Aw...the last chapter...I'm gonna cry. I love this fic! It's been so much fun and-
Hell, I'll just let ya'll read it, and blubber at the end.
Chapter Twelve: Can't Go Back
got inside through a hole in my defenses
and how you fit I'll never understand
but you got into me, and I got into you
and now, I wanna do it again
How's it feel to know now
Whatcha think 'bout that
you got me, now we can't go back
you'll never get me again
I only wanna dance with you
I only wanna dance with you
With You": Bowling For Soup
"Bloody hell!" yelped Ron, staggering back and clutching his mouth.
"Hermione!" came an indignant yell from Draco. She spun back around, grinning widely at the astonished Malfoy. He glanced around slowly, scowling at the fight taking place around him. There was slight muttering as the Death Eaters realized what had happened. Hermione moved forward, stopping in front of Draco and giving him an inspecting look.
"Are you done with threatening to kill me?" she asked, her voice low. He stared at her, glancing at Ron for a split second, before looking back at her intensely.
"I would never hurt you…" he almost growled, before leaning down and kissing her passionately. She pulled him closer, and used the close contact to slip his wand back to him. When they pulled apart, both immediately pointed wands at the Death Eaters in front of them.
"You could have had it all, Malfoy!" shouted Dean, glaring at the pair, "But you decided to soil yourself with this filth."
They both shot a stunning spell at him, and he fell hard. Pansy backed up slightly, but others behind her started to retaliate. Ron soon rejoined the battle, and Voldemort's following started to lose.
When they began to retreat, Hermione looked around for Zabini, but couldn't find him. She slipped back towards where they had come and could see a slumped form in an alcove.
"Blaise!" she said in an urgent, though hushed tone. He didn't move. When she reached him, she could see he didn't have a wand near him. She flipped around, looking around her wildly. Seeing no one, she leaned down to try and wake up Zabini when there was a low laugh.
"Well, well, Hermione, you are really quite predictable, huh?" Dean said with amusement and Hermione stood, hands on hips to give the male Gryffindor an exasperated expression.
"Why don't you just give up, Dean. You guys lost. The good guys always win." She said condescendingly.
"Really? I seem to think otherwise." He raised his wand up and gave her a snake-like smile. "The Dark Lord will always triumph."
"Dean, you bastard!"
Hermione performed an awkward twirl to see Harry standing, looking quite beaten, though not quite defeated, with wand raised high.
"Ah, Harry, hello." Dean said calmly, his wand still pointed at Hermione. "Nice of you to join us." He looked directly at Hermione with a slow grin and whispered,"Crucio."
It was the most excruciating pain Hermione had ever felt. She could distantly hear herself screaming, and Harry yelling, and casting something, and Dean yelping. She couldn't think at all though. All she could do was feel searing pain fly up and down her body.
"Expelliarmus!" shouted Harry, rushing forward to grab Dean's wand and try to reach for Hermione. She was on the ground, hunched over and shrieking. Gradually her screams quieted but when Harry tried to touch her, she would yelp and scoot away. He cast a nasty stunning spell on Dean before trying to lift Hermione up. She fought him tooth and nail. "Hermione! It's me! Stop it!" He said, trying to calm her down. Her eyes were wild and unseeing.
"Potter, what did you do!" Malfoy said as he appeared, his voice angry, but also anxious as he looked at Hermione carefully.
"Not me, Dean. Cruciatus curse." explained Harry, an edge to his voice.
Draco reached for her and Harry tried to move away at first, but as soon as the blonde's hand touched Hermione's shoulder, she quieted and shifted towards the Slytherin. Harry let her go into Malfoy's arms, and watched in astonishment as Draco ran a hand tenderly through her hair and whispered something to her. She nodded and nuzzled into his chest. He carefully lifted her up bridal-style and she curled closer to him. The-boy-who-lived was amazed as Draco Malfoy actually showed his (until now non-existent) caring side towards the girl he had tormented for so many years.
Draco coughed, looking back at Harry with a trace of discomfort.
"Um. Thanks for…stopping Dean. I mean-"
"Malfoy, you don't have to thank me for saving one of my best friends." said Harry, though it was calmly. Their eyes met for a moment in a silent understanding. "I still don't consider you a friend." finished Harry, almost jokingly.
"Potter, I don't care if I'm not a Death Eater, you still are the farthest from being a mate of mine." said Draco, though there was also a trace of amusement.
