Author's Note: The Classic Crime is pretty much the Voldemort to my Bellatrix
Draco Malfoy is pretty much the Snape to my Lilly
And Harry Potter is pretty much the pen and paper to my J.K Rowling
Anyways, the point is, Harry Potter does not belong to me
And neither does this song, "The Coldest Heart."
The Coldest Heart
A couple of years and I'm a silhouette
My halo is broken now and I'm all that's left
I hate to disappoint but it's the way things went
I was bound to the things I did
And after what was said
Tie up these loose ends
These voices are calling me out
I've got the solution
You can feed me to something
That is leaving this doubt
"Draco," Hermione ran towards the shadow of the man she once knew. No longer did he stand tall and proud, but hunched and broken, a doll discarded after a rough game of make believe. She hurried down the ribbon of cobbles to him, "Draco Malfoy!" She called out once more.
Finally the silhouette turned and stared at the woman with hair neatly pulled back, make-up applied with perfection, and an outfit selected with the upmost respect for her appearance. He looked at her, confused as if trying to recognize her – a dream from a past life perhaps?
"Draco, it's me!" She insisted, "Hermione Granger!"
"Granger?" His brow creased and Hermione saw the wrinkles, creases, his own valley of worry etched across his face, "What are you doing here?"
"I always go to the Three Broomsticks when I need to get away and think. I saw you and I…well it's just been so long and I figured we could catch up. How are you?"
How are you? The question imprinted itself in his mind like a child making handprints in fresh cement. He stared at her in complete shock – he couldn't believe that she had just stormed up to him and caught him up in her whirlwind of excitement. It had been years – so many years and it wasn't as if they were actually friends when they had known each other. Why had she been so anxious to talk to him?
"Uh…I'm alright," It was a clear lie and Hermione knew it.
"Are you sure you are alright? After the war, we never saw you again and I have always wondered what happened to you, Draco Malfoy, the only one who hasn't remained in contact. Even Neville and I still OWL each other every once in awhile but you…well I just wondered about you."
"I'm fine. Really, Granger. Now shouldn't you head back off to wherever it is you belong?"
"I work at the Ministry now," Hermione was eager to share this part of her life with him, "I am the secretary to the Minister himself! It's just fantastic! Oh and Ron and Harry both work down at the Bookshop. I know, funny to imagine those two working at a bookshop but they're happy there and trying to figure out what to really do with their lives. Harry mentioned something of traveling once…"
"Good for him," Draco turned and began to walk away.
"Wait! What is it that you do now?" Hermione asked, a little fearful of his answer. He was, in fact, a Malfoy and his father had been one of the cruelest deviants to roam the wizard world. She hoped he hadn't followed in his footsteps.
"Oh," Draco pulled his black jacket around his fragile frame, blocking the chill of the wind, "I…I work with my father now."
"No," Hermione said it before she could stop herself.
"No, no not like that," Draco shook his head, "I mean, I did right after Hogwarts. My father wanted to keep up the Dark Lord's mission after the battle and he wanted my help but I just…after a few years I couldn't do it. He's been placed in Azkaban where he belongs."
"Oh, I am so sorry."
"Don't be," Draco scoffed with an icy hatred, "He caused my life to be hell, Granger. He's where he belongs, where he can't screw up anyone else. My mother, she took it pretty hard though."
"Is she alright?"
"I haven't really spoken with her," Draco admitted, "I mean, after I broke apart from Father, we stopped speaking."
"I'm fine though," Draco insisted, "Really. Now, you better get going. I don't want anyone to see you with me."
"Still the same Malfoy, won't be caught dead conversing with a mudblood," Hermione seethed with an intense, sudden anger at his words. He hadn't called her a mudblood in a long time, even while they were at Hogwarts the last few years he didn't even mention the word and she had begun to assume that he had broken his father's prejudice chains.
