A/n: Did I make you guys wait too long? Sorry. :( I admit, I was a bit busy with my personal tumblr that I kind of forgot to update. But here I am, and I hope you like it. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.
Draco Malfoy never really believed that his so-called romance with Hermione Granger would be as smooth-sailing as a boat ride in a calm ocean. No, it was most certainly not like the insipid love stories his mother had so loved to secretly read with her afternoon tea, one that consists of a perfect hero and heroine that tackle love like an easy subject. Nor was it the typical teenage romance people usually see; the love the two of them shared was so volatile it could not be defined merely as a 'relationship'. It was something else, so much more, something the two of them cannot really explain.
It was in one word, dangerous.
Whatever intimate moments that occurred between them never went outside the privacy of their common room; it had been their mutual agreement to keep everything a secret, for if someone found out, they would be in great trouble, both from their closest friends and loved ones. The situation had been more difficult than either of them can imagine.
Both had tried to keep their bond strong despite the trials that came their way, but sometimes, one tends to get sick and tired of the endless cycles of their relationship, causing a drift that was pretty much hard to mend.
Draco still couldn't fathom why he felt such a powerful pull of emotions towards her. She caused quite a rollercoaster of feelings he could not completely understand, for one moment she made him happy, and the next second all his positive emotions would come crashing down around him with just a simple non-committal word from her .
She made him feel crazy. She made him want to laugh and cry at the same time, and those specifics made him question whether she was really at all good for his health or not.
He did not fancy becoming a candidate for St. Mungo's mental ward just yet.
Hermione fell off the couch with a rather heavy thud at Draco's sudden statement. Her face had become drained of the healthy flush it contained, and her cinnamon-coloured eyes went as wide as saucers.
"W—what?" she squeaked, clutching her chest as she breathed heavily, staring at his relaxed form in pure horror.
"Marry me," he repeated in a deadly serious voice. Hermione looked as though she would faint on the spot; her lips had turned white, and she was visibly trembling. Her terrified visage somehow pricked Draco's pride, even though he knew very well he wasn't serious with his impulsive outburst.
Draco gave a soft chuckle and gave her a hand up from her frozen position on the floor. "Just practicing," he drawled out, squeezing her trembling hand as she rose with his assistance. He gave a shout of pain when Hermione reached over and pinched him hard on the thigh, bellowing a string of curses that echoed around the common room.
"It's not funny, you arse!" she said hotly, her face a brilliant shade of magenta. "You're despicable, you arrogant ferret!"
Draco had grabbed both her wrists before she could pinch him again, a smirk on his lips. He ignored the stinging pain on his thigh, believing that a purple bruise already beginning to form on the area she sank her claws into. Sometimes Hermione can really get so physical.
"I'm sorry, love. I couldn't resist," he grinned mischievously at her. "I just wanted to try saying that line, and who do you think is the best person I could practice on?"
Hermione did not look one bit amused with him, although he felt the resistance slipping away from her wrists. Carefully he tugged her closer, inhaling the sweet strawberry smell of her hair. "Besides, I'm the one who should be wound up, for the insulting way you reacted to my declaration. You looked as though I just asked you to roast fluffy little bunnies alive rather than give a proposal of marriage," he murmured against her temple, gently pressing his lips against it.
"It was hardly a joking matter, Draco," she mumbled, albeit wrapping her slim arms against his neck. "We can barely tell the world of our relationship, much more try to marry each other. And besides, we're too young,"
"I know," he whispered. "Sorry," he ran an idle finger against her smooth cheek, and she gave a contented sigh. Vaguely he thought about the weight of his teasing earlier—would he come to a point in the future where he would be asking Hermione to become his wife? The notion sent a chill down his spine, for a different reason altogether. He knew his parents would never approve of a relationship with her, much more the possibility of tainting their pure bloodline with non-magical blood with the result of marriage. Not that Draco still considered her as a mudblood—who could deny the magical blood running through her veins when all she displayed was exceptional talent?
He gave his head a mental shake to wave off those unpleasant thoughts. It wasn't as if he'd be marrying anytime soon; they had all the time in the world to enjoy each other, and if ever the day would come when he needed to make a decision, he'd… crap, he had no inkling about what to do.
