Lamentations of Draco Malfoy

Hermione Granger and I were never really friends in our beginning years of school. I'll admit now (though this keeps between us) that it was all my fault. My stupid "you are not worthy" attitude was what drove her away from me all the way in first year back in Hogwarts.

I never really liked her back in school. Her hair was too bushy, her teeth too big, her attitude too bossy, her tone too know-it-all…I could go on for ages. Eventually her hair smoothed out and her teeth were fixed, but she never lost that attitude or tone, and she won't until she has been completely broken, I guess.

She was always great friends with the Redheaded Weasel and the Boy Who Wouldn't Die, which made me dislike her more. The fact she actually had genuine friends really bugged me. To top it off, she was friends with the ones I was really obligated to hate with all my being.

It was never really a matter of blood, contrary to popular belief. I could care less. I just needed an excuse to really hate her, since I really couldn't use such materialistic and vain excuses for my hatred for her. Actually, I never hated her. She never really annoyed me, I was simply obligated to show signs of total dislike. In reality, I rather admired her.

She was the only one that could be considered my academic partner. It was really in 7th year I made this discovery—We were the appointed Heads of the year, and took all of the same advanced courses. Snape, the fucking sadist as he was, loved to put us together. His plan to make us miserable somehow backfired, though, as we found we worked rather well together.

It wasn't just in potions, there were other classes as well, though we would never admit it to other people. She would always best me in Transfiguration; I'd best her in Arithmancy. She'd beat me in Charms; I'd beat her in Potions. Along these lines, we found we were equals in Defense Against Dark Arts.

Back in our Dormitories, we'd help each other in the weaker subjects, though not much, to ensure our solid place as "numero uno" in that class. We talked, we laughed, we argued, we were friends. We graduated on great terms and went our separate ways. She became a Healer, I followed my Father's footsteps.

Every now and then we'd keep in touch; she'd gush about the Stupid Weasel (who she started seeing after graduation—I'm NOT jealous) I'd complain about my Father. She'd confide her secrets, I'd leak out Death Eater information till Potter finally managed to kill the damned creepy bastard.

There was a giant celebration once he was officially dead. Scrimgeour acknowledged Snape, a rather well-known spy by that time. Hermione, sweetie that she was, also mentioned my name to the incompetent Minister, and I received the Order of Merlin, first class, for providing information not even Snape had been able to acquire. (take THAT you sadist.)

When my Father was placed under permanent house arrest, my Mother was relieved. I continued dealing with the Malfoy fortune, but from my own flat closer to the city. I couldn't stand my father's constant roars of "Traitor" every time I was in the same room as him. I like my silence, and made the decision to move out. My mother was obviously somewhat relieved she didn't have to restrain him with her wand every hour or so anymore, but also didn't really want her "baby boy" to leave her; until I promised I'd owl bi-weekly, and visit once a month.

I was pretty much my own man; partied till morn every night; sometimes alone, sometimes with lovely company. Hermione and I still kept in touch, and we'd visit each other every now and then to catch up, much to the Weasel's annoyance. She'd always defend me though.

"He's not his father, Ronald, and you're just going to have to accept the fact I have friends other than Harry you have to get along with!"

Every time she repeated the same speech to the redhead brought a slight smile to my face and a slight warmth deep inside me. I never knew what that warmth was. I always thought I was coming down with something, but I perished the thought. The warmth was pleasant, and I never fell ill.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night, sweaty and panting, with a drenched sheet tangled around me. It was far from a nightmare; oh no, it definitely wasn't. I had dreamed of Hermione—my only friend—under me, in the nude, screaming my name as I plunged deep into her, over and over again. And it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever experienced.

I tried my best to avoid her. I didn't know what the hell was coming over me; I couldn't see her until I had my thoughts sorted out. I never called, I never replied her owls, though I would read the letters over and over again. The day she decided to apparate over and check up on me, I had fallen asleep in the bathtub. I didn't hear her constant cries of my name, or the slams of doors as she tried to find me. I finally woke when the bathroom door slammed open, her flushed and tearstained face the only thing I saw.

She gasped when she saw my shocked expression of her intrusion, and launched at me, throwing her arms around my neck and sobbing into my already-damp shoulder (though I was shivering from the now cold bathwater.)

"Don't you ever scare me like that ever again, Draco Alexander Malfoy, I was so worried something had happened to you…" she cried fiercely, refusing to release me from her embrace.

