A/N - Just something random that I felt like writing in response to a song that I wrote. I stayed up all night writing it, so please review! Flames are welcome!
Hermione Granger was the good girl. She was the top of her class — best of her year — and the so-called brightest witch of the age. Her friends, Harry and Ron, thought they could never compare to the books that she so eagerly delved into, but they were wrong. To Hermione, friendship and family were the most important things in life, and besides, words on a page would never give her the social experience that she would need to get along in life. Her books were merely a distraction and a safe place to resort to. They would never argue back — never hurt her. They were unbelievably comforting, even if the little bit of consolation she received was the reassuring fact that they would never change; the printed words would always be there, never to be different from the last time they were glanced at. And the problem Hermione had with the real world was that it always changed.
Sometimes you wake up and it seems as if almost nothing has changed. Just the passing of time and the mysterious but provable knowledge that you are a little older and a tiny bit taller convince you that another day has come and gone. But then there are other days when the world seems to have flipped upside-down overnight. Nothing is the same. Life is so different that it doesn't seem possible that you are still the same person.
If you are lucky, you never wake up to any of the big changes. Unfortunately, Hermione did not have that kind of luck. She was eighteen and she was pretty damn famous. After all, it had been her and Ron and Harry Potter who had defeated Voldemort and saved the wizarding world. But really, most of that credit could be handed over to Harry. Still, she liked to think in her vain moments that Harry couldn't have gotten along without her.
Of course, they had skipped their seventh year at Hogwarts to find and destroy the horcruxes, but they had to finish school sometime. So the next year, they were off to Hogwarts again, along with all the others in their year — those that had survived the war, that is. The school had been expertly restored. Honestly, no one ever could have guessed that hundreds of people had died there fighting for Harry or Voldemort. The bloodstains had vanished and the staircases, corridors, and windows had been repaired. The paintings hung perfectly on the stone walls again, and the courtyards were cool and beautiful like always. The Room of Requirement had never been restored, of course — that was impossible — but maybe it was for the best. Draco Malfoy had made good use of that room a few years before.
But none of that really shocked Hermione. The one thing that really hit her like a ton of bricks was how heartbreakingly easy it was to recall the war. The marble staircase was cool and pristine — altogether perfect — but every time Hermione looked at it, she saw Colin Creevey being hit by a blast of green light and tumbling backwards down towards her. The flowers and walkways in the courtyard were beautiful, but every time she looked toward the grass, she saw Remus Lupin falling to his knees as if in slow motion, his pale, scarred face blank and smooth, and the look of disbelief and horror on his wife's face as she watched. She had joined him wordlessly on the ground shortly after, never to rise again from the dirt. And maybe worst of all was the Great Hall. The long house tables had been returned and the towering hourglasses on the wall had been repaired. The large colored stones had been returned to the glass structures as if nothing had happened, but to Hermione, everything had happened. Because every time she walked through the large double doors and into the room, she saw the bodies — bodies of friends and enemies alike, laid everywhere, sometimes stacked atop one another to make room for the fresh ones coming in — and fresh bodies were always being carried in by brave people like Neville Longbottom who looked merely tired but were crying helplessly on the inside. She liked to think that she was that brave, but she wasn't.
She stood silently in the Great Hall. Her eyes were closed and her arms dangled at her sides. Her hands, her wand — they were of no use to her. She could grope angrily at the air and send curses rebounding everywhere, but they would have no effect on the memories rushing through her head. They ran together like a horror movie — without any gaps in between or opportunities for her to recover from the crippling pain that ripped through her torso from every death that she had witnessed.
Hermione forced her eyes open and looked around. The Great Hall was completely empty. The stars shone down on her from the enchanted ceiling above her and the moon illuminated all the empty benches. She walked up to the staff table and looked out across the four tables. She had always wanted to be a Hogwarts teacher. Inside, she knew that she could never do it. The war had changed her, and she could never bear reliving the painful memories every day. Hermione walked down the steps and over to the Gryffindor table. This was where it had all ended. She pulled out her wand and moved the table, along with the Hufflepuff table next to it. With the space cleared, it looked even more like that night. Harry and Voldemort had circled each other, spitting words instead of curses. No one had expected that it would end so fast. And then Harry had cast the Disarming Charm and Voldemort had cast the Killing Curse and then . . . Voldemort was lying dead on the floor and Harry was holding his wand. And then there had been the screaming and laughing and mobbing. But through all of the happiness, Hermione had stayed back. While everyone else had celebrated over what had been gained, she had looked around and took in everything that had been lost.
