A/N: See below.

Disclaimer: Don't own it, though I wish I did.

The Eulogy of Draco Malfoy

'Why me?' was Hermione Granger's immediate thought after she received the assignment from her editor.

'Surely someone else could cover the story,' her logical mind reasoned. However, after much begging, pleading, and cajoling on her part, Hermione finally learned the truth from her editor, Mr. James.

Draco Malfoy was to be executed in six days for crimes as a Death Eater and being granted one final interview.

And he had asked for her.

It was a tempting offer to be sure, and she'd be lying if she said she wasn't the slightest bit interested. After all, it would probably be the story of her career and not something the ambitious Muggleborn witch would normally turn down.

But why the bloody hell did he request her? They hated each other.

Except that wasn't necessarily the truth. He'd been in Azkaban for over three years now, and it was difficult to keep up a deep seething hatred for someone when they weren't even around to appreciate it.

Sure, he was in prison for being a Death Eater and she should hate him even more than when he was simply a smarmy prejudiced git back in school, but therein rested what would make such a fantastic article.

No one knew where Draco Malfoy's loyalties truly lied.

Following his escape from Hogwarts along with Snape, Draco became a full-fledged member of Lord Voldemort's service and that summer, the one between sixth year and seventh, the entire wizarding world erupted into battle.

Hermione herself had been on the front lines and seen him kill Aurors and fellow classmates alike, all people she had known at one point or another. Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mad-Eye Moody, Hannah Abbott and Terry Boot just to name a few. She'd also been forced to kill during the war, but she was fighting for what was right, not for some raving, genocide-praising lunatic to gain power.

Nevertheless, once Harry had triumphed over the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters were rounded up and sent to Azkaban, some very peculiar things came to light, which made even the most stoic Wizengamot members uncomfortable and left them unsure exactly what to do with Draco Malfoy.

The first odd occurrence was when Harry Potter, now the hero everyone had always believed him to be, testified in his defense at the Slytherin's trial. A bizarre event indeed since it was obvious to anyone that there was no love lost between the two boys, but Hermione believed Harry sympathized with the position Malfoy had been put in.

Second, Minerva McGonagall, the new Headmistress of Hogwarts, was able to produce Professor Dumbledore's penseive showing several conversations between the late Headmaster and the former Potions Master. It revealed knowledge of Narcissa's Unbreakable Vow to protect her son and the agreement Snape had with Dumbledore to circumvent the Dark Lord's orders as much as possible and if the event came to pass, Severus was to perform Draco's task with the Headmaster's permission. The late professor was obviously not yet willing to give up on the younger Slytherin, even if he wouldn't be alive to see his change.

However, the third and most astonishing item of discovery was what set everyone's mouths off to talking and sparked the controversy about the Malfoy heir.

Draco Malfoy, prejudiced pureblood and Death Eater extraordinaire, had been helping his mother hide Muggleborns in the underground part of his manor and killing off other Death Eaters, one by one.

After all the Avada Kedavra-s had been pulled from his wand, it was noted that over thirty people, from both sides of the conflict, had met their death at the point of his wand and nearly as many Death Eaters as ones from their side. Hermione herself had no idea what to make of that.

It was then the Wizengamot sent him to Azkaban until they could make a decision over what to do with the wizard. He was still a Death Eater, after all, and the Dark Mark was clearly burned into his left forearm. Luckily, he was classified as only a medium-level prisoner, placed in a separate section from the other Death Eaters, and given a much nicer cell than what would normally be expected. It was by no means comfortable, but it could have been worse.

Since the time of the war, Hermione had made the choice to go into wizarding news journalism, the real stuff not that rubbish Rita Skeeter used to write, and had been offered a job at The Wand's Choice, an international monthly magazine based in London which focused on top stories, politics, and new discoveries in their world.

Hermione loved it.

She, of course, had not become one of the top reporters over-night and had earned the credit she now possessed by starting out small and working her way up. It was only a few months before receiving the Malfoy Interview that she had been made the Senior News Journalist at the magazine.

