Disclaimer: DO NOT own The Harry Potter world. Just this story.

Don't want to reach for me do you

I mean nothing to you.

The levees are breaking.

"I don't even see why you're going off to study at some university! Do they teach you to kill? What are you going to learn… why waste your time?!"

The prince sat in an abandoned armchair in the back of the library taking her blows. The nearer graduation from Hogwarts came, the worse she became.

"Is it mandatory for deatheaters? To not only be killers but to be intelligent members of society—"

"Keep your voice down!" He demanded, silencing her.

Hermione stopped in her tracks in front of the chair. It was late, as usual, their opportune time for their meetings to be a complete secret. The library was one of their frequented spots as well as the dungeons, or the observatory tower. At first it had been once every couple of weeks, but as of late it had become a daily ritual. Neither could bear being apart. Tonight was different though: no stolen kisses or caresses, just Hermione finally coming to the understanding of what her… lover… was to become.

Unable to look at him anymore she turned her back towards him and crossed her arms over her chest, "Why fool everyone? That's what I want to know."

Draco was not equipped with the answers for her inquisition, but he certainly couldn't take it anymore. He stood from the chair and crossed to her, "Why are you so adamant about it? What do you care?"

Hearing his accusations she whipped to face him, "What do I care? I care about you!"

It still made Draco uncomfortable knowing how much she cared, it made it even worse that he felt the same. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, Draco shrugged, not really knowing what to say, "You are going to be an Auror…. I'm going on a different path… and that it is… You'll get married and have children and have the life you've always wanted…"

"And what about you?" She interrupted, "What about you? You're going to kill for a living, Malfoy? Like your father? Your friend's fathers. You are so much more brilliant than that! It kills me to see your mind wasted!"

"You don't think it takes more than a spell to kill someone?!" Her ignorance was irritating him, "My life is more than killing Hermione! We are a society! A way of life! We fight to keep that! Grow up, stop being a child!"

The blood boiled within her as she listened to his honest confessions. It was too much, all of this, all of him. Without warning she turned and stormed through the dark library shelves towards the door. Enraged, Draco followed, weaving in and out of shelves, not able to see her… but able to hear her heavy footsteps.

Not even realizing where she was, his cold hand gripped her wrist and pulled her towards him. The minimal light from the moon that crept through the windows illuminated his features slightly and it was the first time real fear was instilled inside her. He was frightening.

"You know nothing, Granger." He whispered, harshly, "You put yourself upon this pedestal of what is considered good…. And look where you are…"

He didn't let go of her wrist as he backed her into the shelf of books closest, "Your boyfriend is somewhere in this castle sleeping thinking you are doing the same, and yet you're here… with me… hypocritical, no?"

"Do not bring up, Harry," She hissed trying to twist her arm from his grip.

"Then don't pretend to know all about what I plan on doing after this," He said, releasing her and walking away towards the door.

Hermione stood there, mouth agape, wondering if she truly offended him. Before he could leave, she broke into a run through the twists and turns of the bookshelves, occasionally hearing a loose book drop from the shelf. Seeing his silver hair gleam in front of her pushed her to run even faster.

"Draco! Stop! Please!" When she finally caught up to his long strides she moved in front of him to block his path, "I am sorry, I am, but you have to understand where I am coming from."

"Where is that, Hermione?" He asked, genuinely interested.

"I want to know that there is a possibility…"

"For what?"

"For me and you."

He analyzed her words very carefully. No matter how he put it, no matter which situation, her plea was unreasonable and unattainable.

"You really think that you and I could achieve a genuine relationship?" He asked, almost mocking her, "What would dinner at my home be like Hermione? Soup and salad, maybe dessert, and then you and my father would discuss current events and baby names? Is that an accurate account of what you picture?"

She didn't respond.

"You and I are two different people from two separate worlds and that is how it must stay."

Hermione felt her stomach drop as truth intertwined in his words.

"Marry him. He loves you. He adores the ground you walk on. He needs you," Draco reached out to brush the tears that escaped her eyes, "This is nice for now, but you know it won't continue."

For having such a brilliant mind, it was hard to see past her heart, "What if you don't follow? What if you do something for you? What if you decide that being apart of that society is not for you? Draco, what if you decided to be with me? To have a family with me? To love me? Would that be so difficult… so wrong?"

