Author's Note: So it's been several months since I updated. I still own nothing. Hope you like the update! (Inspiration: Everybody Hurts by Avril Lavigne)
"What are you doing here," Hermione demanded as she followed Draco up the path. "You have no right showing up like this, out of, out of nowhere!" When she grabbed his arm, Draco turned to look at her. He saw all the fire of a lion in her eyes. He also saw the pain. He bit his lip and forced a smirk across his mouth; he didn't want her to see how he really felt.
"I thought you'd be happy to see me?"
With what he could only describe as a groan of exasperation, Hermione scowled at him. "I am! But the castle is on lockdown. Our every move is being watched," Her eyes traveled around them, groping for movement in the darkness. Draco was just as uneasy. She shook her head to rearrange the hair that was falling in disarray into her face. "You left. You can't just expect to be welcomed back with open arms."
"I'm not expecting anything. I just thought you'd be a little more understanding."
"What am I supposed to understand? That you're a murderer," the atrociousness of his words was getting to her, and her voice was rising into a loud, hoarse whisper. If they'd only been having a lovers' quarrel he might have mentioned how adorable she looked when she got mad. Since they weren't, he didn't want to risk her hexing his body parts off, so he didn't mention it, and instead tried to maintain the partial peace of their conversation.
"I was only trying to help the best way that I can."
"Killing people doesn't solve the big picture, Draco," Hermione stated defiantly.
"The big picture? Really Hermione you think that's what's important? Do you even hear yourself?"
"Don't question my sanity, Draco. You're going about this all wrong. The Order's trying to avoid a massive death toll, and I fully support them."
Draco's temper was raising by the second but all he could do was scowl. "Oh really? Last I noticed this was a war. I killed people who deserved to die. I've cleared some room for you guys to make some headway. There'll be a bigger death toll if these people aren't stopped."
"Well your little escapade playing hero is going to get you killed." Hermione ran her hands through her hair, trying to calm herself. When she looked up at him her eyes were pleading and wet with tears. She looked tired, and for the first time, Draco could really tell what a toll the war was taking. He wondered how bad he looked; it had to be hard for her to look at him like this. She sighed. "Look, I get it, I do, but this is not the way to fight this war. If you want to help, get information from them, go to the Order. Don't run around killing people."
Draco shook his head and bit his lip in annoyance. "You know I can't do that."
"I know that you wont," Hermione retorted.
"I have to do it my way." He knew he sounded like a stubborn child, but so did she.
"Your way is an idiotic suicide plan," she laughed hoarsely, though it was clear she wasn't really amused. It only made him angrier.
"You don't understand Hermione! You have no clue what its like out there! You don't know how hard it is to get back in the midst of all that! if I thought it was possible, don't you think I'd have tried it already?"
"No, I don't. You're a coward, Draco. You're scared."
"I'm not scared of what's out there," Draco gestured to the darkness. "I'm scared I'm losing you."
"Well I'm scared of who you're turning into! All this killing-it will change you."
Draco couldn't hold himself back. He grabbed her and pulled her into his arms, holding her tightly to him. "I'm scared of that too," he whispered.
Hermione sighed. "I know this is hard, believe me, I know."
"I shouldn't have come here," Draco said finally, but he couldn't pull away just yet. He knew he had to leave, but he wanted to stay with her until he really had to let her go. "I've put you in danger. I have to go before we get to the gates. Flitwick can't let me in."
He looked down at Hermione, whose eyes were overflowing with tears. She was getting his cloak all wet, but in the dewy night air, it didn't really matter. As soon as it started raining, he would get soaked anyway.
"I thought...I thought that you might stay," she whimpered, clutching his cloak in her hands. For such a small woman, she sure had some strength in her.
"You know I can't stay. As far as everyone's concerned, I'm a Death Eater." He finally pulled himself from her grasp, turning to walk back down the path.
"But you're not," she said, wheeling around to stare at him. The way Hermione pouted reminded Draco of how she might have looked as a child. The young woman before him had lost all hints of childhood. She had aged gracefully, but she had seen more death than she deserved to. There was no way to get back those years, as much as he wished she could live a different life. She deserved so much better, but he couldn't give it to her, and that bothered him. He wanted to just take her away from all of this. He couldn't make amends for what he had done,but he refused to drag her down with him. She was innocent, and he wanted her to remain that way.
"I might as well be. I've killed people Hermione. Too many. And I'm going to continue to. It's all I can offer you as protection." He started walking away, hating that their meeting was ending like this.
He heard her sob before the impact of her body rushing into him made him stagger on the path. He turned around and she threw her arms around him, nestling her head into his chest. "You can stay. Stay here at school. With me. It's the safest place for both of us. You can protect me here."
"I can't. I'm sorry." With that, he pulled free a second time and quickly went down the path. When he reached the bottom of the hill where the train had been, he turned around to look at her one last time. But when he pulled his hood over his head, she had already turned and was heading back to the gates. He wanted to kill himself for the terrible way their meeting had gone, but there was nothing he could do. He pulled his wand from his pocket and whispered the spell that would take him to London as a single tear threatened to fall from his eyes.
A/N: So a short update. I'm not super pleased with it, but it has its purpose. Reviews?