Summary: Hermione discovers Draco's Dark Mark.
Author's Note: I do not own Harry Potter.
"So do you think he has it yet?" Ron asked as he, Harry, and Hermione left the dining hall, "I mean, he is wearing a long sweater over his robes…"
"You paid attention to what he's wearing under his robes?" Harry quipped, ducking out of a smack from his best friend.
"I was just curious. And besides, today when we were arguing today before our charms class, I shoved him and he clenched his arm as if he were in some sort of pain. And the look on his face…I'm not exactly the strongest person in the world but he winced!"
"Ronald, taking pride in another's pain is hardly an admirable quality," Hermione scoffed.
"Why are you defending him?" Ron snapped.
"I am not!" Hermione shot back, "I just think that finding amusement in anyone's pain – even if that person is Draco Malfoy – is disgusting and cruel."
"Well I just think it's true – he got it."
"But why now?" Harry asked, "Why just now would he have it done? Lucius has been a Death Eater for a long time – in fact he is one of Voldemort's right hand men. Surely if Draco was going to get the Mark, he would have gotten it a while ago."
"Unless he didn't want it," Hermione interjected, "Why are we so sure he even wants the thing?"
"Because he's a Malfoy and he's dirt?" Ron looked at her suspiciously, "Besides, he probably craves getting it – once he has the Mark he is finally one of them just like his father, his aunt, and his grandfather was. His father is dirt who ignores his kid – we all know that – Draco not only wants to kill and take over for his father, but he also wants his father's attention."
"That may be but how do we even know for sure that he has it?" Hermione insisted, "He might not."
"Well five pounds says he does."
"You're on!" Harry nodded, accepting the bet.
"You two are sick! I'll see you tomorrow – I'm going to bed."
"Very well then."
Harry and Ron retired to the common rooms while Hermione lingered by the stairs. Draco was coming out of the hall and she could hardly wait to get to him about the Mark. She hoped he didn't have it – he had promised her that he would tell her if he had it and so far, nothing. He wouldn't lie to her about the Mark – would he?
"Hey!" Hermione stormed over to where Draco was, "We need to talk."
"Now?" Draco asked, glancing around the hallway, "I mean sure…uh…come back to my room and we can…"
"No," Hermione raised a hand, hushing him, "Not that kind of talk. Draco, I need to ask you something and I need an honest answer, okay?"
Draco bit down on his lower lip, "Um…sure. Where should we go?"
"The library – no one is ever there after dinner," Hermione grabbed his hand and together they hurried towards the library. She led him over towards the back of the room and pushed him against one of the bookshelves.
"I thought you said you didn't want to do this now," Draco smirked.
"Listen up, Draco Malfoy, I am going to ask you to do something and I want you to do it, alright?"
"No, no depends, Draco. Give me your arm."
"Please," Hermione begged, "I have got to know, Draco. Harry and Ron…"
"Those two put you up to this?" Draco hissed, his face flushing with anger.
"No, no not at all," Hermione grabbed his hands, trying to calm him down, "Draco, there's just been rumors and I am your girlfriend and I think I should know if you have…"
"Hermione, I told you that when I get it, you'd be the first to know, okay?"
"Okay," Hermione nodded, unsurely, "I trust you."
"So if that's all," Draco grinned, "Do you want to um…"
Hermione smiled shyly, "Oh alright."
They began kissing and as they were, Draco tripped over his foot or her foot, he couldn't really tell, and fell. Hermione laughed and offered him her hand. She grabbed onto his arm and pulled him back to his feet. As she held on to his arm, he winced and recoiled in pain.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"Nothing," Draco glared at her defensively.
"Oh my God, they were right!" Hermione shouted, "If it isn't true, then prove it! Let me see your arm, Draco Malfoy!"
Draco bit his lip as he lifted the sleeve of his robe and rolled up his sweater revealing a freshly imprinted tattoo. Hermione gasped as the Mark pulsated against the pale flesh.
"I-I didn't know how to tell you…"
"You promised me that if you got the Mark, you would let me know!"
"How could I?" Draco demanded.
"You know what," Hermione scoffed, "We're through."
"Don't. Why don't you just go and find another girl – a girl who's a Death Eater like you."
She stormed out of the library leaving Draco behind. He crumpled to the floor and held his arm in his hand – the cursed mark had now cost him his only joy, the only person who he cared for. She had left him and now there was nothing he could do. He supposed he didn't blame her – she was a muggle and being a Death Eater…he didn't even want to think about it.
What have I done, he asked, glaring at the mark.
Hermione sat on her bed, tears streaming down her cheeks as she ripped up the old notes that Draco had given her over the months – it was there secret little thing. He would fold the parchment with the note scrawled upon it into the shape of a bird and enchant it, causing the bird to fly to her wherever she was. Hermione scoffed as she yanked off the head of one of the birds.
