A/N-This story has come to a close. I apologize for the abrupt ending but as you already know, I suffered from tremendous writer's block. I did however, give you all that I could. I tried my best to tie up all the loose ends and I do hope I've done that. Maybe sometime soon, I will be able to continue it or write a sequel. But, my other stories that I've finished a long time ago will come first as many of my readers have been begging me to write sequels. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this story.
As Hermione headed out of the book shelf and into the corridor, she caught sight of Draco and Blaise chuckling up ahead. As the shelf swung closed, they turned back and smiled at her. Draco chuckled again and spoke casually. "Well? Are you coming?"
Hermione took a deep breath and walked towards them cautiously. Blaise nodded as she stopped in front of them. "You're right Malfoy, she is."
Draco raised his hands in the air animatedly. "Exactly! How many times do I have to say it?"
Hermione looked at them curiously. "I'm what exactly?"
Draco shrugged. "Hot."
Hermione coughed loudly. "What?"
Blaise laughed and gestured for them to walk. "And yet so innocent…….Merlin I love girls."
Hermione giggled nervously as Draco eyed her. "Do you mean to tell me that all this time, I've been curious to know what you two were talking about, and I find out that it's all just a bunch of rubbish?"
"Ha! Maybe rubbish for you Granger. But for us, it's what keeps a bloke going you know?" Draco said as he opened the oak doors and beckoned them out.
"No, I don't know. I just can't believe that you two are on your way to battle and all you can talk about is how I look. Aren't you the least bit nervous that your true intentions will be revealed? Don't you find it simply terrifying that you could be killed at any moment by either side? No one but Harry, Dumbledore, and I know that you are in fact good wizards! Why if Ronald found you in a dark alley, he wouldn't even hesitate for a moment to kill you! You're the sons of well know death eaters!" Hermione said with a raging tone.
Draco smiled proudly at her and then shifted his gaze on Blaise. "And that my friend, is why."
Blaise nodded. "I completely understand."
"WHAT?" Hermione said frustratingly as they walked past the gates.
Suddenly Draco pulled her to him and kissed her strongly with a loud moan. "You're worth it Granger." He chuckled as he released her. "Stupid Potter blood's got me all giddy! I hate that bloke for making me feel like saying nice things is actually a good idea. He's turned me into a complete idiot." Blaise nodded and laughed as Draco gave Hermione a once over. "See you around Granger." He said casually as he and Blaise placed their masks on their faces. The unwelcome familiarity of that sight sent chills up Hermione's spine. Draco waved at her timidly before they disapparated leaving her flustered and fearful.
She too disapparated to the muggle village that was under attack that night and once again, began saving anyone she could find. She had apparated a dozen muggles into St. Mungo's by four that morning. The village was now engulfed in smoke and appeared to be in complete ruins. Hermione walked along a road cluttered with smoking wood particles and shattered glass. The sky was an eerie grayish blue and she could hear the crackling of flames nearby. She was cold, wet, and exhausted.
Hermione noticed Harry and Ron walking towards her with serious expressions. Hermione smiled quickly and ran towards them. She jumped into Ron's arms and then flung herself at Harry. "I was so worried about you! Where's Ginny?"
Harry pulled away from Hermione slowly. He bore a look of concern. "Ginny's fine Hermione."
Hermione's smile widened. "Well then! Why do you two look so glum?"
Harry and Ron exchanged worried glances as Hermione swallowed hard. Suddenly her eyes filled with tears as she brought her hand to her mouth. "What is it? Oh God! Harry what is it? Say something!"
Harry looked behind him and hung his head. "This is going to be very difficult Hermione."
Hermione pushed him to the side and cried out as she saw a death eater lying on the ground. His mask was slightly askew revealing his blonde hair. "NO!" Hermione cried as she tried to run towards him but Harry caught her.
"I'm sorry Hermione! I'm so sorry!" Harry yelled as he struggled to calm her down.
"Let go of me Harry! Let go!"
"Harry, let her go." Ron said gloomily as he ran his hands through his hair sullenly.
Hermione slapped Harry across the face and pushed him into Ron. "What did you do to him? You two were just waiting for your chance to kill him weren't you? It didn't matter that he had switched sides? You still wanted to kill him!"
Harry gaped at Hermione in disbelief. "We didn't kill him! One of the other death eaters did it!"
