Author's Note: Hello. This is my very first Harry Potter fan fiction. It takes place in Half-Blood Prince (movie), after the Ron-and-Lavender-kissing-and-Hermione-watching situation. You guys remember when they zoom out of Gryffindor's Tower and then move towards the Astronomy one, Draco's standing there, thinking? Well, that's where this begins. Enjoy! (There are some spoilers, by the way).
Disclaimer: I don't own anything! Just the plot. Or maybe Jo owns that too… nah, don't think so.
- The Right Thing To Do -
She slowly climbed up the stairs leading to the Astronomy Tower, her head hung low; her eyes still had fresh tears on them.
Why did Ron have to kiss Lavender back? That's what hurt her most, the fact that he didn't pull away.
Another tear slid down her cheek. Harry had comforted her, he was such a good friend, but it wasn´t enough. Her heart had been broken. It could be placed back together but the time that would take was unknown.
Her feet unconsciously led her towards one of the tower's many balconies and she rested her arms on the railing. It wouldn't take too long before she started blaming herself for what happened, for not acting on her feelings sooner and hence getting hurt.
But, she thought, what if Ron doesn't actually likes me? What if I'm only imagining things? What if those little smiles we'd been sending each other don't mean anything? What if-.
Her mind would've continued rambling on and on if she hadn't heard something falling to the ground not far from where she was standing. She cocked her head to the side and turned a bit, searching for the cause of the noise.
A platinum blonde haired boy came into sight and recognition appeared on Hermione's face.
"Malfoy" she said, turning fully around to face him.
"Granger" he replied. He'd been on his way out when he bumped into a table and the artifact on it had fallen.
"What are you doing up here?" she asked, taking a couple of steps forward.
'Thinking of other ways to accomplish my mission', he had the urge to say but, instead, he snapped "That's for me to know and you to never find out"
Hermione nodded "Fine"
He watched her walk past him, avoiding his gaze as she did so, and he knew she couldn't go. She couldn't leave him alone.
So he grabbed her wrist and pulled her close to him. "What?" he said with a forced smirk, "You're not going to fight with me? Tell me how much of an arrogant prat I am?"
"I- No! Why would I do that? You being up here is none of my business!" she responded while trying to free her arm from his grip. "Let go of me!"
Draco ignored her. He was too busy staring at her puffy eyes and wet eyelashes with a frown marking his face. He had no idea why it bothered him, it just did. "Why were you crying?"
"That-" she said as she finally pulled her arm out my hand, "is none of your business". With that said she turned to leave and she'd almost reached the staircase when his voice stopped her.
"Don't cry over him"
Four words. It didn't matter that he somehow knew she'd been crying over Ron, those four words were all it took for her to notice that something was wrong with the Slytherin. And then her mind went through all the memories she had on Draco in that year. The way he sat during meals, staring off into space, barely listening to his classmates; how he no longer paid attention in his lessons; and how he seemed to be alone most of the time.
"What's going on with you?"
He raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms "Me? Nothing's going on with me"
"Don't lie" she said and moved so she stood in front of him. "I can see it. You're not… you. The Malfoy we all know and some hate. You've changed. Or… something's changed you. Something big" and her eyes filled with realization. "Maybe Harry's right, maybe-"
He didn't give her the chance to finish the sentence. He quickly pushed her against a wall and brought his face inches away from hers. The mere mention of her dark haired friend upset him. His eyes had a strange glint; a dark, furious, glint.
"What did Potty said now? What's his new theory? Who does he think is going to die this year? What's his brilliant plan to save the Wizarding World once more?" he spat as he pressed himself to her.
Hermione closed her eyes. Do I tell him or not?, she asked herself. If she did there were two possible results: he'd laugh and rant about how stupid they were; or he'd get even angrier and possibly harm or kill her because they discovered his secret.
"Tell me, Hermione" he muttered in her ear, making her shiver because of the seductive way he said her name.
Her eyes opened and she found his gray orbs looking straight back at her. They were so… penetrating; they urged her to do as he said. She was about to tell him when she remembered one of the questions he asked.
"Why would someone die this year?" she inquired, placing her hands on his chest and pushing him away. Surprisingly, he complied and moved backwards until he hit the opposite wall. He slid down and looked at her with, she dared to guess, fear on his eyes.
