Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters, magical/non-magical settings, etc. are the property of J.K. Rowling. No copyright infringement of the Harry Potter fandom is intended nor is any profit made from this fiction.

Notes: I'd just like to thank my two betas writermerrin and ellielove_x3! You both have amazing patience for putting up with my all my stupid mistaks!

Prompt: Paris/Helen of Troy

And now without further ado... Of Captors and Captives.

Part Three

April 28, 1998
8:18 p.m.

The Apparation crack sounded through the brush, and Pansy lost her balance as soon as they were solid. "Hey, watch it!" Ron shouted and reached out and steadied her.

As soon as she was sturdy, she wretched herself away from him. "Get your grubby hands off me, Weasley," she said as she faced away from him and straightened her hair.

"Bloody hell," Ron muttered. "She's the moodiest person I've ever met!"

Harry sighed. For the last three days all he'd done was listen to them fight, and not just any fighting, but pointless fighting about anything and everything. "I'm done refereeing, mate," Harry said with his hands up in surrender.

"Where exactly are we?" Pansy asked as she turned to face the boys.

"We're a bit north of Brighton," Harry answered as he started erecting the tent. Ron went ahead and started casting the protective enchantments.

The sun had just set when everything was in place. "So, we've been fumbling around for days, Potter," Pansy said as she took a seat on one of the cots. "What's the next big move?"

Ron rolled his eyes. "This is basically a touch and go mission," he said. "Our only lead is that the next Horcrux has to do with Rowena Ravenclaw. Besides, we don't have anything to destroy it with even if we did know where to go. I mean, we still have the cup, yeah?"

Harry nodded as he took it out of his moleskin pouch. The gold glittered in the tent's light.

"You mean, you've had one this entire time and you've yet to destroy it?" Pansy asked incredulously.

"Oh, come off it!" Ron said. "Until recently you didn't even know what a Horcrux was, so don't go berating us for not destroying one yet. It's not as easy as it seems."

Pansy glared at him. "Didn't know what a Horcrux was? Think, Weasley, have I asked you or Potter since we started what they were? Of course not, because when you grow up with the Dark Arts surrounding you, you tend to learn a thing or two."

Harry quickly looked over at her. "Are you saying you know how to destroy it?"

Pansy regarded him warily at first, but answered eventually. "My father did mention once that Fiendfyre would destroy an object that holds a person's soul," she informed them.

"Fiendfyre?" Harry asked.

"It's a dark spell," she explained. "It's very powerful and hard to control. The wizard has to be very powerful himself to be able to wield it."

Harry's shoulder's sagged in disappointment. "Best not try it then."

Pansy shrugged. "Then how do you suppose we get rid of it then?" she asked.

"I'm not sure," he answered as he went back to staring at the cup. "But hopefully something turns up 'cause we're running out of time."

Pansy caught eyes with Ron. "We're on a time limit?"

Ron nodded, "You-know-Who's searching for the Elder Wand." When Pansy expressed her confusion about what that was, Ron spent the rest of the night explaining to her the Deathly Hallows and their part in the war.

... ...

April 29, 1998
5:17 p.m.
Day Eight

Snape had been over twice that day. First to berate Draco for not being more careful, but in Draco's defense it was hard to hide certain behavior when one lived with the person they were keeping the secret from.

The second time was to deliver news that his father had agreed to keep his secret after discussing the situation with Narcissa. Draco felt grateful that there wouldn't be any lasting repercussions from last night, but his father finding out about Hermione wasn't what had kept him up last night.

Draco had replayed that kiss over a hundred times. Half of him couldn't believe that it had happened and the other half was in awe of how amazing it had felt to have her lips against his. Naturally, his mind had wandered to what it would feel like to have her entire body pressed against him.

He didn't know if she regretted it or not, but he was a little hesitant to go visit her today. He was sure it would be awkward, but it was an obstacle that needed to be overcome.

With a quick reassuring breath, he grabbed the book he'd picked out for her and then Apparated into her room.

She jumped when she saw him. "Draco!" she exclaimed as she put a hand to her chest to calm her heart. "You scared me. You really have to work on your timing."

"I've Apparated in here countless times and it's never once scared you," he teased. "Why would this time be any different? …Did I almost catch you doing something you're not supposed to be doing?"

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Of course not, I was just reading the book you left yesterday. Famous Fire Eaters is more graphic than I thought it'd be. Some of the descriptions are just horrible."

"Ah," Draco said. "Sorry about that. I found it interesting when I read it, but don't worry, I've brought you something lighter today. It's a play called Alas, I have Transfigured my Feet and the academic part is that you'll have to translate it to read it."

Hermione smiled. "It sounds charming," she replied. "Actually, since you've read Famous Fire Eaters, can you tell me if you've heard of Marx Engle? He's mentioned as one of the lower ones, and that he was more known for his Pureblood beliefs."

"Yes," he answered warily. "He wrote the book The Pureblood Manifesto. He adopted Salazar Slytherin's views on blood status and basically turned it into a political campaign. The Dark Lord's taking both the belief system and political aspects and using them to create his new world order."

Hermione nodded. "Do you have the book?" she asked and he answered with a raised eyebrow. She waved her hand. "Of course you do. It's a book about Purebloods. Anyway, do you think you can bring it tomorrow?"

"You want to read it?" he asked incredulously.

"I think it's a good idea to know thy enemy," she answered.

