Sudden Realization

Author's Note: After finally seeing HBP, I have tons of new fanfiction ideas – all of which involving my love, Draco. I hope you enjoy – oh and I don't own Harry Potter which you probably already knew.

Tag Line: What happens when Harry doesn't follow Hermione after Ron and Lavender kiss?

Summary: After seeing Ron and Lavender make out, Hermione runs off crying but who comes to her in her time of need? Someone who's heart is also breaking.

Hermione couldn't believe it – Ron was actually snogging Lavender as if her face was a bowl of jello. It was enough to make her sick as she stormed out of the room and towards the stairs desperately trying to get away. How could he do something so juvenile and so…stupid in front of her? Had he no compassion for the fact that she had liked him for the past six years!

But then again, in his defense, Ron hadn't known she liked him. The only person who knew was Harry and possibly Ginny but that was it. She tried hard not to let on that she liked him. After all, it was Ronald! He was a complete and total nincompoop when it came to every aspect of everything. He was an absolute Neanderthal and by kissing Lavender, he proved it!

Hermione collapsed upon the stairs in a heap of self-pity. As she closed her eyes, the only image that kept repeating itself was that stupid picture of Ron groping Lavender and shoving his tongue down her throat. It played itself over and over again as if the memory were a broken record. Hermione put her head in her hands and sobbed.

Stupid Ron and that dumb dimbo Lavender!

"What's got your knickers in a twist, mudblood?"

Hermione didn't even have to look up to know who was standing before her. She lifted her head from her hands and saw the tall, blonde, broken boy standing in front of her. As if things couldn't get any worse! Hermione let out a drastic sob at how horribly nightmarish her life had become.

"Go away, Malfoy," she demanded, her voice pleading as if begging him with every ounce of herself to just leave. Of course, he wouldn't let her have it that easily. He sauntered over in his usual Malfoy way and crossed his stubborn arms over his chest.

"Don't tell me what to do! You have no authority over me, mudblood! If anything I should be commanding you to go away!" Draco scoffed before actually taking notice that her eyes were red and swollen. Great, now he had gone and made things worse. The last time he had tested her temper, she had punched him in the nose.

"Why are you here?" Hermione asked, "Please just go away. I don't feel like putting up with you right now."

"You've been crying," Draco pointed out dumbly.

"That's none of your business!" Hermione glared at him, her eyes hard and cold as icy stone. Draco stood firm – he was not going to allow a mudblood to tell him what was and what wasn't his business. And besides, he was curious now and wanted to know why she was currently crumpled upon the cobbles, crying.

"Alright, fair enough," Draco agreed, "Tough year, huh?"

"Academically or otherwise?"

"Otherwise."

"Extremely," Hermione rolled her eyes towards the heavens, "Are all men so…stupid?"

Draco laughed haughtily, "Well…I must say that most women find me extremely intelligent in several aspects."

"You pig!" Hermione shouted, realizing her pent up anger could now be released, "Men are all cowards, stupid little rodents who don't realize what they have until it's gone. They don't care about anyone but themselves and chose what's easy instead of what may require a spot of work in order to succeed. They are just so incapable of noticing others' feelings!"

"What did the Weasel do now?" Draco asked honestly.

"Ronald you mean?" Hermione asked with great surprise, "How…how do you guess that Ronald had anything to do with anything? What would he have to do with me being upset? He is an idiot and a foul, loathsome…"

"Evil little cockroach?"

"Not quite," Hermione's anger melted into a smile, "But still, just because we are close friends and I am the only girl he has ever actually carried out a real conversation with doesn't mean that I would allow him to have such a pull on me. He doesn't have an effect on me at all…that's just ridiculous. Why would you ever even think such a thing?

"Well, obviously you fancy the rat and have for a long time so I just presumed that he must have done something…am I right?"

Hermione sighed, angry with him that he seemed to know her so well, "Yes…you are…you are right."

"Ha," Draco snorted, "I knew it! So what has he done to you?"

"He…he is in there right now snogging Lavender. He dared to do so in front of me as if I were nothing to him! He…"

"Granger, he…he doesn't know that you like him…does he? I mean, he's an arse but surely…"

"No," Hermione shook her head with despair, "He doesn't know. But still…Malfoy I…I really like him and I have tried so hard. But my attempts seem to be useless now. He likes her and if he is so happy…I suppose it would be extraordinarily selfish of me not to be happy for him it's just…"

"It hurts seeing him happy with someone that isn't you?"

"Yes," Hermione nodded, "Exactly!"

"Well I think Weasley has the intelligence of a toad," Draco grinned, causing Hermione to laugh.

