A/N: Hello there!

I guess you're wondering why I decided to write two multi-chap fics at the same time.

Well...this plot has been threatening to eat my brain out for days - no, months - now.

Anyway, this fic is very, VERY different from my other multi-chap fic.

It is set in Draco and Hermione Sixth Year, and it follows the Epilogue, with a twist at the end. It is also a little dark...definitely different from cheery little 'Happy With You."

Please give my story a try, and leave review!

"Will you stop eating!" Hermione hit Ron with as much force as she could muster (which wasn't much) with the book she was holding. "Your best friend is missing!"

Ron, who was paying Hermione very little attention, and more to the food he was eating, said, "Oi! Turn around, you lunatic." He glared at her once, then went back to chewing.

Lunatic, Hermione thought indignantly. I'm the lunatic? I'm just watching out for Harry, you bumbling idiot!

She sighed. No matter what she thought, she couldn't help but feel a little hurt. She had no idea why, but for some reason, she cared about Ron, so much more than she cared about Harry, and hearing these words from him...it made her feel useless.



Like a Mudblood.

"He's covered in blood again. Why is it he's always covered in blood?" asked Ginny, who was sitting with them at the Gryffindor table. Harry was walking toward them with Luna Lovegood, who made a quick turn to the Ravenclaw table. Harry had a towel held up against his nose.

He was bleeding. Bleeding very badly, if you don't mind.

"Bloody hell, Harry, who did this to you?" Hermione asked, as Ginny worriedly dabbed at Harry's bleeding nose gently with the towel. Harry smiled weakly at her, thanking her silently.

She smiled back, and continued dabbing at Harry's nose.

They look so...perfect for each other, Hermione thought sadly. She looked at Ron, who did not seem to care just a little bit. He was too busy chewing to notice anything.

Hermione sighed. She would have to give up on him soon...he wasn't worth it.

She could hardly picture spending her life with this kind of idiot.

She tried her best to let it go...but it wouldn't work.

Not yet anyway.

"Ow - thanks, Ginny - Malfoy," said Harry, wincing slightly as Ginny accidently tapped his nose a little too hard. "Malfoy did this."

Hermione's eyes widened. "Draco Malfoy?"

"Is there any other Malfoy?" Ginny said, sounding a little disgusted.

Hermione frowned.

Draco Malfoy did this?

No, Hermione thought. He couldn't've done it. He may be tough and thick, but he's pretty much afraid of his own shadow to be strong enough to punch Harry.

She looked over to the Slytherin table, and scanned it with her large brown eyes, hoping to find a flash of blond, or a glint of grey.

Her eyes settled on a handsome, sixteen year old boy who looked, more or less, forlorn.

Where was the proud, domineering arrogance that filled his eyes now?

Where was the stupid, ignorant smirk that graced his lips every so often?

Hermione was bewildered at the sudden change in the demeanor of Draco Malfoy.

He was never like this. Never...

Hermione had always known that Draco was very well cared for. It was something he'd always bragged about, and it was something they were all tired of hearing.

So why on earth did he seem so...well...ruined?

Hermione was able to pull away from her gaze enough to look at Harry.

His nose was still being tended to by Ginny, and Ron turned his back on Hermione to listen to Dumbledore.

"...I would like to announce that the Defense Against the Dark Arts spot will be filled by none other than Professor Snape," continued Dumbledore.

Hermione was not paying much attention, and she had missed nearly the entire speech.

No, she was too engrossed in studying Draco.

Yes, Draco...

Hermione smiled. She had, for some time, known that she learned to care for him, no matter how mean he was to her.

He needed it after all. She understood him better than most of her friends, and she knew that underneath his arrogant facade, he was just a boy.

She knew that even if he was rich, he still wasn't getting enough love, and she pitied him for it.

In fact, he was, before his appearance now, tall, proud, intelligent, and handsome.

Not as intelligent as me, thought Hermione. No, he's only second best when it comes to academics.

Ah, yes, he was a ladies' man too. Almost every girl in the school was head over heels in love with him.

She snorted.

Even Ginny had gushed about how handsome he was, maybe once or twice.

She looked at Draco again, confused.

Why on earth was this boy so...sad? Hermione thought. He didn't even clap for Snape when Dumbledore announced his new post, and he worships Snape. I wonder what's wrong...when he already has everything.

Yes, he did.

He had a beautiful house, a lot of money, his father had a prominent job, he had girls prowling every corner for him, he had the teachers bowing down to him...

Most of all, he was a Pureblood.

He had everything he could ever want, so why does he have to look so sad?

Hermione looked harder, and she could note the wonderful features on Draco's face.

His eyes were a strange shade of grey; they looked almost steel, or chrome. His pale blond hair was no longer slicked back, like he used to do it in Second Year, but fringed perfectly over his thin face.