He shook his head in disbelief, "Have you listened to anything I've said? Anything! They are my family, they are my world, that is what I love."

"I don't believe you."

"I don't expect you to," He retorted back.

Deep in his heart, somewhere buried deep he danced with this notion. The notion of loving her, and being her husband, working for the ministry rather than a Leader with murder on his mind. In such a short time Hermione Granger had altered his state of being. A man who once knew exactly what he wanted, exactly who he was, now questioned everything because of her.

There were times in class when he would see Harry look at her and he'd loose control, sometimes even having to leave class before he did anything drastic. But the sick part of him loved to watch as she lied right to his face. When she told him she couldn't make it to see him play quidditch, or cancel a date… when really she'd be with him later that night. He had taught her to lie, and she had taught him to tell the truth. They imposed their qualities on one another. Ying and yang.

"We have to stop this," Hearing her speak brought him out of his thoughts.

"Is that what you want?"

"No," She answered brutally honest, "But we are only hurting each other."

His lack of an answer let her know he felt the same.

Not giving him a chance to fight back Hermione placed her lips gently upon his. If she never kissed Draco again she would still be able to recall exactly how they felt. They were softer than anything she had ever felt. Perfect. Small. Beautiful. They tasted of salt and honey. It made her heart heavy when she did face the reality of never kissing those lips again.

He kissed her back. Their mouths had formed a rhythm over the past few months. A perfect rhythm that no other person could match. As their breathing heavied Draco cupped the small of her back bringing her body closer to his. The spines of the books dug into her back, but it was no match to the feelings that rushed through every vein in her body.

It had become painful to know that he would be leaving her permanently; it was the only reason she chose to keep pestering him about the future. Him becoming a death eater, and the fact that he willingly let her know without any filters, chilled her very core. The men in mask that tormented the entire wizarding world would soon be his new home. There was also one other thing, the solitary thing that shook her very foundation: He would no longer be anything to her. This would end. Her make-believe life that he created would be over. The thought of losing him, of never being able to talk to him, and see him, and not be afraid of who he was to become would be over.

It was the finality that killed.

Not realizing that her thoughts had mingled through her body, tears were now forming behind her closed lids. Without her even having to say a word, Draco gently pulled away and kissed the tears away from the corner of her eyes.

"I know." He whispered. "I

No one tried hiding what was happening. Everything seemed like a vortex around her, there were shouts from downstairs, crashes, yelling, screaming… the worst was that she could see why all of it was happening. They were coming. There were bodies surrounding the horizon. The lights from the ends of their wands illuminated the moonless night. Before she exited Draco's room she tied her hair back and put on the ring he had given her for Christmas the year before. The future was uncertain. There was no way of knowing how the night would end, but the pit in her stomach warned her that things were not what they seemed.

She exited the room and moved slowly towards the stairs where she could already see a mass of black and silver. They were preparing.

Downstairs the atmosphere was in a frenzy. Draco rushed in and out of the group making sure everyone was set and knew the battle plan. Hermione was nowhere near his mind until he saw heads start turning towards the stairs. And there she was, descending the stairs in a simple ensemble of a pair of black trousers and a cream colored sweater. Her eyes were empty and her face unreadable.

Blaise could not bear looking at her knowing what was coming.

"Where is he?" Her voice, barely a whisper, was a command.

Draco moved from the middle of the mass towards her. She watched as they spread to let him through until he stopped in front of her.

Draco Malfoy was a man now.
His silver hair had thinned.
His gray eyes not as sharp as they used to be.

Instead of a late night rendezvous in the library with the young prince who had been clad in head to toe sliver and green, he was now cloaked completely in black with a mask that hid the beautiful features underneath. A regular civilian would have been frightened to stand in his presence, but Hermione was no ordinary citizen. Bringing her hand up to the corner of the mask she lifted it over his head to reveal his face. There was no emotion, no remorse, and no fear.

The death eaters watched in silence at their last exchange.

Most of them had been praying for this moment to come, where finally Draco removed the thorn from their sides. But watching the sadness instilled in both of them was almost unbearable.

"You're going to fight?"


"And what about me…?"

