Disclaimer: I own nothing except this storyline and Tom Felton's heart. I apologize to you ahead of time if this chapter was too long for ya. If it was, I kind of got carried away. I may not make the next chapter as long. Reviews are more than welcomed and are, in fact, strongly encouraged. Oh yes, some little words of caution: If you are either a Ron or Harry fan, you may hate me forever lol. Now, without further adieu...

Chapter 1: The Escape

Draco Malfoy started running, and didn't stop until he reached Oakland Street, Hermione Granger's street. He knew that this was the street she lived on in the summer when she wasn't at Hogwarts. How did he know this? Sometimes being cunning and quiet had its advantages. Draco had overheard her telling Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley her home address in their first year. He never in his wildest dreams thought that he would be on her street.

He nursed his arm with his right hand and then forced himself to walk towards her house. The pain in his lip seemed to cease through his determination as he dragged himself to the small home. Once he had reached it, he looked around, making sure that no one was watching him. God, would his reputation be ruined forever if anyone saw him right now. He himself couldn't even believe what he was doing, but knew he had nowhere else he could go.

Draco's fingers attempted to ring the doorbell, but stopped midway. Was this what he really wanted to do? Did he really have to stoop this low? He thought for a moment and realized that the answer to both of these answers was yes; he had to do this. Grudges aside, he pressed the small, circular doorbell with his index finger. He glanced around one last time, placed his finger in the corner of his lip, and looked at in disgust: the bleeding still hadn't stopped. He scoffed and then quickly arranged his blonde hair so it at least covered the black eye he had earned himself hours ago. He waited for what seemed like ages before he heard a voice.

"Who is it?"

Draco sighed, afraid to say his name. He knew that if she heard him say his name, there was no chance in hell that she would have the heart, nor the courtesy, to let the Slytherin boy in. They had been adversaries for more than six years, and for a Mudblood, she showed no mercy for anyone except her fellow Gryffindors.

"It's Malfoy, Granger! Open up!"

Way to go, Draco. That'll get you inside for sure...you selfish bastard.

Draco shut his head up and then focused back on the door, or rather, the voice behind it.

"Draco Malfoy? But how...how did you get my address?"

The voice didn't sound spiteful or mean, simply curious. Draco started to relax a little and then scolded himself for being afraid in the first place.

"That's not important in the least. Now let me in!"

"What makes you think that after six years of calling me a Mudblood and putting Harry, Ron, and myself through hell that I would ever even dream to let you in?"

Draco Malfoy smirked, now hearing the malice in her voice. Yep, this was the nasty, bitter bitch that he knew and loved. Well, not exactly loved, but it was just an expression.

He now contemplated for a long while. What would he have to say in order to get inside? He needed medical attention and staying out here was not doing anything for him. He decided it was time to go to plan B: actually be nice.

"Come on, Granger, you're not one to turn down someone injured..."

The guilt trip; this had to work. If it didn't, then Draco knew that he was basically fucked.

"You know what, Draco? You're right; I wouldn't turn down someone that hurt. You're not hurt though; you just want inside so you can harass me," Hermione replied easily.

"How would you know if I'm hurt or not, Granger? You can't see through the goddamned door!"

There was a small pause. Then, to Draco's relief, the door opened but only a little.

He watched as Granger peaked her face out, eyeing him up and down. Not a moment too soon, Hermione Granger closed the door and then unlocked it, opening it again.

"Merlin's beard! What happened to you, Draco?"

Draco's smile appeared again, seeing her concerned expression. He never thought he'd see the day when a Mudblood cared for him. Then again, she might only be pretending so she could slam the door on him if he didn't give the correct answer.

"I can't tell you out here, Granger. Don't be so thick. Let me in and I'll talk," Draco answered, bargaining.

She stepped aside cautiously so he could walk inside. Draco painfully walked inside the house was amazed what the house looked like on the inside, completely different than the outside. He looked around, admiring the fine hardwood floor, the magenta curtains, the fireplace, the quaint kitchen that was adjoining the living room, everything. Everything about the house seemed warm and attractive. An uncomfortable feeling wiped over Draco as he thought how much better her house was compared to his own. At his parent's house, it seemed like a dungeon with gray tiles on the floor, each room as cold as the next. Even though Hermione Granger's house was a lot smaller, it was also a lot nicer to him.

"Oh my god..."

Draco quickly shook the comparisons away in his head as she focused in on his injuries. It was nothing major, a few bruises and scrapes on his face, but there were also bruises where she couldn't see, nor did he care for her to see.

"I know the bitterness between us, but...I wouldn't have come here if I had somewhere else I could have gone."

Draco Malfoy was surprised at how...gentle he sounded towards her. In all the years he had known her at Hogwarts, he had never been that nice towards her. He didn't scold himself this time though; he promised himself that he was purely doing this for her help.

He knew that she couldn't stop acting the way she did, adversary or not. It was just in her nature to be sympathetic towards others.

"Sit down in the kitchen, Draco. I'll be back down with medical supplies..."

With that, she jogged up the stairs and disappeared while Draco made himself as comfortable as he could on a kitchen chair. While he waited for her, he started to scrutinize that kitchen.

There were small, round apples and grapes that were hand painted all around on the eggshell white kitchen walls. The counters were made up of green and white tiles. A small dining table was visible against the wall of the room, conveniently near the telephone that was built into the wall. The floor tiles were also green and white. He also noticed the unwashed dishes that littered the silver sink, but Hermione was back with bandages, antibiotic, and white hospital tape. He straightened up and focused his attention on his temporary nurse.

"Are you going to tell me what happened or not?"

Draco sighed tiredly. He knew that he would have to tell her sooner or later, but he much preferred later. He didn't feel ready to tell her right now. It was too soon. Now that he was away from his parents' house, Draco knew that they would start looking around for him.

"Not yet."

Hermione started cleaning up his battle wounds, never saying another word during the process.