This all flashed through her mind as she stood in the office of her editor and stared down at the assignment in her hand. It seemed as if the Wizengamot had finally come to a head over Malfoy and decided the bad far outweighed the good thereby issuing his death. The words, he asked for you, kept ringing in her ears and she realized there was only one answer to give. She glanced back up and her eyes connected with those of Mr. James.

"I'll do it."

----

The next day dawned gray and overcast as she Apparated to the outskirts of Azkaban on its island in the North Sea. She found it a rather fitting backdrop to the drab, stone walls and twisting turrets that made up the wizarding prison built on top of a narrow cliff.

Her whole being quivered with awareness of the Dementors beyond the walls as she moved through the entrance and was stopped by the Auror on duty at the checkpoint. He searched her bag and her robes before removing her wand for safe-keeping. It was not the first time Hermione had been to Azkaban so she knew what to expect, but it was the first time she'd been there to see an old schoolmate, even if it was one she'd previously hated.

Another Auror came to escort her to the cell where Draco Malfoy had been living for the past three years. She couldn't imagine living in a place like this for a day much less for years.

The Auror guide led her through the winding hallways and staircases of the prison to the back where the medium-level prisoners were held, and as they walked, several Dementors crossed their path causing Hermione to hug the wall on the opposite side of the corridor to let the despair and misery wash over her until they passed.

Finally, they arrived at Malfoy's cell, a rather large one compared to some of the others she'd seen at Azkaban and much cleaner as well. For a fleeting moment, she'd thought they had brought her to Lucius' cell by mistake, but she reminded herself that the elder Malfoy had died nearly a year ago. Draco had gotten so much broader and his hair so much longer since the last time she'd set eyes on him that had he not inherited his mother's more delicate bone structure, he would have appeared to be the replica of his late father.

He said nothing as the guard unlocked the door letting Hermione step inside his living space, just continued to watch her with those piercing gray eyes from where he rested cross-legged on his bed with his head leaning against the wall. She marched over to the rickety metal table which must have been set up for the interview and took a seat facing him.

The blond made no move to join her, but his eyes flicked over her left shoulder before reconnecting with her own. A challenging glint was clearly written there, one that she understood perfectly and brought back memories of Potions class.

She addressed the guard without turning, never letting her eyes leave the fathomless gray. "Thank you. You've been most helpful, but I must ask you to leave now. I don't want anything compromising my story. Besides, he's not going to hurt me; we're old friends, aren't we, Draco?" she emphasized his first name with a subtle lift of her eyebrows.

He answered her without words, merely tilting his head in acknowledgement and letting that infuriating smirk of his dance across his lips. It was only after the echo of the guard's footsteps faded away that he first spoke at all.

"Hermione Granger," he chuckled with mock sincerity as he unfolded his tall frame from its reclining position and crossed to the other chair before gracefully descending into it. "Know-it-all swot, perfect prefect, and now world-famous reporter."

Hermione eyed him warily from across the metal surface. "How did you know that?"

Draco shrugged nonchalantly. "Mother still visits me regularly and she tells me about everyone and everything. Of course, the last couple of times she's been somewhat hysterical since my sentence was declared." He frowned.

She shoved aside the twang of sympathy that was trying to make itself known and crossed her arms over her chest. "So, want to tell me what I'm doing here? There must be hundreds of other reporters you could have asked to cover your final interview."

"But only one Hermione Granger," he stated with a grin, which was quite disarming in its genuineness.

Ignoring the feelings it created, her tone grew sharp. "Cut the crap, Malfoy." Hermione leaned forward to drive her next point home. "Why me?"

The grin melted of his face like snow in summer and she was suddenly sorry to see it gone, but his next words made the observation slip from her mind.

"To make you understand."

The look in his eyes was one she'd never seen directed at her before. He was deathly serious and the straight line his mouth formed was grim.

