Excerpts from Various Notes Strewn Around the Bedroom.

By: Ning.

Disclaimer: All to do with Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. I just borrow from time to time. "Excerpts from Various Notes Strewn Across the Bedroom of April Connolly, February 24, 1997" is by Cursive and I have borrowed some of their lyrics.

AN: Pre-HBP. "Excerpts" has been nominated at Dangerous Liaisons for "Why Didn't I Think of That" Award (Most Original Plot) and "I Never Really Loved You Anyway" Award (Best Drama/Angst).

Warnings: Angst. Lime/Lemon-ish. Cussing. Implied character death. Alcohol use.

Part 1 of 4: Introduction.

The Second War was still in effect. To be involved on either side was imminent death, and as the older parents tried to shield their children from the Grim Reaper, they were sent to Hogwarts.

Hogwarts was not the same as it was in fifth year. The whole student body believed in the war. There was a quick hush whenever the Golden Trio walked into any room. While they tried to lead lives as normal as they could, it wasn't the same as their first years. As they grew older, as they realized that the War was affecting everyone and everything possibly related, they began to discover that they needed an outlet. Each person in Hogwarts looked for something to lean on, looked for something that they could "handle," so to speak. Harry was easily taken to being comforted by Ginny Weasley; those two were usually seen together, fingers interlaced while Ginny's natural disposition inflamed Harry. The War was affecting him the hardest, and it was easy to tell from his wan expression, his thin smiles, and his lack of laughter.

Ron was trying hard to be Harry's best friend and yet set a place for himself in the world without Harry's influence. He was trying to be known as Ron Weasley, not just as Harry's sidekick. Although he loved Harry like a brother, he became a bit more competitive over the years, but always, always, in the end, he would listen to Harry, knowing that Harry had more experience than Ron would ever want to have. Ron immersed himself into Quidditch, into training. He had learned over the summer at Grimmauld's from Hermione, his sister, and mother (and of course, Harry), on how to pace himself when around girls: how to read the signs for girls, how to catch a girl. Ron was now known to flit around girls, having one hang onto one arm, and another waiting for later. But his good cheer and devotion to his cause made him still amiable even after all the terrors that were being faced.

Hermione seemed to be the one who changed for the least. She was still obsessed with her grades; her belief was that the war would end soon because of the Prophecy, and although she hated any type of "divine intervention," she believed in the Prophecy, and she believed in Harry. She believed in the good of all people. She believed that the War would end soon and she would need her grades if she were to be awarded any position in the Ministry, or anywhere else for that matter. She still accompanied the boys on their late night roundabouts, helping them stay out of trouble. She continued to learn spells, staying up late in the night reading her history, reading on spells and things that could possibly be of some help for the Order. Even as a student at Hogwarts, she was the bookworm for the Order; she was the one they could count on to research new spells and the like.

However, Hogwarts did not serve as the microcosm that a few parents were worried about. There was no dictator leadership nor was there brutal torture to the unfortunate souls born with or without magic.

All were equal at Hogwarts.

Whether innocuously or not, esoteric groups were formed, relationships and the like intertwining so intricately that by the time it was the middle of seventh year, it was hard to tell who was going to become a Death Eater and who was not. Everyone was working for the War – whether for the side of good or bad, whether it be consciously or unconsciously.

Nothing was ever so clear and distinct and yet so blurred at the same time than was the Golden Trio's relationship with the progeny of convicted Death Eaters. It seemed that it was always considered normal for those three to argue with Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, and the rest of their cronies. It was clear that it was Malfoy that ignited their affair, his bland and callous remarks aimed purposely to rile. And as expected, there was no help from Professor Snape, but it was suspected that they did these things to maintain the natural order of things at Hogwarts before everyone was stunned at the revival of Voldemort.

Harry had seemed to grow tired of it, his hand always ready on his wand (already Auror reflexes as Moody had once put it) and his voice telling Malfoy to bugger off. Ron's temper was still barely manageable, and since he had trained over the years, his punch became more practiced than from his younger years. But he had been forewarned to stay out of trouble at all costs, no matter what the dirty things were to happen.