"All right," he replied. "If you really want to read it, I'll bring it over for you tomorrow."

Silence followed the end of this little conversation, and it was then that Hermione started to avoid his gaze. He knew the awkwardness would soon find them. He cleared his throat to try to dissolve the fast building tension. "So," he said and then let it hang in the air.

Hermione sighed. "Look, Draco, about what happened yesterday…"

"You mean, when you kissed me," he interjected.

Hermione had to hold back a choke. "Yes, that," she said after she swallowed properly. "I just want to apologize for crossing any lines with you. I was hysterical, and you just happened to be there when I reached out for someone."

That hurt, but Draco schooled his expression to be one of aloft. "So, you're saying that you would have reached out for anyone?" he asked.

She nodded. "Yes, that's what I'm saying."

"Hmm," he said as he took a step closer to her. "Well, I'm not one hundred percent convinced."

She blanched. "What?"

He took another step closer. "I'm saying that if I hadn't stopped it, who knows where it would have led."

A pretty blush colored her cheeks. "…It wouldn't have led anywhere!" she exclaimed as she took a step back only to be pursued by him with one of his own. When he was only a foot away from her, she held out her hand. "Stop! Draco, what are you trying to prove? Are you trying to make me nervous, 'cause you've succeeded."

He grabbed her hand. "I'm not trying to make you nervous," he said as he stared at her intently. "You said you were hysterical last time? I'll give you that, but when you say you would have reached out to anybody, that's where I stop believing you. And even if you would have, you definitely wouldn't have kissed just anyone."

"Draco…" she whispered.

That did it. He pulled her to him and connected their lips. He felt her gasp, but she made no move to stop it. He kissed her tentatively, and after a minute of coercing, his patience was rewarded with slight pressure.

It was hard to control the frenzy that erupted inside him at that slight response. He dragged her hand up and put it around his neck. She immediately clutched him and started to intensify her kisses. He almost groaned when she weaved her fingers in his hair.

He nipped at her bottom lip and she let out another gasp. He wanted so badly to taste her, but he didn't want to scare her. Not when she was so close, so willing.

Suddenly, Hermione pulled away from him. "Wait, what are we doing?" she said, trying to catch her breath. "Why are you even kissing me?"

Draco too had trouble breathing, but he would rather continue kissing her than ever breathe properly again. "Because I want to and I'm pretty sure you want to too."

A weak fire lit inside her eyes. "You have no right to assume what I want!" she exclaimed as she tried to worm herself out of his grip, but he only held on tighter.

"I don't have to assume anything," he replied determinedly. "I felt all the proof I need when you decided to participate in our little snogging session."

She gaped at him. "We did not snog!"

He smirked. "Not yet."

She smacked him lightly on the arm. "I think it's best if… we… just…" she started to say, but his face was inching closer once again. He needed her so badly. When did he begin to need her? At this point it didn't really matter. He just needed to taste her.

Once again she didn't pull back. Their lips meshed, and this time Draco didn't waste time in working his way into her mouth. She moaned when his tongue brushed against hers, and he groaned in response. Her fingers once again found their way into his hair, and he proceeded to pull her closer to him.

She tasted like peppermint and sunshine, if that were even possible. He wanted more, no, needed more!

Hermione started to pull away again. "Wait, please," she begged, and Draco had no choice but to stop. He leaned his forehead against hers. "We're going too fast. I mean, I only found out a few days ago that you didn't hate me, and now we're snogging. I need an explanation, Draco. I'm really confused."

Draco leaned back and studied her face. Her lips were swollen and her cheeks were flushed. She looked lovely. He had to close his eyes to keep from picking up where they left off. "You're right. I do owe you an explanation," he said with a nod and then led her over to the chairs.

As they sat down, he reluctantly let go of her hand. "I told you that the night you were tortured was the most horrifying night of my life," he started and she nodded. "Well, all of this started that night. I want you to know that there was absolutely nothing I could have done to get you out of there. Anything I could have done would have made it worse."

"I know, Draco," she told him seriously. "I don't blame you for what happened. Us being brought to your home was the result of carelessness."

"Either way," he continued. "I'm sorry it even happen at all. No one deserves that, especially you."

Hermione reached out and took his hand, and his eyes widened a bit when he realized that she was offering him comfort even though it was she that went through the pain.

He gripped her hand. "After you escaped, something snapped," he explained. "You were this girl that stood for everything that my family had told me was beneath me, someone I had been told to hate our entire acquaintance. So, after you left I realized that I wanted to know if you were okay, and that didn't make sense. I hated you, so why did I care if you were all right? Well, obviously you can't hate someone and care about them at the same time."

"That's when you realized that you didn't hate me," she supplied.

He nodded. "…I care about you. I mean, how else can you explain why I spent weeks researching spells to try and find you or why I've put my family in jeopardy in exchange for you safety?" he said and then squeezed her hand again. "I will say that spending these past few days with you has only intensified my feelings for you."

Color filled her cheeks. "So, you do have feelings for me?"

He smirked. "Do you think I would have snogged you, if I didn't?"

"This is surreal," she whispered as she stared down at their intertwined fingers. "Draco Malfoy has feelings for me."

Draco felt nerves build up in his stomach. He'd just admitted his feelings, and it wasn't as hard as he thought it'd be. At least, not as hard as waiting for a rejection or acceptation afterward. "I know that this seems to have come out of nowhere, but it's all true."