Her eyebrows nearly disappeared into her hairline as they shot upward. "Understand what?"

His attention was diverted unexpectedly as his eyes searched first her bag and then her robes before returning to her face. "Shouldn't you be taking notes or something? For your article?"

Recognizing a change in subject when she heard one, Hermione reached into her tote and collected a quill which she then set on the table between them. At his skeptical expression, she explained, "It has a Voice Recording Charm on it which I activated before I even stepped through the entrance. It records all speech within fifty feet and I'll sort through it all later when I sit down to write my report. Now," she leaned forward to make sure she had his attention, "understand what?"

His eyes darted around the drab space before resting on his hands as they were clasped on the table. "I want you to understand everything."

Draco glanced up then, his eyes peering through the blond fringe framing his face and for the first time, in all of the years she'd known him, his gray eyes were completely open, not shuttered off like stone walls as per usual, and what she saw there was so breathtaking she found herself simply nodding in response. A few moments passed before she was able to find her voice and only one question came to mind.

"Where do you want to start?"

The blond raised a cynical eyebrow. "I do believe the best place to start is always the beginning. Don't you agree?" he asked, his voice laced with a sarcasm that was familiar to her from their days at school.

Hermione just sat back in her chair and waited for him to gather his thoughts, refusing to take his bait to provoke her. She was unwilling to disrupt what would possibly be the only time he would ever be completely honest about himself to her.

'The last time he'll have the chance,' she reminded herself sadly.

He ran his hand through his long hair as he began. "You know, for the longest time, I truly believed I could get away with anything; that there would be no punishment in the end and whatever I got in trouble for could easily be fixed by my father. There was no point in being friendly, or even courteous, since it didn't make much difference." He let a humorless chuckle escape at that. "I suppose Fate has shown me otherwise, but we'll get there."

Hermione sat in rapt fascination, scarcely breathing for fear she'd miss something.

Draco glanced up into her wide eyes and leaned back in his seat. "When you're born into wealth, you get the best of everything and you come to expect it. House, clothes, toys, but not friends. You can't buy good friends and I think that's one of the reasons, one of many, that I so loathed you, Potter, and Weasley. You have no idea what it's like to grow-up in a large manor with only house-elves as companions since your parents can't be bothered to look after you.

"Sure, I was on friendly terms with some of the Slytherins," he explained when he saw the question in her eyes. "But I wouldn't trust Crabbe and Goyle with my broomstick and Pansy can't be trusted to keep a secret to save her life. And if I'm looking for intelligent conversation, you can forget it. Too much of the Slytherin philosophy is based in politics and if you're not careful before you know it, your thoughts, opinions, secrets, even your ideas, are being used against you. They're a cutthroat bunch, but that's what ambition is all about."

Hermione just had to interrupt. "That's horrible! I can't imagine living through seven years of questioning all my housemates' motives."

Draco shrugged once again. "You get used to it after awhile. You learn to hide certain things and never let your emotions get the best of you. Any show of emotion can be turned into a weakness."

She watched him with dawning understanding. "You never got time to be just 'Draco', did you?"

"I don't think I even know what that is anymore," he stated clearly. His eyes locked with hers and the gray irises glowed in sincerity. "I've spent too much time being 'Malfoy', and 'the Malfoy heir', and 'Lucius' son', I don't know anything else."

Draco looked past her to the bars of his cells, shaking his head slowly as he remembered. "Even the Dark Lord never called me by my first name. It was always 'Lucius' son' or 'young Malfoy' to him."

As if something just occurred to him, he focused back on her abruptly, his eyes snapping to her face. "That's why you came here, isn't it? To find out what everybody wants to know yet nobody does?" His tone was slighted, but the smallest bit of weariness bled through.

Hermione did her best deer-in-headlights impression as tried to think of an answer that would appease him. "I just…I figured…well, it is your last interview, right? So, I assumed you would be speaking about it."

