dulThe Similarities of Love and Hate

By Jinxd n Cursed

Disclaimer: If I owned it, would I be writing fanfiction?

Chapter Eighteen



Draco was unsure of exactly how he came to be at the Hogwarts gates. He knelt on the ground, panting. His stomach churned as his thoughts returned to what Voldemort had told him to do. With another twist, he wretched, spitting up bile and acid.

Someone seized him by the collar of his robes. "Come on boy, we must report to Dumbledore," the voice said.

Draco turned his head to see the face of his Potions Master.

"You didn't really think I was a member of the circle did you?" the sarcastic man said. "Come Draco, surely you must know better of me. I thought you were smarter than this."

"I wasn't sure," he said.

Snape dragged him to his feet and place an arm around his shoulders, keeping him upright. "I can't carry you and magic is too risky right now," Snape explained.

Half walking and half being carried, the pair made it to the front doors. Both of them divested themselves of their deatheater robes, balling them up to be carried rather than worn.

"We need to report to the headmaster before going to the infirmary," Snape informed him.

Draco barely made it up to the Headmaster's office but he did nonetheless. Gingerly, he eased himself into one of the chairs in front of the desk.

"Ah, Severus, Draco," the Headmaster greeted them. Even his dressing gown was made of resplendent plum velvet. Draco really thought the man had a few loose screws, especially if he trusted him. "What news?"

"The Dark Lord is satisfied of your trust in me but wished for me to grow closer to Potter and try to bring him to the Dark," he said. "His patience will not hold out as long as we had hoped, I fear."

Dumbledore nodded. "Nothing ever works as long as we hope it will." He turned his head to Draco.

"H-he wants me to bring Hermione into his circle of followers," he said. "He's trying to use her to get to Potter. I'm to-to romance her, to court her—however it is you want to put it! But he wants me to manipulate her." His distress was apparent.

Dumbledore nodded serenely. "And he must believe you're doing what he has told you to do. Tell Hermione what you have been ordered to do. If she will not agree, send her to me. You must follow the Dark Lord's wishes."

"But sir," Draco protested. "Hermione will not like being used simply to further my position in the inner circle."

"No, she won't," Dumbledore agreed. "But she will do it anyway."

Draco sighed, feeling defeated. There really was no way around it.

After reporting on the rest of the meeting, Draco was escorted to the infirmary, where Madam Pomphrey healed him before sending him to his room.

When he walked into the common room, his deatheater robes balled up in his arms, he saw Hermione asleep on the couch. She was curled up with her knees to her chest and her head resting on the armrest. There was a transfiguration text on her lap, open to a page on human transfiguration.

Draco leaned over her, looking at the worried expression her face held even in sleep. There was no relaxing for her, it seemed. When one point of stress ceased, another one came up. He hated being a source of worry to her.

Almost tenderly, he pushed a curl away from her face and then rubbed her shoulder.

"Draco!" she breathed, as she awoke. Her arms stretched as she tired to remove the sleep from her joints. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," he said with a slight frown. "You shouldn't have waited up for me."

"I was worried," she said. "I didn't know what kind of state you'd be in when you came back to me. I just… you worried me."

He sat down next to her without saying anything. How exactly did one bring up the fact that they were about to be forced into a relationship? 'Gee Hermione, I like you a lot anyway but you and I are now officially a couple because Lord Voldy-pants wants you on his side of the field.' Somehow it didn't seem to sound quite right.

"Draco?" she said. He saw a concerned frown on her face when he turned to look at her. It was really unfortunate that she seemed to like him; she deserved a better person than he was.

Draco really could not believe he'd thought that. After all, wasn't he the same cocky, Merlin's gift to women, smartass, elitist he'd been raised to be? Try as he might, he couldn't bring himself to believe that he actually deserved her. It was the oddest feeling. Superiority came with blood but even though his blood was much better, he couldn't help but feel inferior.

"Say something. You're starting to scare me a little," Hermione said, effectively breaking his train of thought.

"Something happened at the meeting," he said hoarsely.

Concern washed over her every feature. "What happened?" she asked. "Did you… Did someone…?" Her voice trailed off.

He shook his head. "The Dark Lord has given me a task."

"What task?" she questioned. "What does he want you to do?

There was really no point in beating around the bush with her. Doing so would only serve to aggravate her. "He wants me to bring you to his side."

She sat back. He could practically see the wheels turning in her head. "What does he want from me? I'm just a mudblood."

He shook his head. "No, no you're not. They want your mind… and they want you because you're Harry's best friend."

"He never should have saved me from that troll," Hermione grumbled half heartedly. She thought for a moment. "How is it that he wants you to bring me to his side, exactly?"

"He wants me to seduce you," he informed her. "Well, not really seduce. He wants me to date you, if you will."

He saw Hermione's eyes blaze. "So you mean to tell me that rather than engaging in a relationship of our own free will, we are now dating because some megalomaniac thinks that you should bring me to his way of thinking?"

He nodded.

"And what did Dumbledore have to say about all this?" she demanded.

"He said that you would have to do it," he informed her.

She got up from the couch and started pacing. "This is great! Just fabulous! I am now dating Draco Malfoy because the Dark Lord and Dumbledore think that I should! Of course I don't get any say in the matter!"

"Hermione, please," he said. "It's not that I wouldn't date you anyway. Now I have an excuse." He was half pleading and felt like a pathetic loser because of it.

She stopped and whirled around to face him. "What?"

"You heard me," he said cheekily.

She seemed to deflate. "Okay."


"Yes, I will date you, Draco Malfoy," she told him with a slight smile.


Have I ever mentioned that I'm insane? So yeah. Thanks to my lovely beta for kicking me into writing. By butt still hurts but here it is.