Hermione sobbed into her hands as she trembled uncontrollably. Ron wrapped his arms around her gently. "He's telling the truth Hermione. Harry had just told me about what's really been going on when Lucius Malfoy found us. He called for more death eaters and before we knew it, we were surrounded. All of the sudden, Malfoy and Zabini came out of nowhere and then there were curses coming from every direction. I lost track of who was hexing who to be honest. They were mostly speaking parseltongue. But, there were more people on our side wearing masks…At least it seemed like it. Most of them started disapparating after a while….I think they may have been losing. And then it happened, he was surrounded by the remaining death eaters and one of them killed him. I think it was Lucius. His hand was shaking like a leaf when he raised his wand."
Harry scoffed. "Yeah, yours would too if you were about to kill your own son."
Hermione dropped to the ground and screamed. Ron kneeled beside her and whispered as he placed his hand on her shoulder. "He knew the risks Hermione. He knew this could happen."
Hermione pushed Ron's hand away and stood. "Please, just go. Leave me alone." She ran towards Draco and kneeled down slowly as the tears flowed down her cheeks. "I'm sorry Draco. I'm so sorry. There are so many things I should have told you." Hermione touched his hair timidly and sniffled. "I…." She suddenly cringed as she took a close look at his hair line. She quickly ripped off the masks revealing Lucius Malfoy's dead face staring up at her. Hermione squealed in happiness and laughed loudly. Her eyes were streaming with tears of joy and pure confusion. After a few moments of bewildered laughter, she wiped her eyes and stood. She dropped the mask next to Lucius's body and sighed. "This is going to be difficult."
She sat there next to Draco's Father's dead body thinking intently. "It's got to be done." Hermione carefully destroyed the body and any evidence it was ever there. She disapparated to outside Hogwarts gates and ran to her common room. She poked her head into Draco's dark room and sighed at its emptiness. She went to her own room and took a shower hoping that Draco would return soon. When he didn't return by breakfast that morning, she decided to go to the Great Hall and look for him. She noticed Blaise limping towards his table and ran to him. "Blaise!"
"Shh!" Blaise whispered stiffly. "In the Entrance Hall, now."
Hermione quickly walked to the Entrance Hall as Blaise limped behind her. He led her to an alcove and whispered. "What is it Granger?"
Hermione's lip quivered. "Where is he Blaise? Is he alright?"
Blaise sighed and leaned against the wall. "How would you be if you had just killed your own father?"
Hermione whimpered as she clasped her hand over her mouth. "So he did kill him…Oh Blaise! He must be completely devastated!"
"Shh! Yes Granger, he killed him. He's beyond devastated."
"Well if it helps the situation, I got rid of the body before anyone saw it was actually his Father. I figured it would be better for everyone to think Draco had been killed by him and that it was Lucius that fled instead." Hermione said and began breathing heavily in nervousness.
Blaise smiled. "You really do think of everything Granger…Don't you?"
Hermione shrugged casually. "I just wanted to help him. He's always been there for me."
Blaise perked up in curiosity. "Really? When?"
"Ehhh. Never mind. Could you just tell him for me Blaise? Could you tell him that he doesn't have to worry about the death eaters coming after him?"
Blaise shook his head remorsefully. "I can't Granger. I haven't got a clue where he is. I tried to talk to him afterwards but he wouldn't utter a word other than he's leaving. All I know is that he's gone."
"He's GONE?" Hermione screamed. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S GONE?"
"Shh! Merlin you're a loud one! Look, he said he was leaving and that was that. It wasn't exactly the best moment to question him." Blaise said sadly. "I know you're going to miss him Granger but you've got to let it go. He barely allows people to be around him when life is normal. Imagine how friendly he is right now."
Hermione shook her head. "I can't believe he's gone….I can't."
"Then don't believe it Granger." Blaise shrugged and walked away.
Hermione stepped out of the alcove an utter mess. Ron was standing right outside it with a concerned expression and embraced her tightly. "I'm sorry Hermione! I know how hard this must be for you."
Hermione wiped her eyes as her shoulders trembled. "You don't seem to understand."
"Of course I do! Well not how this all came about, but I understand how terrible this all is for you." Ron said nervously.
Hermione took a deep breath and whispered. "He's not dead…He killed Lucius."