She was silent and Draco felt a little uneasy. "I'm confused," she confessed. "Not about your feelings, but about my own. It's been a whirlwind since I got here, and it's almost like this place isn't part of reality. …What I'm trying to say is that I don't know how I feel about you. You're a really good kisser, but this room has effected my head way too much to make sense of anything."

Draco swallowed the lump in his throat. "I can see how you could be confused," he said as he stood up and pulled her with him. "But I think it's only fair for me to try to see if anything could come out of this. Trail and error, if you will."

She blinked as he drew nearer and then focused her gaze on his lips. "That seems logical," she answered in a shaky voice and then closed the gap between them.

This kiss evolved quickly. Tasting one another, fingers locking in each other's hair. Moans filled the room, and he was fighting the urge to throw her onto her bed and have his way with her.

Why did this witch have to be so hypnotizing? Her kiss, her taste, her mind, all of her was addicting! He'd never get enough. How he prayed to Salazar that she'd choose to explore this avenue!

When she pulled away for breath, he trailed open-mouthed kisses down her throat and then found her pulse and suckled. Her breathing became shaky. "Draco," she moaned, and it sent a jolt straight to his lower region, which was already straining against his trousers. "Please… please slow down. I can't-I can't think!"

"Maybe that's a good thing," he whispered against her neck. "You have no idea how much I want to devour you right now."

Hermione's eyes were closed in bliss, but it seemed that her mind could still grasp a few concepts. "And then toss me to the side?" she asked.

"I don't think I could even if I tried," he answered as he made his way back up to her lips. "I'm as much a captive as you are."

"Oh, Merlin," she whispered and then kissed him again.

... ...

April 30, 1998
9:28 p.m.
Day Nine

Hermione felt completely giddy. Last night still seemed like a dream. She could still feel his lips, his breath. She closed her eyes to relive the feelings again.

They hadn't kissed the whole night straight, but more like in intervals. They'd pause and talk about silly things like what their favorite Hogwarts memory was or how times Peeves had pulled a prank on either of them, and then they'd go back to kissing only to redo the process again. He'd finally called it a night when her stomach growled, telling them both that they had missed dinner.

She was still confused, though. Mostly over what would happen once she was allowed to leave. Would she want anything to do with Draco once the war was over? What about Ron?

Ron and her had been getting closer since Bill and Fleur's wedding, or at least she'd thought they were. The thing with Ron was that she'd spent years waiting for him to do something that maybe she was just imagining the signs she desperately wanted to see.

However, Draco was right here and saying that he wanted to protect her and be with her. Plus, he was a really amazing kisser.

This decision was heavy. She didn't know what to do!

The sound of Draco Apparating into the room had her snapping from her thoughts. "Brought that book you wanted," he said as he walked over to her. She accept both the book and the shy, chaste kiss on the lips. "Sorry I've been away all day, but some new developments came up."

Hermione was alarmed by this. "It's not-I mean, he doesn't-"

"Potter's not been caught," he said, and Hermione felt relief flood through her. "But the Dark Lord is unusually happy. He says he's finally found a wand that will defeat Potter's."

This made Hermione's heart stop. "He's found the Elder Wand?"

Draco's narrowed his brow. "What's that?"

Hermione hesitated. "It's complicated," she started. "It's said to be just a myth, but we believe that You-Know-Who believes it exists. However, Ollivander has said that a powerful wand has cropped up in history many times.

"The wand's been known as many things throughout history. The Deathstick or The Wand of Destiny to name a couple. Basically, it's an unbeatable wand. The person who wields it cannot be defeated in battle, which makes it a very desirable object."

"How does one get control of it if it's unbeatable?" he questioned.

"Killing the wizard who possesses it has been the favored way," Hermione answered. "Although, I don't think that would be the only way. Ollivander always said that the wand chooses the wizard, and he spoke about them like they had minds of their own… He mentioned that your wand had changed allegiance."

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. "To Potter, I presume," he drawled.

She nodded. "If that's how it works, then I think a person would only have to disarm the person to take possession of their wand."

"Hmm," Draco said in thought. "I think it's fair to say how the Dark Lord will take the wand."

"Murder had never been a tough thing to do for him," she commented.

Draco studied her face. "How did you know he was searching for this wand?" he asked.

Could she trust him with this information? Dumbledore had made it clear to Harry that no one should know what they were doing, but maybe he could help. Maybe his time spent with Voldemort could shed light on the remaining Horcruxes.

"You have to swear to me that whatever is said in this room, does not leave it," she said sternly. "This could cost my best friends their lives."

He took both her hands in his hands. "I won't betray you."

She searched his eyes for any shred of dishonesty, and when she found none she took a deep breath. She explained to him about the Deathly Hallows and how she thought they weren't real and how Harry did.

She knew explained to him how Harry was convinced that the Deathly Hallows where the key to bringing down You-Know-Who. That they should fight Horcruxes with Hallows.

"Horcruxes?" Draco asked in shock. "The Dark Lord has Horcurxes? As in plural?"

"Unfortunately, yes." She then added, "So, you know what they are?"

"Of course," Draco replied. "I grew up in a dark wizard's dream home. One's bound to find all sorts of ugly things in that place."

She then proceeded to tell him everything she knew about Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. Like how many, how many they'd destroy and how many were left. "We don't know the locations of the last two. We don't even know what they are. It's a bit daunting when I think about it."