"Where'd you get that idea anyway?" Hermione's soft voice jolted him out of his reverie. "About the marriage thing, I mean,"
"Just a random thing that popped in my head, I reckon," he said truthfully. "I heard a song over the radio about it, and it's sort of stuck in my head ever since," Hermione pulled away from him to look into his eyes; it was one of her quirks, being able to detect whether he was lying or not merely by gazing into his eyes. He was no mediocre when it came to legilimency and occlumency, but it seemed that he had met his match in Hermione. She could read him easily, much more accurately than the other people Draco had been acquainted with. She smiled in satisfaction when she saw that he was telling the truth.
"Oh. Alright," she looked a bit disappointed at his response. "Been listening all day to the radio instead of studying for the N.E.W.T. exams, have you, Draco? We both know that it wouldn't do us any good to—" She glanced down at her watch, gave a low cuss, and disengaged herself from Draco's embrace. "Merlin's beard! I almost forgot, Harry's asked me to meet him at the Three Broomsticks! I'm almost a quarter hour late!" hurriedly she slipped on her shoes and fluffed her hair back to propriety. Draco didn't bother informing her that she only made it look bushier than ever, just leaned back on the couch and eyed her lazily instead.
"What does Potter want?" he asked, working hard to keep his tone neutral. "Does he need help on his homework? Oh wait, that would be Weasley," he sneered, and Hermione shot him an irritated look.
"I don't know what Harry needs," she said icily. "And please, don't talk that way about Ron, he's been through a lot since the war—he just lost a brother, you know,"
Draco immediately felt contrite for his jealous eruption. Much as he still disliked them, they were Hermione's friends. And he needed to act more grateful because they were the ones who reluctantly saved his neck back at the Room of Requirement almost a year ago. "Again, my apologies," he said, actually meaning it. "What time will you be back?" he asked a heartbeat later, reaching out to take her hand but she moved away, still looking offended at his insult.
"I don't know," she answered. "I have to go, I'll see you later at the evening rounds," she then turned to leave, but he wouldn't let her go with an angry drift between them.
"I love you," he called out after her, his voice husky with genuine emotion. She halted mid-stride, looking stricken. She looked for a moment as though she was considering whether his statement was genuine, then after a heartbeat, rushed back to him, her fingers weaving into his white-blond hair as she gave him a rather impulsive kiss. Draco's blood pulsed hotly against his veins, and he was breathing heavily when she pulled away.
"Be a good boy," she whispered, giving his hot cheek a pat before exiting the common room.
Draco could only stare after her, his heart drumming furiously against his chest.
True to her word, Hermione did not return to the Heads' common room until their evening rounds. When she did, Draco was alarmed to see a lost expression on her face, eyes obviously swollen from too much crying.
"What happened?" he asked, hurrying towards her, but she held her hands up as if to ward him away. She shook her head, and burst into tears again. Draco edged nearer, careful not to make her more anxious. "Tell me what's wrong, love. I'm here," he said gently, opening his arms to her, but she did not move towards him.
"I—it's Ron—he—he won't—he won't listen to me or Harry," she said between hiccups, wiping at the tears with the back of her hand. "He—he says he wants to leave—leave school,"
"Why?" Draco queried, suddenly curious.
Hermione gazed at him with hurt-filled eyes, her bottom lip quivering as she spoke. "He… he says he'd rather help George out at the joke shop," she replied, looking vastly frustrated. "He won't listen to anything I say… he—he told me and Harry to mind our own business and l—leave him alone," she finished, and buried her face into her palms, her narrow shoulders quaking with each sob.
Draco waited for a minute before taking another tentative step toward her. She seemed to sense that though, for she took another step back.
"I—I just came to get some of my things," she said when she was able to speak coherently. "I'll be sleeping at the Gryffindor common room tonight, after our rounds. Harry and I will try to talk Ron out of leaving,"
Draco didn't know why, but he was starting to get agitated. "Fine. I'll spend the night at the Slytherin common room as well. Astoria can keep me entertained for the rest of the night, I think."
Hermione's eyes flashed with anger, and he saw her hands curl into tight fists. "Surely you can't be playing such petty jealous games with me!" she said in utter disbelief. "Ron's my friend, and he needs me!"
Draco knew that, but it didn't stop the sizzling waves of jealousy from seeping through the core of his bones. He was incensed that she would be spending the night with her ex-boyfriend, and he would do anything to get even.
"Yeah, well Astoria's my friend too," he sneered, trying to ignore the guilt in his gut when tears sprang into her eyes once more. "So let's just get this bloody patrolling shift over with, so we can carry on to our personal business,"
Hermione did not follow him as he strolled over to the doorway of the common room. He forced an indifferent expression on his face as he turned to face her. "Come on, don't make this difficult," he said lightly, and she sent him a glare so livid he gave a little flinch.
"You're the one making this difficult, you idiot!" she yelled, her temper flaring out of control. "I can't believe you'd act so childish over this! Can't you understand? My friends need me too!"
Draco averted his eyes from her before she could see the turbulence in his own gaze. "What I don't understand, is why you need to camp out there like some guard just to watch over Weasley," he said, his voice coming out even and calm. "How can I be sure you wouldn't just spend the night fooling around with him? How can I—" he was unable to finish his sentence, for the next second she had aimed a hex that hit him squarely on the stomach, sending him toppling on the floor, wheezing.
"Do you really think so low of me?" she screeched, her breaths coming out in gasps as she continued to point her wand at him. "I cannot believe you. I honestly cannot believe you!" she then turned on her heel towards her room, coming back a few minutes later with a bag full of clothes. "And I will be patrolling the halls with Padma, so just go ahead and enjoy the rest of your evening with Astoria!"
Draco clutched his stomach and rose to his feet, watching Hermione as she walked away. He was simmering with rage, laden with a hint of regret for picking a fight with her. He couldn't blame himself for being jealous though; Weasley had been her friend for more than seven years, and he had contributed more happiness in her life than Draco ever did. He knew deep in his heart that if Hermione were to choose between the two of them, she would undoubtedly pick Weasley over him. Those unpleasant realizations brought an unexpected sting behind his eyes. Yes, he never stood a chance against Weasley.
With a bitter laugh to counter the threat of tears in his eyes, he swivelled to the direction of the Slytherin common room, where he would keep himself preoccupied from the thoughts of the girl he loved with his enemy.
"Astoria," Draco gave her a boyish smile when he spotted her lounging at one of the plush leather chairs with her friends, chatting gaily with one another. Her friends' heads whirled at Draco's direction, astonishment on their faces.
"Draco," she gave him a dimpled smile in return, moving over to give him space. Draco settled comfortably beside her, and gave an acknowledging nod to her friends, who were still gawking at him. "What brings you here in the common room? I thought you had rounds during this shift with the Head Girl,"
"She can manage on her own, I reckon," he drawled out, his heart constricting as he recalled Hermione, and where she currently was at the moment. Astoria eyed him with concern, her pretty blue eyes fixed intently on him.
Just then, Blaise caught sight of him, and he stalked towards Draco, looking confused. "Shouldn't you be doing your evening rounds with Granger?" he asked in puzzlement.
"She decided I needed a break so she volunteered to do it with Padma Patil instead," he lied, and Blaise's eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"I don't think Granger would be the type to let you off the hook so easily," he said slowly, looking at Draco with deciphering eyes.
Draco thought so too, so he couldn't think of another fabrication to say. Instead he glanced away and concentrated on what Astoria's friend was babbling about.
"I think you and I need to talk privately, mate," he said, and Draco raised a brow.
"Whatever for, Blaise? Why don't we just sit and relax here with these pretty ladies?" he quipped in a sickeningly charming voice that seemed to weave its magic to Astoria's friends. He gave an inward shudder of disgust as they practically fell at his feet with his compliment, blubbering praises about Draco that he did not care to hear about.
"I insist," Blaise told him in a hard voice, and Draco faked a resigned sigh. He turned to Astoria and gave her an apologetic smile.
"I'll be back," he said, and she gave an understanding nod. She then turned to Blaise, and gave him a smile. "Yes, don't hog Draco too long, Blaise," she said sweetly. Draco took his sweet time rising from his seat, following Blaise who was stalking off to their favourite hang-out place at the common room, a secluded corner nobody dared to broach.
"What is it, Blaise?" he asked impatiently once they sat down on their old chairs.
"Why aren't you patrolling with Granger? And don't give me that crap you mentioned a while ago, Draco," Blaise said bluntly, looking at Draco straight in the eye.
Draco bit back his tongue to prevent hauling a bunch of curses at his friend. "We got into a major argument, alright?" he finally answered in a crabby voice.
"But I thought you two got along so well," Blaise could not hide the sarcasm in his tone. "Aren't you two supposed to be madly in love with each other?"