The only person who would face the challenge to Malfoy was Hermione. She was the only one who would attempt to put him in his place, to tell him that his mouthing off was nothing more than inbred locutions as an attempt to continue his wicked and sordid life. Hermione and Malfoy's arguments were expected every day since the beginning of sixth year, her face red from screaming, and his vein popping from his forehead from holding himself back. There were also various moments when they would whip their wands out, but their friends would jump in the middle of the fight at that moment.

But it came to the point where these disputes were the daily dosage of normalcy for the student body of Hogwarts, along with the teacher faculty. It became a need for these two to argue so that everyone could laugh or whisper amongst themselves: "Oh, there they go again; I wonder what they're arguing about this time..."

Then came that fateful night where Dumbledore had just announced again his speech on inter-house unity. ("As unexpected as it may seem now," he had said, "perhaps it is the time for the attempt to be made. Perhaps it is time for the bridge to be broached.") Hermione had walked out of the kitchens, asking the House elves to please, brew another pint of Marmaudy's Strong Coffee Brew for her for tomorrow morning. She was walking away from the portrait and she felt the hair on the back of her neck stick up.

Back at Grimmauld Place, she understood how dire it was to trust her instincts.

She spun quickly, but was unable to scream as one hand clamped across her mouth, and the other locked itself around her small wrist. She began to struggle, her teeth attempting to bite into the skin of her kidnapper, and until she heard Malfoy's silky voice to stop attempting at causing a scene or else he would break every bone in her hand, she stopped her ministrations against him.

She was prepared to yell at him until she lost her voice, but when he secured her against the wall, his thumbs digging deep into her skin, Hermione couldn't help but feel a little afraid. Her first thought was that maybe she had pushed his buttons too far; maybe he would flat out openly threaten her or her family. But instead, he had softened the presure, his fingers trailing lightly to rest around her neck.

Hermione closed her eyes when Malfoy's thumbs pressed against the base of her throat.

"Open your eyes, Granger. I'm not going to kill you," he spoke barely above a whisper, leaning his lips towards her ear, "at least, not yet."

Hermione shivered, placing her hands on his chest and trying to push him away. He barely budged, and she whispered back venomously, "What are you doing right now, Malfoy? I could report this to Dumbledore for harassment."

"But you won't." He stated simply without hesitation and without looking into her defiant eyes. Yes, he knew that she wouldn't. She wouldn't dare bring something like this so trivial to Dumbledore's notice considering other important matters. Suddenly, Granger felt his lips against her collarbone, working up to her neck, to kiss right behind her ear. She clutched him tightly to her reflexively, and when he pulled back, she cursed her hormones.

"You still haven't answered my question, Malfoy." She tried to change the subject, her breath hitching at the near proximity of his male body. "What could possibly make you ambush me in the middle of the hallway?"

"I think you knew perfectly well what was going to happen between us, Miss Granger," he murmured against her thick curls, pulled back in a simple ponytail, allowing for convenient access to her creamy and pale neck. He kissed it, running up to her left cheek, getting closer and closer to her lips. "I know you've felt it. It's like you almost made it happen between us. It's like you cast a love spell over me but we both know how smart and sensible you are – you would never do that for the repercussions are disastrous. So I know it has to be real, Granger." His lips were a hairbreadth away, speaking in low and seductive tones, "It must be real."

And before she could even speak, his lips were softly over hers, their kiss soft and gentle much like the chaste kisses that Hermione and her past boyfriends had shared, but much unlike those kisses because of the underlying passion. Their mouths melded together, soft at first, and then more insistent as time went on. His hands were wrapped around her hair, his hips pushed against her in a need that was demanding for satisfaction.

Hermione was wrapped up in the kiss. She couldn't help but feel his tongue running across her lips to gain entry. She couldn't help but feel lightheaded and woozy when his hands traveled down her sides, lightly skimming her breasts, as they finally rested on her hips. He gyrated against her, and she brought one leg up to wrap around him. He aided her, curling one hand around the back of her knee, bringing her closer. He wrenched his mouth away from hers, panting against her ear, "I need you. I need you now."

Hermione felt her heart pounding in her ears, blood rushing to her head when she heard those words. She wasn't sure how to respond to this boy who had made her miserable for most of her time at Hogwarts. But to see the urgency, to hear the desperation in his words almost made her believe him. Almost. But she needed to let go of all the energy, of all the anger she had dwelling inside of her, and if Draco Malfoy was willing to shag her, then by all means, Hermione felt ready for it. If the boys could have their fun, then she could have hers.