With a flick of her wrist, Hermione restored all of the tables to their original positions and sat on the bench at the Gryffindor table. It was hours until breakfast, but she knew that sleep would never come.
I watch you walk past in the hall every day
Your smile seems like magic and it seems like you know just what to say
But it doesn't seem the same way to me
I just can't keep my breath from catching
When you look at me
Don't know what it means
Harry and Ron had shown up late to their first class. They said that they had been looking for Hermione, and she knew that it was probably true. Instead of waiting in the Great Hall with her memories, she had walked to the kitchens and eaten there, much earlier than anyone would have been awake. After she had eaten breakfast, she had made her way to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom and sat outside awaiting her first class of the day.
Defense was pointless. Most of the older students already knew much more than was necessary about dueling and the Dark Arts, but the teacher was Kingsley Shacklebolt, and it was nice to have a good teacher again. And besides, it was always possible to learn new things.
But now, Defense was over, and Hermione was walking down the crowded corridor to her next class with her nose stuck in a book. She was worrying about NEWTs even though it wasn't even Christmas yet. People bumped against her shoulders, but she continued walking steadily and almost indifferently towards Potions. But then, she walked full on into someone and fell on top of him. Her book snapped closed and skidded across the stone floor and her eyes closed as she fell onto the chest of the unknown person. His arms didn't wrap around her to even try to protect her, which she should have noticed and taken as a bad sign. So when she lifted her head and opened her eyes, she was completely surprised and embarrassed that she had walked into one Draco Malfoy — one very furious Draco Malfoy. He jumped to his feet and grabbed her elbow, dragging her up as well. His pale hands brushed the dust and dirt off of his perfect black robes and he looked up, glaring.
"How dare you bump into me, you filthy little Mudblood! Look, now you've gone and dirtied my clothes! These robes cost more than you're worth!" he spat, pushing her violently up against the wall. "Don't ever get that close to me again. Your filth might rub off on me." He stepped back and put a sizeable distance between them.
"I thought you'd changed, Malfoy, but I guess I was wrong. I had thought too highly of you. Once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater."
"Leave me out of this, Granger. It's none of your business who I am or how I live my life, because you'll never be part of it," he replied angrily. "Bugger off, and go make your perfect potion for Slughorn!"
Hermione straightened angrily. "Thank you very much, I will!" She turned and stormed off, stopping only to snatch up her book. Draco Malfoy was left standing alone, facing the wall, grinning without knowing why. Hermione only looked back once, and when she did, he was smiling as he watched her leave.
She felt her breath catch in her throat like it always did when he smiled and she jerked her head around and slipped through a hidden tapestry on her way to the classroom. Why did she feel that way? Why?
And I've always loved that glint in your eye
When you turn towards me and say good-bye
Could it mean?
That you might miss me?
Hermione gathered up her things after Potions and stuffed them in her bag. Draco was already leaving, but he paused in the doorway. He slowly turned around to face her, and she caught a strange look in his eye.
"Good-bye, Granger. I guess that I'll see you later," he said quietly. She gaped. Draco left. Slughorn's eyes flickered between her and the empty doorway.
"Good-bye, Malfoy," Hermione whispered to herself.
Don't know how to say it
These three words I've been thinking
But if you stay here awhile
Maybe I'll find the courage to let them out
And everything is changing
The way I view the world
Never fallen in love before
But I can tell you now that
I love you
Malfoy—no, Draco—had suddenly begun to treat Hermione more kindly. Well, maybe kind wasn't the right word. Civil would be better. He hadn't been so cruel. And he talked to her. . . . civilly. He greeted her every morning and wished her a good night after dinner every day. He refrained from calling her Mudblood.
Her feelings were changing. She didn't hate him so much anymore. She didn't hate him at all. In fact, she was beginning to beginning to believe that she might be falling in love with him, if she allowed herself to admit it.
Hermione didn't know how to say it, and their time together every day was too brief for her to get up the courage to admit it, so she didn't see how she would ever end up telling him.
So for now, it was just her little secret.
