Disclaimer: This doesn't belong to me, I'm too bored to be creative now.
I've had this story for a while, I flipped through it, so if there's a mistake: sorry! But I think that everything's fine, and this is meant to be a one-shot but if you want me to continue, say so. I can't end stories well and The Sound of Music was on tv, so forgive me.
What Happened 19 Years Later
"Look who it is."
Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasised the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny staring at him...
Malfoy exchanged a few words to his wife who nodded and whispered something to their son. To their surprise Draco walked over to them, or rather strutted – not having changed that much. He unbuttoned his coat and stuck his hands in the pockets awkwardly, he looked each of them in the eye as he addressed them, "Potter, Weasel, Granger, Weaselette." He had the signature smirk plastered on his face that made him oh so famous at Hogwarts, but this time it wasn't a cruel one, it was slightly nervous but just as arrogant. "I can hardly say that I've come to say hello, but I would like to apologize for the ass I was at school."
Draco's words were met with silence until Lily tugged on her mother's arm asking a question on a child could, "Mum, what's an 'ass?'"
Ginny looked down to her and addressed all the kids, "We love you all, please could you get on the train? James?"
"Yes, mother?" he asked turning back to them, laying eyes on Malfoy and bluntly asked "Who the hell is this arrogant bastard?" That earned him a sharp look from the four of them and a sad worn out smile from Malfoy.
"James, get your brothers on the train, and this is a... um... friend from school." There was a snort from Draco at Harry's choice of words to describe him. Enjoying Harry's anger, he regained the older smirk; instantly looking nineteen years younger.
After all the children piled on the train -- including Draco's, who Ron noticed over his shoulder – they returned to the former Death Eater. Hermione was the first to speak, "Malfoy-"
"You've known me for, how many years? You can call me Draco."
Slightly flustered Hermione continued in an annoyed voice, "Draco, what part? You apologized for being an ass, but the arrogant ass, the pure-blood prejudiced ass or Voldemort's evil ass?"
Draco flared up and his wand arm twitched, but he calmed down and managed to civilly reply, in a silky, angry voice, but at least he was not prepared to curse them to hell and back. "All three; I was arrogant because my father taught me to think that being a Malfoy made you royal. I was pure-blood prejudiced because, once again my father; and I was never the Dark Lord's evil ass," he paused and looked Harry in the eye, "Potter, you remember in our sixth year you caught me crying in the boy's washroom?" Draco winced slightly at the memory, as if remembering breaking down at 16 was too painful to remember.
Harry nodded suspiciously, then a horrible thought occurred to him; not all the Death Eaters were dead, many ran away. Would Draco keep them talking until his Death Eater pals arrived?
"I knew then that I couldn't kill, no matter how much I hated someone, no matter how much I disagreed with their views. I could never kill, I still can't. I could never pick up a wand and kill someone so easily, and I looked around me at all those that I trusted, loved, and knew that they -- they were truly evil. I knew that I was never going to get the glory that was promised, because I couldn't do what the Dark Lord wished, I knew I was going to die for a cause I no longer believed in," Draco bent his head slightly and Harry would later swear that those cold grey eyes were filled with tears. None of the four of them knew what to say; luckily, it seemed that Malfoy liked talking. "I would also like to say thank you." His new statement was met with the same shock as the first, "I know that you three -- sorry Weaselette, but I can't include you – have saved my ass more times I can count. Whether it be literally, twice during the Battle of Hogwarts, or some stupid school thing like not blaming me and saving Merlin knows how long detention. I want to say thank you, and sorry," Malfoy scratched the back of his head like he was thinking and started to chuckle at some private joke.
"What's so funny?" Ron snapped, not trusting this new Malfoy.
"I had a whole speech prepared, should I ever see any of you ever again, one for each of you. But I never stopped to make one if I happed across all of you. Well, goodbye." Draco had the nerve to hold out his hand to Ron who hesitantly shook it, "Goodbye, Ron," Draco said simply.
"Yeah-um... see ya... Draco?"
"Somehow I doubt that I'll see any of you again."
Draco moved on to Ginny, who was prepared and was quite emotional, not one for goodbyes. She loathed Malfoy's gut, but this Malfoy hardly seemed to be the git that she knew and hated. She, quite aware that Harry was beside her, threw her arms around Malfoy, with tears in her eyes. Quite surprised, Draco kept his eyes on Harry who just waved his hand as if to say Go on. Malfoy mouthed Thank you back at him as he began to smile that smirk of his. Harry was really thinking, Draco get your arms the hell off my wife! But he reminded himself that Ginny cried for months when her Pigmy Puff died.
Draco started to whisper something in Ginny's ear. That made Ron about to burst a blood vessel; seeing the ferret with his little sister. Harry was hard enough to watch, but MALFOY?
"It's Ginny, right?"
"Yeah," she whispered through tears, a small part of her mind registering how nice it felt to be held by him.
"Well, Ginny, I don't think that I did anything particularly hurtful to you specifically, but I-I still want to say sorry for my father slipping in Riddle's diary in your cauldron in your first year."
"You-you remember that?" Ginny asked shell-shocked.
"I remember every bad thing that can somehow be traced to me. Goodbye, but not good riddance, Weasel-Ginny Potter." At this point Harry and Ron were defensive enough to grab Ginny's shoulders and yank her out of Draco's arms.
Hermione just watched remembering how emotional Ginny would get, she absolutely hated goodbyes, and the funny thing was that Ginny would tell her, while they were at Hogwarts, that she hated goodbyes almost as much as Ferret-boy. Hermione was quite emotional, but she swore that she would never shed a tear for the bastard in front of her, but he seemed genuinely sorry about everything that he had done.
When he turned his silver eyes on her, she nearly fainted. She had seen those eyes filled with, scorn, hate, arrogance, and sarcasm. But never sadness or tears. She couldn't help herself, so for the second time that day Draco Malfoy got a hug from someone he once considered his enemy. He rotated the two of them until Malfoy could see Ron's face, intending to ask permission, but Ron saw the opportunity for Draco to rub it in. He violently shook his head while Harry – who was starting to like this Malfoy, said "Ignore Ron," Ron stared at his best mate while Draco once again mouthed Thank you to Harry. Who took Ron a few feet away to have a whispered argument on Harry's part and a shouting match on Ron's part, so Harry used a Silencing Charm on Ron so he would have to listen to him.
"Listen, mate. You're being a prat, this guy-"
MALFOY, Ron shouted at Harry through the charm
"This guy is nothing like the arrogant bastard we knew at Hogwarts, he's changed, he is sorry. Get it? Draco would never, never say sorry or admit what that guy said. Now I'll remove the charm is you'll promise to whisper." Harry hissed the last word, almost imitating the Parseltongue he could no longer speak.
Ron nodded again. Harry removed the charm and Ron launched into a hushed argument. "Mate, that guy is still Malfoy I don't want him near us anymore. He is a Death Eater!"
"Was," corrected Harry.
"Fine, do you remember what he did to us?"
"Of course, he tried to make our lives hell," Ron was about to continue when Harry held up a finger, "He said sorry, I know that can't make it better but he regrets it more than he's letting on, he's... he's-"
"An idiot," Ron finished.
"Different," Harry finished himself. Then recalling an argument he had with Lupin in their sixth year he used a line, "You're determined to hate him, Hermione and myself should hate him the most, yet here I am defending him and Hermione-"
"Is saying goodbye to him, you know the girls never liked goodbyes."
"That's 'cause 'goodbye' means not seeing anymore and when you think that, you think about everything you never said or did," Ginny said, she had been beside them and heard the last minute of their argument. "Harry's right Ron, give this guy a chance, he's not the Draco Malfoy anymore. He actually feels remorse; something that he would never admit to. You've got to say that he's changed; reform-" Ginny stopped at the sight of Hermione and Draco, thinking Ron's gonna do more than burst a blood vessel today; perhaps die of shock and anger.