Draco's eyes widened with surprise. "Where did you get that ridiculous idea?" he asked in incredulity. Blaise rolled his eyes.
"Don't play coy with me, mate. I've known you far too long," Blaise mentioned, drumming his fingers agitatedly against the ottoman he was sitting on. "I've been watching you with her; I could only recognize the possession in your eyes every time you look at her, Draco. It has been pretty much obvious to me how you feel about her,"
Draco coloured as he listened to Blaise. Had he really been that transparent?
"Was I really that obvious?" Draco croaked out when he found the capacity to speak. "Bloody hell. I'm in trouble, aren't I?"
Blaise actually looked a bit sympathetic. "If by trouble, you mean your parents, then I must agree," he said solemnly. "But don't worry, I don't think anyone else has discovered your dirty little secret."
Draco could not muster up a smile. "I'm sorry, mate, for not telling you," he muttered, looking embarrassed.
"I don't think I would have wanted to find out," Blaise scoffed. "A word of warning though, Draco. Surely you know you're treading on dangerous waters?" he asked quietly, worry visible in his opaque eyes.
"I know," Draco replied flatly. "God knows, but I can't help myself. I think I'm bloody obsessed,"
Blaise looked horrified for a moment, and then he was shaking his head in dismay.
"Astoria would be a finer choice," he suggested, cocking his head towards Astoria, who looked ethereal under the greenish lights of the common room, her long blonde hair framing her delicate face nicely. "I believe your mother would approve of her,"
Draco's jaw hardened as he fought off the urge to defend Hermione. "I guess," he responded tonelessly. "Unfortunately, she's not the one I want,"
Draco was surprised to see a spark of resentment in Blaise's eyes. "Well then, don't use her to lick your wounds from Granger, because Astoria is much worthy than that little mudblood,"
"Don't call her that," Draco hissed, and Blaise's mouth curled into a humourless smile.
"Sorry. I forgot myself for a moment there," he said dryly, standing up. "Listen, Draco. I'm only concerned about you. And you already know what I think—stay away from Granger. She'd only cause you trouble, like what she has done now,"
"Now?" Draco echoed, confused.
"Have you forgotten about breaking any rules here in school? Fat lot it would help you, once McGonagall discovers that you aren't performing your duty as Head Boy," Blaise replied brusquely.
"But it wasn't my fault she didn't want to patrol with me tonight!" Draco said defensively, also rising from his seat.
"Yeah, but would that matter once the Head Girl reports that to the Headmistress?"
Draco didn't bother answering, for he was already making his way out of the common room towards the Headmistress's office.
"Mister Malfoy, what are you doing here?" McGonagall asked as he entered her office. "Aren't you supposed to be resting? Miss Granger informed me that you weren't feeling well, so she requested to have Miss Patil accompany her instead,"
Feeling a wave of relief and a heavy burst of guilt in his stomach, he staggered to form a reply. "I—I—just wanted to double-check," he finally blurted out.
He then left the office, and plodded back to the Heads' common room as he wracked his brains for a way to make Hermione forgive him tomorrow.
"Have you seen Granger?" Draco asked Ginny Weasley when he passed by her in the hall after breakfast. The petite redhead gave him a glower, but grudgingly gave an answer to his question.
"She's with Ron, outside," she said, contempt visible in her eyes. Draco speculated vaguely whether she knew of his relationship with Hermione as he walked out of the castle, but then again, Weaslette had never really displayed a particular liking to him before. And having Draco Malfoy as a boyfriend was hardly worth boasting about to friends, he reckoned. He then made his way out of the castle, his eyes roaming over the grounds for a familiar bushy head.
He paused when he finally caught sight of her—and his heart dropped to the ground, blood rushing into his head.
Hermione's face was inclined an inch away from Weasley's bent head, and from the distance it seemed that her hand was gently massaging his arm. Whether it was for strict friendly consolation, Draco did not give a flying fuck at the moment. He saw red, and he knew he was screwed.
He felt the last scrap of understanding snap inside him when he saw her lean closer and press a kiss on his forehead. His whole body felt numb as he pivoted back into the castle, his hands unconsciously crushing the flowers he had carefully picked for her earlier.
He did not attend his first class; instead he snuck away to a secluded tavern at the outskirts of Hogsmeade and got steadily drunk until the afternoon. He had fallen asleep on a barstool, his head resting against his forearms atop the table. The toothy barmaid had roused him to consciousness just as the sun was setting down, giving not-too-subtle implications of extra service.