Draco nodded. "So, it all comes down to Potter finding two needles in a haystack before the Dark Lord finds him?"

"Essentially, yes," she replied with a uneasy expression.

Draco sighed. "We're doomed."

... ...

May 1, 1998
9:03 p.m.

Harry pulled himself from Voldemort's mind with a strangled gasp. He was covered in cold sweat, and Ron and Pansy were huddled around him. "You all right, mate?" Ron asked as Harry sat up shakily.


"You were in his mind again, weren't you?" he asked and Harry nodded.

"He's got it," Harry said as he tried to stand. "You-Know-Who's got the Elder Wand, and he's at Hogwarts because Dumbledore was the last one to have it! Dumbledore wielded the Elder Wand!"

"Blimey," Ron said in disbelief. "What do we do now? How are we supposed to beat him if he's got the most powerful wand ever made?"

"We go there," Harry supplied easily. "We go to Hogwarts. I'm willing to bet that there's a Horcrux there anyway. I've had a gut feeling about it since the beginning."

"Wait," Pansy interjected. "You're wanting to go to the place where the man that wants to murder you is currently residing? Have you gone off the bloody deep end, Potter?"

Harry shook his head. "Look, we're running out of time," he said. "He feels safe. Like no one can hurt him. He's more dangerous like this. He's going to start coming after me regardless, but with this new feeling of confidence, he's going to be coming for me sooner. I have to destroy the remaining Horcruxes before then."

Ron listened and decided that Harry was right. "How do we get there, then?" he asked. "We can't Apparate there."

"We'll go to Hogsmeade and use one of the secret passageways," Harry replied as he quickly started packing their things. The tent folded itself and then went neatly into the bag.

"That won't work," Pansy said hurriedly. "It's past curfew. We'll set off the Caterwauling Charm."

Ron and Harry both look at her with confused expressions. "The what?"

She rolled her eyes. "It's an alarm," she replied. "It's set to go off if anyone enters the perimeter. It's maintained by Death Eaters."

"Bloody hell."

"Plus, all the secret passageways have been sealed up at the start of term," she added. "There's no way to get into that school."

Ron glared at her. "Then how do you propose we get in then?"

Harry raked his brains. If only Hermione was here to solve this problem… He obviously couldn't get in from the outside. So, he needed someone to let him in. Someone from the inside's help…

A thought struck him then. The DA! If he could get them a message, then maybe there was a chance of getting inside. Harry grabbed Hermione's beaded bag and prayed she carried around her old coin. He pointed his wand and said, "Accio DA galleon." A gold coin flew out and into Harry's hand.

"The DA?" Ron asked. "You're contacting them?"

"They're our best shot," he replied and then changed the last message to 'Need inside Hogwarts.' It only took ten minutes for the coin to heat up with a reply. It read, 'Go to the Hog's Head.'

Harry looked up at his two companions. "What do you think?" he asked.

"Do you think we'll be able to Apparate right into the bar?" Ron asked and Harry shrugged.

"It's worth a shot," he said and reached out his hand for theirs. They each grasped one, and in a second they were inside the Hog's Head only to be greeted warmly by Neville Longbottom and the Hog's Head Bartender, Aberforth Dumbledore.

... ...

May 1, 1998
11:56 p.m.
Day Ten

Draco and Hermione had spent the day roaming the Villa. They'd walked along the gardens debating the abhorrent politics Hermione had read in the book last night. They discussed the different lives they'd both lived, and Draco was actually intrigued by most of the Muggle inventions she described.

They were now back in her room, sitting on the bed. Draco let out a yawn and fell back to lie down. Hermione looked down at him with a peculiar expression. "Am I still your captive?" she asked.

Draco braced himself up on his forearms. "Do you still feel like one?" he countered.

She thought for a moment before answering. "In some ways, yes," she replied. "I mean, I'm restrained to one location, but these past couple days have been really nice."

He was about to reply, but a tapping sound on her window distracted him. The family Eagle Owl hovered outside with a letter attached to his foot. Draco hastily got up and retrieved it. His owl didn't even wait for him to open it, just flew back out into the night.

Draco scanned the contents and felt his stomach drop. "What is it, Draco?" Hermione asked, seeing the color drain from his face.

He looked up at her. "Potter's been spotted at Hogwarts," he replied and he watched her eyes widen. "The Dark Lord's there, and Mother thinks this is upcoming battle will be the determining factor of the war."

Hermione jumped to her feet. "Well, what are we waiting for? We've got to go!" she said as she retrieved her wand from the bedside table.

Draco looked at her incredulously. "What are you going on about?" he asked. "We're not going anywhere. Or at least you aren't. I didn't come this far to keep you safe just so you could go parading through the final battle. I won't let you die."

Hermione placed her hands are her hips. "Draco, this war is a lot bigger than me and you. It's concerns my best friend's life! He needs my help. I've stuck through everything with him, and I'm not about to quit now. Not when he needs me most."

"I'm not letting you go."

Frustrated tears built behind her eyes. "I can take care of myself just fine, you know?" she said. "I've been doing it for years. I'm not made of china, and if it makes you feel any better you can stay by my side the whole time."

He didn't want her to go. Who knew how that battle would go. In all reality, Potter might very well lose, and then how would he keep her safe? She'd be the Dark Lord's prime example of what would happened to people like her. "No."

"Please, Draco," she begged. "The end of the war is here. I don't want to hide while people die for the freedom of Muggleborns. Let me be a part of my future."

He hated it when she spoke Gryffindor. He ran a hand over his face. "You have to promise that I'll be by your side the entire time."

Her eyes lit up. "Promise," she said as she outstretched her hand for his. He took it and brought her in for a long, deep kiss.

"Please be careful," he whispered against her as he Apparated them to Hogsmeade, where even as the alarm went off no Death Eater was around to hear it.

... ...

May 2, 1998
1:01 a.m.

They spotted herds of students evacuating the Hog's Head. "Come on, let's see what's going on," Hermione said as she pulled him over to the pub. She pushed past first years until she spotted a familiar face. "Colin!" she shouted.

Colin Creevey turned at the sound of his name, and a smile formed on his face when he spotted her. "Hermione!" he said.

"Colin, what's going on?" she asked, Draco close to her side.

"The teachers are getting all the underage students out of the castle for the fight," he explained with a slightly put off expression. It was then that he noticed Draco's presence. He eyed him warily.

"Have you seen Harry?" she asked, and Colin's eyes got a mischievous look about them.

"I'll take you to him," he said and then began to lead them to the back room where the last of the students were filing out of what looked like to be the beginning of a long tunnel. "Through here."

The tunnel indeed proved to be not only long, but dark and wet. It felt like forever before they reached the other side. They all emerged into what Hermione immediately recognized as the Room of Requirement. The only inhabitants were three women. Two Hermione recognized as Ginny and Tonks, but the third was an elderly lady in an old hat.

"Hermione?" Tonks called out when she spotted her. "You're alive!" Hermione was quickly wrapped in the metamorphmagus's arms.

"I'm sorry I worried everyone," she said as she hugged the woman back.

"Worried?" Tonks said as she pulled back. "You had the whole Order searching for you. Where have you been?"

Hermione hesitated. "Umm, it's a long story."

"What's Malfoy doing here?" Ginny asked with a glare in the blond's direction.

Draco rolled his eyes. "Calm down, Weasley," he drawled. "I mean you no harm, I assure you."

Ginny gave a fake laugh. "I don't trust one word that comes out of your mouth," she retorted as she swung her long hair over her shoulder.

Draco grated his teeth. "Please, Ginny," Hermione cut in. "He's here with me. I promise that he's on our side now."

Both Tonks and Ginny appraised the two of them, but before anything else could be said the door opened to reveal the man of the hour.

"Ah, Potter," the older woman replied, and then asked him the whereabouts of her grandson. After getting her answer, she was off.

Harry scanned the remaining five people, and the variety overwhelmed him. "Hermione?" he asked. Ron poked he head around him and smiled at the sight of her. Both boys ran over to her and embraced her. "Thank Godric you're all right."

"Merlin, 'Mione, you have no idea how worried we've been about you," Ron said with one of his goofy grins. "I've lost sleep over you, and you know that's a big deal coming from me."

Hermione laughed, feeling content to be surrounded by her boys again. She looked over to catch Draco's eye, but found that she wasn't the only one having a reunion. He seemed to be caught up in a conversation with Pansy Parkinson. A little green-eyed monster bubbled up inside her, but she quickly stomped it down.

"Look, I really hate to cut this short, Hermione, but we've got to get moving," Harry said, then looked at Ginny and Tonks. "Everyone's got to get out for a minute. I need to use the Room for a bit."

Ginny smiled cheekily. "Fine by me," she said as she made her way over to the door, closely followed by Tonks and Colin. Harry hollered that they were to come straight back, but Hermione knew they wouldn't listen.

"What the bloody hell is the ferret doing here?" Ron yelled, pulling his wand out of his pocket and aiming it at him.

"Weaslebee, you better put that wand up before you hurt yourself," Draco drawled.

"Ron!" Hermione yelled, but Draco had already pulled his wand as well. "Stop it, both of you!"

Harry watched her in confusion. "What is he doing here, Hermione?"

Hermione looked sheepish for a moment. "He's who I've been with this whole time," she answered.

"You mean, he's the one who kidnapped you?" Ron yelled. "You bastard! Stupefy!"

Draco easily blocked the red beam. "Have it your way, Weasley," Draco shouted. "Depesius!" Ron blocked it as well.

Hermione cast a protective charm around both of them. "Stop it, I said!" she berated them. "Ron, he's not the enemy. He's had multiple chances to turn me over to You-Know-Who, but he hasn't! So please, will you give this a rest. He's here to help."

Ron glared over at Draco. "I don't know what you've done to deserve her loyalty, but I swear if it's anything dark, I will kill you."

"Oh, please, Weasley, do stop. Your threats leave me shaking," he said sarcastically.

"Is this little duel over?" Pansy asked in a bored tone. "Because if I remember correctly, wasn't there something important we have to do?"

Harry nodded. "She's right. We need to leave so I can change the room," Harry said and they all filed out.

Hermione looked warily over a Pansy. "Is it me or is there more defected Slytherins than I last thought?" she asked.

Pansy snorted. "I guess you can say I'm defected," she replied. "I did swear on my life to help Harry Potter defeat the Dark Lord after all."

"How many Horcruxes are left?" Draco asked as Harry strode in front of the spot where the door was three times.

"Weasley and I just destroyed the cup," Pansy answered. "It was actually really thrilling. We had to go down into the Chamber of Secrets and get a basilisk's fang. Weasley actually let me destroy it."

"So, we've only got two more," Hermione said.

The door appeared before them as Harry said, "And I know where and what the next one is."

... ...

May 2, 1998
2:10 a.m.

They had been searching for this diadem for almost a half hour, and they were still coming up with nothing. Draco was just about to throw something across the room in frustration. How in the world was anyone supposed to find anything in here? It was a maze of ancient, unwanted things! One would have better luck finding the same fish in the sea twice than anything in here!

Of course it didn't help Draco's mood that this room also held some very bad memories.

"Well, well, well," said a deep voice. "Look who we have here, boys."

Draco turned and saw Blaise Zabini flanked by Crabbe and Goyle. His eyes immediately found Hermione, who was standing way too far away for him to grab her. Damn. How could he have let her wander so far away from him?

Potter was questioning the three of them, trying to buy him some time, and it was then that Draco noticed that he kept starting up at an old cupboard just to Draco's left, in which sat an old tiara. That was it!

"We're gonna be rewarded," Crabbe bragged. Draco decided that if he just inched over a bit, he'd be in grabbing distance. He slowly moved, trying to be inconspicuous.

Potter continued to question them, and Draco stuck out his hand, only to be thwarted by Weasley's carelessness by shouting about someone being in here. Crabbe acted fast. He started to send the piles of stuff over on top of them, and that's when they noticed that Draco was there with them.

"Malfoy?" Zabini asked in disgusted disbelief. "What are you doing here? Don't tell me you're with them! You nasty blood traitor!" He aimed his wand and yelled, "Crucio!" But the spell missed him as he lunged for the diadem. He grasped it firmly in his hand, but landed on his stomach.

Hermione sent a stunning spell at Zabini, but missed as well.

"It's the Mudblood! Avada Kedavra!" Crabbe yelled. If Hermione hadn't skidded out of the way, that spell would have been a direct hit.

Fury exploded inside Draco. He jumped up and aimed his wand. He was just about to send the Cruciatus curse his way when Hermione grabbed his arm. "Let's get out of here. You've got what we wanted," she said as she began dragging him towards the others.

They didn't get far before the shelves started to fall. It separated Draco from Hermione and the rest, leaving him closed off with his once friends, now enemies.

Crabbe snickered. "Gonna kill us some blood traitors today," he said giddily and then cast Fiendfyre. The roaring, billowing sound struck fear in Draco's mind. He quickly set off in the opposite direction, trying to get as far away as possible from the man-eating flames. Stupid Crabbe! He had no idea what he'd just done.

He panicked when he came to a dead end. His only option was to climb. Up old chairs and book shelves he ventured until he was up as far as he could go. The fire had completely encompassed the room. He tried to see if Hermione had made it to the door, but the smoke made it impossible to see anything.

He looked down at the Horcrux in his hand. Their lives were in danger over a stupid crown. Well, it was time the thing was gone anyway. With all his strength, Draco threw it into the tallest flames he could find. There was a violent wave of wind that verified that it was dying in the embers.

Draco could feel the heat getting closer, and he wondered if he'd die in here as well.

Then he heard something whip through the air. He look up and saw Potter flying toward him, his arm outstretched for his. Draco didn't waste anytime in grabbing it, and off to the exit they flew.

Once outside the burning room, Draco and Harry landed sloppily. They skidded on the floor, and when Draco frantically scanned the hall for Hermione, he spotted her getting off Weasley's broom with Goyle. Pansy had also been on a broom, and she pushed Zabini onto the stone floor. Crabbe was no where in sight.

Hermione ran over to him with a relived smile. "I'm so glad you're okay!" she exclaimed and wrapped her arms around him. "I thought we'd never find you, but then Harry spotted you on top of that pile."

Draco returned the hug. "I'm fine," he said, putting her worries to rest. He then pulled back some and searched her face, which was covered in black soot. "What about you? You're not hiding any injuries are you?"

"No, I'm fine," she said as she touched and fiddled with some of his slightly singed hair. "But you did it! You destroyed the diadem! That means there's only one left!"

Draco felt everyone's eyes on them, but he didn't care. She'd made it out of that death room in one piece. They both did and for that he was grateful.

"Hey, Potter, are you okay?" Pansy asked and Draco turned to see Harry slumped on the floor.

"Harry!" Hermione yelled as she raced to his side.

Harry took a few deep breaths. "It's the snake!" he said as he put pressure to his scar. "The last one is the snake."

"Nagini?" Draco asked. "She's a Horcrux?"

Harry nodded and Ron knelt down next to him. "Find him, Harry," he requested. "He'll have the snake with him, won't he? Do it, Harry-look inside him!"

Draco watched as Harry zoned out again, and after a few moments he was back with them. "I know where he is," he answered. "He's in the Shrieking Shack, and you were right, Ron, the snake's with him, but he's got it in some magical protection." Harry looked over in Draco's direction. "Your father was with him. Voldemort's sent him to go find Snape."

This didn't surprise Draco much. He'd figure that his father would stay by his master's side. "You mean, Voldemort's not even fighting?" Hermione asked outraged.

"The Dark Lord knows he doesn't have to fight," Draco answered before Harry could. "He knows Potter will go to him in the end. It's the Gryffindor complex."

"He also knows I'm hunting Horcruxes," Harry added. "That's why he's keeping Nagini close."

Ron's shoulders sagged. "So, we can't go. Not if he's expecting you."

"You four stay here," Harry demanded. "I'll go under the cloak-"

"No!" Hermione yelled. "That's suicidal! It makes much more sense if Ron and I-"

Draco cut her off. "Do you not remember the promise you made me? You're crazy if you think I'm going to let you break it."

Hermione was about to argue when Pansy stopped them. "Look, Potter, why don't you just bring Weasley? That way you'd have back up, and even if it's what the Dark Lord wants, you're the only one who has a chance at beating him anyway."

"I like Pansy's plan." Draco offered his opinion.

Hermione nudged him in the ribs. "You only like it cause I won't be going with them." He just shrugged in response.

"Fine, Ron and I will go," Harry said. "Will you be okay, Hermione?"

Draco scoffed. "Of course she will, Potter."

Harry glared at him. "Look, Malfoy, I don't really know what to make of you right now. You kidnapped her and now you're protective of her? You're a two-faced bastard and I don't trust you."

"I don't need your trust, Potter," Draco sneered. "Just know as a fact that nothing will happen to Hermione if she's with me."

It didn't look like this assuaged his doubts. "Harry, I promise I'll be fine," Hermione reassured him wit a smile. "We'll go down and help people in the Great Hall. Just be careful, all right? You're the best chance we have."

Harry nodded and then motioned for Ron to come along.

... ...

May 2, 1998
4:11 a.m.

Voldemort had just given them an hour to reassemble themselves and for Harry to turn himself in. So, it appeared that Harry and Ron hadn't been caught in the Shrieking Shack, but they hadn't arrived back yet, and Hermione was started to fear that Harry would actually take Voldemort's offer.

The fighting in the Hall had been brutal, and Hermione had seen many lose their lives. Among them were Tonks, Lupin, Lavender and Fred. And even though Hermione was distraught over their loses, she was thankful for the small time to rest.

The minutes stretched on and Hermione's nerves grew. Where were they?

She then spotted two figures walking up the front steps. The Hall fell silent as they watched them. Ron immediately left Harry's side to go over to his family. He fell to his knees when saw his pale, still-formed brother. Gut-wrenching sobs left him as he draped himself over Fred's body. She felt so bad for the Weasleys. She had trouble keeping tears from her eyes as well.

She looked back over to where Harry was, but found that he had already gone. Where had he went?

... ...

May 2, 1998
5:33 a.m.

No one had seen Potter in an hour, and since no fighting had recommenced, Draco was starting to think the worse. The brave hero had probably went off to face his death. He looked over at Hermione, who was huddled with the Weasley girl. What would happen to her if they lost? Because without Potter what chance did they have at winning this war?

Anger filled him. Potter's gallantry was really starting to piss him off. Why did he have to go and die on them? Bloody Potter!

Ripping his eyes away from Hermione, he found Pansy sitting next to Weasley. This surprised him. She looked to be comforting him. He almost blanched when she put her hand on his knee.

He had to look away. It made his stomach churn.

He was about to go over to Hermione, but it was then that the crowd started to move for the doors. Draco grabbed Hermione's hand, when she was close enough, as they too moved with the crowd.

The sun was just coming up, and the sea of billowing black was ominous as it came closer. Hermione clutched his hand tighter and whimpered. When the Death Eaters stopped just inside the courtyard, Voldemort broke rank.

"Harry Potter is dead!" Voldemort proclaimed and then went on to say that Potter had been caught trying to run away, which Draco knew to be a lie. Any one who knew the guy could sniff that out. The Dark Lord continued his speech about joining him and building a new world together.

Draco watched as the half-giant laid the Chosen One's limp body before the Dark Lord.


The yell was so loud that Draco had to turn to see who it was from, and he was shocked to see Professor McGonagall in such agony.

"Harry!" Hermione cried out, and Draco had to restrain her from running over to him. Lot's of people followed by voicing their disbelief and misery.

"SILENCE!" Voldemort cried, forcing silence upon them. "Your hero is dead!"

"He beat you!" Ron yelled, breaking the silencing charm on them. Uproar followed his example by yelling their opinions.

Voldemort once again sent a silencing charm on them, more powerful this time. He continued to tell them that Potter was a coward, killed while trying to save himself.

A person limped forward efficiently cutting the Dark Lord off. After some taunting, Draco heard his aunt say that it was Neville Longbottom. What was that idiot doing? Did he not value his life?

Draco watched them bicker, and Hermione's gripped tightened throughout the whole scenario. His hand was beginning to lose circulation, but he didn't do anything to pull away.

Voldemort placed the old Sorting Hat on top of Longbottom's head and then cast it on fire. Hermione let out a scream, and then suddenly everything happened at once.

A giant started smashing through the Death Eaters, and Longbottom had pulled a sword from the hat and sliced the head of the snake off, successfully killing the last Horcrux. However, the most confusing part of this whole scene was that Potter had disappeared.

... ...

May 2, 1998
6:41 a.m.

They made it. Voldemort was gone, Potter was alive, and best of all, Draco's parents hadn't fought during the final battle. He just got done talking with his mother and father and were pleased to say that being separated from him had made their perspective of this war change.

His mother had showered him with the most affection he'd ever received from her in one sitting, and his father was proudly silent as Draco explained his part in the defeat of the Dark Lord.

A lot of things had been revealed in the last hour. Some of which Draco still couldn't wrap his head around. Like the revelation of him having once been the master of the Elder Wand. He'd had the allegiance of the most powerful wand in existence, and he'd never even known.

