I'm really starting to get into Dramione. I find it pretty odd, seeing as I'm a firm supporter of Ron and Hermione, but something about this angsty ship just brings me in. Anyway, this is set in The Half Blood Prince. Draco has a lot of pressure on him to complete the task that Voldemort has set out for him. Here's the kicker. He doesn't want to have anything to do with this, as he's finally beginning to see that maybe the Dark Side really isn't that great after all. He wants to get out of it, but seeing as he and his family would be in grave danger, he can't do anything about it. And in the midst of all this drama, he's fallen for Hermione! Gee, what a shocker right? He's liked her for about a year and a half now. Hermione can kind of see that something's off about him, but seeing as they're not exactly the greatest of friends, she doesn't mention it to anyone.

Oh, and this is to the song "I Saw" by Matt Nathanson. I already made a fanvideo to this song because I just love it so much and I think it fits in wonderful with this storyline.

I don't own Harry Potter, but I do own a nice Slytherin shirt. (:

Summary: His fingers tapped nervously away at the old wood of the classroom desk. He kept his head down, letting his hair fall in his eyes. He just wanted to get through the class and back into the Room of Requirement. He just wanted this to be over. He could almost feel Snape's prying mind try to break through his defense, but his aunt had taught him well. Snape couldn't get into his head. At least not into the thoughts that mattered the most. Oh, not the thoughts about the vanishing cabinets. No, no. Those weren't the thoughts he was hiding.

He didn't even know what they were learning about today until a voice broke through his thoughts and brought him back to reality.

"Fiendfyre is cursed fire. It can crumble objects to ashes at a mere touch. If its left burning long enough, it will take the shape of fiery beasts and pursue any human target."

Her voice was just a little bit higher than usual, the usual tone she took on when she felt proud of herself.

Now that he was closely paying attention, he noted the silence that followed her answer and knew that Snape was trying to figure out anyway to insult her.

"Very well, Mrs. Granger," Snape said and continued on with his lesson.

He couldn't resist. He knew that at this very moment she was smiling, and he had to see it. Slowly, he raised his head to see her triumphant smirk. His mouth twitched, but he resisted the smile, bringing his eyes up just a little farther to meet hers. She stared right back, and Draco was amazed at how her smile didn't falter in the slightest as she looked at him. He expected it to contour into an expression of hatred and disgust, giving him all the more reason to fight against his thoughts. It was no more than three seconds that they had locked eyes before she turned away, and he put his head back down. Yet, he couldn't seem to get those three seconds of his mind for the rest of the day.

*And it's amazing, with the look in your eyes*

*Like you could save me, but you won't even try*

He had had it. His plan was crashing and burning and if he didn't get himself together soon, he would be dead. This was the Room of Requirement, for godsakes. Why the bloody hell couldn't it mend the cabinets for him if it did everything else? Fuming, he walked out the door, not even noticing that the two little girls who were actually Crabbe and Goyle weren't there anymore. But another girl was. In fact, he ran straight into her.

"Ow!" she shouted rubbing her shoulder and looking at him warily. He knew she was expecting him to start yelling at her and treating her like a piece of scum. He was so drained, so frustrated. To top it all off she was looking at him in a way that made it hard for him to forget all the reasons they didn't belong together.

"Sorry, Granger," he mumbled and turned around, trying to make a quick escape.

He had almost rounded the corner before he heard her running towards him.

Her hair was in her face and her mouth was slightly open, her visage showing nothing but confusion.

"You…Why did you say sorry?" Her eyebrows were raised and she was searching his eyes for an answer. The knot in his stomach tightened and he turned away from her.

"I ran into you. That's the usual apology that comes after somebody does that," he was trying hard to keep his tone snide and uncaring, but he couldn't think of anything rude to say.

He scoffed and tried to walk away only to be stopped by her standing right in front of him, freezing him in his place. He could have sworn that it was much cooler in the hallway only moments ago.

"What do you want, Granger?"

She was more intimidated now that he was standing right in front of her, in his expensive suit, loosening his tie. She couldn't deny that he had lost his boyish features, and that nowadays, even if he was being cruel to her, he was doing it in a very attractive way. She took a breath and her Gryffindor courage had found her.

"You've just been acting differently lately. You're so pale, and it looks like you haven't been sleeping in ages. And you're not…" she blushed and paused.

"I'm not what?" Draco sighed.

"Well frankly, you're not putting up much competition for me in classes anymore. We used to be neck in neck for top of the class. And I guess…it's just not as fun when there's not much of a challenge," her cheeks were a fiery red and he could tell she wished she hadn't said it.