Ron leaned back onto the wall in disbelief. "I can't….I can't believe it…He killed his own father?" He suddenly scoffed and shook his head. "I always knew he wasn't right in the head. But to kill your own father. That's just mental."
"Oh shut up Ronald! Now listen! No one knows about this but Blaise and the two of us. As far as everyone's concerned………Draco is dead." Hermione's lip trembled.
"I'm sorry Mione. Of course I'll keep this quiet. Do you mind coming to check on Harry with me?" Ron said as he placed his arm around her.
"Why? What's wrong with him?" Hermione said quickly.
Ron shrugged. "He hasn't been right since yesterday really. He's really pale and depressed. He keeps punching the wall and throwing things around the room. I even had to stop him from hexing a bunch of first years that walked by in the corridor earlier. If you ask me, I think he's a bit put out that Voldemort slipped away again."
Hermione gasped. "Ron, don't you see? Malfoy's feelings are affecting Harry! He probably feels like he killed someone close to him as well. Quick, let's go."
Ron followed Hermione to the Gryffindor Common room and yelled at the unbelievable sight. "Harry! Let him go!" Harry had Dean Thomas pinned up against the wall with his hand clasped tightly around his throat. Ron charged at him and tried to pull Harry off as Hermione shouted as well. "I said let him go!" Dean was gasping for air and his eyes began to flutter closed. "You're going to kill him!" Ron wrapped his forearm around Harry's neck and jerked him backwards with a grunt.
"Get off me you git!…GET OFF!" Harry yelled.
"Harry stop it!" Hermione begged as Ron and Harry were now wrestling on the floor and punching each other.
Ginny stepped into the common room immediately noticing Dean rubbing his neck and breathing shallowly. She then looked over at her brother and Harry and shouted. "Harry Potter! Cut it out this instant!"
Harry suddenly stopped swinging and looked up at Ginny. "What about your brother? He was taking swings at me too!"
"Shut up! I don't want to hear another word! Now get your stupid ass up and come with me or so help me I'll-"
"Alright, alright! I'll go! Your sister hits harder than you anyway." Harry shoved Ron away and followed Ginny out of the common room in a huff. Several third year girls began fussing over Dean which caused him to suddenly breathe more regularly. Ron sat on the floor with a blank expression and began fumbling with his shoe laces.
Hermione walked to him and pressed their foreheads together as she whispered. "Ron, please don't be angry with him. He's not himself right now. He's being affected by-"
"Yeah I know Hermione! By Malfoy! Well you know what? I don't give a crap what's going on in that head of his! He's a git and I'm not speaking to him until he gets over this. He can't just choke people whenever he feels like it!"
"I know, I know. If only I knew where Malfoy was then I could try and help him get over this." Hermione sat next to Ron and rested her chin on her hands.
"Well if you ask me, I happen to think he's out there spending all his Father's money. You should look for him in the most expensive store in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. Or maybe he sits on top of his pile of gold when he needs to think…..That would definitely be my favorite spot if I had all that money" Ron said as he shifted back and forth.
His favorite spot? A place he goes to think! His favorite spot! Hermione flung her arms around Ron's neck and kissed him. "You're a genius Ronald!"
Ron's cheeks turned crimson. "I am?"
"Yes! I know where to find him! Tell everyone my grandmother's sick or something. I'm going after him." Hermione said as she darted for the portrait.
Ron stood quickly. "You can't go by yourself!"
"Yes I can. I'll be careful, I promise. Now just do me a favor and look after Harry."
Ron scoffed. "You mean look out for him."
"Thanks Ron." Hermione left the common room and darted down the corridor. She noticed Harry and Ginny up ahead and chuckled as they snuck into an alcove kissing and laughing. Hermione sighed happily as she headed for the gates.
She apparated outside Malfoy Manor and shuttered at the sight of the mansion. He's dead…There's nothing to be afraid of. He's dead. She approached the door and knocked softly. She heard nothing but eerie silence. She placed her ear upon the door and again, heard nothing. Hermione sighed and walked onto the grounds towards the boulders Draco had taken her to those few days she was held captive in his home. She walked for about and hour and her stomach was burning in anticipation as she got closer.
