A/N: This one's a bit shorter. But as I've said, it's important cause now you know what exactly Hermione was thinking. Because she overthinks everrrrything. :) Read, enjoy and review. This is now complete. My first two-shot :) Aha.
Disclaimer: Don't own nothing. It all belongs to J.K Rowling, and she did an amazing job.
His Second Chance
Chapter Two: Hermione
"Harry, really, I'll be fine. It's just for the weekend. Besides, Voldemort doesn't even know I'll be there." I said, hugging my best friend tightly. I knew he was worried about me. He always worried whenever Ron or I were out of his sight. He couldn't bear to lose us, just like he's lost everyone else important to him.
"I know Hermione. Never leave your wand, always be on guard, spell your house with safety charms and-"
"Harry. Honestly, I'm not ten." I mumbled, smiling. He shook his head, a small smile showing on his face.
"Right. Well, just be careful," He said and ran a hand through his hair. "I have a bad feeling about this. You shouldn't be going at all."
"I have to see them. It's been so long. Don't worry, I'll owl you every night and I'll be back on Sunday, safe and sound." I promised him confidently. I wasn't worried. The Death Eaters had no idea that I'd be away from the Weasleys and Headquarters tonight. They'd never find me. I'd be fine.
"Take care, Hermione," Harry said and Ron repeated it, hugging me as well. I nodded and then floo'd away. Apparating was unsafe now, for Voldemort could trace our magic and find out exactly where we were. We'd managed to get our fireplaces safe from being monitored by the ministry and thus Voldemort.
As I stepped out of the fireplace at my parents' house, coughing a bit from the soot, I was immediately engulfed in a hug by my mother. I grinned, my eyes watering already, and squeezed her tighter.
"Oh Hermione, we've missed you so dreadfully much," Mom sobbed. I pulled away and was embraced by my dad next.
"Welcome home, Princess," He murmured into my ear. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the feeling of being home.
"Thanks dad. I've missed you both loads too." I replied, pulling out of my dad's arms to look at them both. Dad's hair was slightly graying and looked to be thinning, but his brown eyes and bright smile were the same as always. Mom's hazel eyes were still glazed over with tears, but she smiled happily at me. Her hair, so like mine, was pulled away from her face in a neat bun.
"What's for dinner?" I teased coming further into my childhood home that I had spent so little time in recently. Everything was the same, neat and organized just the way mom and dad loved it.
"Potatoes, veggies and homemade cake for dessert," Mom replied, wrapping her arm around my shoulder. Dad picked up my small overnight bag and carried it upstairs to my old room.
"Excellent, I'm starving and your cakes are delicious." I said grinning. "I've really missed you, mum."
Her eyes watered again and she swallowed hard. "I'm so glad you're home, darling."
Dinner was delicious and I spent it answering all of mum and dad's questions. I hadn't told them much about the war, to protect them and all. But after being away from them for nearly two years, they had loads of questions.
"How's Harry? And Ronald?" Mum asked curiously.
"They're fine. Harry's stressed out with this whole Voldemort thing, but he's coping. Ron's... Ron. He's still complaining about the lack of food from being on the run and all." I replied smiling slightly at the mention of my best friends.
"That's a funny boy, that Ron." Dad said, grinning. I nodded.
"Definitely," I agreed.
Finally, I'd finished helping to clean the kitchen and I could finally go to bed. I kissed my parents' good night and changed into my pajamas.
I snuggled into my comfy childhood bed, and fell asleep nearly right away. I suppose I was tired. It had been a long two years, and I'd missed my home and parents so much.
Harry and Ron were no where to be found. I ran through the rather empty house, searching all of the rooms. I'd never been here before so I had no idea where I was.
In one of the rooms, I'd seen Bellatrix Lestrange but I quickly hurried on before she could spot me.
I began to give up hope of finding my two best friends, when I heard a very familiar cry of pain. Harry. Oh God no.
I raced through the house following his screams. I finally found him on the last level of this unknown house. He was crumpled on the floor, twisting in pain. A cloaked figure stood above him, long fingers holding an elegant wand. I knew who it was immediately.
"Harry!" I screamed. "No! No, leave him alone! Please!" I didn't care that I was yelling at the darkest wizard alive. I didn't care if he killed me. That was my best friend he was torturing and I had to do something.
The cloaked figure raised his head and looked at me with his scarlet cruel eyes. He released the spell on Harry, and the boy lay panting heavily. I ran over to him, falling to my knees beside him. I stroked his hair, running my fingers through it, aware of the tears falling down my face.
"Her…mione… get out… of… here," He gasped out and I let out a sob.
"Ahh, mudblood. You're the one who's helped Potter get so far. Without yours and the blood traitor Weasley's help, Potter wouldn't have gotten nearly this far. You'll pay," Voldemort hissed.
"Leave her a…lone…" Harry cried out, wincing. I shook my head, to try to tell him to stop talking.
"Potter, do not try to plead with me. It did not work on your redheaded friend and it surely won't work now. All it does is lower your dignity." Voldemort snapped and I gasped. Ron? Oh God.
Harry opened his mouth to say something else –
I woke abruptly and sleepily pointed my wand at a dark figure above me. I tried to adjust to the darkness, so that I could see who was in my room. My wand flew out of my hands and I knew then that this wasn't a friend. My heart started racing. I hadn't bothered to ward the house.
I sat up slowly, running my hand through my hair nervously. It was then that I recognized the platinum blonde hair. "Malfoy?"
His trademark smirk appeared, making my heart skip a beat. "Good morning, Granger,"
What was he doing here?" "W-what are you doing here?" I said aloud. Draco Malfoy, known Death Eater and hater of muggleborns was standing in my room with his wand pointed at – Oh. Duh, Hermione. I felt my eyes widen. "Oh God," I gasped, standing up.
He bit his lip, drawing my eyes to his mouth. "I'm supposed to kill you," He drawled as he twirled his wand casually. I swallowed hard. "The Dark Lord wants Potter destroyed and he thinks you're in the way. He thinks Potter will be nothing without you."
I stared at him, unwilling to look away from his silver eyes. They were so emotionless. Didn't he care about anything, at all? Didn't he care that he was a murderer? And was about to kill someone he went to school with? Of course not, I berated myself. He hates me.
"You grew your hair out," I said calmly. His eyes widened a bit, before his face returned to neutral and he nodded. "Harry would still be able to win without me." I added firmly. "My death won't stop him."
"The Dark Lord doesn't seem to think so, and frankly, that's all that matters. And, he's right. Potter's going to be broken without you." He said dully, shrugging. I shook my head stubbornly.
"Harry's a great wizard. Nothing will stop him from winning this." I said surely.
He rolled his eyes, clearly annoyed. "That's why you're in this situation Granger. Why couldn't you just stay away from Potter? Then I wouldn't have to kill you!"
I frowned at his choice of words, but murmured, "I'd still be in this situation. If not because I'm friends with Harry, then because of who I am. Muggleborn," I couldn't believe this was happening. How'd they know I was here? No one besides everyone at Headquarters knew, and that was just the Order of the Phoenix. Did that mean we had a traitor amongst us? I inwardly shook my head. That was for another time, if I got out of this at least.
He sighed, a scowl adorning his pale features. "Whatever," He muttered and raised his wand.
I stared at his face for a few moments, remembering the times he'd hurt me during school with his painful words. I remembered that terrible night when he had nearly murdered our Headmaster. After all this time, I still don't blame him. Voldemort had placed a lot on his young shoulders. He couldn't be at fault for the decisions he'd made. He'd only been sixteen. Anyone in his position would have done the same.
I realized he'd been pointing his wand at me for a while, but he still hadn't cursed me. I frowned again. His hand was shaking slightly. It was barely noticeable, but I'd always noticed small things like that about him. "Are you going to kill me, Malfoy?" I breathed out.
"I'm supposed to," He said again, swallowing.
A sudden thought occurred to me, and I was slightly ashamed to admit that it hadn't hit me immediately. "W-what about my parents?" My voice shook and I clenched my fists to regain my composure.
He took a deep breath, his eyes closing momentarily. "I'm supposed to kill them too," He said quietly. I breathed a sigh of relief. They were still alive.
"So you haven't killed them already," I whispered to myself. I wouldn't be able to bear it if he had of killed them. I would have let him kill me willingly if he had of. Oh God, but he was still going to kill them. I couldn't let him. I had to try to stop him. It killed me to have to plead with him, but if he had a heart at all then maybe he'd listen.
"Please don't. They don't know anything of our world. They're harmless. They've done nothing but support me all these years. They really don't deserve to die! It'll be all my fault!" I choked over my words. If he killed them… it would be because I'd chosen to come here. I put them in danger. I was reckless and didn't place barriers over the house, not that it would have stopped Malfoy but it could have.
"I have to, Granger," He said firmly. I felt my eyes watering as I bit my lip, running my teeth over it painfully. He couldn't kill them. They didn't deserve to die. They're good people.
"Please, just leave them out of it Malfoy. Just – just kill me, and let them live. Voldemort wants me dead. He won't care if they survive." I whispered.
"Don't say his name!" He gritted out angrily and I couldn't help but roll my eyes. He was afraid of his own Lord. Honestly, how sad was that? "I can't leave them, Granger. He'll know, and he will care. He'll say I've failed."
"So? Clearly he won't kill you. He didn't with Dumbledore's death." I said, regretting the words when he winced.
"Only because he enjoys tormenting me," He said. "He'll kill my family," He added quietly, closing his silver orbs for a moment.
"And they're my family, Malfoy. Please," I cried, aware that I had just said please to my enemy back in school. Right now, it didn't seem to matter to me.
"Setting everything else aside for a moment, can I ask you something?" He asked suddenly.
"I guess so," I frowned and then added, "You're the one with the wand,"
He nodded, but from the thoughtful look on his face, I doubt he had heard me. "Do you remember that day back in sixth year? When you saw me out by the lake…" I nodded. "Did you mean what you said, about wanting me to have a second chance?"