He didn't need to ponder her question. It was best if she was left in the dark. Without words, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her small frame towards him. Their mouths met with haste and a fierce passion that was never quite matched before. Hermione dropped his mask, which crashed on the cold marble beneath them. Her fingers raced to touch every single part of him she could. There was no time to think or to breathe or to reason. Draco deepened the kiss, exploring the crevices of her mouth he had known for years. Her mouth was home, her lips the door, her body the world. As much as he knew this was for the best, there was no pretending that he wasn't breaking just like she was.

A sound escaped her throat as Draco gripped into her skin trying to hang onto her as long as he could.

Blaise had to interrupt, knowing that the alliance would be advancing soon.

"Grab her," he ordered.

Two masked men grabbed her arms to pull her away from Draco. Her screams echoed through the empty halls, but Draco's silence was louder.

"Draco! Please! P-Please don't do this….. Please!.... Draco, I won't hurt you anymore, I'll be good, I'll do anything!" It was uncomfortable to listen to. Hermione flailed her legs back and forth, trying to get away, but their force was too strong. As they drug her frail body through the masked followers, she looked at Draco through her watered eyes, continuing to scream until her throat burned. And he just watched. No pain. No move to stop them. It gave her fire.

Breaking free of their grasp, Hermione ran through until she reached him, and dropped to her knees.

"I can't live without you," She begged, grasping his hands. "Please, please do not do this."

And without warning Draco raised his hand to slap her with all his force. The room was silent hearing the sound of skin against skin. Hermione fell to the floor, clutching the side of her face. The only sounds were those of her hollow cries.

Drawing his wand from his cloak he pointed it at her, "Incarcerous!"

Black ropes escaped from his wand, wrapping tightly around her body, silencing her. The men around the room stood in awe, almost. The woman that had ruined Draco Malfoy was now on the ground, no longer an equal to them, but a mudblood. But for Blaise it was painful. This was completely out of the blue from Draco. He hadn't expected Hermione's departure to begin like this, nor did he expect the abuse Draco was inducing upon the woman he loved.

"I hope you are all ready," Draco ordered, "We're in for a long night."

The men drew upon their wands, all with the knowledge and ability to kill. They were all ready, but even happier to have their leader back.

Hermione watched from the floor, bound and silent. What she was watching was almost unfathomable. The man she loved was now the one she feared. There was no way of knowing what would happen now – where she would go.

Then Draco looked down at her, and the whole world stopped on its axis. A sick smile spread across his face as he squatted down and placed his hand over the spot that was still hot from his brutal force.

"You expected a more romantic goodbye?" He laughed mockingly, "My dear, you are once again the enemy."

She could hear muffled yells, occasional explosions and screams from the outside. The room began to clear as the Deatheathers fled the manor into the dark night to stand their ground and protect their empire.

This war had begun with her and was ending with her.


The manor possessed an eerie glow from the outside. Not many had seen it, let alone had been inside, but now it was flocked with ministry officials, aurors and general people who wanted to see the fall of an empire. The tree's swayed gently in the autumn breeze, crickets could be heard chirping for those willing to listen, the scent of gardenia moved with the wind giving the night a perfume. For such a beautiful place, it was hard to imagine the horrors that had happened within.

Blaise had decided to stay near the manor upon Draco's departure.

And when Draco did depart, his stomach twisted itself into knots.

Draped across his arms was an almost lifeless Hermione. Her unconscious body frail and bruised. He had put her in a costume, the wedding dress she had arrived years ago in, and her hair unkempt, her lips painted pale pink.

His doll. His tattered, worn doll. The doll he was through playing with.

"I thought it would be appropriate she left in what she came in," he said coldly through the mask that he put on again.

Blaise couldn't hold his tongue any longer, "You realize she's still Hermione? Because I think you've forgotten how much you love this woman, Malfoy. Have you gone mad!?"

Draco had broke into a walk towards the mass in the distance, and Blaise followed, continuing his accusations, "You're treating her as a hostage, as someone beneath you---"

"She is beneath me!" Draco snapped, turning to face Blaise, "Muggle blood runs through her, she's a mudblood! Not worthy of anything that I've ever given her. And now I am bestowing upon her the respect she deserves!"

"Respect she deserves?" Blaise asked, baffled, "Are you listening to yourself?"


Hope decays.

Author's Notes: I love reviews. I love your comments and concerns. I love this story. I will absolutely love finishing this story for y'all in the coming chapters. Thank you.