While she started to climb the rocks her heart began to pound and a large lump formed in her throat. Now he'll know. He'll know that I remember. She took a deep breath as she reached the top. She found him sitting on a small rock with his head in his hands. The soft breeze caused his hair to sway gently over his forehead. Her heart jumped as she suddenly heard muffled sniffling. He was crying softly into his hands. She quietly crept closely to him and kneeled down. She bit her lip nervously and whispered. "Draco?"
He jerked back and drew his wand upon her as he stood. His face was full of confusion and rage. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? HOW DID YOU FIND ME?"
Hermione shook her head and ignored his questions as she also stood and moved closer to him. "Are you alright?"
"What? Am I-How did you find me here Granger?" Draco said as he returned his wand to his pocket but did not soften his composure.
Hermione took a deep breath as her insides burned in fear of his reaction. "This…This is your favorite spot. This is where you come to think."
Draco's mouth moved but no sound came out. The look of utter shock and disbelief caused Hermione to grasp hold of her chest in fear her heart would pop out. He suddenly swallowed hard and stammered. "Wh-what are you…What are you saying Granger?"
Hermione's breath hitched inside her throat as she moved closer and slowly scooped her hand into his. He didn't pull away nor did he grasp a hold of it. He looked at her with a hint of fear but more hopeful doubt. Hermione stared into his eyes with a small smile and whispered up to him. "I remember Draco. I remember everything."
Draco whispered back slowly. "How can…You can't…How did you…It's not possible." He suddenly cleared his throat and shook his head arrogantly. "Remember what?"
Hermione shrugged. "I didn't think repelling an obliviation charm was possible either. But it is. I did it."
Draco shook his head again but with less confidence and closed his eyes. "You can't repel an obliviation charm."
"You can Draco."
"It's not possible!" He shouted and moved out of her reach turning his back on her.
Hermione raised her voice in desperation. "You're wrong! It is possible! And I did it! And you know what else you're wrong about Draco? Purebloods can love mudbloods!"
Draco whipped around with a daring expression. "No, they can't!"
Hermione walked to him and grabbed his arms. "Yes they can! You love me Draco! Say it!"
"No!" Draco pulled his arms away and walked her back against the rock. He whispered evilly with anger. "Potter's right. You're brain has been zapped loose. Whatever you think you remember Granger, it didn't actually happen."
Hermione laughed as he walked away. "Oh really? Then how did I find you? What, I just happened to get this particular memory right?"
"Y-yes." He said as looked out onto the grounds.
"And the others? The others are just a figment of, thanks to you, my screwed up imagination?"
Draco nodded and spoke more calmly as he turned to look straight at her. "Yes. Whatever memories you think you've remembered, are nothing but a load of rubbish that you should just forget."
Hermione nodded in agreement as she headed for the edge of the rock. "Then I made a huge mistake coming here. I thought I could finally tell you."
"Tell me what?"
"You can trust I will not let anyone know where you are."
"Tell me what Granger?" Draco said in frustration.
Hermione turned back and looked at him genuinely just before she began to descend. "As you have said many times, I make it impossible for you to hate me….Well, you have made it impossible for me to do anything other than fall completely in love with you …I love you more than anything in this world Draco…But you're right, it's all a load of rubbish that I should just forget. Purebloods can't love mudbloods."
Hermione quickly climbed down as Draco clumsily sat back on the rock with a gaping mouth. After a few moments of scoffing in disbelief, he shook himself back to reality and yelled. "HERMIONE!"
He took off down the rock after her and yelled her name continuously. He caught up with her and wrestled her to the ground. "Get off me!" Hermione yelled as Draco smirked on top of her. He pinned her arms to the ground with his hands.
"No…Not until you listen to what I have to say now." He said sternly as he chuckled. Hermione's heart was broken and her eyes were streaming tears. Draco smiled widely at her and sighed. "I love you Hermione. And I'll never stop."
Hermione shook her head and cried. "You can't keep doing this to me Draco. You just can't."
"I'm sorry…I'm so sorry for everything I've ever done to you. I'm sorry for everything I tried to take away from you. I'm sorry for not helping you escape. I'm sorry I made you go through it all. I'm sorry I was a coward up there. I didn't know you loved me. You loving me is something that never occurred to me as possible."
"Anything's possible Draco. Even us."
He chuckled and stroked her cheek. "I guess so."
