Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
"Re-sorted? That's absolutely pointless," Draco hissed to Hermione as they rounded the corner to the headmistress's office.
"You would be allowed in our common room," she said, tersely gripping his hand with more force and pulling him forward.
"And then I'd see Ron every day," he growled and tried in vain to pull his hand free. He really didn't want to see the morning ritual that went on in Gryffindor tower. He would prefer to be left out of it.
"Scared?" Hermione challenged. She rose on her toes to level herself with him and held his face still with her free hand.
"No. This is just pointless and not very logical. Why would I switch houses half way through my last year?"
"You don't have to tell anyone," she replied tersely as he bulked at the headmistress's statue.
"How could I not tell anyone? What would everyone else think when I magically show up in their common room?"
"You don't have to tell them. You can still live at Hagrid's and come hang out in the common room. I'll just tell them I gave you the password."
"Can't you do that without me being re-sorted?" he snapped as Hermione whispered into the statue's ear and it sprang aside.
Hermione turned from her place beside the statue and looked at him fully. He felt like he was being dissected again. He felt his heart lurch in his chest and he shifted on his feet uncomfortably. He did think this was illogical. There was no point to this besides Hermione trying to prove her point. He could be a Gryffindor in his heart but he could never be one in name. Not because the sorting Hat said so but because he didn't deserve to have that choice. He had done horrible things during the war. He couldn't take back those things now.
"There is good and bad in everyone. Sometimes the bad part wins. Sometimes the good part wins. But the balance of good and evil in a person's heart is never equal. What makes a good person is their heart. Draco, you have a good heart. Your heart has changed."
"So why does it need to be proven?" he snapped, crossing his arms before his chest. Hermione shrugged and sighed dejectedly.
"I just thought you would want to see what the Hat had to say. Dumbledore used to say he thought we were all sorted too young," she said quietly. She just had to bring up Dumbledore, he thought bitterly to himself. She just had to bring up the one thing that would tear at my conscience.
"I think you should have been in Slytherin," he growled after a moment and stomped past the statue to the revolving stairs. He heard Hermione chuckle behind her hand and follow him. The office was a lot plainer than the last time he had seen it at the beginning of the school year.
A lot of the trinkets that had covered the shelves were gone or moved and even some of the cramped shelves were all together gone. The Hat was resting on a mantel piece that was directly behind the desk. It was just below Dumbledore's portrait, who was snoozing peacefully in his picture frame.
"So you've come to seek me out, Miss Granger, to see if your lover is worthy?" the Hat greeted after the couple stared at it for several moments. Hermione blushed slightly before nodding her head.
"In a way it is for me but I am doing this for him," she said curtly.
"Ah. So he can be more at ease in his mind?"
She nodded again and Draco wondered if the Hat could see the gesture.
"Well then put me on your head Mr. Malfoy, and we'll take a peek into your mind and heart," the Hat said easily.
Draco felt his nerves jump. He felt his heart race. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answer. Sometime's knowing your own heart could be a burden. Surprisingly when he reached his hand out it was steady. It didn't shake or quiver but it was steady. Seeing that gave him strength to pick up the Hat and jam it on his head hurriedly.
"Your mind is less clouded now," the Hat whispered into his ear. "I can see more of your heart."
It was silent for several moments as he felt the strange sensation of being inspected from inside his own mind.
"Interesting," it said at last. "Before, the Dark Arts seemed the path for you. Your heart has changed much over the years."
He remembered that the Hat had barely been placed on his head before it screamed out Slytherin. That had been his upbringing and bloodlines. The Hat had looked at nothing else then. He had thought he had been unfit to be placed anywhere else at the time. He regretted that now. He should have let his pride down and let the Hat peer into his heart. But was his eleven year old heart any better than his heart now?
"Very interesting," it hissed. It was following his line of thoughts.
"Well?" he whispered scared to raise his voice.
"You have brains. No doubt you could make a Ravenclaw proud." It said after a moment. "You have deceit and lying under your belt but you wish to forget it. You did not like serving Lord Voldemort. You regret the actions you took under his name. You wish to renounce the old ways. Slytherin is definitely not for you," it continued.
"So very interesting," it said as Draco's mind raced. The Hat was saying that he could have freedom, that his regret was enough to deem him worthy of another House. He listened with his ears straining under the effort to catch every syllable that the Hat was whispering in his ear.
"Ravenclaw would not be for you. Ravenclaw is for those of shallow intelligence." It said after a moment but then offered no more information on the house.
"So very, very interesting," the Hat whispered lowly; it reminded Draco of the hiss of a snake. He felt a shiver run down his spine.
"You have courage now. It was gained. Awh, I see it. I see that admiration for the brave hearted. Admiration is for the House Hufflepuff. To strive through hard work to achieve goals. You dear boy should have been in Hufflepuff."