"Because I'll be the one doing the killing"
There. He said. He finally got it out. Many of his housemates had asked about the task the Dark Lord had ordered Draco to perform and he'd always responded with an "I'm not in liberty to say".
And now, there he was, confessing it to Granger of all people! But he had to tell someone, because it was killing him in the inside.
Hermione carefully made her way towards him, watching him stare at her with an unreadable expression on his face. He flinched when her arm touched his shoulder as she sat down next to him.
"You're one of them, aren't you? You're a Death Eater"
Draco turned his head to the side, not wanting to look at her when he gave her an affirmative nod.
He felt her move away as she asked "Who are you supposed to… murder?"
"I'm sure you can figure it out" was all he said while standing up.
She was in front of him more rapidly than he expected. "It can't be Harry, I'm sure Voldemort wants him for himself. So it must be somebody else, someone who's a threat to him too…"
He raised his eyebrows in a manner that encouraged her to continue before walking to the railing she had first been leaning on.
"Dumbledore" Hermione whispered behind him. How was she managing to move so fast, he didn't know. But it didn't actually matter, she now knew. Part of the weight he'd been carrying on his shoulders had been lifted and it felt great.
Silence took over for a few minutes. Neither of them had any idea of what to say. Until Malfoy spoke.
"I don't think I ever wanted this. Being a Death Eater. I guess I joined because that's what everybody expected me to do. Follow my father's footsteps. And at the beginning, it seemed fantastic" he looked sideways to see if she was paying attention and he found her watching him with worry, hanging onto every word.
"I felt… powerful. Like I could do anything I wanted and no one would stop me, because they'd be afraid. But that didn't last long. We're hisbloody servants. He sometimes actually treats us like house-elves." Hermione shifted, uncomfortable at the mention of the little creatures she once protected with fervor.
"And then he called me and a few others. He told us about this plan he had, to finally get rid of the old coot. He said it so calmly that it actually sounded easy… He chose me. Because he wants me to fail, I know he does. It's some sort of punishment for my father's actions. Maybe to see if I am as unworthy as he is of carrying the Dark Mark"
Draco lifted his left sleeve so she could see the famous 'snake coming out of a skull' tattoo on his arm. She met his eyes before reaching out and slowly follow the outline of the mark with her fingers.
He watched her intently, observing her every movement. He couldn't quite understand why he confided in her. Yes, she was less judgmental than her two friends, and she didn't make a fuss about things until she heard the entire story, but it was still strange. He was supposed to hate her, and vice versa. And yet, there he was, letting her touch him where he'd promised not to show to anyone. It just felt… right.
"We can help you" she said suddenly.
He covered his arm and looked at her with confusion. "Help me?"
"Yes. We, the Order."
"No! I told you, but it's not your place to tell anyone else"
"But we can protect you an-"
"You don't understand, Granger. I have to do this. I have to kill him. Or he is gonna kill me"
Hermione glanced at him before nodding. "You're not going to change your mind, are you?"
"Very well" she replied, and turned to leave once again.
However, a hand grabbed hers and stopped her.
"I'm sorry" she heard him say.
Facing him, she gave him a sad smile and squeezed his hand. "Don't be. You haven't done anything, yet. Though, I'm not sure if I'll accept your apologies after you've completed your … task"
"No. Forgive me for what I about to do" he said and he had her pinned against a wall, his wand in hand. "I can't let you go like this. I know you won't say anything but if somehow… you slip something to your friends… he'll find out. And I can't let that happen. It'll be my ruin" he brushed a curl of brown hair off her face and his eyes flickered momentarily to her rosy lips. "You need to forget this. Forever. And there's only one way to make sure that happens"
She understood what he was referring to and fear flashed through her eyes. "Malfoy, you don't have to do it. Something could go wrong" she said quickly.
"It won't, Hermione. You'll be fine" a curl twirled itself on his wand as he ran it through her hair and he stood there, observing it for a second before pointing the hawthorn stick to her right temple. He leaned in so he could whisper in her ear "You'll forget our conversation and then we'll continue hating each other as well as we'd done it all these years. But, thank you. For listening"
He planted a soft, gentle, kiss on her cheek and then looked at her in the eye. "I'm sorry. Obliviate."
Draco watched her eyes go blank and for that tiny moment, he regretted it. He felt bad with himself. But it had be done. It was a secret, that wasn't supposed to be revealed yet. It was the right thing to do.
A/N: And I'm going to leave it there. I like it. What about you? Drop a line, please!