"I didn't mean it like that. Look, Granger, I have done terrible things in my lifetimes – things you can't imagine. My father…he made me do things that you could only imagine in a nightmare."
"Draco…" Hermione looked at him with windows to her breaking, bleeding heart.
"I still have nightmares about the things I have done, Granger."
"Draco, I am so sorry. If there is anything I can do…"
"Make me forget."
"Make me forget everything, all the evil that I have had to battle in my life, in my heart. Just help me to forget and make the nightmare go away."
"I-I don't know a magic that will do that."
"Then you do it."
"I-I don't know what you mean," Hermione looked at him worriedly.
"Be with me," Draco said, his voice full of pleading, full of pitying despair. Hermione saw the lifeblood on the sleeve and she nodded, it was all she could do but at the same time, it was everything she could do.
Whoa, I'm losing hope
There's a hole in my heart
That's been cut out of stone
Whoa, cold comes cold goes
Could you fill this hole?
Cause I can't do it alone
"The place is pretty lonely since my mother left," Draco took Hermione's coat from her and hung it in the closet by the winding marble staircase.
"It seems so…"
"Cold? Yeah, it's always like this and always has been. I'm sorry that it isn't the most wonderful place but it is my place," Draco looked around and Hermione took note of the black marble flooring and intricate detailing. Someone had poured a lot of money into the mansion but no amount of money could make up for the lack of warmth.
"She doesn't live here any longer, your mother I mean?"
"No," Draco said, before quickly changing the subject, "It isn't the most exciting place either but whatever you want to do, we can do it."
"Let's just sit and talk," Hermione suggest. Draco nodding, liking the idea.
He led her to the parlor where a fire was dancing in the hearth. They both took a seat on the green couch and said nothing for several moments. Hermione couldn't help but feel strange in the place where Draco's childhood nightmares had been real. His father had roamed these very halls, sat on this very couch. The thought gave her chills as if cubes of ice had just been slid down her blouse.
"So you seem to be doing pretty well for yourself," Draco began.
"I'm alright," Hermione twisted the ring upon her finger, "It's just…different. Even Harry and Ron and I aren't as close as we once were. They both have girlfriends that are pretty serious and I am starting to feel like a third wheel – how ridiculous is that?" Hermione laughed a cheerless laugh.
"I'm sorry. A lot of things change in ten years."
"Yes," Hermione nodded, "Everything can change. Ten years is a lot of time."
"I know," Draco sighed, "Too long."
"Why did you ask me to come here?" Hermione blurted out, "I mean, when we were at Hogwarts we were never friends, hardly anything of the like really. I mean, I just thought we could catch up over coffee if you would even agree to that. I never thought in all these years that I would ever be here, sitting with you, and talking without death threats or raised wands."
"I'm not the foul, loathsome, what-was-it, that I was all those years ago."
"Cockroach," Hermione said, "You were a cockroach. I am sorry about…you know," Hermione nodded towards him and Draco grinned.
"Noses heal, trust me. It wasn't like it was my first broken nose. Living with a father like Lucius Malfoy has its fair shares of injuries."
"I'm sorry your father was so cruel but you aren't him, Draco."
"I know but his blood runs in my veins – the blood of a monster. Do you know what it is like to have a nightmare that you know you can never wake up from?"
"No," Hermione answered honestly, "I don't."
"It's lonely and miserable and…and…" Draco broke off, unable to continue.
"Well, I'm here with you right now," Hermione reminded him, "And you don't need to feel lonely with me here with you. I promise."
"There's just a whole," Draco sighed, "A whole, void, emptiness."
"Let me fill it," Hermione placed her hand on Draco's heart, "Please? Let me fill the void."
"Would you?" Draco stared at her, his eyes hopeful with a twinge of uneasiness – as if he were afraid that she would take back her promise.
"Yes – if you will let me."