I paused, running my tongue over my teeth in thought. I had had another argument with Harry that day, over his stupid Potions book. I was upset when I had gone out and seen Malfoy crying. Enemy or not, my heart went out to him, especially when he became angry that he was crying and that I'd seen him.
I smiled slightly as I remembered the shocked look on his face when I kissed his cheek. I think I'd gone mad at that moment. I was nearly as shocked as he was, especially when he didn't hex me for doing it. "Yes I meant every word I said that day," I finally whispered.
It was the truth. He deserved a second chance. Despite the fact that he had let Death Eaters into the school, the fact still remained that he didn't kill Dumbledore. Snape did. Harry said Draco had lowered his wand at the last possible moment, just when Snape burst through the doors.
"So, if I were to ask for that second chance now, you would grant me it?" Draco asked slowly.
I gasped quietly in surprise. "As long as you don't kill my parents, then yes." I said firmly. "Everyone deserves a second chance. I understand that you must have been going through hell in sixth year. You were so young, and Voldemort was a prick to lay all of that on you. He couldn't possibly have expected you to succeed."
We had figured out that Voldemort had most definitely laid that task on Draco, in punishment for Lucius' failure at the ministry the year before. The cruel jerk had never expected Draco to succeed and was preparing for the failure as more punishment to Draco's family.
I frowned when I saw the small smile on his face. He seemed to be trying to hide it, but was unsuccessful. "You're unbelievable," He murmured in disbelief.
My frown deepened, "I'm sorry?" I questioned and then felt my eyes widen when he actually lowered his wand! What was he doing? Was he mad? Was he going to ask for my help? Was he tricking me?
"I can't do it, Granger. I knew I wouldn't be able to. I can't bloody kill you. Especially not you." He tossed my wand back as he spoke and I caught it, feeling extremely confused.
"Why not?" I mumbled, staring at him. He smirked slightly and stepped towards me. My fear must have shown on my face, for he let his wand drop to the floor, its clatter echoing in the small room. Okay, this was weird.
"Because you're Hermione Granger. You're brilliant, amazing, kind, forgiving, and selfless. You're everything I wish I could be. And I want your help." He stopped in front of me, so close I could smell his cologne. I had to lift my head, to look at him, for he was slightly taller than me. I was trying to take in his words. "I'm making that right decision you kept talking about Granger. I'm a little late, but better late than never."
I felt a smile creep onto my face. "So what are you asking? Do you want me to get you protection with the Order? Because I can. They'll take you in Draco," I was surprised at how easily his first name slid out of my mouth, but my smile grew when he shivered slightly and then he grinned.
"Can my mother come too? I need to protect her, Granger."
I nodded slightly. I couldn't believe this. "You're not lying to me or anything are you? Because I swear, if you are…" I threatened and he smiled, shaking his head.
"I swear on my mother's life, Granger, I'm telling the truth." He said sincerely and I believed him.
I smiled again, and nodded. I bit my tongue and timidly raised my hand to lay it over his pale cheek. I was surprised at how soft his skin felt under my hand. I half expected him to grimace and pull away but he didn't. He closed his eyes, and leaned against my hand! "I told you that you were a good wizard Draco. I knew you would make the right choice. I'm so glad you did." I whispered.
"You played a big part in that… Hermione," He murmured his eyes still closed.
"Are you willing to give the Order information?" I asked quietly, watching as his silver eyes popped back open to pierce through me.
"I'm not sure if I have much to help, but I'll tell them everything I know about him and his plans." He said determinedly and I felt my heart jump happily.
"Good and any information will help Draco. Do you know anything about Horcruxes?" I asked hesitantly, unsure if he would know or if I should be telling him yet. But he shook his head.
"I'll explain that after then. For now, let's get you to Headquarters. Ooh, Harry and Ron will not be happy about this." I muttered, resisting a sigh. I pulled my hand away from his face reluctantly and then walked over to my dresser. "I'm going to take a shower, get dressed and then we'll floo. Okay?"
He nodded and I turned to leave the room, but was stopped by his hand on my wrist. "I never thanked you for that day, Hermione. But thank you, for then, and for now. You have no idea how much your words have changed my life."
Draco probably had no idea how much he just raised himself up on my list by his simple words. I smiled and breathed in sharply as he pulled me closer and kissed my cheek gently. My heart began racing in an unnatural and probably unhealthy manner, as I felt myself redden.
I launched myself at him as he was pulling away, wrapping my arms around his neck tightly. I forgot that this wasn't Harry or Ron I was hugging, for he stiffened for a moment. I was about to step back and apologize like crazy, but his arms came around my waist and I felt his face against my neck.
No, this wasn't a hug from Harry or Ron. This was a hug from Draco, and it felt so nice that I didn't want to ever pull away from him, and the safety of his arms. "No Draco, thank you for sparing my life." I whispered squeezing my eyes shut as they watered. "Thank you for making the right decision and not killing my parents. Thank you for being the good person I knew you were."
His arms tightened and he shook against me as he chuckled, making me shiver. "You're welcome, Hermione Granger." He whispered back.
A/N: Revieeew. :)