to press Draco. "Yes, a coffee would be grand."
Draco muttered a spell and pointed Blaise's wand at the coffee table where two steaming mugs appeared. "How's Sally and the kids?"
"They're in Germany." Blaise responded, picking up a mug. "They're visiting Sal's parents."
"Why didn't you go?"
For the rest of the afternoon, Blaise and Draco sat around Hermione's house and talked of Quidditch, Hermione– when Blaise could get Draco to open his mouth about her, and Hogwarts.
By the time Hermione got home, they were in a historical debate as to whether the Ancient Runes class room at Hogwarts was on the third floor or the fourth. When Hermione walked into the living room Draco looked up and exclaimed. "Ha! Hermione's here, she'll prove me right!"
"About what?" Hermione asked curiously. She was in a better mood than she had been that morning, her visit to Luna and Neville's house had lifted her spirits.
"Where was the Ancient Runes class room? The third floor or the fourth floor?" Just by his manner of speaking it was obvious which floor Draco believed it was on.
"Second." Hermione said instantly.
"Bollocks!" Blaise said, shaking his head. "Remember, you had to walk up the rickety stairway to get there."
"From the Slytherin Common Room, maybe." Hermione said without a trace of doubt. "But I distinctly remember that I never had to go up- or down any stairs to get to Runes from the Gryffindor Common Room."
"No, you're wrong." Draco said stubbornly.
"Really?" Hermione said with a challenge in her eyes.
Draco nodded, but he looked unsure. Then he burst out in a whine, "You have to be wrong!"
"Because if you're right, then the debate we've been having for the past-" Draco calculated how long. "For the past hour and a half was pointless…"
"Because we were both wrong!" Draco cried and looked at Blaise, who was looking at him in alarm. Hermione glanced at Blaise and giggled.
"I take it he never acted like this at Hogwarts?" She asked, knowing what Blaise was thinking.
Blaise shook his head, with an amused look on his face. "Never, and I'll bet that if it was ever suggested to him-"
"I would have beaten the snot out of whoever suggested it." Draco finished confidently.
"Then why do you do it now?" Blaise asked shrewdly.
Draco shrugged, but Hermione answered for him. "It's a condition he must have picked up at Azkaban, because he's been like that pretty much since he arrived here."
"Pretty much?" Blaise asked slyly, Hermione didn't notice, but Draco did and when Hermione walked into the kitchen, Draco whacked Blaise in the stomach.
"Prick!" Draco muttered and Blaise pretended to look hurt.
"Well," Blaise started, loud enough for Hermione to hear him, too. "I'd best be off."
Hermione reemerged from the kitchen. "You can stay for tea if you like?"
"No, no." Blaise replied. "I'm supposed to have dinner at my… mother's house."
Draco immediately knew it was a lie; Blaise's mother was in Azkaban along with all the other Death Eaters. "You sure?"
"Positive." Blaise answered, with twinkling eyes. "She'd kill me if I didn't go."
"Yeah, I'm sure she would… if she could." Draco muttered and he led Blaise to the door. He opened the door and Blaise stepped through it. "Too bad she's in Azkaban, you Hufflepuff."
Blaise stared at Draco for a moment in shock before winking at him and turning on his heel and plunging into the now dark street. Shaking his head, Draco closed the door and walked into the kitchen.
Draco didn't sleep that night. Not only was he thinking of the upcoming event the next day that caused such uneasiness inside him, but something that Hermione had said to him that night was making him quite restless.
During dinner, Hermione had pulled out a bottle of Fire Whiskey to celebrate Draco's last night of imprisonment- a word Draco fought hard not to cringe at. Draco decided that he would drink to drown the nerves inside of him instead of to celebrate his departure.
Hermione was in had been quiet, melancholy mood during dinner, but once the continuous flow of alcohol to her system took effect; she seemed to be happy with the world around her.
But when Hermione stood up to leave the kitchen and go to bed, she had stumbled and tripped on the leg of the table. Draco had jumped up to catch her; he held her to him and Hermione sighed sadly, when she began to pull away, she stopped and kissed him.