He didn't have time for this. He didn't have time to stop and talk to her and explain to her why he's doing all the things he never wanted to do. He didn't want to be talking to her here in the hallways, both of their voices strained for fear of saying the wrong thing. Of course she thought he would say anything he pleased, but she didn't know how hard it was to resist saying everything on his mind in this abandoned hallway. If only things were different, the constant thought in his mind popped up again. If only it wasn't like this.

"Yeah, well, things change. School isn't always the most important thing. Getting good marks is a ridiculous excuse for a challenge in the state of things," he was getting riled up as his thoughts trailed back to the Room of Requirement. What he had to do, that was a challenge.

"What are you going on about exactly?" she questioned.

"I am saying there are harder things then school," he said through gritted teeth.

Just then she realized just how hollow and empty his eyes were. Sure, they were always gray and cold, but whenever she looked at them in their previous years, they seemed to shine along with the rest of his face. But now, they had lost their wonder, and his face and body were as bony as ever. His lips were chapped and as he spoke, she knew he was frightened. But of what? Maybe Harry was right, maybe he really was in more trouble then he had let on.

"Like what?" she asked.

He sighed and shut his eyes, to open them back up to see her worried expression.

"I don't have time for this, Granger."

"What. Is. Wrong?" Hermione was agitated now, as she was sure he was hiding something. What kind of secrets lay behind this façade?

Already in a small bit of shock that they were having a conversation without insulting each other every other sentence, what she said now was truly astounding. This wasn't like his Slytherin friends or Snape asking what was wrong, he knew they just wanted some of the glory. This wasn't like Pansy asking him why he was acting so differently, she just wanted all his attention on her. No, it seemed like, but of course he had to be mistaken. It seemed as if Hermione genuinely cared at least a little about his wellbeing. That couldn't be right; it was probably a ploy of the trio. Figure out what Malfoy is up to and go running to Dumbledore when they sense trouble.

"Stay out of it," he voiced loudly.

"Draco. You're in way over your head, whatever you're doing. It's not worth it, I can tell. It's going to be okay. Really," she said in a hushed whisper.

He closed his eyes again. The lump in his throat was now swelling up and the way she whispered his name echoed in the back of his head. Not Malfoy. Draco. With a tone of pleading, she said it. Everything she said was right, except for one thing, of course. He opened his eyes to chuckle darkly at her and say that nothing was going to be okay, but she was gone. He stood alone in the hall, biting down hard on his lip. How he wished what she said was true.

*And then you tell me again, how everything will be alright*

*And if I told you, that I'm sorry*

*Would you tell me that you were wrong?*

*Or would you hold me down forever, if I came to you for answers?*

That night he fell asleep just moments after his body hit the bed. That night, he dreamt of her.

Professor McGonagall was leading him up to Dumbledore's office and he didn't know why. He stood in the entrance, and McGonagall ushered him forward.

"You know what you must do, Draco," she said in her stern voice.

He approached Dumbledore's desk and saw that he was smiling.

"Ahh, Draco. Finally decided to finish the job? It's about time, I'll say. C'mon, let's see it. Give me your best shot," said the old man as he got up from his chair and stood in front of his desk with his arms above his head, showing that he was unarmed.

"Do it, Draco," cracked a raspy voice.

Where McGonagall once stood, Voldemort took her place. He was wearing an evil grin and suddenly Draco's parents appeared in front of Voldemort. He pointed his wand at them and looked at Draco again.

"Do it, or I'll kill them. One. By. One," he cackled.

Draco stood paralyzed with fear, turning back and forth to see his family and Dumbledore. He didn't want to do this.

"I can't. I can't do this."

Fear was etched upon his face. He put his head in his hands and attempted to pull out his own hair. He knew Voldemort was about to either torture or kill one of his parents, but nothing happened. When he pulled his hands away from his face, he saw that Voldemort and his parents had disappeared.

Hermione Granger stood in the doorway.

"You did it, Draco! You did it!" she squealed and ran toward him. He didn't have time to ask what exactly he did. She ran and embraced him and suddenly, her lips were crushing against his. He reacted quickly, and grabbed her by the waist, lifting her off the ground. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and there they were. Hermione Granger was snogging him, and doing a damn good job of it too.

He could hear Dumbledore clapping and saying "Well done, boy."

As he pulled away from Hermione for some air, the whole school surrounded him and was chanting his name.

He was pulled off the ground and everyone was cheering for him.

"You're going to be late to Potions!" a small boy was jumping up and down.