I'm keeping all of these words inside my head
Kinda worried if I tell you I'll ruin everything we have
But it's hard to keep it all inside
My head is like a spinning ride
Knocking everything out of the way
Love is the only thing I see
And I know I've made so many mistakes
But I hope my God will forgive me
Please give me one more thing
Hermione knew that one day it was going to slip out. She was going to admit it accidentally, or kiss him on the spur of the moment, and everything was going to end up very badly. If she was honest, she wanted to tell him very badly, but she didn't want to ruin their friendship — a friendship that she definitely wanted to turn into something more. Everything inside her head seemed to revolve around that one thought. It was all that she could ever think of. It seemed to be burned on the inside of her eyelids. Every time she closed her eyes she saw it, and every time she opened her eyes she heard it. It pounded inside her head like a drum, beating more and more insistently and demandingly until she was literally dying to let him know — to let the whole world hear.
I love him. I love him. I love him.
I love him. I love him. I love him.
I Love Him! I Love Him! I Love Him!
I LOVE HIM! I LOVE HIM! I LOVE HIM!
And every night when she went to sleep, she prayed that even though she had made so many mistakes, God would just give her one more thing — Draco.
Spinning faster all around me
This life is like a hurricane
Feel like we're in the eye of the storm
Everything is calm and tame
But then love sweeps up off our feet
And we're carried away
Hermione's bare feet hit the cold stone repeatedly as she sprinted down the corridor. The little slapping sounds that they made echoed off the walls. She had made Harry tell her where the Slytherin common room was, and she intended to sit there waiting for Draco until he came out. She would sleep there for the rest of the night if she had to. The Marauder's Map was in her hand; she glanced at it frantically every few steps. Suddenly she was standing before the blank stretch of wall that both Harry and the map said led into the common room. She couldn't go in. It was wrong. She would probably be killed by all of the other angry Slytherins that hated her. And as soon as she told Draco why she was there, he would hate her too. But she had to tell him. He deserved to know.
She backed up until her back hit the wall and let herself slide down to the floor, never taking her eyes off of the stone wall opposite to her. He probably didn't love her back. Maybe all of these days of half-kindness and civility had merely been to prove to her that he could change if he wanted to. Suppose that they were. Then what would she do? Live in embarrassment forever?
As if functioning on its own, her foot took a half-step back towards the Gryffindor common room, but she forced it back to where it needed to stay. She wouldn't run away this time. She had ran away from danger time and time before. She had run to the library to be with her books. She had run to Ginny Weasley for a shoulder to cry on. But during the war, she had stood up and fought. And she would stay now.
Her back and neck throbbed when she awoke. She wasn't quite sure when she had fallen asleep, but she had made sure to wipe the map first. Clearly she was lucky — she hadn't been found by Snape or any of the Slytherins yet. What time was it? She pulled out her wand and cast a quick spell. 6:04 AM. Draco would be up soon. Hermione sat back down and resigned herself to waiting a little longer.
She jumped up immediately when he stepped out of the wall. He stopped and looked at her.
"Hermione? What are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to you." She grabbed his arm and pulled him off around the corner where they could speak privately without any interference from the other Slytherins.
"Were you waiting for me? How did you know where the entrance to the common room was?"
"Yes, I was waiting for you. And yes, I know where your common room is. But it's a long story and I don't feel like telling it," the Gryffindor answered quickly. Draco ran a hand through his hair and looked down. His platinum hair fell around his forehead and into his eyes. Hermione gently put her fingers under his chin and pulled his face up to look at hers. She brushed the hair away from his stormy grey eyes.
"What is it that you want to tell me, Hermione?" he asked, running his long fingers through his hair again. He looked at the wall.
Hermione peeked around the corner to be sure that no one was eavesdropping before she took a deep breath and answered.
"I love you, Draco."
His eyes flashed back to hers so quickly she thought he must have gotten whiplash, but his gaze held firm.
"No, you don't. You can't. I'm a Slytherin; you're a Gryffindor. You're a Mudblood; I'm a pureblood. We're supposed to hate each other. We have to."
"Well, I've never been one to stick to the rules." Hermione smirked. The corner of Draco's mouth twitched, but he quickly recovered.
"But I'm not like that. The answer has to be no."
"I tried to resist it, Draco. I tried to tell myself that I didn't love you, but it didn't work. Why do you think I've been here all night, waiting for you to come out?"
"I'm telling you, Hermione, we can't," he stressed, grabbing her face gently with his cool hands. Hermione gasped.
"Are you saying — Are you telling me that you love me back?" she whispered.
"I shouldn't," he replied, "but I do."
In that instant, before he could refuse, she reached for him. Before he knew it, her arms were around his neck and her lips were pressed forcefully against his. And then, at that moment, he decided that she was right — it was impossible to resist. So he threw all caution to the winds and kissed her back.
Thanks for reading! Please review!