"Then take me."

That was near the end of sixth year. They had numerous trysts, dirty words being said to each other while they were alone. He had given her supposed plans of the Death Eaters, what they had planned on doing. He had warned her about her family, and she had told Dumbledore to do what he could to protect them. After an "unsuspected" raid by the Death Eaters to eliminate the Grangers, Ministry Aurors were able to capture two, killing one of them in combat. Hermione's parents were saved, thanks to Malfoy. He never expected her to tell him plans of the Order, and she never let a secret tumble from her lips. It seemed to be an unspoken pact. However, no matter how friendly he was becoming with her, she still wasn't sure how much faith she could put in Malfoy's words, but they never spoke about that.

By the time sixth year had ended, they had taken one last ride with each other, on the Hogwarts Express and Hermione on top of him. His hands were on her hips, pounding in and out of her, his fingers digging into her. He encouraged her with moans and whispers of "yeah, Granger, yeah, just like that," before he stiffened under her, leaving red splotches of finger marks on her back.

Finally, as they tried to catch their breath for a minute before heading back out into their divided worlds, he stroked her hair, whispering against her cheek that he loved her, and that he never wanted to lose her. Even if this War continued, he wanted to be with her for as long he possibly could. If he survived, of course.

Hermione couldn't believe completely in the things that he was saying. She was female after all, her hopes high at the possibility of a future after the war, of peace with someone that she was with right now. She knew that what she had with him was private and explosive, but she also knew how vulnerable inside Malfoy really was.

During the time that they had slept together and silently studied together (the pretense being that Malfoy needed tutoring from the best and obviously Hermione was the best student academically), she had known that he was insecure about his life. He needed to be in control, and his life was anything but in his control. Being with Hermione made him feel like he was in power over his life. Only when he was with her did he feel that he was able to make choices for and by himself. Hermione understood that.

Malfoy knew that one of the reasons that Hermione was with him, willingly, was so that she could feel less repressed. She wanted to let go of her inhibitions, and she knew that he was willing to please her in any way he could. There were small caresses in public, the thrill of almost being caught a fetish in both of them.

As a Malfoy, professing any type of feeling was hard and unheard of for him, so when his love for her fell from his lips, he had truly felt it. He had truly felt that if the time came, he would lay his life down for her, Malfoy heritage be damned. But he also knew that she was wary, as always her Gryffindor loyalty taking place over everything. He knew that, and he had expected so, but a tiny part inside of him wanted Hermione to say back to him that she was in love with him as well. That during seventh year, everything would be just like how it was now.

The summer came and went, cryptic messages sent by night owl post were enough to display their affection to each other. It became suspicious when Hermione received mail and was beaming; Ron and Harry's questions were left unanswered, and all Hermione told Ginny (who, in turn, told the boys) was that the letters were from a "suitor that she's quite fond of." And it was left at that until the first day of the last year at Hogwarts.

Malfoy's Manor was under constant surveillance by the Ministry so any type of mail was scanned and cleared or denied. Whenever Draco read letters from Hermione, he felt pride rushing through his loins, pride at being able to decipher Muggle codes that she had insisted on, and pride at having such strong feelings towards Hermione. Fights broke out more under Lucius and Draco, their verbal sparring almost breaking glass in their home. However, with the grace of all elite socialite women, Narcissa commanded for them to stop, declaring that such behavior was unacceptable for Malfoys to behave as. Being the only person that Lucius and Draco ever obeyed together, they decided to leave their fights for when Narcissa was not home.

And that was their summer. Not once did they see each other, but they sent small tokens of affection for remembrance. They also knew that they had been faithful to each other. Even when Ron had started to flirt with Hermione even more, she had laughed and shrugged him off and had told him half-jokingly, "You always wait until the last minute, don't you, Ron."

Draco's father had given his son a woman to play with one week in the summer. Lucius said that he was bored and he wanted Draco to have some fun before returning to the virginal school of Hogwarts. Draco dared not touch this woman due to his promise to Hermione. He had told the woman straight out that he would not do anything with her, and as she smiled with lips that curled her white teeth, she nodded, and simply began to tell him of her life, at his request.

Then the beginning of seventh year came.