"I'll take care of Dean, you try to wake up Zabini here." said Harry, grabbing one of Dean's arms and starting to drag him off. Malfoy nodded, using a foot to poke at Blaise. "Might want to try your wand!" called Harry before disappearing down the hall. Draco rolled his eyes.
"Bloody Potter." He pointed his wand at Zabini and murmured something. The other male's eyes fluttered open and focused on Draco. He sat up and smirked.
"So…got your wits back now?" Blaise teased.
"Yeah. You able to walk now?" replied Draco snidely. Blaise chuckled and got to his feet slowly, groaning, before he looked at Hermione.
"Is she okay?"
"Dean cast the bloody Cruciatus curse on her." Malfoy exclaimed wrathfully, his voice a low hiss. Zabini nodded knowingly, rubbing his head.
"Well, you know if we've won yet?" he asked, grinning. Draco shrugged.
"I don't really care. I'm gonna take Hermione up to our dormitory, okay? Hold up the fort?"
Draco found the dormitory easily, and fortunately Artemis was in the painting.
"Is she alright? Apollo has been watching the battle and keeping me informed." said the Greek Goddess. Draco nodded, waving his hand dismissively.
"Yeah, the password's pomegranate." He murmured. Artemis smiled fondly at the pair.
"Of course, honey. You take care of her."
"Don't worry, I will." He replied as the portrait swung open.
The sun rose over a shining Hogwarts, looking no worse for wear. A further inspection of the interior, however; revealed ripped paintings, damaged walls, and toppled candles and torches.
Classes had been cancelled for the day, and all entrances leading outside had been locked by Dumbledore himself, and only he knew how to unlock them. Not that he could be found.
The Headmaster, along with most teachers, was notoriously absent. Students who had been in their dormitories during the fight listened with rapture to the older ones who had been present for the battle the night before. Rumors spread like wildfire, lies mixed with facts.
"Do you know the Headmaster won't let any owls leave?" a first-year in Hufflepuff cried.
"The Professors are all up in his office, trying to figure out how best to tell us who died." An older Ravenclaw replied.
"I heard Harry Potter died." murmured a young Gryffindor morosely, "No one saw him or any of his friends come back last night. Or this morning." The few Slytherins who had not participated in the attack; either because of fear, or because they didn't support Voldemort, stayed together on their own, and the other houses encouraged this.
Harry Potter was in fact, not dead. He was recovering in the Heads' Dorms along with Ron and Ginny Weasley. Ron was pacing while Harry sat on the couch with Ginny, eyes closed and head thrown back in a position of relaxation.
"What is taking so bloody long?" demanded the male Weasley. Ginny rolled her eyes, stroking Harry's arm absentmindedly.
"You know Ron, he was polite enough to let us stay in here until she woke up. You could be appreciative." She remarked. Ron gave her a scathing look.
"Polite? Malfoy? He is no where near bloody polite!" Ron had fallen back on his favorite word, like he so frequently did in times of great fear or frustration. This was the latter of course. Mixed with a bit of the former, for Hermione, "I'll be surprised if he ever lets us see her!"
"Oh Ron, calm down. He'll bring her out eventually."
"I don't understand why you two are not even remotely uncomfortable with the fact of Hermione having spent the night in Malfoy's room!"
Harry sighed heavily, though he didn't open his eyes.
"Ron, Malfoy is not going to hurt Hermione. Others, most likely, but not 'Mione. I don't care if he's Voldemort's right-hand man, he won't hurt her."
"How do you know?"
"I've seen it." Harry replied shortly.
"Seen it! The sign of Malfoy being an evil bastard is like a dot on his forehead?"
"No." mumbled Harry, "It's a skull on the forearm. That Malfoy doesn't have."
"Malfoy does not have the Dark Mark." repeated Harry patiently.
"But his father was a close follower of You Know Who!" Ron almost screamed, crossing his arms.
"Yes." acknowledge Harry, "But Malfoy himself is not. At least, not marked."
"Last night, though, he was going to kill Hermione! That's what I saw." Ron said, his tone piercingly mocking.
The door with the letters "DM" printed on its front opened, and Hermione walked into the living room slowly.
"Imperius." She murmured, still rubbing her eyes sleepily.
"Hermione!" yelled Ginny, "How are you feeling?"
