More than Music

Hermione heard the piano as she walked down the third floor corridor. It's tune was easily distinguishable, floating gently through the stone corridor, immediately bringing her in. It was simple, but beautiful and Hermione, not having heard music for a long while felt curious. She took a few steps forward, listening as it flowed; it appeared to be coming from on door on her left. She opened the door as quietly as she could, so to not disturb the person playing, slipping through it and shutting it silently.

The piano and the young man sitting at it were situated about five metres in front of her, with a bay to his left, illuminating the shiny, rich piano. He didn't seem to have noticed her and continued playing. He had, Hermione noticed, no music and was staying very still, only his fingers gliding elegantly from side to side.

She took a few steps forwards till she was a metre behind him. He didn't seem to notice, but played on to a high, melodic crescendo until gradually letting the piece fall away.

Dead silence filled the room for several seconds, until;

"You're burning a hole in the back of my head Granger," Draco Malfoy's voice was flat and uninterested, obviously he had noticed Hermione.

She walked round to the side of the piano and bit her lip, looking at him.

"You play beautifully," she said, not quite meeting his eyes, preferring the keys which he had caressed so beautifully a few seconds earlier.

He looked up at her, silver hair gleaming almost as brightly as his eyes, a crude smile on his face.

"I play competently, Granger. Don't flatter me or delude yourself."

"I wouldn't flatter you Malfoy," Hermione replied, carefully. "Though I do feel obliged to say what I think."

"Don't feel obliged. Don't feel like I want or need your opinions or even your presence, Granger." Malfoy stared at her, dislike written on every line of his face, before staring back down at the keys.

"How did this piano get here?" Hermione asked abruptly; Malfoy seemed particularly angry and bitter.

"Granger," he said patronizingly, "think about it." Hermione stared at him for a minute, before realizing.

"Oh, the Room of Requirement, of course! That's a really good idea! Do you think I could get a CD player-"

"I don't even want to know what a CB player is, but- no," Malfoy replied flatly. Hermione crossed her arms irritably.

"Well there's no music in the whole of Hogwarts apart from this. Play for me." She stated, staring at him hopefully.

"For you?" Malfoy replied, his voice emotionless, not meeting her eyes.

"Yes."

Malfoy seemed to be bracing himself; his fingers hovered over the keys, itching to take the step to play the piece, to achieve. But at the same time he seemed to be fighting a battle within.

He swallowed thickly, "I, Granger- don't make me," he finished weekly. Hermione stared before deciding to perch herself on the end of his stool.

"It's only a one piece, Draco." She said softly. He was still staring fixedly at the keys, an inner battle.

"I-, it's so much more than that," he said quietly, turning his head to the side to stare at her. Hermione smiled slightly, her eyes twinkling.

"Show me how much more, show me what it is, what you want and what you see." Malfoy stared at her, mouth open, eyes flicking between Hermione and the keys.

She waited.

His fingers hovered.

The first note was deep and mournful.

A/N: Music Therapy is a subject which allows disabled people to express themselves through mediums other than speech- through music. This stimulates trust and a more open relationship; despite circumstance.

The sound of music speaks racial hurt, prejudice and what you can't say but what needs to come out.

Music breaks down barriers; it does not know what your skin colour is, if you had a bad day at school or if your mother just died. Music knows no limitations.

The sound of a note, the closing of a door, the rise of an orchestra is but an ant's job in the grand scheme of things. But it's still helping someone; it's still there, it's still making the difference.

The character of Draco Malfoy in this represents the problems within our world, and the piano, the barriers which hold us back.

Draco chose to play the note, to pull down the barrier and take the step.

I can only hope others do the same.

Elanor James