His eyes twinkled with humor as he reached across the table and tugged at one of the curls draped around her face. He'd moved so fast she didn't have time to react. Stupid Seeker reflexes. "Still the same Hermione Granger, I see. Still can't lie to save your prefect badge."

She flushed under his powerful gaze and swatted his hand away. "There could be worse things. So, do you want to talk about it?" She drew in a breath as she waited for his answer.

Unconcerned with the direction she was trying to steer the interview, he stood from his seat and slowly began pacing the length of his cell. His face was wrapped in thought as he spoke once more. "You know, I knew going to Hogwarts I would end up in Slytherin."

Draco glanced up from his pacing to see her reaction and found her smiling softly at him as if she was lost in nostalgia. He placed his hands flat against the table and leaned until he was towering over her, piercing her eyes with his own.

"Do you know how hard it is for an eleven-year-old to know as they walk into the Great Hall that by the time they walk out of it, three-quarters of the school will hate them on principle? Did any of you goody-goody Gryffindors even imagine how it would feel to be so isolated from all the rest of your class just because of the house you were sorted into?"

He watched with satisfaction as her brown eyes widened in shock and her mouth formed an 'o' of surprise. It seemed like the thought of Slytherins having feelings besides hate and scorn was a new concept to her.

Her expression softened and she tried to reach out for him, but he eluded her touch. "Draco -"

"I didn't hate you initially," he cut her off without letting her finish what she was about to say. "You weren't my favorite person in the world since you were such good friends with Potter and Weasley, but I truly didn't hate you until you called my ability to play Quidditch into question. It was the first time I called you a 'Mudblood' because it was the worst thing I could say in retaliation."

Draco resumed his pacing before she could react. "Trouble was, you were right. My father bought the whole team brooms to guarantee me a spot as Seeker, but that's just the way things are done in Slytherin. Money and knowledge are power and can be used to barter for other things. There are no try-outs in Slytherin," he commented with finality.

"So you first called me a 'Mudblood' because I embarrassed you in front of the rest of your team, why keep using it?" Her question caught him by surprise and he twisted to find her watching him openly.

He smiled faintly in response. She was starting to understand and beginning to ask the right questions. "Because it was expected of me. I couldn't say it once and never use it again. That wouldn't be suitable for a Malfoy and my father would have found out I wasn't using it to my advantage."

She sat up in anticipation. "So how many things did you do because of that reason?" she asked eagerly. When his only response was to glance at her over his shoulder as he paced, she slumped against the back of her chair. "That many, huh?"

"I don't understand why it surprises you that I did things based on my father's ideology for so long. His lessons were the only ones I had as a child; I didn't even go to primary school, I had tutors, but they had all been approved by Lucius. Did you really believe it would be so simple to break away from all that by being at Hogwarts and surrounded by people who hated me because I was Malfoy?" He studied her from the corner of his cell, his voice filled with sorrow. "And what was to induce my change? What would be waiting for me if I turned my back on my family?"

Hermione gazed down at her hands to avoid his eyes. So many scenes flashed through her mind at that moment, of missed opportunities and things left unsaid, that her own voice was rather melancholic. "It's never simple, is it?"

Draco settled back down across from her, feeling for the first time since they started this interview that they were on the same footing. "Change rarely is," he favored her with a ghost of his usual smirk.

"My parents were scared out of their minds the first time we stepped foot into Diagon Alley. When I got my letter, I could see it on their faces: they didn't want to admit that their daughter was any different than the normal kids her age. I think they were just terrified I was about to go into a world where they couldn't follow," she stated with that no-nonsense tone she'd had while they were in school.

He nodded. "I imagine most Muggleborns' parents feel the same way."

She glanced up from where she'd been picking at her nails to fix him with a determined expression. "Let's talk about that."

"How your parents feel about you being a witch?" Draco asked in confusion.

The brunette reporter shook her head. "No. Your prejudice against Muggleborns." Her eyes pinned him in place. "Against me."