Hermione's mind was running top speed and that was pretty fast. Malfoy, who had never called her anything besides 'Mudblood' or 'Granger', he still called her by her maiden name, but Hermione thought more out of respect than hatred, was actually holding her. He seemed to get some sort of ok just as she heard Harry's voice. "Ignore Ron." And then the sound of him being dragged away – probably by Harry. Then she heard Ginny scamper off, leaving her alone with Malfoy. Only then did she notice how much taller he was, she could only but her face in his coat. Hermione was trying not to cry when she heard his voice through her hair, "Granger-"
"Hermione, how long have we known each other, now?"
"Exactly 26 years... Hermione. On that subject of names I would like to say that I'm sorry for calling you a Mudblood," he paused attempting to count something. "281 times. Your name is Hermione. I could have called you Granger at the least, but I was arrogant. You were, and still are the smartest witch that I know; you deserved the respect that I never gave you. I'm sorry for making the snide comments about your appearance, I've learned that it doesn't matter how someone looks, or even what that person is meant to mean to you, but who they are. And I hope you can forget my past and forgive me."
"Mal-Draco you said yourself that you were arrogant because of your father and you were a prejudiced git because of him."
"Don't make up excuses for me, it was my fault."
Hermione pulled away and looked Draco in the eye, her worried brown met his self-loathing grey. "You are much too hard on yourself, you were told to believe a certain way by your father and you believed. It rubbed off; you don't need to hate yourself because of that."
"Oh, you think that's why?" she nodded confused, "Don't you forget what I did during, what was meant to be our seventh year?"
"I can only guess, up 'till the Battle of Hogwarts." His grip tightened a little,
"Well, your nightmares are probably quite accurate. I was told to kill, I couldn't. So I became his 'interviewer', the Dark Lord would bring up prisoners and I would perform the Cruciatus Curse on them. When he brought you three into the Manor I knew it was you but, I wanted out, anyway I could. I didn't want Potter to die, I hoped he would win, I was partial to We-Ron, but if I identified him, I had to identify all of you. Do you know, in sixth year, when Potter hexed me in the washroom crying?"
Hermione nodded, for once feeling sorry for him.
"You know what the spell did?"
She nodded again; Harry told her that it caused Draco to bleed as if an invisible sword had slashed him.
"While I was there, in my blood, I thought that I was going to die. I was glad, I hadn't killed anyone, hadn't even hurt anyone seriously, I was a coward. I thought I deserved it, I really did, I still think so. I wanted to die, but if I did my parents would die, I stayed alive for them. I hated myself and everything I stood for. I was sickened by the very thought of what I had become, what I had done, what I was doing. By the people I was surrounded by, my 'last year' at Hogwarts was hell, but it was an escape from a worse hell. I don't know why I'm spilling my guts to you," Draco glanced to the heavens as if the ceiling held the answer, "I was going to say I'm sorry for everything I did to you in particular, sorry for what we could have been." Hermione was even closer to fainting, "Come on! If I wasn't such an ass, just a good – not even good, halfway decent – hot guy, I'm willing to bet that you would have fallen hard for me. Sorry, that sounded... but I fell for you in our fifth year, but the damage was done, you knew me too well."
Hermione considered him, and thought Damn, he's right. I could have... but I'm married to Ron. A thought crossed her mind that she decided to voice, "I'm sorry, that probably hurt, all the things that I called you-"
"I deserved them, 'Foul, loathsome, evil, little cockroach'? You're a good puncher, I must say. It's in the past, we're both married to people that we love-" Right? Draco thought absently, little did he know that Hermione thought the same thing, "-and we have kids. So, let's hope that they won't be impacted by age-old prejudices."
Hermione looked over Draco's shoulder and noticed something, "Hey, where is your wife?" Draco turned them so he was looking at the bench his wife was sitting at, the empty bench. He let out a stream of curse words under his breath, he loved his wife but it was more brother-sister love than husband-wife love. They did have a kid, but that was more to please the parents than themselves.