Hermione laughed through her tears and looked at him curiously as minutes past by. She replayed his recent words inside her head. "Draco, you said that you're sorry for not helping me escape." He nodded with a remorseful expression. "But you did help me Draco. The entire time! You kept me out of harms way. You protected me from your Father. You must know that Draco!" Draco simply shrugged. Hermione studied him and then grinned nervously. "Now what do we do?"
Draco shook his head in shock. "I can't believe you know. How long have you known?"
"For a while now. I just didn't want to say anything…I didn't really know which side you were on. You're not the easiest person to read you know."
Draco whispered menacingly. "Ha! Hermione Granger wasn't able to read something? Hell has truly frozen over!"
Hermione chuckled as she looked into his eyes. "You can't go more than five minutes without insulting me can you?"
Draco whispered again. "You can't go more than one without spewing your opinions on people, so let's call it even then?"
Hermione gasped but then smiled. "Do you realize….That if I hadn't been able to repel the obliv-" Draco hushed her words.
He sighed heavily and ran his fingers through his hair. "Let's not talk about it anymore. Please? You know more about the real me than anyone in this world. You've seen me at my weakest, most pathetic moments in my life. I'd rather not analyze the 'what if's' of my frailty."
Hermione shook her head and brought his face to hers. "Being able to show an enemy…Me, mercy is not weakness. Being able to love someone forbidden, me is not a sign of frailty. And trying everything in your power to protect someone from something you brought up to believe in is not pathetic. All that you've done for me Draco…All that you've done for our world is nothing but pure heroism. And I'm thankful for that, and for you. I love you Draco." Hermione pulled his lips to hers and kissed him passionately.
After a moment, Draco pulled away and stood. He assisted her up but wouldn't hold her. "What is it Draco?"
Draco sighed without looking at her. "I have to go. I can't stay here. It isn't safe."
Hermione flung her arms around him. "No you can't leave me Draco! You won't!" Draco held her uncomfortably but didn't speak. Hermione sniffled as she clung on to him tighter. "Everyone thinks it was you that died."
"What?" Draco said loudly.
She sniffed and wiped her eyes as she looked up at him. "I got rid of-well, there's no evidence of who was really killed. Everyone thought he killed you and fled. Voldemort thinks your dead and that you're Father just ran off. They won't be after you Draco." Hermione said trying not to sound cheerful about it.
Draco scoffed. "I always wondered what it must feel like to have a clever little muggle like you in my corner…Now I know."
Hermione sniffed again but then revealed an enormous smile. "I'm coming with you."
Draco laughed loudly. "What? No your not! You don't even know where I'm going!"
Hermione yelled with a smile. "Neither do you! Am I right Draco? You haven't a clue of where you're off to! You have no plan! Just a pocketbook filled with galleons! Okay, this is what we're going to do-"
"Don't think for a minute that I'm considering this Granger!"
"Ah, so I'm Granger now am I? Fine! You listen up and you listen up good Malfoy! You have done your share of protecting me and now it's my turn to protect you!" Hermione paused as she expected a defiant response but none came. She lowered her voice slightly but raised herself to her full height confidently. "We are going to leave now. We'll be fine with the clothes on our back as I'm sure you have more money than God himself."
Draco laughed but then nodded in agreement. Hermione pursed her lips together. "We'll apparate to America and-"
"America? It's crawling with mud-Ahem….Go on." Draco said restraining his protest.
Hermione gave an evil glare and continued. "We'll find a safe place to hide out and owl our fam-…I'll owl my family that I'm alright. We'll stay there as long as we need. As long as the war lasts. Until they stop looking for you."
Draco shrugged and grasped her hand. "You know, for being the smartest witch of our age, that is the worst, most horribly thought out plan I've ever heard of. And because of that, I think it just might work. But don't you dare think for a moment that I'll interact with those muggle-types….At least at first."
Hermione scoffed. "You do realize that America is crawling with Wizards don't you?"
Draco waved it off. "Yes, but they're Americans! I mean that's just as bad as…You know what? You're right!" Draco finished quickly and grabbed Hermione closer.
"Draco? What is it? Oh!" Hermione ducked down quickly as Draco just had. They saw death eaters approaching the manor.
Draco looked at Hermione with a serious expression. "It's now or never Granger."
Hermione shook her head and whispered as she grasped his hand tightly. "No…It's forever." Draco smiled as they silently counted down….A moment later they apparated and their journey and new life together on the run began.