He blew out the breath he just took in a long whoosh. Settling his head down on top of his upturned hands, the blond was silent for a few moments to gather his thoughts together in some linear form of comprehension.

"Say you're eight-years-old again, before you were a witch and were a Muggle child like everybody else you knew." Hermione simply nodded. "Say you came across a bunch of wizarding children your age, and they made fun of you because you didn't know broomsticks could fly, or because you didn't wear robes, or because you'd never traveled by Floo powder before. Say they took you into their world and continued to taunt you because you didn't know goblins ran their banks or owls delivered their mail, because you didn't know the difference between a Chinese Fireball and a Hungarian Horntail, because you'd never had a chocolate frog or any pumpkin pasties before?

"Then, they let you go back to your world but said you had to change it to look more like their world. And you do, but it still isn't good enough. They come back and say you have to live in their world and learn to act and dress like them and you should only want to go back to your world to see your parents or go to your job."

Draco observed her curiously as the light of understanding began burning in her soft brown eyes. "Not so cut-and-dry when you see it from the other side, is it?"

Her silence was his only answer so he picked back up where he'd left off on his explanation. "It was always more than just what my father had preached to me about being superior to people who had not been raised in our world. The relations between Muggles and wizards were once much better than they are today. Muggles used to be so much more open-minded about believing in things like magic and witches, but that was before they started burning our kind at the stake. You might have read the stories where witches and wizards got caught on purpose because they thought it was funny and used a charm to get out, but did you read about the underage kids who were killed?"

Hermione's eyes widened once more, but this time, it gave him no satisfaction to know something she didn't. "Hundreds of young witches and wizards in their first few years at Hogwarts, some even younger, were burned alive because they had not harnessed their magic to its full potential and were unable to deal with that sort of situation yet, both purebloods and Muggleborns, but most of that has been edited right out of the history books. I suppose they didn't want future generations to feel hostile towards their Muggle neighbors once they stopped with the witch trials."

She listened with astonishment, totally engrossed in his words. "And?" she prompted from her seat as spectator.

"And," he continued, "things only got worse. Purebloods became naturally suspicious of Muggles, which transferred to the Muggleborns. Their world was crumbling right before their eyes as the Muggleborns brought change to the old ways and eradicated many long-standing traditions. They watched as their numbers decreased and more of their kind married Muggles instead of other magical people until only a few pureblood families were left.

"It was just like the war we learned about in Muggle Studies. What would have happened if Germany had won the war and everything you loved about being British was taken away and you were told you had to do everything a new way or be ostracized by the majority? The same principles apply." His piercing eyes were once again linked with hers. "Did you ever take the time, after you discovered you were a witch, to find out about wizarding customs and the way things have changed since Muggleborns became an influx in our world? That maybe the prejudice wasn't as unfounded as you might have believed?"

Hermione lowered her eyes in shame, but he could already read her thoughts. "I wasn't the only one guilty of bigotry, was I? Perhaps if Potter and Weasley had not bended your ear, you could have come to your own conclusions."

She raised her hands and rubbed her eyes with her knuckles as if all this honesty from him had made her very tired. The action made her look eleven-years-old once again, and he found himself charmed. Once Hermione lowered her arms, she blinked at him like she was finding her focus again and her next question gave him pause.

"You still haven't answered my other question."

He gazed at her cautiously. "Which one was that?"

She didn't let him look away as she said, "Where do your loyalties lie?"

Draco's gray eyes widened for a moment with disbelief before he was back on his feet and pacing the cell, running his hands through his hair in frustration. The silence between them was riddled with tension until he started speaking again. "You don't know what you're asking. That question has a very simple answer with a very complicated explanation."

Hermione appeared unimpressed. "Well, give me the answer and we'll get to the rest."

The blond let out a long laugh that had very little mirth in it while pacing twice more for good measure. He came to a stop standing directly next to her and peered down into her upturned face, wanting to know how she'd react. His eyes were intense as he bowed slightly forward, his voice low.

