Disclaimer: Unfortunately I have not been given ownership of anything Harry Potter within the last year.

The walk back to the common room was surprisingly quiet. Both Hermione and Blaise were lost deep in thought. Blaise was considering different ways of winning over his mate. Hermione was considering different ways of getting out of this inevitable bond. So deep in thought they both were that it was quiet a surprise to fine themselves being prompted for the password to their quarters. With little conversation they both retired to different quarters of the room. Blaise went to the desk to write to his parents about the successful first marking, while Hermione went to the bookshelf and helped herself to a large handle of books to study.

Before long the only sounds that filled the room was the quiet sweep of the quill, the soft rustle of the book pages and the crackle of the cheery fire that kept the quiet hint of autumn chill from the room. It was quite comfortable actually: the shared solitude. An oxymoron to say the least but then again so was the idea that a pure blood male would be destined to mate with a muggle born female. People say fate is blind, perhaps its man that is blind and fate the light that penetrates the ignorant darkness man cloaks himself in. Such thoughts swirled through the room as each occupant considered their situation.

Blaise smiled to himself as his bold sweeping penmanship filled the thick paper with details about his mate, her reactions and the effect it was having on him. "She is beautiful, mother. My heart is so full of happiness and love whenever I look at her. I can only hope she learns to feel the same. She is so against this, I fear she will reject the second mark." Gently tapping the tip of the feathered quill against his lip, Blaise found his eyes drawn to the subject of his impassioned writing. Curled up in an oversized chair Hermione seemed almost dwarfed by the large book perched precariously on her lap. Viciously she was chewing at the tip of the quill she held, taking a moment to make a not here and there before returning it to her receive more punishment from her straight white teeth. Blaise felt a strong lurch in his stomach at the site of her lush mouth working the feather so roughly. Images swirled in his head and the scent of her seemed to wrap around him like a love. Without conscious thought he started to stand. Catching himself with a strong shake of his head he settles back in his chair and inks his quill. I must learn to control myself, I promised and I intent to keep that promise. He chastised himself before settling back into his writing.

Slightly distracted by the sound of rustling clothes, Hermione looked up to see Blaise settling more comfortably into the deckchair. She eyes him suspiciously a moment and when he did nothing more then continue to write she turned back to her book. Nothing, nothing, nothing, why is their nothing! Everything can be countered… there is always a conterspell. She thought, frantically leafing through another heavy tomb that only stressed the unbreakable power of the bond between a veela and its mate. With a frustrated sigh she put the book on the table and opened the next one in the pile. Again she found passage after passage about the beauty and eternal commitment between the two. Book after book of the same thing, for hours she sat reading and reading, looking for the smallest crack and it was always the same. For two days she read, first the books in the room before moving on to the restricted section. She went to meals when Blaise asked her too and went to sleep went he removed whatever book she was currently devouring and led her to her room with a quiet and sad goodnight. She wanted to feel bad for him, but she couldn't, all she could feel was the pressure building in her chest. Frustration and desperation waged a battle in which no one would win. On the third day she realized it. There is no way out. At first she was angry, but as usual Hermione realized how useless this was and the anger quickly faded to sadness and resignation.

With a heavy sigh she quietly capped her ink bottle and cleaned her quill before storing it safely away in her quill box. With unseeing eyes she stared into the bright and cheery fire that seemed the antithesis of her life. Images of the life she had daydreamed about as a child and even secretly as a young adult flashed through her mind. Their would be no clandestine meeting, no painful yet beautiful period of dating and wondering if he is the one, no choice when he kneels down and offers a sensible diamond engagement ring. Of course it would sensible she smiled slightly lost in the daydream, she would only have chosen the most sensible of man and he would offer a neat little ring, a neat little house, with neat little kids and maybe even a neat little dog. Now what did she have but a boy, no he now deserves the right to be called a man, she hardly knows. Turning she looked at him, this man who holds her destiny in his hands. He too stared at the fire, his eyes sad and his posture dejected. This surprised her and she realized that she had not for a moment thought of him, of his plans, his dreams, his desires. Was this what he wanted? As if sensing her eyes on him, he turned and she was caught in his violet gaze. They sat there for a moment. Afraid to move, to breath, to break this moment that had been so accidental yet so perfect. Uncomfortable with the intensity of his gaze Hermione shifted her gaze slightly and allowed herself to examine his roughened appearance. His hair was disheveled and evidence that his long fingers had ruffled his hair was scattered about in errant waves. A slight shadow of stubble grazed his normally clean shaven chin and the beginning of circles hug the underside of his eyes.

"Are you unhappy? Unhappy it's me? A muggle-born? No birthright, no magical heritage, no dowry or upstanding family lineage to offer?" She turned her eyes to the fire again so he couldn't see the hurt his answer would undeniably bring her.

He was quiet for a few moments and Hermione closed her eyes, sure he was trying to find the right words to gently tell her how hard this was for him, how hard she would make his life. The sound of the settee he sat on creaking as he stood startled her and her eyes flew back to him. His face was without expression as he walked to her chair and kneeled down next to it, taking her hand in his own. She looked down at their hands, so different. His was large, tan and callused from quidditch and countless inches of essays over the last six years. Hers was white, so pale it was almost translucent, the only roughness on the soft surface was a small callous warn from the excessive use of quills. Blaise lifted his other hand and gently took her chin, lifting her head so her eyes rested on his and not their clasped hands.

"Please…don't speak so foolishly. I am nothing without you. Being with you, touching you, watching you frantically take notes, these things make me happy. You make me happy. You are a part of me and every fiber of my being longs to be with you, connected to you. Birthrights, heritage, dowry…these things mean nothing, absolutely nothing. Why would I need these things when I have you?" Gently he rubbed his thumb over her delicate skin, "I can make you happy Hermione, you must give me a chance to show you how much I love you."

His husky baritone washed over her and his eyes held her where she was with the power of feeling they carried. Sincerity seeped from every movement and for the first time since she stepped out of Dumbledore's office she felt something other then sadness, frustration, anger, or despair. She felt hope. Without thought she leaned forward and kissed him, softly, hesitantly and innocently. It lasted maybe three seconds before she pulled back and looked at him nervously. Again his face was blank, yet this time it was from shock and as this passed a small tugged at his lips and a moment later it spread across his whole face addictively. Try as she might Hermione couldn't hide the smile that answered.

A/N: So dear friends.. its been over a year since my last update. Life sometimes kicks you in the ass and thats what happened to me. I hope to be able to get this thing back on track in the next few months. This was a transitional chapter because its been so long I honestly forgot where I was heading. So we have turned and are now headed in a new direction. I want some feedback on a few things. I have not decided really on who to pair Draco with...so lets have a vote... you can vote for any HP char male or female and I will pair him with who gets the most votes.