"I'll meet you here later?"
"Sure, see you!"
She smiled at his jaunty walk. That was a part of him which hadn't changed at least, not that she minded. It would have been hard to believe though, if anyone had told her things would be like this a year ago. She had been horrified at the beginning of the year, when Dumbledore had informed her that the Head Boy would be Draco Malfoy. However, before she could even open her mouth to protest, Dumbledore had seemed to read her mind, telling her that he had changed and to give him another chance. She had agreed reluctantly, and Dumbledore's words had been proved true when he had apologized to her on the first day of school. True, it could not fix their past, but it had showed her he really had changed. She had apparently been the only one out of the "Golden Trio" he had apologized to, maybe because Harry and Ron wouldn't really be coming in close contact with him at all, or maybe because he had instinctively felt that his words had hurt her the most, since she was a girl and girls were supposed to be emotionally vulnerable.
When she had asked, he had scoffed, telling her that they probably wouldn't have allowed him a chance to speak before hexing him, which could have applied for Ron, considering his hot temper. Of all the flaws she could accuse Ron of, she certainly couldn't deny that he had a strong sense of loyalty to his family - a family which Draco had insulted countless times, and Ron would definitely be eager for a chance for revenge. However, now that she knew him better, she half suspected the other unspoken reason - that he was afraid they wouldn't accept it. Judging by what she had heard in class though, he and Harry appeared to have come to some sort of unspoken truce anyhow, since they were able to at least able to carry on a polite conversation. Back to the point...she had gradually learnt to let down her guard around him, discovering that they actually had many things in common and that she enjoyed his company. He could even be considered one of her closest friends now, a fact which was not disapproved of since they were currently trying to encourage inter-House unity. Despite his much-changed character, the Slytherins somehow still looked up to him as their leader.
Though truthfully, she knew she wanted more than that from him. She wasn't about to do anything about it though - not when he had never given her any indication that he felt the same way - she didn't want to risk their friendship. Besides, the old-fashioned part of her secretly hoped that he would be the one to confess to her, since the guy was the one who was supposed to make the first move, after all. She sighed as Ron tried to approach her an hour later. Not again...how long was it going to last? He had been like that since she had broken up with him a week ago, refusing to accept her explanation that she thought they were better off as friends, practically begging her to give him a second chance at every opportunity. It had only been Draco's constant presence which had kept him away. Harry had been rather...occupied with Ginny recently, which she didn't fault him for - if anyone, Harry was probably the one who deserved to be happy the most, and he definitely needed to relax, especially after the burden which had been on his shoulders all these years had finally been lifted.
As if by magic, Draco appeared by her side just at that moment.
"Weasley," he said warningly.
"Fuck you Malfoy, stop trying to snatch her away from me!" He followed that outburst with something totally unforeseen - he dashed forward and thrust a knife into Draco's chest. Before anyone else could react, horror dawned on his face as he seemed to realise what he had done and quickly ran off in the opposite direction.
"Someone call Madam Pomfrey!"
"Hermione...I love you." And with that said, he collapsed.
Ignoring the crowd gathering around them, she crouched at his side, gingerly lifting his head to place it on her lap while her fingers unconsciously combed through his silky hair. Incoherent thoughts were running though her mind in her shock. Ron obviously still believed Draco hadn't changed, thinking that he still hated Muggles. Had he used the knife deliberately, because of that? Had it been preplanned? If it hadn't, where could he have gotten a Muggle knife?
After Madam Pomfrey finally informed her that he would be alright, her thoughts finally drifted to his words earlier. As she sat by his bedside, she entwined her fingers through his, already knowing what her answer would be. Ron would probably be livid, since she doubted that Draco would have admitted his feelings for her otherwise. He deserved it anyhow, after landing Draco in this state, whether intentionally or not. That wasn't the point anyway, she wasn't getting together with Draco out of spite.
Leaning forward mischievously, she whispered, "I love you too" into his ear, watching in amusement as a wide smile spread across his face and his eyelids slowly lifted.