"My loyalties, Miss Granger, lie with you."

The look on her face was one for the record books. Perfectly widened eyes and mouth dropped open, Draco wished he had a camera just so he could have a picture of her face for posterity's sake. She actually stood up and took a step back before she recovered her ability to make speech.

"What! With me!" her voice was horror-stricken, as if his suggestion wasn't even in the realm of possibility.

He advanced on her with long, purposeful strides as she tried to distance herself away from the blond. "Is it really so difficult to believe? I was put in a rather restricting position and I tried to make the best of it."

Hermione was discomfited to find her voice trembling when she felt her back hit the wall of the cell with him towering over her petite form. "What are you talking about?"

Draco stepped back from her and threw his hands in the air, a universal sign of exasperation. "Isn't it obvious, Hermione? Do you think I wanted to be indebted to that psychopath? Do you think I wanted to do his bidding?" he bellowed to the ceiling.

She sank to the floor as if his revelation was far too much to absorb standing up. "Then why -?" She seemed to be unable to move past those two syllables in trying to convey all the questions racing through her overactive mind. Of all the things that could have been uncovered by this interview, never in her wildest dreams did she ever imagine Draco Malfoy would not only say he was loyal to her of all people, but that he never wanted to follow Voldemort.

He tried to help her out. "Why what? Why did I take the Dark Mark? Why did I follow the orders during my sixth year? Why didn't I tell Dumbledore?"

The brunette simply nodded dumbly to all the possible conclusions that could have been drawn from her original question.

Draco took pity on her. "Did you not hear what would have happened otherwise?"

She looked up at him for the first time since taking her place on the floor. "He would have killed your mother."

He nodded in acquiesce. "She and I both would have paid for my father's mistakes if I hadn't taken his place in the Dark Lord's circle."

Her brown eyes peered deeply into his gray ones like they were searching for some sign that she could believe everything he was saying. When she found it, she asked in a quiet voice, "Was it worth it?"

His piercing gaze fell to the floor before he answered in a low tone. "My mother's still alive, isn't she?"

Hermione nodded once more. Lifting herself from the floor, she took a place leaning against the wall, using it to support her weight if he revealed any more earth-shattering revelations to her after her next question. "So, what does all that got to do with being loyal to me?"

Draco ran his hand through his hair yet again as he thought out the answer to her inquiry. Finally, he glanced back up at her and his eyes glittered with emotion. "Don't you think you would have done the same thing if it was your family? I did just enough to get him to trust me, to have him believe I was loyal, so he would leave my mother alone. I would only kill in his company, and then when his back was turned, I tried to save as many as possible and thin the herd for your side without raising suspicion. It's not like I was just going out and terrorizing Muggles in my free time."

He sighed as he drooped with weariness. "You know, I didn't choose a side in the war, I was forced to take one. I know I talked big at the end of fifth year when my father was put in here, but I really had no idea what I was talking about. It wasn't until that summer when I met the Dark Lord for the first time and was given my orders that I realized Potter was right all along; he really was a monster."

She was confused. "I still don't see what that has to do with me."

The blond chuckled and this time, it was filled with humor. "Hermione, Hermione," he sing-songed her name, "you're thinking too hard." He took a deep breath. "I had a list of people I looked out for on the battlefield, made sure nobody came too close to a fatal curse. Ones I knew you wouldn't be able to live without. You, Potter, Weasley, Weaslette, Longbottom, Loony, the wolf, and Tonks, because even though she's a halfblood, she's still family. Who do you think sent that owl to the wolf of word on the attack planned for your parents so they could be moved to the Order's Headquarters?"

Hermione was shocked. "That was you! But why?"

He nodded and walked up to her once more, reaching out to trail his hand across her hair when he was less than a foot away. "You're loyal to the people you love, and so am I."

She couldn't have formed a response after that reply for all the galleons in the wizarding world.

