Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling, not me.

Warning: Hints of Dramione.


At Sinistra Manor, I glance towards Draco before racing down the dirt footpath towards the front door, which is a good distance away. It's so beautiful out here in the gardens, though. When Mum and Dad married, they didn't allow us to go outside for some reason, which we kids surprisingly obeyed. Several minutes later, Draco suddenly shoves me towards the ground with a loud laugh after I've reached for the door.

"Ha, I win again," drawls Draco, grinning widely. "Awe, you didn't hurt yourself, did you, little brother?" He then leans towards me. "Would you like me to call Mummy over to kiss your knee?"

"Shove off, Malfoy," I growl before throwing a clump of dirt at him. He acts as if I've thrown manure at him because he cries out sharply. I instantly burst out laughing, watching him scream and flail his arms about like a lunatic.

However, as I slowly go back up on my feet, I notice that Dad and Mum are still a ways off in the distance. Suddenly, Draco tackles me back down to the ground. Wrestling on the soft ground, we roll around and somehow manage to end up in a very thorny rose bush.

"OW!" I yell, shooting up out of the bush, which Draco follows suit. He's a bit more graceful than I am, though. He doesn't look at all like someone who had a thorn stick him in a rather bad place. I grimace and rub my sore bum where the thorn has stuck me.

"If you two morons are done acting like mutts, perhaps you could join us," Dad says, glaring at both of us. He definitely looks like the menacing evil bat of the dungeons again.

"Eh, boys will be boys, Severus," a familiar voice says with a hearty chuckle. "Sort of makes me wish I didn't have two girls. Well, don't just stand there, boys. Come in."

Draco and I both smile towards Orin Sinistra, Mum's Dad. He has short dark brown hair and rich chocolaty eyes. He's wearing a midnight blue casual shirt and black pants. He's the same height as Dad, but a bit more rounded out. He's nowhere near my Uncle Vernon, though. He looks healthier. I then shake my head. I sound so stupid right now analyzing him.

"Father, is . . . Aura!" Mum's little sister, Jezlyn, instantly throws her arms around Mum.

"Shouldn't you be in bed, Jezzie? After all, it's a bit past your bed time, isn't it?" Mum teases.

"As if I'd miss this," the almost fourteen-year old replies snottily. Her honey-colored curls bounce radiantly off her bare shoulders as she wears a pair of blue jeans and green tank top. Her green eyes then dart towards Dad before her grin widens. "I see my brother-in-law wasted no time knocking you up, big sis."

"Jezlyn," Orin admonishes harshly. "There's no need for Severus to learn that you and Aura inherited your mouths from your mother." He then smirks dangerously when Syra, Mum's Mum, smacks his shoulder.

"And there is no need to scare off our son-in-law and grandchildren with your wickedness, Orin," Syra replies, catching my eyes.

I don't know how to describe it, but I feel a chill sweep over me at her look. Then again, Syra is definitely scary. She's extremely pale, almost to the point of being translucent. Her hair, however, is a golden blond, and her eyes are almost an unnatural blue. Her eyes are probably the most unsettling for me. She has that same piercing stare that Dad sometimes has when he's trying to figure something out. She smiles softly towards Draco and me, though.

"Hello, Harry. Hello, Draco. Welcome," she says politely, motioning for us to enter the manor.

I follow Dad's lead. Honestly, Mum's Mum is creepy. When Jezlyn glances towards Draco with a familiar bashful smile, I nearly snort. What is it about girls and dark wizards? Walking into the foyer, I keep my eyes in front of me to be respectful. I mean, I have been to the manor before, but we couldn't really explore it.

"I expect you two gentlemen would like to visit your room," Syra says with a soft smile.

At her questioning, I want to ask why we have to share a room, but I don't. I only nod, which I notice Draco follows suit. Maybe I'm not the only one she freaks out. We silently follow the happy bouncing girl up the massive staircase. I glance towards Draco. He has to be used to all this glitz and glamour of the rich. However, he meets my look and shakes his head with a soft laugh.

"How in the hell does everyone know what I'm thinking all the time?" I grumble.

"Potter, you're about as obvious as Longbottom after melting his cauldron," Draco drawls. "We Malfoys were nowhere this extravagant. I doubt my late aunt even was. Obviously, Aurora comes from a very powerful family."

"Well, duh," Jezlyn replies suddenly ahead of us. "We descend from Salazar Slytherin. Of course, we're powerful." She then stops and opens the door in front of her. "It perhaps isn't what you're used to at Prince Manor, but it'll have to do for now. Aura will be right across the hall from you." She then walks closer towards Draco. "And I'm in the room to the left."

"Thank you, Jezlyn," Draco responds with a forced smile.

"Anytime, Draco," she says happily. "After all, I'm going to need a friend in Slytherin this fall."

"A friend?" says Draco softly.

"This fall?" simultaneously I respond.

"Yeah, don't tell Aura, but Mother has finally convinced Headmaster Dumbledore into allowing me to attend Hogwarts for my remaining years."

"You're going to Hogwarts in the fall?" I watch Jezlyn nod happily.

"Oh, don't worry, though, Harry. I won't associate with your kind."

Within seconds, I hear Draco burst out laughing, which makes me glare at the prat. Just because I'm a Gryffindor, it doesn't mean I'm the leper of the family. Wonderful, my . . . aunt and my brother are going to exclude me just because I'm the crimson and gold sheep. I huff in annoyance at them before storming into my room that I have to share with my big prat of a brother. All anger leaves my body at the sight of the room, though.

"This is our room?" I ask, turning back towards Jezlyn.

"What? Is something wrong with it?"

"Hell, no," I respond before scoffing. The room's huge and has two four-poster beds that are set opposite of each other. One bed has silver bedding, while the other has emerald. There's a balcony that overlooks the gardens and reflecting pools. The floors are mahogany and definitely polished. This entire room looks like it was fit for a king. I hate to think what Mum and Dad's room is like if our room looks like this. I glance towards the separate armories that are probably worth more than my Firebolt. When my eyes finally rest on our trunks, I smile and shake my head. Compared to the room, our trunks make us seem like poor beggars. "Just how rich is this family?" I ask half to myself and half aloud to Jezlyn.

"If you added the Prince, Malfoy, and Potter vaults together, you still wouldn't be anywhere close to our vaults."

"If you guys are so rich, then why is Mum working at Hogwarts?" I squawk shocked.

"Because I enjoy teaching, Harry," Mum softly responds behind us. "Jezlyn, Mother wishes for you downstairs. Don't give me that look. I lived here long before you did. Now move it." After Jezlyn walks out of our room and shuts the door behind her, Mum glances at Draco and me. "The vaults are in my mother's name, not mine." She's rather serious as she speaks.

"You have access to them, though, right?" I ask curiously.

"Yes, but I make a habit of not accessing them, Harry. I have my own vault to use if I'm in need of purchasing something." She then laughs. "My mother perhaps still believes that I'm idiotic for not using the family vault, but it has instilled self-discipline in me. Hard work never killed anyone, and I like earning instead of receiving. It puts more value on my things."

"I understand." I then sigh. I haven't really had time to dwell on it, but I have now with the lull. "What should Draco and I call your parents?"

"My father won't care what you call him. I perhaps would try to avoid calling my mother anything at this point." She then pulls Draco and me into a sideways hug. "Did Jezlyn inform you two that Severus and I will be right across the hall if you need anything?"

"Yes, she told us," Draco says with a nod.

"Mum, don't take this the wrong way, but your mum's scary," I quietly say. I hear her laugh before she kisses the top of my head.

"Glad I'm not the only one," she drawls. "Seriously, Harry, it's normal. My mother has a bit of a reserved nature about her." I nod slowly, wanting to say 'no kidding.' "I take after my father in my disposition, and I'm starting to see signs of Jezlyn attempting to take after her. She's harmless, though, Harry. You and Draco have nothing to fear from her. At this point, the only person in this crazy family who should fear her is Severus. However, as I'm sure I do not need to point out, Harry, Severus is rather fearless at times."

I don't point out that I've seen Dad scared out of his mind. There are too many bad memories that associate with that day. I feel Mum rest a hand against my forehead and hear her sigh. I glance down at her swollen abdomen that her robes try to hide. My little brother or sister is in there. I then roll my eyes. I sound like Flitwick after someone answers correctly.

"Are you feeling all right, Harry?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, Mum," I reply, not noticing that I'm leaning against her.

"Well, we should probably go downstairs for dinner."

Draco and I nod before pulling back from her. I have to say that I feel rather empty now. Then again, according to Draco, Hermione, and Dad, I crave for affection because I didn't get enough as a child. I so love having my own personal therapists to go to whenever I am in need to hear the same damn thing repeated to me since I was five.

As we walk out of the room, I stick close to Mum. I've been doing that a lot lately. However, Draco has also so I know that it's not just me being a completely needy person. I think we're still scared about losing her. I mean, we came so close. I then close my eyes to think of something else.

"I'm rather surprised that Declan hasn't shown up yet," Mum muses aloud as we walk down the long corridor towards the stairs. She then holds her arm out to stop us. Obviously, she has just realized something. "I should perhaps warn you before we go downstairs." She softly bites her bottom lip as she's trying to figure out how to word something.

"Mistress Aurora, I had thought I smelt your lovely fragrance earlier," a young man in his early twenties suddenly speaks from the foyer up to us.

I glance over the banister towards him, and my mouth drops. My eyes glance towards Draco and see that he too is shocked. I shake my head and glance back at the pale young man. He has short jet-black hair, brown eyes, and has bulging muscles that show how muscular he is.

"Declan, I was starting to think you were out hunting."

"I could never hunt knowing that you are here without protection, my Lady," he replies with a soft smile. His dark eyes are alight in amusement.

My eyes then bulge out when I catch the two sharp pointy fangs sticking out against his pale skin. He's . . . he's a . . . My head whips towards Mum. With huge green eyes, I point down to the young man speaking with her. Mum only smiles apologetically before kissing my cheek.

"Yes, Harry, Declan is a vampire."

"He's . . . he's . . ." I then glance back downstairs. Only he's not down there anymore.

"Forgive me, young Master Harry, but I must inform you that you're frankly just not my type," Declan drawls, standing directly behind me now. He chuckles as I start to fall backwards, only to have Draco grab my arm and hold me upright. "A good evening to you, young Master Draco," he says, politely inclining his head towards Malfoy.

"You're a vampire," I stupidly say, getting the words out finally.

"Yes, I am a frequent drinker of blood." Declan's eyes then glance down towards Mum's swollen abdomen. "I see that wizard of yours wasted no time with you."

"This isn't going to turn into another duel is it, Declan?"

"Oh, dear no, my Lady, I'd hate for your husband to end up on his abnormally large nose."

"I think you'd be surprised how fast Severus is."

"Ah, you mean, because he pretends to be a bat?" Declan then laughs loudly. "We should perhaps join the others before your husband decides he needs a pair of fangs for a potion of his." He then holds his arm out chivalrously for her. "My Lady," he says with that frightening smile.

"We-we'll take her," I stutter, fumbling with my robes in an attempt to find my wand.

"Your wand is in your other pocket, young Master Harry," he drawls in amusement. "And I doubt you could subdue me with what little magic you're taught up there at that school of yours. Now come along, young Master Harry, and don't make a scene."

"You're a vampire," I repeat, feeling a bit more courageous.

"Oh, Merlin, yes, Potter, you've already established that," Draco says, grabbing my arm. "Come on, you foolish Gryffindor, before he gets hungry and we become his tasty little snacks." He pulls me down the stairs quickly.

How can Draco do this? Mum's with a vampire! He could suck her blood and kill her. With that lovely thought, I'm dragged into the room where Dad glances at me with a calculating look. Mum's parents aren't at the table yet. Mum's with a vampire, and Draco is a heartless bastard, I send through our link. However, I don't see any outrage in Dad's face. I mean, this man is supposed to protect her.

I am protecting her, Harry. However, I am also a guest in this house, and unlike you, I can control myself so that I'm not acting like a foolish Gryffindor as you are. However, it might help to know that Aurora is behind you, though, Dad responds.

I whirl around instantly. It's rather foolish of me, even I know it, but I push back Mum's collar to look at her neck. She glances at me, but says nothing. There are no puncture wounds, so I sigh contently.

"Hmm, perhaps I should relinquish my duties as your protector, my Lady," Declan says, staring at me with a soft smile. "Young Master Harry puts both Severus and me to shame." He then laughs before shaking his head. "It perhaps might interest you, young master, of my preference to biting my women in other places than the neck. It is so obvious, you know." He then slowly brings Mum's hand up and kisses it before inclining his head and walking towards an empty chair.

"If you even so think about it, Harry, I'll hex you," Mum says, catching my eyes. "But I do appreciate your concern." She gently kisses my cheek before joining Dad at the table.

"Am I the only one freaking out here?" I ask, glancing at Draco, Dad, and Jezlyn.

"That would be a given, Harry," Jezlyn says, rolling her green eyes at me. "Declan is sworn to protect her. He wouldn't hurt her." She then glances towards Draco. "I can see why Slytherins dislike Gryffindors. They're little drama queens," she drawls.

"If he protects her, then why wasn't he at Grimmauld?" I ask rather upset with being the laughing stock Gryffindor.

"Grimmauld?" replies Declan instantly. The smile is gone. "What occurred at this place?"

"It's nothing, Declan," Mum quickly responds.

"Nothing?" immediately I squawk. "You nearly died!" Within seconds, Dad's dark eyes dart towards me, and I see the familiar anger in them. I don't understand why he's so angry. She's the one lying by saying it was nothing.

I'm upset because you are carrying on so foolishly, Harry. We are guests here. That means it is disrespectful to shout. Dad then sighs. However, I agree with your words, son.

"Is what he says true, my Lady?" Declan's face is full of seriousness. There are no remnants of amusement anywhere on his person. "Were you close to death at this Grimmauld?"

Mum stares at me and shakes her head slowly. She draws in a slow breath before sighing. Her dark eyes then dart towards Declan.

"A witch decided to use me as target practice, yes," replies Mum quietly.

"And the reason you did not inform me of this attempt?" Declan asks, staring at her in disbelief.

"The situation was under control. There was no need to inform you about the failed attempt. As you are well aware, Declan, I do not appreciate having my life disrupted—"

"You dare say those words to me?" he growls, throwing a napkin down on the table and standing up. "I am your sworn protector, my Lady. It is my duty to prevent you from harm."

"I'm married, Declan. If anyone is my sworn protector now, it is Severus. And he had the situation under control in your absence. There was no need."

"So you say, my Lady," he responds with a challenging look. "However, perhaps you need a reminder of your fourth year at Hogwarts when you claimed yet again that the situation was under control when it so was far from the truth."

I glance towards Declan. He wouldn't even be born yet when she was a fourth-year. I then scoff. Of course, he's a vampire so age really doesn't have any meaning for him anymore. Who knows how old he really was then? I glance at Mum and narrow my eyes. She's deathly white as she glares at him.

"I do not believe this is the appropriate audience for that charming little reminder, Declan," Mum replies, clenching her teeth.

"Perhaps not, but it gets you to stop being so damn stubborn, my Lady. I believe Severus would agree with me that our main priority is to protect you from harm. And I am rather certain that he would stand with me and say 'to hell with your dislikes' when in regards to your safety."

"So then I am to be a prisoner?"

"Oh, I assure you, Mistress Aurora, that if I could chain you to the wall, I would have done so long ago. Be as it may, I cannot. However, I fail to see how we have treated you as a prisoner." Declan then sighs and bows his head. "Forgive me, my Lady, but it is not just the threat of Lord Voldemort that you must fear, and you are well aware of this. They have not stopped searching for you over the years. And they sure as hell won't now with the approaching birth of your child."

"It is fairy tales and legends, Declan. There has been no shred of proof that anyone is after me."

"So you would rather play naïve and allow yourself to be vulnerable?" he says sarcastically.

"I'd rather not have my life turned upside down because of something a wizard foretold centuries ago before my birth."

"Dammit, Azrial!" snarls Declan, glaring at Mum. "What more must be shown to you before you will believe? You are of the unknown line! Or do you dispute your mother's claims?"