"Better." She replied, sitting on a chair. Ron gaped at her. She looked at him calmly. "Draco was under the Imperius curse. How are your lips?"
Ron blushed slightly, raising his hand and covering his still partially swollen, though healthily pink lips.
"Fine." He answered with wounded pride.
Harry had opened his eyes and gave Hermione a scrutinizing look.
"Are you okay now?" He asked quietly. She looked back at him and smiled.
"Yeah. I'm okay now."
Ginny smiled happily, and leaned against Harry.
"I'm so glad we're all okay now." She said.
Harry and Ron accepted the redhead's statement, but Hermione looked troubled. It was Harry who noticed as Ron and Ginny got into a conversation. He excused himself and moved to sit on the ottoman in front of Hermione.
"'Mione?" he inquired softly. She looked at him, her face carefully blank. "What's wrong?"
"'Mione, don't lie to me. What's up with you and Malfoy? He didn't try anything did he?" Harry said, his voice getting harsh towards the end.
"No he didn't try anything. I'm just confused by everything."
"The smartest witch of her time is confused?" teased the raven haired boy.
"Well, Draco tried so hard to protect me. You and him are even getting along…however barely."
"I don't think I really understand why he does so much for me…without me doing anything really in return."
"Well, you did kiss Ron to release him from the Imperius curse."
"Are you so sure it wasn't for the selfish reason of preserving my own life?" questioned Hermione, her tone blunt. Harry grinned.
"I'm sure. You were trying to save him just as much as he was trying to save you. I saw how you went directly to him after the Cruciatus curse."
She nodded slightly.
"Is he sleeping?" asked Harry, in an attempt to somewhat change the subject.
"When I woke up about an hour ago I made him go to sleep. He spent the entire night watching over me. I was supposed to stay in there with him, but you guys were rather loud." She chided. Harry chuckled.
"Yeah, they are, huh?" He said, referring to Ron and Ginny.
The portrait hole suddenly swung open, and everyone jumped in surprise. Zabini sauntered in, raising an eyebrow at the crowd.
"Dumbledore gave me the password." He said, in explanation to his entrance, "Morning Potter, and his backbone. You know more than half the school thinks you all are dead, right?" He said, smirking. Ron groaned, saying,
"The prats here…Come on, Harry, let's go rise from the dead."
Harry gave Hermione a final searching look.
"You'll be fine. As weird as this sounds, especially coming from me, I trust Malfoy with you. Maybe not with anything else, but for some reason I can't explain, I know he'll try anything and everything to keep you safe and make you happy. And you do seem happy. You did yell at me to defend him." He said, giving a little sigh as a punctuation, then he stood and left with Ron and Ginny.
Hermione glanced at Blaise for a moment before she got to her feet and dashed up to him, throwing her arms around the Slytherin.
"I never thanked you properly for saving me from Dean."
"Oh? If you wanted to thank me properly, you'd kiss me."
"Trying to burn your lips off?" she asked coyly, "Don't tempt me. Why don't you just settle for a hug?" She continued, moving back and dropping her arms.
"Alright you stubborn Gryffindor. And don't worry about it. After all, you are the girlfriend of my best friend." He said, with a challenging smile. Hermione stared at him for a moment, before she slowly grinned.
"I do believe I am."
"Is that a fact?" came a husky voice from behind as hands snaked around her waist.
"Good morning. And yes, it is a fact." She responded and Draco leaned down, kissing her by the temple.
"Morning darling. Feeling better?"
"Yes, thank you. Did you actually go to sleep?" she asked, meeting his gaze.
"For a little while." He answered, and they stared at each silently for a moment.
"That's right Draco, don't acknowledge your best friend."
Malfoy spared Zabini a smirk, before looking back at Hermione tenderly.
"Not when this beauty is the alternative." He murmured, giving her a gentle kiss. Zabini rolled his eyes.
"You mean the beauty I saved? That you tried to kill?" demanded Blaise cruelly. Draco winced and Hermione frowned at the culprit.
"Blaise Zabini, you shut your mouth! As I said to Ron last night, that was not Draco, nor was it in any way his fault!" She exclaimed, snuggling against the blonde. Zabini glanced down, embarrassed.
"Sorry. You're right." He muttered, humbled.
"Now. Be gone with you!" said Hermione playfully, accepting his apology and freeing one hand to make a shooing motion. Blaise gave her a mock sigh before saluting her.
"Okay Beauty." He said cheerfully, turning and leaving. He missed the glare Draco gave him as Hermione giggled.
"He is not allowed to call you that." hissed the remaining Slytherin. Hermione looked up at him, batting her eyelashes.
"Aw, why's that?"
"'Cause…" he murmured, his voice low and sexy, leaning in closer to her, "I'm the only one who can have pet names for you." And with that, he covered her lips with his own, passionately exploring as his arms tugged her closer. She responded instantly and pressed against him earnestly.
I had almost utterly crushed this tiny life I held so dear to me that night. And yet she came right back to me. She defended my attacks towards her. My threatening of killing her. I was utterly charmed. And thankful. Me, Draco Malfoy, thankful to have Hermione Granger. But I do love the silly witch.
"Hermione?" murmured Draco as they pulled apart reluctantly. She looked up at him through half-lidded eyes questioningly. "I love you."
She blinked, staring at him mutely for a moment. Then a slow, satisfied smile spread across her face.
"I love you too."
The letters on her door, "HM", sparkled. They didn't notice though, as Hermione shuffled her feet uncomfortably at the silence.
"Um…so…you think Harry's sorted out our fake deaths?"
"Um. Nevermind. What do you say we go greet our school?"
"Whatever you say, Beauty." He taunted.
"Shut up." She said with exasperation.
"Princess." He added.
"Ugh." She responded, rolling her eyes.
"Fine…I'll just go back to Granger." He said, pretending to threaten.
"Hm…" She said, advancing on him, "How about you just call me Hermione?" She insisted. He smirked at her.
"How about Hermy?"
"Gross!" She yelped, shaking her head madly.
"Harry and Ron call me that." was her reply, her eyebrows raised suggestively.
"Ew, nevermind." He said in disgust. "Okay, fine. I'm just gonna call you…mine." He dived for her, and they ended up on the couch, tickling each other until it resulted in long and deep kissing. She was the first to stand.
"Oh? What am I supposed to call you?"
"Sexy beast?" he asked demurely. She laughed.
"Right. I think I'll stick with Draco."
"Okay, Hermione." He relented, also getting to his feet. "Let's go face our subjects. They must be missing us dearly." He bragged dramatically. She let out an unladylike snort, then blushed and darted for the door. He followed quickly, and they both ended up outside.
Artemis and Apollo looked at them walk down the hall, hand in hand, the Goddess smiling contentedly, as Apollo sighed.
"It's not fair, Artemis. I never got to shag her."
"You know you'll never get to shag a Head Girl. Even as a painting." murmured Artemis, "Not with the charm on the position of Heads. This one went a little more…interesting than the last, but it ended up pretty much the same way."
"Previous Heads didn't become bonded."
"Yes, well, they do end up married eventually. This one just happened a little sooner." The woman said with a romantic air. Apollo leaned against the frame in irritation.
"Yeah, well, I'm still gonna screw with them for the rest of the year."
"I wouldn't doubt it."
Draco and I were accepted rather easily, actually. I began to wonder what had me so worried. Ron started going with Lavender. Or Padma. Or both. Not at the same time, of course. I can honestly say I don't really remember. Harry and Ginny stayed together, undoubtedly. The "leftover" Slytherins were absorbed back into the school soon enough, and Draco became their "King" again. It was an interesting beginning to my last year. Though if I had known about everything that would have happened beforehand, I wouldn't back down or anything. In fact, I'd do it all over again. Best year of my life. You know, I really should thank Lucius Malfoy. I mean, if he hadn't passed on, none of this would have happened. And it doesn't sound as weird after the first couple times you say it, and hear it. Hermione Granger loves Draco Malfoy. Of course, maybe I should say Hermione Malfoy.
Okay, that's it! I'm so happy! Did you like it? Hate it? I really would like to hear what you guys thought! I would like to personally thank Nanie-san, rizahawkeye21, and MadisonChaney for their wonderful reviews, so sweet and continual (and helpful at times!).
I had such a blast on this fanfic, and I don't know where to go from here!
There's a good chance that I'll be expanding "Quiddich Pitch", so if you're looking for more of my Draco/Hermione fanfics, keep your eyes peeled for that one. I can honestly say I probably won't do a sequel to this one...(my apologizes!)
I would like to thank everyone for their reading and reviews of this story!
Here's hoping your days are magical!