Draco ignored her stunned silence and kept speaking in a near whisper. "There was a moment in the battle at Hogsmeade, the first one that summer, where you saw me without my mask on. Merlin, the look in your eyes! You were so...disappointed in me, as if I had only proved everything you had always believed about me. I knew then I had to do whatever I could to help from my position, or you would never look at me again. Do you remember that?"

"Yes, I remember that," she answered in a shaky murmur, her eyes taking in every angle of his face as he watched her closely.

"Do you remember the time in the prefects' bathroom right before Halloween in sixth year?" he asked softly in her ear as he pressed his body against hers, pushing her back into the wall behind them. Growing bold with her lack of resistance, he placed his hands on her hips as he continued to whisper in her ear. "Do you remember when I walked in on you taking a shower?" His fingertips trailed slowly up to her waist, memorizing the curves along the way. "You turned the most fascinating shade of pink as you tried to cover yourself from my eyes." Turning his head towards her, his lips tickled her cheek with his breath. "You were the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

"Draco." His name escaped her lips on a gasp as his fingers found the underside of her breasts.

"Please, Hermione," he begged. "Let me have this one thing before I die."

Still rather dazed by this abrupt turn in conversation, Hermione gazed up into his eyes looking for something that would help her make this decision. The fathomless gray was completely open and earnest, his coutenance was vulnerable, and he appeared he would live or die with her next words. Searching inside herself, she found she didn't have the strength to tell him no. 'One final request,' her mind supplied.

Unable to form words, she grabbed a handful of his prison shirt and yanked his head down, meeting his mouth with her own. The charge between them was electric as he fisted his hands in her hair and opened his lips inviting her tongue to seek out his own. She complied and took her first taste of Draco Malfoy.

His mouth, a warm, wet cavern of secret delights, was imbued with the taste of rain and as she breathed him in, she inhaled the scent of fabric softener. Hermione drank from him as if he was borne from the tree of knowledge itself and she could never possibly find her fill. His tongue tangled with hers in a rhythmic dance and she moaned when he scraped the tip over her palette, clutching him for support when her legs began to weaken. Realizing her predicament, Draco crouched and wrapped his arms around the backs of her thighs encouraging her to wrap her legs around his waist. She did so, and they were soon stumbling across the cell to his cot where Hermione landed on her back with Draco draped over her.

Trying to uncover each other without losing the connection of their mouths, they fumbled with buttons, clasps, and zippers until they were laid bare. The awe in Draco's eyes as he took in Hermione's unadorned flesh was enough to kill any misgivings she might have had. Taking his place at her front, he kneeled between her legs and gently cupped her breasts with his large hands. Hermione threw her head back at the stimulus of having his palms rubbing against her nipples and arched her back in pleasure. The ache at the apex of her thighs was becoming hard to ignore as he took his time worshipping the pink buds, sucking each one into his wet mouth in turn and kissing his way down her stomach.

Draco reverently nuzzled her brown curls before spreading her thighs for his eyes to feast upon. She was perfect, all glistening pink, and the heat radiating from her core was enough to set him on fire. He lowered his head to her opening, letting his tongue trace her nether lips, and sipping her wetness for the first time. She was peaches and cinnamon on his taste buds, an infusion of sweetness which made him dizzy and sent a bolt of longing through his body, directly to where he was hard for her. She whimpered and moaned as he drank from her like a dehydrated man and the sounds were music to his ears. When she came, flooding his mouth with her release, she trembled and cried out his name making him feel like the only man on earth.

He crawled back up her body, giving each nipple a lick on the way, and met her mouth once more, sharing her taste as he took her lips with his. Hermione enfolded him with her legs and lifted her hips to grind against his hardness. Snaking his hand between them, he lined himself up with her opening and entered her with one thrust. She broke their kiss with a gasp as she arched her back sending him deeper into her core. He shut his eyes against the sensations flowing over him as he waited for her to adjust to his invasion. When she increased the friction between their bodies, he knew she was ready.