"Tibby can help you forget about the lass who broke yer heart, darlin'," she cooed, rubbing her breast against his arm. Draco pulled away from her grip, a revolted look on his face. Struggling madly for balance, he walked out of the tavern, his world spinning in dizzying circles around him.
He was trying to walk with a straight stance (and utterly failing) back to the Heads' common room when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He spun around, and stared dazedly into Astoria's anxious face. "Draco? Are you alright?" she asked, and Draco blinked, trying to focus on her but he kept on seeing multiple striking faces of Astoria. He felt so dizzy he staggered backwards, and she grabbed his shoulders to keep him steady.
"Yeah," he managed to mumble, his head lolling to her shoulder as she continued to support him with her fragile form. He could smell her expensive perfume, but it did not attract him at all like Hermione's sweet strawberry scent.
"You didn't attend any classes today," she scolded. "Have you been drinking the whole day?"
Draco didn't answer her, for his stomach roiled with the threat of retching.
"Let me take you to your common room," Astoria said, moving his arms so they wrapped steadily around her. "You look dreadful. Care to tell me what happened?"
Draco shook his head vehemently, causing him to become dizzier. He fell awkwardly against her, completely losing his balance.
"What's happening here?" he heard Hermione's voice over the cloudy haze around him, and he tried to remove his arms from Astoria, but he felt too weak.
"He's… he's not feeling well, I think," Astoria answered, and Draco lifted his head from her shoulder.
"Whazzit t'you?" he slurred out, barely registering the enraged look in Hermione's face as she neared them, her eyes seeming to digest his improper position against Astoria. "Y'go…y'go back to that ginger boyfriend of yours, and mind your own bl'dy business,"
"I'll take care of him," Hermione said firmly, and Draco felt her hands gripping his biceps tightly as she took him from Astoria's grasp. He let himself fall ungracefully against her, his chest bumping her breasts indecently. He could feel her heart racing as she righted their positions. "Thanks, Astoria, for keeping an eye on him," she said with a sincerity that reached Draco's alcohol-glazed mind.
He wasn't able to see or hear Astoria's response, for Hermione was already dragging him towards their common room. With great effort she heaved him to the nearest couch, and he fell limply against the chair, his head pounding.
His eyes flung open when he felt a cold cloth against his face. He saw Hermione's caramel-coloured eyes staring down at him with a mix of exasperation and nervousness.
"I've been looking for you the whole day," she murmured, pressing the cool towel against his forehead.
"No, you're not," he rasped out. "You're too busy kissing Weasley behind my back to give a pig's fart 'bout where I was,"
"I was not kissing him!" she said angrily. "It was merely a token of affection, a friendly peck on the forehead—wait, you saw that?" she sounded stunned.
He gave a snort, ignoring the pain in his chest. "I knew I never stood a chance against him," he mumbled, closing his eyes again.
He heard Hermione take a deep breath, and the wet cloth left his face.
"You really are the most insecure man I have ever met," she replied softly, her fingers lightly splaying on his face, lifting back stray locks of hair that fell on his face. "Draco, listen to me. Ron is my friend. I love him very much. You… you're not exactly my boyfriend, but I love you too, in a different way I love Harry and Ron. Trust me on this though; I love you, and you should not compare yourself to them because what I feel about you belongs in an entirely different wavelength,"
Draco did not respond, just let her words seep into his leaden mind. Somehow the ache in his chest lessened, and he wished his hang-over would be over soon so he could also apologize properly. The least he could do at the moment was feebly bring out the wilted, crushed flowers from his robe pocket, along with the letter he wrote for her the previous evening.
He missed the confused look on her face, and the bittersweet smile that crossed her features when realization dawned upon her, for his eyes remained closed.
"Y—you meant to give me these before you saw me with Ron?" she queried, sounding frail. Draco gave a nearly imperceptible nod, and he felt her bury her face into his chest. "Oh, Draco. I honestly don't know how to deal with you…"
He heard the rustle of paper a few minutes later, and he knew she was reading the note he wrote for her.
I'm sorry. For acting like a jealous lunatic, for saying those harsh accusations. I just love you so much it hurts. I can't bear the thought of you with Weasley, because I know for a fact that the two of you shared a much more special thing than you and I ever did, that he means a whole lot more to you than I do, and once he gets his opportunity, I won't stand a chance. Please forgive me, love. I'd kneel down and hovel if you like, but I guarantee you, it won't be a pretty sight.
He opened one eye and glimpsed Hermione staring at his note with tear-varnished eyes.
"You idiot," she said, glancing over at him, her lips pursed in consternation. "What do I need to do to make you realize that you're the one I love?"
Draco took a long time to reply. "You decide," he finally said, succumbing to the dark abyss of unconsciousness that engulfed him.
He woke up the next day with a heady scent of strawberries filling his nostrils. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he observed his surroundings and realized that he had fallen asleep in the common room. And to his chagrin, Hermione was sprawled uncomfortably on the floor, her head resting a few inches from his, her hair spread like a nest around him as she slept on.
His head was still pounding as he struggled to sit up, wincing at the stiffness of his muscles. Hermione stirred beside him and stretched her knotted muscles as she awakened.
Hermione caught the wince in his expression as he clutched his aching temple. "Headache?" she asked gently, and he nodded. "Good. You deserved it," she huffed out, and he almost burst into laughter.
She then proceeded to whip up a tonic to make him feel better, and he resisted the urge to kiss her as he drank from the cup she handed him. The feeling of hang-over lifted, and his mind became clearer.
"Thanks," he said gruffly when he finished drinking the tonic. He set down the cup on the coffee table, looking into her mahogany-tinted eyes apologetically.
"I suppose you enjoyed your drunken state last night, since you got the chance to cuddle with Astoria," Hermione commented slyly.
Draco rolled his eyes at her. "I don't need alcohol to do that to her," he smirked.
"I know. You're too handsome for your own good, I don't think she'd be able to help herself," she responded with heavy sarcasm, and Draco frowned.
"Come here," Draco said, gesturing to the space beside him on the couch. Hermione approached hesitantly, then sat down, a perplexed look on her face. He took her hands and grazed his lips against her knuckles in a feather-light touch, and she gave a little shiver. "I just want to let you know that I am not interested in Astoria," he said quietly. "I love you, you little, self-doubting bookworm. You're all I could ever want…I think."
"Me too," Hermione said, pulling his head down for a kiss. "Me too."
Draco almost forgot about their previous arguments as they continued to cuddle afterwards in the aftermath of their fight. Almost.
"I'm sorry about Weasley," he said gruffly, out of the blue. Hermione's eyes snapped to his face, and she gave him a wobbly smile.
"I just need you to understand. He's my friend, my best friend… he needs me right now, Draco," she whispered, unlocking herself from his arms. "If you would burst into jealous fits every time you see me with him, I don't think it would be good to continue this… this relationship we have,"
He understood completely her point, but it did not stop his heart from clenching painfully. She would rather break up with him than sabotage her friendship with Weasley and Potter.
"Fine," he answered a few minutes later, his voice hoarse. "I'll put a reign on my temper. But only if you quit acting like the queen of prissiness every time Astoria speaks to me,"
"Astoria obviously fancies you, and it's an entirely different case from Ron," Hermione argued, her eyes mirroring the irritation her felt.
"Well can't you trust me enough that I won't go behind your back with Astoria?" he asked, willing her to see his side in a different light. "You're the one I love, and I just want to be her friend. In case you haven't noticed, nobody exactly wanted to be friends with me after my death eater stint, and she was one of the few ones who actually attempted to do so,"
Hermione stared at him for a moment, absorbing his speech. Then she gave a defeated sigh, leaning rather ungracefully against the couch.
"Alright, I get your point. I'm actually a bit glad she'd being nice to you, but honestly, it never fails to bug me too. I think it might contribute to the fact that she is just too pretty, I can't help but feel insecure. I mean, who wouldn't prefer her poise and beauty over someone like me?" she ranted on, and Draco could not help the smile splitting on his face.
"I would," he said quietly, and she seemed to stop breathing. "always prefer you over her. You make me laugh, you make me cry, basically you make me a bit mad, but I wouldn't swap you for her,"
Hermione hid her face from him with the shield of her bushy hair, but he could tell she was appeased with his answer. When she finally turned back to him, she was looking much more peaceful than he'd seen her before.
"Thank you then. For appreciating me the way I am."
And she was appreciated. No matter how strung-up she made him ever since they realized they loved each other.
A/n: OMG it's too long, it's too long… Reviews please?