Draco would have responded, but she pulled away. Draco saw tears streaming down her cheeks and she had whispered, "Don't go." before fleeing upstairs.
Draco had contemplated chasing after her and admitting his feelings, but Hermione had been drinking a fair bit and wouldn't appreciate hearing it until she was sober.
So he decided to wait.
Hermione watched silently from the door to Draco's room as he packed his bags. When she had emerged from her room that morning he had been quietly packing while entertaining Enigma. Hermione had walked over to his room and there she had stayed.
Finally breaking the silence, Hermione asked, "Do you want some breakfast?"
Draco turned to look at her. "That'd be great, thanks."
"No problem." Hermione replied and she left the room. She cooked breakfast silently, unlike the way she usually did- shouting out the lyrics to a famous Muggle song, until Draco came in to shut her up. When she had finished, Draco walked into the room and sat down.
"Perfect timing." Hermione said and she too sat down.
Draco nodded and looked very ill at ease. Hermione observed him closely as he ate and after a while she asked, "Are you okay?"
Draco nodded again and plastered a smile on his face. "Yeah, I'm just not looking forward to the trip to the Manor on the Knight Bus."
Hermione agreed, "Just make sure you're holding onto something that doesn't move, a window frame, maybe…"
Draco smiled at her. "Thanks for the advice, but I wouldn't have pictured you as a Knight Bus rider."
"I haven't been on it at night. Just during the day." Hermione added helpfully.
They finished eating and sat back in their seats. Draco looked at the dirty dishes, "Do you want me to wash them?"
"Why don't you use magic?" Hermione asked slyly.
Draco narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "I don't have my wand."
"Yes, you do." Hermione replied and Draco stared at her incredulously. "Check your pocket."
Draco stuffed his hand in his front pocket and pulled out his wand. Staring at it in disbelief, Draco's face broke out into a wide grin. "Thank you."
"Think of it as a going away present." Hermione said, smiling at the sight of his grin.
There was a screeching of tyres outside followed closely by an outrageous crashing noise. Hermione giggled, but Draco looked stricken. "Uh-oh."
"Uh-oh indeed, Draco." Hermione said mirthfully.
Draco exhaled deeply and looked silently at Hermione. The mirth left her face and she sat looking straight back at him. Draco lifted his wand and pointed it at the dishes, after muttering a spell; he watched as all the dishes magically cleaned themselves and put themselves on the appropriate shelf or in the right cupboard.
Hermione watched him as he stood and picked up his bags. There was a loud banging at the door followed by Stan Shunpike- the conductor of the Knight Bus yelling out Draco's name. Hermione went to the door and opened it for Stan and said professionally, "Hello, Stan. He won't be a minute."
Stan stared at Hermione for a long time before he asked suspiciously, "Arn' choo the Mistress of Magic?"
"Yes." Hermione said smiling politely. Stan continued to stare uncertainly at Hermione, so she turned around, just in time to see Draco running back down the staircase. "What were you doing?"
Draco looked guilty. "I- ah, had to find the snake."
"Enigma?" Hermione asked, curious of Draco strange behaviour.
"Her." Hermione corrected, frowning at him.
"Yep! That's the one." Draco said with considerable relief.
Hermione continued to look at him oddly. "So where is she?"
"Who?" Draco looked guilty again.
"Enigma!" Hermione said exasperatedly. "What's the matter with you?"
"Nothing." The guilty look had not disappeared. Stan coughed loudly and Draco smiled at him, "Hey, Stan."
"'ello." Stan replied, looking uncomfortable.
Hermione gave Draco an odd look as he walked towards the door. "What?" He asked, "I'm just being polite."
Hermione continued to be suspicious about the way he was acting until he stopped in the doorway and turned to face Hermione. Stan took Draco's bags from him and carried them away to the Knight Bus, giving Draco and Hermione time to say goodbye.