Drawing back, he pulled out only to slowly push back in, beginning a soft rhythm of thrusting as she met him halfway. Hermione grasped his shoulders, digging her nails into his skin as she offered her hips up in rapture. Her head was thrown back once more, her curls spread across his pillow like melting chocolate, and he was mesmerized as he plunged into her, over and over again, building up the inferno forming in each of their bodies. His heart pounded in tempo to their thrusting and his hand reached between once more and fingered the nub where they were joined just as his mouth sealed over her lips to swallow her cry. He felt her walls shudder around him as he plunged into her one last time, spilling himself into her body.

Draco collapsed against her as they both tried to catch their breath. Feeling his heart began to slow, he moved to the side so he wouldn't crush her into the bed and pressed his forehead to her temple. letting her hair envelop his face. Hermione placed her hand to his chest as she came down from their shared high and felt her breathing even out. She turned her head towards him. "I should go," she whispered in the aftermath.

He nodded his head against her head. "I know," he replied.

Settling his weight back on his hands he lifted himself above her and left a soft, sweet kiss on her swollen lips. When the connection ended, he rose from the cot and redressed quickly before handing her clothes to her. She pulled them back on in silence as he watched her, his eyes mourning the loss of her flesh. When she finished the last button on her blouse, she tipped her head up to study him.

Raising her hand, she traced the tips of her fingers gently over his features as if taking them into her memory. When she reached his lips and fingered their outline, a thoughtful gleam entered her eyes. "Would you give it all up?" she asked quietly.

"What?" he replied just as softly, not wanting to shatter the peace that seemed to have descended between them.

"Your fortune, being a Malfoy, everything."

"Yes," he answered without hesitation, wondering what she hoped to gain from that question.

She simply nodded then kissed him one last time before turning to collect her quill and her bag and calling for the guard. He arrived promptly at the door of the cell, unlocking it to let her step back out. Hermione looked back once more until she felt her feet being steers towards the exit. Draco stood and watched her leave in silence, her last word echoing in his ears.

Goodbye.

----

Five days later, on the morning of Draco Malfoy's execution, the guards who were sent to retrieve the Malfoy heir and escort him to the room to meet his end were absolutely floored when they came upon his cell. The young man was nowhere in sight. In fact, there was no evidence that he had ever been there at all.

A country-wide manhunt was instated when searching every nook and crannie in the prison turned up nothing. One of the first ones questioned was Hermione Granger, the last person to have visited the fugitive besides his mother, but after her flat was thoroughly searched and she answered negatively to questions under Veritaserum, she was cleared.

Many, many spells were used to locate Draco Malfoy, and they searched nearly every wizarding residence within Britain and were unable to find even the slightest trace of the wizard. Finally, one of the Unspeakables uncovered an ancient charm to perform on his wand, which would indicate if its owner was even still in existence. The charm gave them the answer they were looking for.

Draco Malfoy was no longer alive.

Deciding someone with a grudge must've got to him first, his death was declared the next day in all the wizarding papers. A week later, Hermione's own article was published in The Wand's Choice portraying Draco Malfoy as he truly was; a man who made the best of a bad situation to save his family and help save his own world from total destruction. It was poignant, controversial, and best of all, the truth. The magazine sold a record number of copies and Hermione won an Acker Award for work in Outstanding Journalism. Narcissa received her share of the Malfoy fortune, as well as various half-Malfoys, second cousins, and such, and the rest was divided up between charities.

What nobody ever put together was that Hermione Granger, who had never taken a day off in her years of work before receiving the Malfoy Interview, had started taking extended vacations several times a year to a remote island in the Pacific Ocean.

She wasn't the smartest witch of her generation for nothing.

The End

A/N: Somewhat farfetched? Perhaps. I left things open so you are welcome to draw your own conclusions. This was just an idea that came to me and I used to get back in the swing of writing. Hope you enjoyed it! Please leave me a review if you would. :)