What did Potions matter now? But the boy kept saying it, and Draco woke with a start.

"Bloody hell. I've been trying to get you up for minutes," the familiar voice of Goyle sounded.

He sat up and rubbed his eyes, not feeling very rested at all.

"You should really get a girl, if the only action you're getting is with your pillow," said Nott.

"Shove off," he muttered and started to get dressed.

*And I saw, pictures in my head.*

*And I swear I saw you opening up, again*

*Cause I would be heavenly, if baby you'd just rescue me, now*

*And I'm surrounded, you spill, all alive and brand new*

He woke up and noticed he was drenched in sweat again. Ever since the best dream he had in his life, he had been having terrible nightmares. It had been three weeks since he had seen Hermione Granger. Three weeks since he has talked to her in an abandoned hallway. His days were getting more and more hectic with every passing moment. He was still at a loss for what to do, and every day he got closer and closer to breaking. One good result of this was that he didn't have anytime to think about Hermione. Hardly anytime to linger over his talk with her and the dream he had. He knew for certain that he didn't want to kill Dumbledore; he didn't even want to be a death eater anymore. Sure, he wanted the glory and respect; he was brought up that way. But he didn't want it this way anymore.

Every day Draco sat in the common room and listened to his fellow Slytherins talk about the Dark Lord. Draco did the same, and talked about Voldemort admiringly, but now it was just so they wouldn't notice any change. One day, he almost lost it. While Mulciber and Blaise were talking about their future careers as death eaters, he heard a snippet of their conversation. He had blocked them out until he heard the word Mudblood. If it was two years prior, Draco would have jumped at the chance to ridicule those that were born of muggle parents. He heard Mulciber mentioned Granger and both of them burst into a fit of laughter. Draco's grip tightened around his quill and hoped they wouldn't look his way. All he wanted to do was punch them.

*And I'll forget about you long enough, to forget why I need to*

*The days are drifting away from me*

*I still wake up, burning through everything*

*And it's all I know.*

*Somebody save me, now*

She seemed to be avoiding his gaze. Today was the first day in over a month that Slytherin and Gryffindor had a class together. He had looked over at her at least five times now and she didn't seem very happy either. He suspected it had something to do with Weasley. After all, everyone could tell that she fancied him, and he had himself a girlfriend. They were an atrocious couple, snogging in every place possible. A little part of Draco felt envy for the blood traitor; there was apparently something about him that Hermione liked. He wondered if he should talk to her, maybe ask her what was wrong, since she had the decency to do the same thing for him.

The entire class period he concentrated on what to say, resulting on a detention and extra homework from McGonagall for hardly getting any work done.

As soon as class was over, he packed up his bag and raced out the door, waiting outside as the students filed out. Hermione was also trying to make a speedy dash from the class, as Ron and Lavender had started their lunchtime snog earlier than usual.

Instinctively, Draco reached out and grabbed her hand to stop her. Both of their eyes widened as she whisked around. Neither of them knew how long their hands were intertwined in each others before they let them drop to their sides. Once again they found themselves in a deserted hallway.

Draco noticed that her eyes were a bit puffy, like she was just about to cry. His stomach knotted at this thought and he felt the sudden urge to hex Weasley.

"All right there…Hermione?" he strained at the last word. He had never called her Hermione before. She noticed the change as well, but didn't mention it.

"I'm fine," she said, wiping her eyes, "really, I'm all right."

Draco opened his mouth to speak but was at a loss for words as he saw her bite her lip and her eyes water. If he were any other person, anybody but Draco Malfoy, he would be a decent person and hug her. But he wasn't someone else. So he just stood there, eyeing her awkwardly while she sobbed.

"I'm sorry, I'm acting so dumb," she said as she continued to wipe her eyes.

Draco's hand reached out and hovered above her body. He hesitated before finally deciding to place his hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him and smiled, and he did his best to do the same. After a brief silence, he saw her hand moving up to his jaw, placing her warm finger tips against his flesh. Maybe he was imagining it, but he could have sworn she licked her lips before smiling at him one more time. She said "Thanks," in a barely audible whisper and walked off.

His jaw tingled where she touched him as he watched her walk away. Maybe she didn't hate him after all. His heart was racing and his mind was playing movies in his head.

*And I saw, pictures in my head.*

*But I swear I saw you opening up again*

*Cause I would be heavenly, if baby you'd just rescue me now*

So, it's going to remain a one-shot for now, unless I think of some other idea and decide to continue. Some good feedback might change my mind too (: