Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: First Harry Potter fanfic. Not sure about the title or the rating. Both may change accordingly. Along with the fact that I'm not sure if this should be a one shot or not... we'll see. This could easily stay like this or could be worked with. Actaully I think I am going to work with it. Enjoy reading and review :)
Hermione Granger was the type of girl that would break your heart just to see what would happen. She would cut it right open study it with intense fascination and then neatly put it together perfectly so nothing was out of place. Only there were some things even Granger couldn't put back together even if she was "perfect". Those perfect chocolate eyes and brushy hair that tumbled into a mess of spiraling chaos, dashing white smile, and petite form fit her perfectly. He would never change a thing about her. Actually if he could change one thing about her it would be that she was at least a half blood and not muggle born. If she had at least been a half blood he could have her without too much problems from his father. His father that, although the war was over and blood status was deemed unimportant to everyone else, hated muggles and still called them filthy disgusting names.
His stomach clenched at the thought of the day he had used the term on her their second year. He had just been so angry and it had slipped from his mouth before he had the chance to call it back. She in all of her perfection had never spared him a look besides when she was sticking up for her two best friends. Best friends that he was insanely jealous of and would have traded places with in a heartbeat. Calling her Mudblood had actually gotten her to look at him. She looked at him with such hate and passion and she showed him that yes she was a muggle born but he'd be damned if he thought that meant she was weak. In fact it was quite the opposite. She embraced it, never once feeling ashamed for what he called her, never once sucking up to people of a higher status of hers, and never once shedding a tear of what he had said. At least that was what he assumed; after she had punched him their third year he had torn off not glancing back in fear that she would have used magic against him. He knew that she was superior there; she was top of the class. Not even a Ravenclaw could hope to beat her intellect, nor could a Hufflepuff match her loyalty she would die for her friends without so much a second thought, nor could a Gryffindor (besides her two best mates) match her bravery she would stand before any challenge acknowledge her fear but it never consumed her. She had her cunning but she was so cunning that not even a Slytherin could detect it until her plan opened up before them.
She could best everyone in everything and that was why he had fallen for her. At first he had thought that his thoughts towards her were simply because of his outrage at her besting him. At first he had been right. The rivalry between their Houses was too strong to ignore and they hated each other but it turned into something else before his eyes. He spied on her, and he felt no shame for it. He was a Slytherin and it was what had to be done at times to require knowledge. He had followed her his first year and discovered that dragon and thrilled in the one to bust her. He was thrilled that he got under her friends skin just as well as hers. Oh he hated them and how perfect they were. Hated that he was a Slytherin and that sort of loyalty could never hope to be his. He would never be popular like Potter, or have a large loving family like Weasley. He was jealous of all three of them just like the rest of the school was, but he just couldn't figure out why Granger got to him the worst.
He assumed at first that it was because she was muggle born that she didn't deserve to have all the things that he could not. He could honestly careless about her blood status. It wasn't important after the war and it had never really been important to him either. That had been his entire family's attitude and he had carefully hidden his views. He remembered what they made of his uncles, Regulus and Sirius Black. He learned to keep it concealed and hidden away. He could keep his feelings to himself and he was disgusted with his weakness. Of his inability to prove himself a full Malfoy or fully on the other side, sure he had disarmed Dumbledore but he was unable to finish the task that was set before him. Sure he hated every Gryffindor on site, but he couldn't help but admire them. Maybe that was what led to this utter fascination that he had of her.
She was on this pedestal that was seated high above him and he never had a chance to reach it. The more he tried to make amends for his ways the more things became out of his reach. It was infuriating. He wanted to make a new name for himself, the way his uncle Sirius had. He had never gotten that chance. His father had made sure the day of sorting that his young sons head was filled with evil deeds of his past and of malicious cunning thoughts of how to control. Draco Malfoy didn't want to control; he wanted to lead not by force but by respect. Righteous respect that the Gryffindor's had in their grasps, but would forever be unattainable to him. He wanted to be brave and face his fears without cowering away like a sniveling dog. He wanted so many things.