The look on Draco's face made Hermione's heart well up inside of her. Draco seemed unsure of what to say, and he ended up choosing, "Thank you for all you done for me, Hermione."
"No worries."" Hermione choked, her eyes beginning to sting. "Thank you for keeping me company in the empty house."
Draco smiled. "No worries." He mimicked softly.
Hermione embraced him tightly, never wanting to let go. Draco returned her hug and they parted quickly. Hermione leaned up and kissed Draco one last time, before she stood back and watched him leave her life. Then, in some desperate attempt to prolong his departure, Hermione called out, "I'll see you at your first Quidditch Match."
Draco turned to look at her. "See you there, Hermione."
"Bye, Draco." Hermione replied softly, more to herself then to him. He smiled one last time and stepped onto the Knight Bus. No sooner had he stepped on then the bus screeched off into thin air.
Hermione stood staring at the empty street, not trusting herself to move. Letting out a sob of dismay, Hermione slowly closed the door. Suddenly, a familiar voice called, "Hermione?"
Spinning around, Hermione saw Ron walking into the living room. "Ron?"
Ron spotted her and smiled. "There you are."
Hermione didn't move, tears were still streaking down her cheeks. Holding back another sob, Hermione asked, "Weren't you going back to France?"
Ron jumped, as if remembering that detail suddenly. "Well, I figured that you might feel a bit… alone, now that Draco's gone, so I told Faith to go back ahead of me and I would go back tomorrow."
Upon hearing Ron say that Draco was gone, Hermione burst out crying. Holding her hands desperately to her mouth, to stifle her sobs, Hermione was blinded by wave upon wave of tears.
Then Ron was there, his strong arms wrapped themselves protectively around her and he led her to the kitchen and sat her down gently. Ron sat down next to her and checked his watch inquisitively before pulling out his wand and conjuring two mugs of coffee.
He handed Hermione a mug and pushed her hair back off her face. "Thank you." Hermione mumbled.
"Of course." Ron replied and he cleared his throat. He sat waiting for Hermione to start talking, and he didn't have too long to wait.
"I let him go." Hermione said quietly.
Ron looked at her encouragingly, so she continued, "I would have told him, but I couldn't do it."
"Tell him what?" Ron asked.
Hermione took in a deep breath before responding. "I never told him that I love him, and now he's gone."
Relief seemed to flood over Ron's face and he tried not to smile. "How long have you loved him?"
"I don't know!" Hermione said, exasperated. "I didn't write down on the calendar the date when I started to have feelings for him, it was so gradual."
"I know what you mean." Ron said without thinking.
Hermione frowned at him. "What do you mean?"
"Um, that's how it was with Faith and me."
Ron smiled at her. "Did you ever kiss him?"
"Did he ever kiss you?" Ron asked.
A blush appeared on Hermione cheeks and she nodded again.
"And you love him?"
Hermione nodded, "I've already said that, Ron."
"Just clearing it up." Ron replied and he checked his watch again. "Did he feel the same?"
"I don't know. Some times I thought he did, but then he would be all quiet and indifferent. I just don't know." Hermione answered despairingly.
Ron gave her a pained look. "He does."
"How do you know?" Hermione asked, drying her eyes with a tissue.
"He told me." Ron said quietly.
Hermione stared at him. "No offence Ron, but it didn't look like you two were best buddies, why you?"
"He told us in Harry's bridegroom chamber at Harry's Wedding, you had just left, and he had been completely blown away by you and he knew he couldn't hide it anymore… from anyone."
"Well he certainly hid it from me." Hermione sniffed.
Ron glanced at his watch and an odd expression passed his face. "He didn't want to hurt you."
"How do you know all this?" Hermione asked incredulously.
"Well," Ron started uneasily. His face contorted strangely before settling a few shades paler than it had been.
"Are you alright?" Hermione asked, concerned.
Ron nodded. "I'm fine."
Hermione coughed. "So… are you sure he loves me?"
Ron nodded firmly. "More than anything."
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Ron's face contorted again and his face began to change, subtly at first, but then the features of Ron's face became the features of another very familiar face. His body, underneath his robes, shifted and reformed. No sooner had the changes began did the changes stop, and Ron no longer sat beside Hermione.
Hermione had seen the transition before, she knew what had just happened was a Polyjuice Transition from the altered form to original, but that did not mean that she grasped the fact that Draco now sat next to her, impatiently awaiting her reaction, instead of Ron.
Hermione's eyes widened with shock as she continued to stare at Draco's face. "D- Draco?" she whispered uncertainly. Draco nodded and Hermione let out a loud gasp before jumping out of her chair as if she had just been electrocuted and she ran out of the room.
Draco jumped up a millisecond after her and vaulted over her upturned chair and ran after her. Cursing as he ran into the couch, Draco jumped over it and ran after Hermione up the stairs. Hermione had just reached the door to her bedroom when Draco caught her arm and stopped her. "Hermione!"
"I was, ah… I was lying!" Hermione rushed. "I didn't mean any of that!"
Draco looked hurt. "So you don't love me?"
"I…" Hermione looked around her for an escape, but knew it was pointless.
"Why are you trying to lie, Hermione? Do you honestly want me to leave your life and never return?" Draco asked artfully.
"No!" Hermione exclaimed immediately, then she lowered her gaze and exhaled deeply before looking Draco straight in the eyes and saying. "I do love you."
Draco's face filled with relief, happiness and love as she said those words. He swooped his head down to meet her lips in a passionate kiss that left them both rather breathless. "You don't know how long I have wanted to do that without having to come up with an excuse for my actions."
"I think I may have an idea." Hermione breathed, looking at him with wonder in her eyes, like she couldn't believe what was happening was real. "So… you feel the same?"
Draco nodded feverishly. "More than words could express."
"Try." Hermione pressed, resting her head against his. "Please?"
Draco stole another lingering kiss before he whispered, barely an inch away from her lips, "There were times when I couldn't breathe, I was suppressing something too… too deep and strong to hide. I wanted to sweep you off your feet and tell you over and over again how much I love you, how much I love everything about you, your smile, your laugh, your wit, your tears… whenever you were hurting I ached because all I wanted to do was hold you and kiss you and comfort you until all your pain was gone. I have loved you for so long that I never thought that a day like today would come. I wanted to tell you so many times… but I never did."
"Why not?" Hermione whispered tentatively, her arms wrapping themselves around his neck gently.
"Because I never wanted to hurt you. I believed that I was the only one with these feelings, so I never acted." Draco said as his arms encircled Hermione and brought her closer to him. "We had formed a friendship that was too precious to me to risk by making rash declarations of love. I knew that if you didn't feel the same, I would rather have your friendship than have nothing."
"Well, I hope you don't mind, but I think that a friendship just won't do anymore." Hermione said softly. She smiled delicately and cupped Draco's cheek with her hand and kissed him.
There they stayed for what seemed an eternity, the perfect picture of happiness and contentment of two searching hearts finding one another and locking themselves together, never to let go.
Watching the pair from the top of the staircase, Ron- who had been brought back to Hermione's house shortly after 'leaving', and Faith smiled and looked to each other. Ron winked and they wordlessly started down the stairs, Ron put an arm around Faith's shoulders and said quietly, "Come on, let's go tell the others."
I hate ending stories, I can never tell if I've screwed it up because of the way I ended it, or perfected it. Please tell me!
By the way, please keep an eye out for my next story. I will be writing a Hermione/ Oliver because I think that they are a different couple and it should prove to be some fun!
Synopsis- Hermione's is Seventh Year and Oliver becomes the DADA teacher because he injured himself in Quidditch and couldn't play anymore. Hermione becomes Oliver's Student Assistant and they become friends- and obviously more!
Even if you don't like the sound of it, please give it a shot, I love all of you too much to loose you after this story ends. Please go on a journey with me into the depths of our FanFiction world…
See you there!