"Bloody hell," Ron quirked an eyebrow, "What the devil are you doing?"
"I hate him!" Hermione snarled, "I hate him and I never want to see him again!"
"Draco Malfoy," she pouted as Ron made his way over to the bed.
"What happened?" He asked, sitting down on the edge.
"Why are you even here?" Hermione asked.
"I saw Draco in the hall earlier, he looked upset and told me to tell you he was sorry. I thought I'd just come in and make sure that you are okay. He sounded upset – what did he do to you?"
Hermione sighed, throwing a bird against the wall, "You're going to hate me."
"I could never hate you," Ron said truthfully, "So tell me what's going on?"
"Draco and I have been together for a few months together secretly. I wanted to tell you and Harry but I knew you would be angry with him so we kept it a secret. We were going to tell you on my birthday – Draco wanted to throw me a party – but he…you were right. He got the Mark, Ron."
"Are you serious?" Ron asked, "And he was with you? Does he know what that Mark entails in regards to…to your world?"
"Yes he does and despite it all, he had the nerve to lie to me about it!" Hermione tossed another bird, "I never want to see or speak to that monster again. He is a horrible person and I…I hate him!"
"You do not."
"Yes I do!"
"No you don't. If you hated him, then you wouldn't really care right now and you wouldn't be so upset. And I doubt you'd be throwing these things against the wall," Ron laughed, plucking a bird from her comforter, "What are these anyways?"
"Notes from Malfoy," Hermione said his name with disgust, "He would enchant them into birds so that they could fly to me no matter where I was."
"That's actually kind of romantic, for a ferret."
"I guess so," Hermione cupped one of the birds in the palm of her hand. It tilted its head to the side and looked at her as if begging her not to destroy it as she had done with the others. She unfolded its wings and read the note aloud, "Dearest Hermione, I know you are upset over your O.W.L results but the second highest grade isn't too terrible, is it? And I just wanted to let you know that I would love you no matter what, even if you scored a single point less than perfect on a bloody exam."
"Yeah," Hermione blushed, "I guess it was nice of him to say that."
"You should go talk to him," Ron urged, "I mean, he might have an explanation."
"You're probably right," Hermione nodded.
"Can you say that one more time considering that I might never hear that again," Ron smirked; Hermione whacked him with her pillow.
"It's late – I'll talk to him tomorrow. Goodnight, Ron."
Hermione flopped down upon her pillow and stared at the little bird that was sitting upon the dresser. Suddenly she had an idea. She hopped out of bed and grabbed a pen and a piece of parchment. After writing her letter, Hermione pulled the wand from the drawer and cast her spell. The parchment suddenly turned into a bird and flew out the open window.
She watched it go before returning back to bed; she could hardly wait until morning to talk to Draco.
Draco Malfoy was lying in bed, tracing the Mark with his fingertips. The pulsing was unbearably painful but his father had told him that the pain would dissipate in time and with strength. Draco would have to be strong to make the pain stop but then what would make the pain in his heart disappear?
As he was lying in bed, a bird flew through his window. He grabbed it and unfolded its wings, smiling as he read the note inside.
I may have overreacted to what I saw last night. I didn't pay attention to any sort of explanation nor did I really care to hear your side of the story. Meet me before breakfast tomorrow in the library.
"You wanted to see me?" Draco asked as he walked over towards Hermione the next morning. She was sitting at one of the tables waiting expectantly for him.
"Yes," Hermione nodded, she wanted to smile at him, excited to see him, but for some reason she couldn't bring herself to do it, "I guess you got my note?"
"I did. I must give you some credit for the bird enchantment."
"I thought it would be appropriate."
A silence drifted upon them like a fog and finally Draco asked, "So may I sit down?"
"You may," Hermione nodded as he sat down across from her, "About last night…"
"I wanted to tell you, Hermione – I really did but I…I just didn't know how. I know what this Mark means and I don't want any part in it at all. I know you might think that I am betraying you and that I think of you differently because of this mark but I don't. I love you, Hermione Granger and I could never hurt you or your family or even those weasel friends you hang out with."
"I know," Hermione blushed, "And I love you too, despite this," Hermione gently placed her hand over the mark and instantly the pulsating pain vanished.
"Hey," Draco grinned, "It stopped hurting."
"I'm glad," Hermione smiled up at him, "And Draco, what I meant last night about us being over with…"
"I didn't mean it."
"I know," Draco brushed a strand of hair from her eyes, "Hermione, I won't let you down no matter what this damn thing wants me to do I won't disappoint you."
"I know you won't," Hermione blushed again, "Draco I do love you."
"I love you too, Hermione Granger."