But there were also things that seemed out of place.

Since when did Draco have dark purple circles around his eyes? They were very prominent on his pale skin.

He must not have been sleeping well. And why did he look rather thin?

He was always thin, but not like this. In fact, he was one of those lucky boys who had lean, almost graceful builds, yet still had those well-built muscles from playing Quidditch.

He was, in other words, almost perfect.

But his near perfection was ruined by the world that he belonged in.

He was raised to despise Muggleborns; raised to think they were below him.

He thought that made him better. But it did not.

It ruined his already excellent image, and made him more of a villain.

Hermione felt something tug at her heart. She frowned, and she could tell she felt sorry for him.

For what, she did not know. All she thought was she felt a deep pity for the boy.

Little did she know it was something else entirely.

She knew she'd been feeling tugs at her heart when she thought of him too much...ever since that time when he called her Mudblood.

She wanted to prove she was better than he was, but the price of that was thinking about him nearly all the time.

Well, she wouldn't linger on it.

She had more important things to think about anyway.

Draco looked up, and caught Hermione staring at him.

He looked surprised.

A strong part of her was telling her to look away, but she felt a little...drawn.

They were both compelled by the other, and they had no idea why.

Hermione kept her eyes looking, and for a moment, she swore she could see something other than sadness in his beautiful grey eyes.

They looked...sorry.



His face crumpled into what looked like pain, then he looked away again.

"Hermione?" asked Ginny, snapping Hermione out of her trance. "Who are you looking at?"

"Um...no one. No one, just Mrs. Norris," Hermione said quickly, turning back to her friends.

I'm sorry, Hermione thought, But Draco Malfoy will just have to wait.

Draco was utterly bemused, though he did not show it.

In fact, he hardly ever showed any feeling at all ever since...

Well, ever since the Mark.

He shuddered, and looked up, only to find the prettiest pair of brown eyes he had ever seen looking right at him.

She was...staring at him.

The filthy Mudblood was staring at him?

He sighed. Did it really make sense to keep calling her that? he thought.

It certainly didn't. Not for him, anyway.

Not now...

Now when it really matters, he thought somberly.

Hermione Granger was, as far as he knew, the best at everything, except flying.

She was no longer the buck-toothed, bushy haired little girl he had met the first night on the Hogwarts Express; rather, she had grown to look extremely pretty. Her teeth, now that they had reached full growth, were no longer large; instead, they looked pearly white and perfect. Her hair was no longer the bushy nest it had been; her hair now cascaded down her back into well-tamed curls.

But all these were nothing compared to the brown orbs that were her eyes.

Yes, her eyes.

Merlin, they were beautiful.

Her large brown eyes looked like rich chocolate in the summer sun.

But all of it was going to be wasted.

All because of the stupid Blood Status.

Because of the Dark Lord, Blood Status was more important than ever. Being a Pureblood makes you completely safe, if you weren't a blood traitor, that is. Half-bloods get the same amount of safety as their name. Only half.

But being a Mudblood was Death written all over your face.

Mudbloods all over Britain were vanishing, and it is all because of the Dark Lord.

Draco sighed. He did not understand anything.

For crying out loud, even the Dark Lord wasn't a Pureblood! This whole Blood Status nonsense is the idea of a crazy moron who thinks he can be something he's not.

He shook his head, trying to make sense of what he was thinking.

You have to be careful about what you think about the Dark Lord, he told himself.

He looked up again, disheartened to find that Granger was no longer looking at him.

He sighed. After all these years, why her?

Certainly, couldn't he be given more safe girls, like Pansy, or Astoria? Girls that were of Pureblood descent?

He cursed fate for making him feel this way.

He had known, for quite a long time now, that he had grown to like the Mudblood girl.

Not in that way, of course, he thought snootily, the Malfoy pride in him couldn't control himself.

Rather, he liked Granger as a person.

She was, he smiled, a really wonderful girl.

But he was wrong about how he felt for her.

It was not just a mere admiration...it was something else.

But it was something he would dare not venture to discover.

Damn it, Draco, stop it, he ordered himself, You were given a task to do by none other than the Dark Lord himself. If you fail, your family will die along with you. You have no time to dwell on a filthy Mudblood...no matter how brilliant she is.

This is the thought that he tried to stick with for the night.

But all he came up with from then until he fell asleep was Hermione's brown eyes.

A/N: And there you have it.

Please tell me what you think of it...was it okay for a starter chapter?

Anyway, I guess I'll have to warn you beforehand...progress for this fic will be slow. Sorry; I am working on another fic, but hey, it's almost summertime.

Please leave a review. I want to know what you think of this fic.

Thanks a lot!