He was jealous of Granger. He had hated her but admired her. His admiration had turned into this uncontrolled beast and now he was here trying to explain his feelings. He was in love. Only he was unsure of what to do. He was in quite the predicament. She was a Gryffindor, he was a Slytherin. An old clique thought came that this was remarkingly similar to Shakespeare. The tragedy had already occurred so only healing could come from this right? He would try his best to make up for everything. Then maybe he would cease to live his family's name, maybe then he could shake the dishonor of being a Slytherin.
He had made amends with Potter, but the tension lay thick between them. They could tolerate each other but they would never be friends. The end result of the war had led to their toleration. Weasley and he would always be at ends but that was their fathers fault. Nothing he could do about that.
He was unsure of what he could do to make things up with Hermione Granger. He had no plans to woo her and sweep her off her feet. He had renounced his selfish ways and he would not force himself into her life. He just wanted her to be happy. After everything that she had gone through the war, after all the hate and intolerance, it was a miracle that her smile still had its gentle sparkle in her eyes. Amazing that she could still find that superior attitude and be a teacher's pet. Everyone knew her learning was beyond the teacher's at this school, she had no need to stay and learn anything from them. He could be selfish and say all these things to her but in the end he knew that he should just let her live her life in peace.
He could find the joy of everything he had learned from her and apply it to his life even if he was always just watching her, but never being with her. He would always have to admire her from afar, content with the fact that without her and her strength he would still have been lost in the dark. He would stay away because she could never want him and that was the only way he could hope to make amends.
She had dissected him in three seconds and then put him back together without even trying. She had left her Gryffindor print and he would be forever stained by it. She didn't even know that she had done it. It was those chocolate eyes that flared with indifference when they dueled with words. It was the way she could control the attention of the room with a simple flick of her wrist. It was the way people loved her. It was absolutely everything that could possibly describe her. But that would never be for him, because Draco Malfoy could never hope to reach Hermione Granger. She would always be perfect. She would always be an untouchable angel.
Only he didn't want to be away from her. He didn't want to see her happy in Weasley's arms and having her cheeks glow with love towards him. He didn't like seeing him kiss her whenever he wanted. He could barely stand hearing the rumors of them being caught in some secret corner together in the dark. He wasn't sure how much he could take.
He had been standing in the hall and was about to walk to down to the forbidden forest. He felt himself get sicker and sicker with each passing thought. How could he not be selfish when she was his only rock in this world?
"You alright there Draco?" He turned to see the last person he expected to see there. There was no resentment in the voice and it almost seemed concerned.
"I'm fine Potter. Go find your bloody friends," he would have turned to leave only the young man grabbed him by the elbow. Sliver eyes and green eyes met and he could feel the wheels in his head turning.
"I'm a friend to anyone who needs me," and with that Potter released his elbow and followed him out the great doors. Although they had made amends they were not best mates. They walked in awkward silence down the lopping hills. He knew Potter was just waiting for him to spill, maybe this tactic worked on his other friends but it had little effect on him.
"I think I'm in love," he hadn't meant to tell anyone that ever. There was nothing he could do. He had already sworn to himself he wouldn't do anything about it. Potter simply raised an eyebrow and waited for him to continue. Draco's tongue felt dry in his mouth and he paused hoping that the rest wouldn't pour out of him. There was some effect that Potter had on him that wanted him to be his friend. It had been that way since their first year and he had been so bitter when Potter denied him. He should never make people make decisions that made him no better than Voldemort and he now understood Potter's resentment.
"I think I'm in love… with Hermione," the admission out loud made him want to take it back immediately. What a stupid thing to tell her best friend, and a best friend that was like her brother to boot. He couldn't meet Potter's eyes and he now wanted to be as far from this place as possible. He wished he had never learned of his admiration for Gryffindor's. He wished he had never realized his love for their perfect Gryffindor princess. He wished he had never been born.