A couple of tears and I'm a broken mess
The sadness has taken me far too deep in regret
So sing me a song about something good
My heart's on the thrashing floor
And I've done every single thing I could
I use to believe in
Some kind of feelin'
That could change everything I thought I knew
But that door is closed and
My heart feels like it's frozen
If you hear me I can feel you
"Do you know how many tears I have cried for him?" Draco asked, Hermione listened intently, running her fingers across his shoulders as he slumped over in a painful haunch, "He is my father first and foremost. I love him. I just wish this pain would go away. It's been years and it's like a shadow that follows me everywhere."
"I wish I could have done something back then – at Hogwarts you know. Things may have been different."
"You're here now," Draco looked up at her with eyes that shown with appreciation, "And that's all that matters."
"I'm glad I'm here."
"Me too. My heart has always felt so cold, like stone or…or marble and I just want that to end."
"I'll make it end, Draco. All the nightmares, they'll be gone."
Hermione and Draco's lips crashed violently against each other, passionately entangling lips with lips, tongues with tongues, passion with passion. By the time they pulled away, both were panting, thirsting for breath but hungering for more.
"Is it melting?" Hermione asked.
"Is what melting?"
"That ice, the ice in your heart."
"Yes," Draco nodded, "I think it is."
The coldest heart can be brought to life
When it's thrown into the fire of goodbyes
I've got the coldest heart
Cause I can't do it alone
Hermione woke up the next morning with head resting on Draco's bare, heaving chest. She sat up, looked around, and realized what had just happened – she had slept with Draco Malfoy. Her heart began to pound with anxiety – how could she do such a thing?
"Hi," Draco sat up, greeting her with a kiss.
"Hi," she smiled at the familiar feel of his lips against hers, "How did you sleep?"
"For the first time in a long time, I slept without a nightmare."
"Good," Hermione nodded, "Um…just so you know…I don't usually…"
"Neither do I," Draco admitted, "But thank you."
Hermione nodded quietly, not knowing what to say.
"I know that I was never kind to you while we were at school but I do want you to know that I want that to change. You and me, we have something. I know it. My heart, which was so cold, finally feels alive again. That was because of you! You made me feel again!"
"Draco," Hermione shook her head, "I-I didn't do anything, really."
"Yes you did. You showed me compassion – no one has ever done that for me."
"Draco, I showed you compassion, yes, because I care about you and I don't want you to hurt any more but what we did last night wasn't because we love each other, it was because we both needed each other. There's a difference, Draco. It was very nice, but we…it wasn't…"
"It was just something to cure us and nothing more," Draco nodded curtly.
"Exactly. I am so sorry and I am glad I helped you but you need more than just someone to be at your side during the night. I want to be your friend, Draco but that's it. We can't do anything else, we can't go any further. This is where we get off, right here."
"I understand. I really do. I want to be friends with you too."
"Stop by the Ministry sometime," Hermione told him, "And we can go out for lunch or something but that's it. You need something more than just what we had last night and I want to give that to you. But there is a difference between passion and compassion. From now on, I'll show you compassion but that's it. No more. Just friends."
Draco smiled at her as she grabbed her clothes and headed towards the bathroom. As she was changing, Draco cursed himself for allowing things to get so out of hand. They shouldn't have slept together. All she had wanted was to be there for them but they had blurred those lines dangerously. She had been right, as much as Draco hated to admit it.
The door opened and she entered.
"I guess this is goodbye," he mumbled.
"For now," Hermione corrected, "but not for long."
She went over to him and placed a sweet, innocent kiss upon Draco's cheek before quietly leaving him. It wouldn't be goodbye forever and they would still see each other whenever he needed her or when she needed him but seeing her walk away that morning, even if he knew he would see her again, still broke Draco's heart.
But he didn't mind the pain of it all, because a broken heart was definitely better than no heart at all. She had given him one of the greatest gifts of all – she had given him a heart, her love, and her compassion and Draco would forever remember Hermione Granger, the girl that melted the ice, and filled the void.