It was that moment I realized just what that warmth was. What that fluttering in my gut was. As cheesy as it sounds—I knew I was in love. I was in love with my best friend. My only friend.

It was to my disappointment (and amusement) that a few minutes later she realized my current state of dress…or in this matter, undress. She shrieked and ran out of the bathroom, slamming the door shut, among cries of apology. The sounds were drowned out, however, by the sound of my laughing.

Even with this new development, our friendship lived on. The only change was my more frequent compliments and flirts. To which she would just blush and move on, never noticing the subtle changes of my personality. The Weasel did, however.

One day he apparated to my flat. No preamble, no stuttering, he simply cut to the chase: "You love her, don't you."

At first I had been confused. Who was this "her" he spoke of? Then it hit me. The first word that ran through my head had been: DENIAL! "Um…no?"

He simply gave me a look. I had never felt guilty before in my entire life. Yet the look Weasley gave me simply made me spew out the word "yes" before I could stop myself.

He hung his head and gave a sigh of defeat. He ran a freckled hand through his red hair, ruffling it further than it already was. "So do I," he answered back.

I avoided looking at him, and stared down at my shoes. They were my favorite pair; black, imported from Italy.

"I know," I replied simply, half-heartedly trying to remember the brand name.

"So what are we going to do about it?" he asked. I wasn't sure if it was rhetorical, but I opened my mouth to speak anyway, only to be cut off by him. "I'll have you know I've loved her since Hogwarts, and I love her too much to let her go." His voice was desperate and scared, as if he was worried I'd take her away from him.

"I'm not going to do anything," I murmured, voice slightly hoarse. Through my lashes I saw his head shoot up and stare at me, though I wasn't looking directly back. "Why the hell would I? She's with you, and she's happy. I can tell. As long as she's happy…it doesn't matter if she's with me or not."

I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth. Not that I didn't mean them, but the idea that I was opening up to the Weasel kind of scared me for a bit.

From that day, Ron and I somewhat got along. I wouldn't say that we were necessarily friends, but hey we got along. He was still somewhat paranoid whenever Hermione and I got together, but he relaxed everytime he remembered I wouldn't sabotage the pair of them.

Luckily for me, that was pretty much all of Hermione's friends I had to get to know. I was alright with Ron. Much to mine and the Weaslette's amusement, Hermione attempted several times to hook the two of us up together. Needless to say, 'twas unsuccessful. As a result, Potter took longer to warm up to me.

He would always watch myself and Ginny head out on our setup dates with a look of loathing; it didn't take me long to put two and two together.

One night I brought him up at dinner. "So, still interested in Harry Pothead?"

She snorted at the nickname, but avoided my gaze, and changed the subject. Every twenty minutes or so, I'd bring it back, but she'd always grow more and more nervous and frantic to change the subject, until she finally cracked, with the aid of three bottles of firewhiskey.

"Ok, ok, I give. I loooooooove him, and I probably always will! Are you happy now?" her words were slurred, and eyes droopy, as she downed another glass of the vile liquid.

"No, cuz as long as you're still single, Hermione will continue trying to set the two of us up together. Why haven't you told him? I know it's not cuz you're shy. You're not shy."

She stared down at her lap for a few moments, contemplating her words, before she decided to explain. "I had my chance with him, and…we blew it. He broke up with me to keep me safe…but now that Voldemort's dead, it would be safe for us…but he doesn't seem interested anymore…"

I didn't know whether to sympathize with the poor girl or call her an idiot. I chose to go with the latter.

"You're an idiot."

I regretted my words once I realized the Weaslette was a scary drunk. Well, scary to me, anyhow. She started bawling at the top of her lungs, and buried her face in her hands, sobbing like a blubbering fool. I pat her on the back awkwardly, unsure of what to do, and gaining some unwelcome attention from the other people in the restaurant.

A genius thought reached my mind. I hauled Ginny up, one arm draped over my shoulders, and apparated after paying for our beverages. We appeared in front of the old Black House, and I knocked on the door rather impatiently, struggling with the extra weight of a drunken woman at my side.

After what seemed like ages, Potter finally opened the door, looking like a wreck; his hair was in more disarray than ever, glasses askew, green eyes surrounded in red. He blinked in surprise at his new "guests" before greeting us warmly.

"Malfoy, what the fuck are you doing in front of my house?"

"Special delivery package for one Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Die," I replied. Oh the sarcasm.