"I do not. However, I am not Azrial, and if you ever refer to me by that name again, I will—"

"I am well aware of what you'll do. Your threats have never changed," Declan replies calmly.

"And yet you continue to refer to me by that wretched name."

"You are the only one who believes it to be wretched. It is a gift."

"It is a curse!" Mum snaps before whirling around and briskly walking out of the dining room.

"She is the only one to think that," Declan mumbles, shaking his head slowly. He sighs heavily before inclining his head respectfully towards Dad. "Forgive me for upsetting her, Severus. I am aware of the healer's orders to do just the opposite."

"Should I be concerned with this 'Azrial' business?" Dad replies softly.

"It is my responsibility to ensure that you are not." Declan then runs his hand through his short hair. "She is the only one who thinks of it as curse. It is a gift and something she should treasure, not fear. Then again, I should have known Mistress Aurora would take it this way. She hasn't changed a bit since she was a few months old. She is still stubborn as ever. You need not concern yourself over any of that, though. I will take care of it if you ensure her safety from Lord Voldemort."

"I shall do so."

"Forgive me, but what shall you do, Severus?" Syra replies softly as she walks into the dining room with her husband next to her.

"Many apologies, my Lady," Declan instantly says, kneeling and bowing his head respectfully.

"I take it my daughter has thrown yet another tantrum about her destiny?"

"Yes, my Lady, but I've already taken the liberty of ensuring that she cannot leave the manor."

My eyes narrow on Declan. It's almost as if he's fearful of Syra, which I can definitely relate. The woman scares the living daylights out of me. I then sigh. My curiosity is definitely piqued with what I've witnessed so far. They keep acting as if Mum is like some high priestess or something. At that thought, I glance towards Dad. I wonder if he knows what's going on.

"That bodes well for you then, Declan. She is no doubt sulking in her room as always." Syra's blue eyes then catch mine. She remains staring at me for a few moments before glancing away. "You will have to forgive me. I suddenly have lost my appetite." Holding up a hand, she then flashes a soft smile towards us with her piercing blue eyes on me again. "Enjoy yourselves tonight, boys, and I wish you many pleasant dreams." She then whirls around and glides out of the room gracefully.

As soon as she has left the room, I let out the breath that I've been holding. That woman scares the hell out of me. She's like a Dumbledore-Dad-Voldemort combination. I then shiver from a sudden chill. Slowly, I walk towards the table and take my seat next to Draco and across from Dad.

"Well, on that lovely note, let us see what's for dinner," Orin says with a soft awkward chuckle. "Declan, you may join us. There's no need for you to be kneeling on the floor like that. Syra's gone."

"Of course, sir, I apologize profusely." The dark-haired vampire then quickly retakes his seat near Dad and forces his face to relax. He's still rather angry with Mum.

"Um, shouldn't we wait for Mum?"

"I assure you that we need not wait, Harry. Aura will be joining us shortly if Syra has anything to say about, which she no doubt has."

I nod slowly. I don't blame Mum for being scared of her. I then sigh softly. I can't keep my questions to myself. It's that stupid Gryffindor side of me again. I glance towards Declan.

"Why did you call Mum 'Azrial'?"

"It is her name, whether she likes it or not," he replies with a soft smile. "Forgive me, for I believe you've heard this more than a few times, but you are the Boy-Who-Lived. It is one of the numerous names I believe you have. Other than your true name, that is." He then draws in a breath. "Azrial is similar to your Boy-Who-Lived status, young Master Harry. She finds it as a curse as you saw, while others find it to be a gift."

"So Mum is special then?" I hear Jezlyn snort instantly. "I don't understand." I then glance at Dad and notice that he too seems rather confused. At least I'm not the only one.

"There are three reasons a pureblood marries another pureblood, which I'm sure Draco could vouch for. The first reason is to get ahead financially. The second is for families to become more powerful socially, and the final reason is to strengthen the magic of the pureblooded families." I nod slowly. "Draco, you are the result of a union between the Black and Malfoy families. Am I correct?" He only nods. "Am I also correct that you casted more powerful spells than your father did?" He shrugs.

"You are correct in that assumption," Dad replies softly.

"Then Draco's parents married to strengthen the familial magic." Jezlyn then glances at me. "Father, could you perhaps explain to Harry about their case?"

"Jezlyn, it is not something either of them needs to know right now."

"No, wait, please, what does she mean?" I quickly ask. Orin glances at me before motioning towards Declan to respond for him.

"You are the result of a Muggleborn witch and pureblood father," Declan responds quietly. I nod instantly. "If any purebloods followed the old ways anymore, they'd consider Muggleborns royalty." I narrow my eyes on him. "Young Master Harry, it is extremely rare for Muggles to give birth to a magical child. It takes several hundred mutations before it finally works. A Muggle family could die out fully before delivering a witch or wizard. Because of the difficulty, the magic of most Muggleborns are more stable than that of their pureblood counterparts." I notice Draco listening intently to Declan. "They are also able to rely more heavily on their cores and do not suffer the ill effects of after draining it."

"So then you're saying that I'm pretty good at magic because of my mum instead of Dad?"

"Well, you now have Severus's blood in you, but yes, young Master Harry. Your mother being Muggleborn has made you more powerful than your pureblood classmates."

"Cool," Draco whispers next to me.

I glance at the blond with a look of shock. He's the one who has taunted me for years because my mum was a Muggleborn. Now, he thinks it's cool. I scoff and glance back at Declan. Of course! Hermione is a Muggleborn. How could I forget that my adoptive brother fancies my best friend, who also has Ron fancying her too?

"That is your case, young Master Harry. However, Severus's instance is rather unheard of."

Looking at Dad, I see him slowly sigh. I have to admit that I'm very interested in hearing why Dad's so awesome at magic. I mean, obviously, I know it's because he has worked hard at it and has tons of experience, but if there's another reason . . .

"I believe I have answered your question enough, young Harry," Declan says with a soft smile.

"Well, who are these people after Mum, though?"

"They call themselves 'Black Shroud,' but they've only came close to her once," Declan admits.

"Are they like Death Eaters then?"

"No. Death Eaters are a miniscule threat compared to them." He then sighs, shaking his head. "When they had come close to her, she was only a few hours old. The slippery fiends managed somehow to pretend that they were matrons at St. Mungo's Hospital, and the idiotic staff thought nothing of it. They are like smoke at times, hence their name, but they've failed in their attempt because my brothers and I were watching from the shadows."

"What do they want? I mean, I still don't understand why they're after her."

When Dad visibly relaxes across from me, I know that Mum has entered the room. Declan instantly stands up and inclines his head respectfully towards her. Our conversation is obviously over. As soon as Mum walks around the table, I watch her. She's clearly still angry. However, she takes her seat next to Dad and sighs, attempting to relax. It doesn't work, though.

"Mother sends her apologies," Mum replies emotionlessly.

"I bet," snorts Orin before taking a sip from his silver goblet. "Luckily, we have two weeks to get past this animosity, Aura."

"Two weeks to make up for thirty-four years of trying to make me conform to her ideals," Mum quips with a forced smile. "I suppose stranger things have happened, though."

"Mum," I ask quietly. She glances at me, but doesn't say anything. "Is everything all right?"

"Everything is fine, Harry. My mother is up to her usual antics."

"She is only trying to protect you, my Lady," Declan quietly replies.

"It's a little late for that protection of hers. However, we best drop this line of discussion before I am forced to hear another of her lectures." Mum then grabs a fork and starts to eat her salad without another word spoken. One more conversation dropped.

After dinner and later in the evening, Draco and I are getting ready for bed. I quickly slip into my loose sweatpants and t-shirt. From my silver-colored bed, I glance towards Draco who is sitting up against his headboard with an inkwell, quill, and thin black book on his lap. I grab one of my numerous pillows and throw it at him. I nearly laugh when he screeches at the sudden blow.

"What are you doing over there?" I ask after I gain his attention.

"What does it look like I'm doing, Potter?"

"Don't tell me that the great Draco Malfoy hasn't finished his summer work yet."

"Oh, shut up, Potter. I finished that weeks ago." He then sighs. "I'm writing."

"Writing what?" I ask in disbelief.

"As if I'd ever tell you," he drawls before focusing on his book again.

I watch him from my bed for a few moments. He's so concentrated on that book. My eyes then narrow on it. I could be wrong, but it looks like it's a journal. My eyes dart back up to him. Draco Malfoy has a diary. I want to laugh, but I don't. After all, there's nothing wrong with diaries. An idea then hits me. He is a Malfoy, and his dad has taught me that not all diaries are good.

"It doesn't write back, does it?"

"What are you talking about?"

"That diary you're writing into," I reply, glancing at the black book in his hands.

"It's a journal, Potter, and no it doesn't write back." He then sighs heavily. "Fine, since I know you'll be a complete idiot and try to read it, I'll just show you. If you tell any of your little Gryffindor pals, though, I'll tell all of Slytherin how you cuddled up to Weasley after you both passed out."

"I did not!" I then watch in utter disbelief as Draco calmly walks to his trunk and pulls out a picture. My mouth drops at the picture in his hands. "Why would you take a picture of that?"

"Who says I did?" He then scoffs. "The twins had the picture, and I, being the rather excellent big brother that I am, filched it from them. Now, will you tell anyone?"

"Of course not," I respond moodily. I can't believe the big prat is blackmailing me. Then again, it's not as if I'd ever tell anyone what he wrote in the journal. Well, possibly if he were writing a hit list then I would tell someone. He gently throws his journal towards me and sighs. I silently open the journal and feel my heart stop. A rather amazing sketch of Hermione stares back at me. She's smiling while reading a book. I can tell by the background that she's in the library. I then flip the page and see more pictures of her. "I thought you said you were writing."

"I was," Draco replies with a loud scoff.

I flip more pages until I find an entry with words. My eyes narrow on it, though. It's poetry. I then glance at Draco. He's writing poetry, more importantly, love poetry. I keep the smile from my face before glancing back down and reading the words. He's pretty good at it. I then flip more pages until I find his last entry. I'll admit that I'm surprised that he's not over here throttling me to death, but he was the one who gave me the journal.

I watch my lovely nymph from afar. She knows that I exist, but it is only hatred she feels for me, not undeniable love. I long for more, though. I long for nothing more than to tell her of my feelings. But I know that she would not believe me. She would see it as a trick, and I would understand. I have slurred so many wretched insults at her that it is a wonder how she even stands to be near me.

It tears me up inside to see her with Weasel. He knows nothing of how to treat a lady as lovely as she is. He knows nothing of how delicate she is or how beautiful she is when she learns something new. He does not watch her to see her rich velvety chocolate eyes glow in wonder at the sight of a new book. He does not notice the discipline she has in terms of sweets when she wants nothing more than to devour them. He has never once seen her smile that lights up the room in a heavenly glow. He sees her only as his friend that just happens to be a girl.

She is not a girl. She is a woman, and the one she loves should treat her as such. It is an insult to think of her as any other female. She is much more than those pretenders are. She has a fiery side that shows her determination and ability to love. Someday perhaps she will understand, but for now, I shall remain in the shadows, watching my nymph and waiting for her to be mine.

I stare at the page in utter amazement. I can just feel his emotions while writing this. He truly loves her. I then close my eyes. I already know that I'm so not getting in the middle of it. It's between Ron and Draco. However, a part of me is fiercely rooting for Draco to win her affections. His words prove how deeply he cares for her. At this point, I'm still not sure what Ron feels. I mean, I'll admit that I too felt at one point attracted towards Hermione, but she's more like a sister to me than that. Then again, I'm head over heels in love with a Ravenclaw who won't give me the time of day because I'm too much of a coward to ask. I sigh softly before getting out of bed and handing back his journal.

"You should tell her, Draco," I say quietly. "Because if she ever found this by accident, she might think that you're stalking her." I watch him snort before shaking his head.

"I can't tell her, Harry. You saw how she was with Weasel at the wedding."

"I'm not saying it will be easy, Draco, but I think she'd forgive you if she got to know the real you." I then nod in agreement with myself. "Yeah, I'm rather convinced she would. Night, Draco."