Hello friends! I've found some time and decided to post again!
You might remember a little fic called 365 Days of Granger.. Well this isn't a sequel, per say, but it's the same kind of idea. [Same idea. Different storyline. Different moments.] It was also meant to be a one-shot, but it was really long so I split it into two parts.
Leave a comment or two if you please :)
12 Months of Malfoy
It takes 12 months of living with the egotistical, pompous prat to realize she sort of...likes it.
She looks at him from across the tent. He's sitting on the ground, leaning against one of the large wooden posts holding the large white tarp above their heads. His legs are bent at the knees, his elbows on top of them and his head is buried in his hands. His usually perfect blond hair is messy and stringy, like he hasn't washed it in ages, and he's wearing an old pair Converse shoes, a pair of muggle jeans, and a black t-shirt. The blazer he had been wearing just moments ago is lying in a heap at his feet. Draco Malfoy is wearing muggle clothing.
Hermione glances back at Harry and Ron, who are also staring-glaring, rather-at the one before them, their arms crossed over their chests. They aren't at all happy with her for insisting they let him come along with them. The only reason Harry agreed was because, ultimately, Malfoy is the only reason she's even alive.
She'd gone looking around the woods for supplies when a Snatcher had spotted her and she'd began to run, casting hexes blindly behind her in the hopes of getting rid of him. Her legs were sore and her lungs were burning but she kept running, jumping over rocks and logs littering the forest floor, swerving around tree trunks and bushes. Just as it seemed that she had lost him-the Snatcher, a hand had wrapped itself firmly around her wrist, completely out of nowhere, and tugged her sideways. Before she could scream, or even react at all, another hand clamped over her mouth as her capture's body pinned her to the tree.
Her eyes were wide with shock and fear as she looked into the face of her capture only to see a familiar pair of grey eyes staring back at her, silently telling her to keep quiet. She nodded once, and kept her eyes trained on his face. And then a voice-his voice-yelled out a spell she'd only ever heard of before. Sectumsempra. Out of sheer panic she'd closed her eyes, awaiting the pain of being torn to shreds. But the pain didn't come.
He'd cursed the Snatcher.
Seconds later he was dragging her through the forest back to her camp, where she proceeded to tell Harry and Ron what happened and only narrowly managed to convince them that he meant them no harm. At least, that's what she hoped.
Moments later, Harry and Ron step outside the tent to talk, leaving Hermione alone with their old school enemy. Their rival. A man who, up until recently, it seems, has been on the opposing side of this war for his entire life. A man who had just saved her life.
"Thank you," she says suddenly, her voice soft so as not to startle him, for he looks to be in deep thought.
His gaze snaps up to her face, and she finds herself staring into those grey orbs once more. They're familiar, though they aren't at all how she remembers. They used to be cunning and calculating and mischievous. Taunting and unforgiving. Now they're just tired, dead, dreadful. Like they've seen too much for a life this young.
He shakes his head. "Don't thank me, Granger."
He's sitting inside the tent when she walks in, leaving Harry and Ron sitting outside in the grass. He doesn't speak. He doesn't eat. And he only leaves the tent to relieve himself.
He's but a shadow of the egotistical, pompous, rude Slytherin she remembers.
She looks at him carefully, hesitantly, before sitting at the table across from him. He looks at her, nods once, and then looks back down at the table. "Are you okay?"
He smirks, but it isn't as menacing or taunting as it used to be. It's sad. Disappointed. "What do you think, Granger?"
She frowns-but then what was she expecting, exactly? "Do you need anything? Are you hungry? Or thirsty?"
"No. No. And no. And even if I was, I can take care of it myself."
She considers him, leaning forward with her elbows on the table. "Can I ask you something?"
"Can't promise I can give you an answer," he mutters.
"What are you doing?"
She rolls her eyes. "You know what I mean. Why are you here? Wandering the woods, instead of at home..."
He looks at her, staring blankly at her face. "I'm here because I was wandering the woods. I was wandering the woods because I left home. And I left home because...well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you."
"Why did you save me?"
He smirks, shaking his head. "You're Hermione Granger. You and Saint Potter are the only bloody shot this world has."
"I think we need to move camp again," Harry says suddenly, looking up from his latest copy of the Daily Prophet. It's rubbish, but he can't help it.
Hermione looks up from her book, Ron looks up from the radio in his hands and Malfoy just looks up. "Where do you want to go?"