Another shocker had been Snape's involvement. He'd been on the Light's side the entire time? And it seemed that he and his old professor had had more in common than he'd first thought. After all, it had been revealed that he'd been in love with Potter's mother. A Muggleborn witch...

Draco looked over at Hermione across the hall. She was talking with Ron and Pansy, who seemed to be standing much closer than was necessary. She must have felt his eyes on her because she looked over at him and smiled. Pansy said something that made her blush and caused Weasley to send a glare his way.

He decided that if they were talking about him, then he should at least be privy to the conversation. He made his way over to them, maneuvering around people before he got to his destination. "Hey," Hermione greeted him.

"Hey," he answered and glanced over a Pansy, who had a teasing smile on her face. "What are you all talking about?"

"Oh, nothing that concerns you, Draco," Pansy said as her smile grew. She looked between Draco and Hermione curiously and then stated, "I'm going to go grab something to eat. I haven't eaten properly in days." She then looked at Weasley. "You know, Weasley, those chicken legs you were admiring earlier are still over there, and it looks like their being neglected. Someone really should go take care of that."

"I'm on it," he replied, not having to be told twice.

Draco watched as they walked over to one of the tables. "So, Pansy and Weaslebee?" Draco inquired. "How in the world did that happen?"

Hermione had a thoughtful expression on her face. "Apparently they had a very touching moment down in the Chamber of Secrets."

Draco studied her face. "And you're all right with that?"

She tilted her head to the side. "I think so," she responded slowly. "I mean, a lot has happened in the last few days. Last few hours, actually. It's odd how situations can change so quickly."

He silently agreed. "Weasley and Pansy…" Draco trailed and then shuttered. "It's a bit disturbing."

Hermione giggled. "Believe me, they said the same thing about us."

Draco was alert then. "Us?" he asked hesitantly. "There's an us now?"

Hermione cheeks glowed red. "I mean, only if you want there to be of course."

He grabbed her hand and pulled her to him. "I want there to be an us," he whispered as he leaned in closer.

Before he could kiss her, she went on to say, "I don't know where this will go or how long it'll last. I mean, we have so much history to work through and so much to learn about each other…"

Draco chuckled. "Granger, you just described half the couples in this room," he said with a smirk, and when she smiled in return that's when he captured her lips.

They didn't get the chance to go very far with it before someone was clearing his throat. Hermione broke away with wide eyes. Potter was watching them with an unsettled look on his face. "Harry!"

"I'm sorry to interrupt," he started, but by the look on his face Draco knew he didn't mean it. "But I wanted to tell you that everyone's going to the Burrow after everything settles down here."

Hermione nodded and then pointed at his hand. "Is that your old wand?" she asked in awe. "But it's whole again."

Potter smirked. "I fixed it," he replied as he rolled between his fingers. "I'm much more partial to this one than any other wand in the world. Which reminds me…" He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a black wand. "I think I'll give this back to you."

Draco warily reached out and took his old wand. It was strange, but he felt whole again. "Thanks."

Potter nodded. "So… you two…?"

Hermione seemed to have a permanent blush on her face, but nodded just the same. "Seems like it."

His face was full of disbelief, but he didn't voice any doubt he might have had. He turned his gaze over to Draco. "Well, I guess I'll just have to deal with your decision, but let's get one thing clear. If you so much as hurt her physically or emotionally, I will hunt you down-"

"Yes, yes," Draco interrupted. "I think I get the point. But it just so happens that I have no desire to ever hurt her… Ever again anyway."

Hermione beamed and Potter nodded. "Well, I guess I'll be seeing you at the Burrow later," he said and then stretched out his hand for a truce.

Draco briefly thought about not shaking it as Potter had done to him all those years ago, but decided that it'd end better for him if he took the truce. "I guess you will," he said as they did the fastest hand shake in history.

Potter nodded again. "This is probably one of the weirdest things I've ever seen," he stated, "Although, Ron and Pansy come in a close second. It seems all my friends have gone barmy."

He shot Hermione a small smile and then left to join the festivities.

"He's right you know," Hermione said, squeezing his hand. "We're a very odd couple."

He shrugged. "Some of the best things in life are odd," he replied as he slung his arm over her shoulder.

"Oh, Merlin!" she suddenly exclaimed. Draco looked down at her in alarm. "Can you imagine what the Burrow's gonna be like? You take one step inside and they might hex you."

Dread filled his stomach. "I guess you'll have to do the protecting this time," he replied and she let out a laugh.

Looking back out at the room, Draco felt alive. He, the bad guy, had gotten the witch in the end. So, all in all, his future was looking up.

The End.

End: I had to give them a happy ending. I just had to.
Well, what did you all think? Did you like it?

Side Notes:

Paris/Helen Parallels

4. The Number Ten: Hermione was held captive for ten days. This signified the amount of years that the Trojan War lasted.

5. The War: The actual Trojan War was not fought over a beautiful woman named Helen. It was fought over access to the Black Sea. So, in my story I followed that theme. Hermione's dissaperance was not what that war was about.

6. Menelaus/Paris Fight: In the Iliad, Menelaus and Paris attempt to fight to the death in order to solve the dispute about Helen. Whoever won got to keep her and was the victor of the entire war (barbaric, no?). However, just as Paris is about to die Aprodite saves him. In mine, I had Hermione stop both of them from fighting.

Thanks for reading!