"I imagine that she's at home, sometimes I think that our relationship is brother-sister, you know?"
"It's okay, we married for our parents, but goodbye Hermione-" Draco leaned in, intending to put his face in her brown curls, when Hermione misread him. She was thinking How DARE he? and at the same time Oh, what the hell...
Their lips met, it was something that Draco had dreamed about for years, and something that Hermione did too; except for her those 'dreams' were more commonly known as nightmares. Kissing Draco was different than Ron or any other guy, at first she sensed his shock, but that wall was broken down and the through his lips Hermione could taste fireworks, explosions, and... coffee. She always liked coffee. It was the best kiss of her life, but she hastily broke it off when she saw Ginny over Draco's shoulder, staring at them. Draco registered and seemed to know what was wrong, and tried to pass it over and said again, "Goodbye, Hermione."
Ron only saw them breaking apart, when their lips were dangerously close, not the actual kiss, which was crazy good luck. He stormed over to them and pulled out his wand "Relashio!" Draco felt his hands grow quite hot and he let go of Hermione. "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing with my wife?" Ron bellowed at an annoyed Draco, he looked at Hermione who started to nod slowly, before his view was obscured by Ron throwing more accusations at him. The game of "Yell at Draco" was becoming quite boring so he said quietly.
"If you want to know what happened I suggest you shut up and listen."
Ron shut up.
"Good, now, I was... well saying goodbye," Draco turned a little pink around the ears, in major contrast to his pale skin and white-blonde hair, "and I leant in the hug her and I suppose she misread me and... she ahem kissed... me." Draco had turned quite red from embarrassment and Hermione was not faring much better in the embarrassing department. He started to notice that Ron's ears were turning red; remembering from school that that was a danger sign he put his hands in his pockets, having a firm grip on his wand. But Ron just wheeled around and started to question Hermione.
"How was he?"
"Excuse me?" Hermione asked with disbelief in her tone.
"Is Malfoy a good kisser?"
"Oh," the honest answer was Hell yeah. But she didn't want to say that to her husband, with Draco listening in so intently. "Well, he's... different." Hermione immediately regretted her choice of words.
"Good different?" Ron hissed.
"Nobody likes change..." Hermione drifted off pathetically. Ron was ready to explode, Harry was looking on in shock but knew that Hermione liked it, Ginny was ready to do a Memory Charm on Ron to make him forget and Draco was on cloud nine.
Ron pointed his wand at Draco and his grip tightened on his own wand. "Ferret-face, hands outta your pockets." Draco decided to keep his wand in hand, and lifted his hands above his head in surrender. "See!" Ron yelled, "He was gonna curse us, kill us even!"
Nobody paid any attention to Ron but Draco felt the need to defend himself, "In my defence, you cursed me first and I was ready to put up a shield in case you decided to hex me worse. And, I'm not that good an actor, I can't make a speech about how I can't kill then turn around and kill you all."
"Either way. Get. Out. Of. Here. Now." Ron enunciated trying to convey menace, but it sounded to Draco as if Ron thought Draco was mentally retarded. Draco put his hands down and back into his pockets, keeping his wand trained on Ron, it wouldn't matter that any spell to do any damage would rip his coat to shreds; it wasn't that cold.
"Fine," Draco spun on his heel and walked away, and started to hum loud enough for everyone to hear, but not loud enough so that they would think him any stupider than they already did.
"Regretfully they tell us, but firmly they compel us,
To say goodbye,
"And good riddance!" Draco knew that voice but he was already walking away.
Hermione licked her lips remembering Draco.
Ron could remember him as the bastard he had a schoolboy rivalry with and 'tried to steal his girl'.
Harry could remember him as the regretful Death Eater.
And Ginny could remember him as the guy whose father nearly killed her.
But Hermione would remember him as the guy who gave her a break from Ron and showed her something else, she wouldn't forget this Malfoy in a while.
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