"I once told him he has the emotional capacity of a teaspoon."

"And it's true. Look, think of it like this: Weasley has never had a girl that has been to openly interested in him and he's just enjoying it while it lasts. That doesn't mean that he's in love with her or anything. Just let him eat it up. He'll get over her and she'll get tired of him, realizing how he isn't worth a copper penny, and then you can have him."

"Thanks, Draco," Hermione smiled up at him, "I just wish he knew how he was making me feel."

"It's Weasley, he is about as smart as he is rich. Well, I have to get going…I have…stuff…"

"Are you okay?" Hermione asked, grabbing onto his sleeve.

Draco recoiled but answered her, "Yeah, I'm fine."

"No you're not. Something hasn't been right all year and I just…I want to make sure that you're alright."

"Why?"

"Because I doubt anyone else has asked."

Draco sat down on the step next to her. She had been right, all year he had brooded and sulked and no one – not even his friends – had bother to ask what was wrong.

"Okay," he sighed, "Um…what would you say if I told you I am probably the worst person in the whole world right about now?"

"I doubt that. Surely…"

"I am. I…look," Draco rolled up the sleeve of his black jacket, revealing the Mark.

"Oh, Draco!" Hermione traced the skull with her finger tips, "I…I am so sorry."

"Yeah well, because of this I have to do stuff that I don't always want to do. Horrible things, Granger, and if you knew what I was really like, you would know better than to be sitting here with me."

Hermione pulled the sleeve of his jacket back down and said, "Draco, I know that whatever He has asked you to do, you don't want to do it. I know it has been what is causing you to be so recluse and so scared."

"Scared!? Draco Malfoy is NEVER scared."

"Yes you are. And I just…I know that whatever He has asked you to do, isn't you."

"How do you know?" Draco demanded, "You don't know me."

"I know you better than you think and you are not a monster. I just wish you would know that."

"Thank you," Draco pushed himself up from the step, "You should talk to Weasley, you know."

"I know. And you should talk to your Father."

"I know. Hey, good luck with everything, alright? I mean, not that you really need it but…"

"Thank you – good luck to you too."

"Thanks. I'll um…see you around."

"Of course," Hermione watched him leave and couldn't help but smile to herself. He had been right about her and she knew what she had to do. Now if she could just work up the courage.

All of a sudden, a gaggle of giggles came rushing into the hall and Hermione looked up to see Lavender and Ron laughing hysterically.

"Oh…looks like this step is taken," Lavender rolled her eyes, pulling her "Won-Won" along with her.

"Wait!"

Ron turned around to see Hermione standing, a look of desperation in her eyes.

"What do you want?" Lavender asked, "Won-Won and I have…"

"Won-Won doesn't have to do anything except stand here and listen to me!" Hermione held her ground, "Okay, Won-Won?"

"Uh…" Ron looked desperate and turned towards Lavender, "Um…why don't you go on ahead, okay, Lavey-Poo!"

Lavender pouted for a moment before hurrying off, leaving Ron and Hermione alone.

"Lavey-Poo?" Hermione laughed, "That's almost about as bad as Won-Won."

"Shut up," Ron rolled his eyes, "So what do you want?"

"I wanted to just tell you…that…that…I am glad you and Lavender are happy together," Hermione swallowed the bit of vomit that had come up upon having to say that.

"Really?"

"Yeah," Hermione nodded, "I mean…I'm your friend and if you're happy…I am too."

"Thanks," Ron smiled, "So…um…"

"Yeah. Go meet up with Lavey-Poo, we don't want to keep her waiting do we?"

"Right," Ron nodded, "See you around."

"Yeah," Hermione waved as he continued off to catch up with Lavender.

Just as he turned the corner, he was greeted by Draco Malfoy.

"Weasley."

"Malfoy."

"Are you always such a blind arse?" Draco asked.

"What?" Ron glared at him, "What are you talking about…"

"She's in love with you, you know."

"Of course she is," Ron laughed, "I am the Won-Won."

"Oh please don't let that be a new catchphrase or nickname," Draco shuttered.

"Not good?" Ron asked.

"No, 'Won-Won.'"

"Well…I got to go…she's waiting for me."

"Yeah. Hey, Weasley?"

"What?"

"I wasn't talking about Lavender," Draco said before turning and leaving Ron behind. What was Draco talking about? Of course Lavender was in love with him…

"Won-Won?"

"I thought you were going on up to wait for me?"

"I was but I missed you so much Won-Won. Where have you been?"

"Uh…yeah, I can't…I'm sorry. I got to go."

"But why, Won-Won?"

Ron didn't answer her, instead he ran off to find Hermione. There was something he had to tell her.