He glanced down at the piss-ass-drunk woman singing Lady Marmalade at my side with slightly masked concern, and one eyebrow raised.

I shifted her slightly, pulling her slightly more up. "I figured it'd be uncomfortable for her to go home drunk, so I opted to take her somewhere else, and—call it a gut feeling—I had a hunch you and the rest of the golden trio would come after my hide if I took her back to the manor, so…"

He sighed, and took off his glasses with one hand and rubbed his eyes with his other. He motioned for me to come inside, and called for me to shut the door behind me. I half-dragged the drunken woman down to the living room, and he took her from me, laying her gently on the couch.

"It's Ha-Harry!" she squealed in excitement, before leaping to her feet again and throwing herself on the poor disheveled boy.

He grimaced at the smell of strong liquor on her lips, and gently pushed her away, smiling. "That's right, Gin, Malfoy brought you here to sleep."

"Is that so!" she straightened and swayed, turning her head to me before throwing her arms around my neck and giving me a slobbery kiss on the cheek, much to my amusement and Potter's annoyance. "Thank you Drakey—you're the bessssst!" she slurred.

I patted her on the head and gently shoved her back to Potter, who gently put her back on the couch. "Thank you Haaarry!" she mumbled brightly, before dropping the bomb—"I love you"—and began to snore lightly.

If it weren't un-Malfoy like to snicker, I would have at Potter's expression.

"Oh come on, don't tell me you had no idea!"

The shock had vanished from his face and he turned to me, a somber expression on his face.

"She's unbelievably drunk…she has no idea what she's saying…" he looked so defeated, I didn't know whether to laugh or pat him on the back.

I opted to do both.

He glared at me. "It's not funny, Malfoy."

I stifled the rest of my laughs. "Au contraire, mon capitain," I saluted and turned his head to face the unconscious redhead on his couch. "She's been waiting for you for years…make a move before she stops."

His eyes widened as he looked away, face flushed. "I could never take advantage of her in her drunken state…it's wrong!"

I laughed again, and gave a wave of my wand, a sobering spell leaving my lips.

"Always the Gryffindor…See you in the morning."

With that, I was gone after giving a wink to the flabbergasted, but conscious, redhead on the couch. Once I got home, I took a nice long shower, more than ready to hit the sack.

That morning, I was woken by a punch in the face.

"Morning to you too, Weasley,"

But I regretted those words. This was clearly not a joking matter.

He pushed me out of my bed and straddled my waist, hands on my throat, slowly adding pressure.

"WHERE'S MY SISTER YOU BASTARD!"

"RON! CALM DOWN!" there was a slight shove, and Ron was off me, and Hermione's hysterical face came to view. "Draco, where is Ginny? She never came home last night…"

Before I could answer, there was a slight pop and said redhead had apparated to my bedroom, hair a mess, clothes rumpled, and clinging to a flustered, but happy Boy-Who-Lived.

She didn't even acknowledge her brother or his girlfriend, but pounced on me, landed heavily on my gut, but threw her arms around me and kissed my cheek.

"THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!" she squealed, getting off me and running back to Potter.

Had I not been nearly smothered to death twice that morning, I would have laughed at Potter's face.

The bloody git had the goofiest smile on his face, the kind of look that simply screamed "I GOT LAID LAST NIGHT!"

He kissed Ginny on the head and approached me, pulling me up. Before I could fully balance myself, he hugged me.

Not a manly grab and pat on the back.

It was a full on, warm, fuzzy, fucking hug.

Oh bloody hell.

"GET OFF ME POTTER!"

My shove didn't seem to faze him the slightest. He just grinned at me and headed back to Ginny, before being stopped by Ron.

"Harry, what the hell happened? You're positively—"

HUG

At this point the poor boy was stunned to no words. Harry broke away and smiled.

"Ron! How are you on this fine morning, my friend?"

The poor bloke gaped. "Weirded out." (Anyone who can tell me where I got the inspiration for that tidbit from gets a prize)

"Gin? What's going on?"

"Hermione!" Ginny exclaimed, pulling a Harry and engulfing the flustered girl in a gigantic hug.

Gryffindors. Really.

"Mia, m'dear, I'm afraid to say Draco here," she motioned to me, "has replaced you as my best friend."

I snorted and rolled my eyes.

Harry beamed. "That's right!" he broke away from Ron, pulled Ginny and myself towards him, and draped his arms over our shoulders. "We're the new Golden Trio! Sincere apologies, really, Mia, Ron, but Draco here is my new best friend!"

"Says who?" I couldn't help but protest.

Had I not been included in this whole fiasco, I would have laughed at this situation. Hermione gaped, Ron looked about ready to blow a fuse, Ginny and Harry were in la-la-land…was I the only sane one?

…don't say anything.

"Let me get this straight…" Ron started, taking deep calming breaths, though his ears told everything. "My best friend and my sister!" He buried his face in his shaking hands, his entire body was freaking trembling. "I cannot believe this!"

His fury seemed to pull the new couple out of their post-coital buzzing bliss. Now they looked slightly nervous, staring down at their shoes, hand-in-hand.

"Yeah…" they chorused guiltily, but Ginny felt the need to elaborate.

"But Ron, listen…I really love Harry, and he loves me too…" she visibly swallowed, squeezing Harry's hand in hers.

"She's right Ron…I love her so much…more than you can imagine…"

Tension was impossibly thick at that moment, as all eyes were on the male Weasel.

"Ron…" Hermione whispered warningly.

"Weasley," I started, feeling the need to intervene, and placing my hand on his shoulder, "True happiness is unbelievably rare, and you have been lucky enough to find it. You're just going to have to accept the fact that your best friend and sister have found their own happiness with each other."

Oh damn the cheesiness of it all.

With that, the Weasel's exterior completely changed. His head shot out of his hands, with a grin so big his face must be splitting from the strain.

"My best friend and my little sister!" he cried joyously, throwing both arms around the slack-jawed couple, "I cannot believe this!" (another prize for the one who cracks this one)

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, as the new couple and Ron began chatting it up. Hermione, on the other hand, threw herself into my chest with a sob.

"Oh my God, Draco, that was beautiful!" she cried.

I can't handle emotional people. No matter how much I fancy this one, they still cramp my style.

"Draco thank you so much!" Ginny cried, and joined the tearful brunette in my arms.

Gryffindor Women…

"Malfoy I really believe I was wrong about you, you're such an unbelievably amazing person!" Harry started, making a move to join those around me.

"Don't--!"

Too late.

Scratch that.

Gryffindors…

And I thought it couldn't get any worse…but of course it did.

"Oh what the hell," Ron threw his hands up and joined the group.

Damnit

POP

"Hey, Draco, I—whoah."

I glanced hopelesly up. "Blaise," I greeted warmly, "Get me out of this Gryffindor orgy."

With that, I was rewarded with five simultaneous slaps.

"Blaise what the fuck did you hit me for?"

The bloody git shrugged. "Just wanted to fit in, is all. But really, Weasleys, Potter, and Granger, you'd better let Draco get dressed…" he mentioned as a passing comment.

Oh that's right. I believe I neglected to mention my state of dress.

Boxers and nothing else.

Bloody over affectionate Gryffindors…

But who's complaining?

I guess I started drifting from them once again after the get-together. When Harry and Ginny weren't together yet, we were a group of five; even I felt that I could belong. But now, it was two couples, and me. The pathetic fifth wheel. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't alone necessarily. I would show with an attractive blond or brunette on my arm to our group dinners every week, sometimes with Pansy. It varied, really.

I really brought Pansy with the intention of not being the only Slytherin, but that somewhat backfired. Weeks after I started bringing Pansy consecutively, I began to notice something: she and Ron were getting along much better than anticipated. Hermione never really realized the subtle differences…Gryffindors hardly do. But we Slytherins are known for our keen observations. One night, I followed him home.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I hissed, and he backed up against the wall. He simply narrowed his eyes at me—me!—and demanded what the hell I was talking about. "You and Pansy, asshole. Need I explain? Hermione—remember her? Your girlfriend?"

He froze and looked sick.

At first I thought of apologizing. I thought maybe for once I was wrong, and this was all a horrible misunderstanding.

Good thing my pride prevented me from doing so.

"Is it really that obvious?"

Oh, that redhead is going down.

I punched his jaw, and he punched my eye. We rolled on the floor, a whirl of punches, kicks, and grunts of pain. There was no way I would walk out with my tail between my legs and a loser.

Hermione's honor was at stake.

"Ron? I forgot my—Draco! Ron! What the hell are you two doing?"

I gave him one final punch, pushed myself up, and turned to her.

"You two should have a talk. Good night, Hermione, Asshole."

With that, I apparated home.

I felt sick to my stomach. I fought with her boyfriend, and was caught for it. And I was the one to walk away. And just the icing on the cake—I had a freaking black eye and cut lip.

Rather unbecoming for a Malfoy.

So soon I found myself drowning my sorrow in Firewhiskey with an ice pack on my eye, watching the rain fall and the storm brew outside. How becoming of my mood.

Then my doorbell rang—just what you need to create the perfect horror movie scenario. Maybe an axe-wielding murderer was outside my door waiting to hack my head off?

Well, he would be a pleasantly welcomed guest, really. So I figured I might as well open the door and invite the poor bloke in for Firewhiskey before he does his job?

Yes I'm a cynic. So sue me. I dare you.

So I found myself sliding the lock open in only my pants with an ice-pack in my hand, expecting to find an old crazed man frothing at the mouth, crazed and bloodthirsty gleam in his eyes and wielding some sharp and/or pointy object with the intention of physically maiming me or killing me.

Definitely not what greeted me at the door.

What I found was a drenched and crying Hermione Granger. Not that I could tell the difference between the rain or her tears. But her eyes were a little puffy. And the fact that she looked so…defeated.

"…Can I come in?" she asked meekly, pulling her soaked cloak closer around her shivering form.

I said nothing, only opened the door wider and turned back inside to get a towel for her. I found her knelt before the fire, shivering until I placed the towel on her shoulders and received a squeak of 'thanks'.

We sat in silence, her staring into the fire and myself staring at her features from my perch on the couch. Her frizzy hair was weighed down by the moisture and lay limp on her shoulders—without a mind of its own anymore and looked as defeated as she did. Her eyes were slightly red and a little puffy, but that was expected, as was the slight redness on her nose. Her face looked paler than usual.

Needless to say, she wasn't exactly looking her best. But that didn't matter.

She'll always be a gorgeous goddess in my eyes.

It took a while for my mind to register that she was looking directly at me.

"Was that from Ron?" she asked quietly, gesturing to my eye, pushing herself up from her kneeling position and walking towards me.

"Yeah…" I winced as she reached up to touch it.

A frowned marred her perfect features as she bent over to pick up the forgotten ice-pack and placed it back on my bruised eye and sat down on the coffee table before me.

"I'm sorry…" she murmured, staring down at her lap.

I tilted her face back up to mine, and found tears were once again rolling down her face. "For what?"

She sobbed. "For being the reason you got hurt by Ron! For coming here and intruding on your property! For being a blubbering fool! I-I don't know why I came here…I should go."

She tried to push herself off my coffee table, but I grabbed her hand and pulled her back down.

"Why?"

There was silence around us, other than the soft pitter-pattering of the rain and the crackling of the fire.

"…Because I'm being a burden to you…" she finally answered, turning away again.

In a different situation, I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. In a different solution, I would have broken the tension with a good, sarcastic joke.

In a different situation, I would have kissed her tears away.

Instead, I opted a different approach. One thing was sure—I'm already in the friend zone; now it's time to suck up my pride and be one.

I sat forward, turning her head to face mine, keeping a firm grip on her face, and pressed my forehead against hers to force her to look into my eyes.

"You can always feel free to burden me with your troubles…I'm here,"

Sap, sap, sap, sap, SAP! Draco Malfoy you are a bloody SAP!

She burst into hysterical tears and threw her arms around my neck, sobbing into my shoulder, with my arms around her waist. I stood up and pulled her up with me, so we could properly embrace.

I'll never forget the moment. It was better than the time she hugged me in the tub—only my upper body felt her warmth. Better than the time she and the other Gryffindors hugged me—I was too concerned about my lack of breathing to fully feel her body against mine.

Now it was just us; her body melded perfectly with mine, her curves pressed to me. I should probably note that I was still shirtless, and her tears made my bare shoulder wet, but I didn't care. I could die at this moment, and die happy. Just let me keep this moment forever.

"Thank you, Draco…" she whispered, once her sobs died down, and we were just holding each other. I nodded and kissed her forehead. She smiled and tightened her hold on me, engulfing me in blissful warmth—it was heaven. "You're the best friend I could ever ask for."

And

That

Killed it.

I tightened my hold on her and turned my head away to hide the pain I felt in my chest. "No problem…" I gritted out, feeling stinging in my eyes, looking up and willing the Gods not to let me cry—never let her see me cry.

I guess I'm stuck in the friend zone forever?

I guess I can live with that.

Just let me remember this moment for the rest of my life…