"That has to be a joke," he snapped reaching up to rip the Hat off.
"It's not," it said quietly. He could hear it laughing at him. He kept the Hat on resting his hands threatingly at the base just in case.
"You have the strive to fight for what is right. You are fair hearted now. Hufflepuffs are just as righteous as Gryffindors," it offered.
"But you do have courage boy. I'll give you that. I see courage…" it paused letting Draco absorb its idea. "Ultimately it would be Gryffindor," it said after a moment.
"Gryffindor!" the Hat shouted out it laughed as Draco pulled it off of him as if he had been burned. Hermione smiled brightly as she picked up the Hat and placed it back on its mantel.
"Did it offer Hufflepuff?" she asked as the white faced Draco looked down at his hands. They were still steady at his side.
"Yes," he growled. Now that he thought of it. Hufflepuff wouldn't have been too bad, it was just the Slytherin viewpoint to think of them as the weakest house.
Hermione laughed loudly as the exited the headmistress's room. Nothing was said as they walked down to the Great Hall.
"Am I a worthy lover now, Hermione?" he asked, leaving the bitterness in his voice undisguised.
"You always were," she said quietly. She was blushing and looking at her feet with some embarrassment. "You know you were just as curious as I was," she said finally looking up. Her eyes held a challenge.
He couldn't argue with her on that one. He had been curious.
"You said you knew my heart," he snapped and stopped half way down the stairs to turn and face her.
"I do know it. I just like to be right," she said pausing a few steps above him. She crossed her arms and looked down on him menacingly. "I like my theories to be backed up with evidence," she said.
"And that long rant about my actions during the train ride wasn't evidence enough?"
"I like irrefutable evidence," she said through gritted teeth. He tenderly reached out for her hand and held it in between them. He looked up at her and kissed her hand lightly.
"It hurts that you couldn't trust me enough," he whispered. He finally felt the anger kick in to this situation. Before, he had been more in a dazed shock like he couldn't quite believe this was happening. Well it happened, he thought to himself, there is no taking it back now.
He still felt as if he didn't deserve the title of Gryffindor. He wouldn't say a word to anyone about it, he resolved. He would be an 'honorary Gryffindor' as his new friends had dubbed him in the beginning of the school year. He snorted at his thoughts. He should have never messed with this. It was like messing with the circle of life.
"It wasn't about trust," she said growled. She took a deep breath.
"Look… I wanted to show you that you could be in Gryffindor. I know you feel like we are on unequal footing with being on opposite sides of the war but… well… I thought you needed to hear it from someone else who you had previously no prior relationship with," she rushed out truthfully.
He sat there dumbly for a moment. His hand was still locked in hers. He felt as if he was having an outer body experience. Hermione did that to show him that she wanted him to feel worthy. That she liked him enough and believed in him enough to want him to believe in himself. His mind raced and he felt a soft warm feeling in his heart. He loved this girl more than anything.
"I love you," he managed to get out. He felt the smile on his lips. He took a step up on the stairs so that he was standing beside her. He was standing beside her as an equal. He leaned down and kissed her as she mumbled her return phrase. That she loved him too, of course. He knew that.
He had known that. He had just never realized how much she did love him. He would never need to worry about Ron or any other Weasley boy because he had just as much of her heart as she did of his. He wouldn't have to worry about her close friendship with Harry. He understood that friendship. There was never anything to worry about. He would never have to worry about any other male figure in her life because he knew that she loved him. They would be together. They would work out their problems if they had any. They would have those moments of complete understanding. Like now. That Eureka moment. That perfect moment where souls become so close there is no separating them.
They would never be divided by another war. They would never have to be insecure. They were on equal footing. They were on the same step. Eureka, he understood. They loved each other and they would be together for the rest of their lives.
A/N: To everyone who has followed, reviewed, alerted, or had anything to do with this story I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would love reviews even if it's 5 years from now I don't care. I still like the support for this story. This was my first long projected that I completed and I'm pretty proud about it.
To my beta LittleMissLoony you are completely amazing. Seriously I doubt this story would have been half as good without your awesome ability to double check my grammar and spelling mistakes. And I hope to work with you again in the future.
Now for the part I know you are all thinking about. A sequeal. I'm thinking about doing one. So keep your eyes peeled for it in the future. Oh and I do have some pictures that I sketched for this story up on my Deviantart account. You can either go to my profile page and click that link and then go to galleries and check out Eureka Harry Potter Folder. They aren't well done. Just some stuff to consume your time. If you want to do it the long way go to DA and then type in RunsWithTheOceanWolf and you should find me.
Now I (again) Thank you all for following this story. I'm glad it was enjoyed.