He was exhausted after the Quidditch practice. His teammates were surely complaining behind his back now, but as the captain, he had to make sure they were the best. He couldn't afford to have Potter beat him again.

His heart almost jumped out of his chest when he stepped into the common room, hearing the sound of muffled sobbing coming from the corner. How...strange. That was the first time he had ever found Granger in there, as she usually went to the library - whether to avoid him or because it was quieter, he didn't know, but he suspected the former. It didn't make sense, though, she would never have let him catch her in such a vulnerable state. Which meant something really bad had happened. Merlin, if someone had hurt her...he would make sure that person would be begging for mercy at the end of it.

"Granger?" He went forward cautiously.

"What happened?"

She made no response. Impulsively, he strode forward and quickly gathered her in his arms, holding her tightly. Her sobs showed no sign of stopping as she began hitting him. He refused to let go, however. He sensed that she needed this. It would act as some form of release for her. She eventually stopped hitting him, her head cushioned on his chest as her tears trickled down, soaking his shirt.

"Death-Death Eaters. My parents. Dead," she choked out. She had been there when she had received the news, and had had no more will to make herself go back to her room before she broke down. He tightened his hold on her and looked directly into her eyes.

"Don't worry. What goes around comes around. They will get what they deserve." And they stayed like that till morning. When she pushed him away, he made no protest and silently let her go.

Years later, when she was happily married with Ron, sometimes she would think back to that night. At the end of the war, she had been informed by Harry that Malfoy had been the one who had killed the Death Eaters who had killed her parents. He had switched sides at the last moment, and had gone down fighting. After so many years of hatred...she would never understand his reasons. But as she tried to mourn him, she remembered the strange intensity she had seen in his eyes that night. It had been emotions which she had never seen in him before, and also never believed he could show. She had never considered him as a human who had feelings too. She thought she understood, now. It was what her heart told her, deep inside, and she was sorry she had never had a chance to get to know him properly.