"I dunno, I was hoping you had somewhere in mind."
"Well, I do, but..."
"We just can't stay in one place for too long, Hermione. We need to keep moving."
"Okay, yeah. We'll move in the morning."
Silence falls between all four of them. Hermione glances at Malfoy as he pushes himself to his feet and brushes off his trousers.
"I'll sit watch," he murmurs, leaving the rest of them inside. She watches his form outside the tent as he sits against one of the wooden posts, resting his head back.
Hermione glances at the book in her hands as she walks back into the tent. She's just finished her latest novel and come inside to grab another when she sees Malfoy lounging on his back on his makeshift bed. He's staring at the ceiling, his hands raised, resting on his chest as he twirls a ring around his index finger. She recognizes it as his family ring.
She frowns. He hasn't so much as mentioned his family since he got here. Curiously, she ventures towards him. "Malfoy."
"Granger," he drawls.
She looks down at her book, and then back at him. "Here," she says softly, pushing the book in front of his face.
He looks at it. "Gee, thanks."
"Take it," she tells him when he doesn't grab it from her.
He sighs, pushing himself into a sitting position. He looks at her skeptically. "Why?"
She shrugs casually. "It's just a book, Malfoy. It helps me escape for a little while, you know? I thought you could use one too."
He takes the book, flipping it over as he inspects it. "What's it about?"
"Read it and find out."
He smirks, rolling his eyes as he lies back down.
The fact that he cracks the book open, almost immediately, pleases her.
She sighs softly, tossing and turning as she tries to find a comfortable position. There isn't one, it seems, as she's been trying to find one for hours. Needless to say, she can't sleep. She groans inwardly, pushing herself into a sitting position. She pushes her hands through her messy hair as she looks around the room. Harry is asleep in his bunk. Ron is asleep is his.
Draco's is empty on account of the fact that he's sitting watch outside. She peers towards the entrance, and through a crack in the door flap she catches a glimpse of the fire. Pushing herself to her feet, she grabs the throw blanket from the foot of her bed and wraps it around her shoulders. She tip toes through the tent, sneaking outside quietly.
He looks at her, his grey eyes shining in the flickering fire light as he pokes one of the logs with a stick.
"Hey," she whispers, joining him by the fire. She crosses her legs pretzel style, leaning back against the trunk of tree he's settled under.
He yawns graciously. "Granger."
"You can go inside if you want, get some rest. I can't sleep anyway."
"I wouldn't be able to sleep even if I tried," he mutters.
Silence falls between them. She shifts on the hard ground to find a comfortable position-of which she doesn't find here, either. He picks at the grass absentmindedly, tossing the blades into the fire.
She watches him out of the corner of her eye. His pale face practically glows in the fire light and his hair glimmers. His skin makes him look so fragile, like porcelain or glass. Sort of perfect. His eyes, too, sparkle in the fire light, the silver specs in his otherwise grey pools reflecting the light beautifully.
The silence is comfortable, she realizes, and yet she wants to fill it. Her curiousity gets the best of her. "How are your parents?" she asks softly.
He looks sideways at her for a moment. "I wouldn't know. Haven't seen them in months, since before I found you."
"Do you miss them?"
"I miss my mother," he admits, blinking rapidly as he looks back into the fire.
"Why did you really leave? Surely you'd be safer there..."
He shrugs. "I stopped believing in the lies they've been telling me my whole life. Safe isn't exactly the word I would use though... Besides, if I went back now, He would kill me for leaving. I'm safer any place else but there."
She nods understandably, looking away from him into the fire.
"What about your parents?"
She smiles sadly, wiping a tear from her cheek with the corner of her blanket. "My parent wouldn't even recognize me if they saw me," she whispers, pulling her legs up to her chest. She can feel him watching her. "I obliviated their memories of me, and magic, and they've since moved to Australia. The further they are, the safer."
"You miss them." It isn't a question. It's a statement. A fact.
"Yeah. I miss them."
Dressed in one of her father's old University shirts and a pair of cut-off jean shorts, Hermione makes the short trek to a small river near the campsite. It feels like it's been ages since she last washed-although in reality she knows it's only been a few days. She looks down the small incline and is surprised to see Malfoy already occupying the water. She freezes next to a pile of his clothes, allowing herself to stare after him. It doesn't hurt to look, after all.
He's standing hip-deep in the water with his back is to her, mildly tanned from the last few days of sun. She can see the outline of his muscles in his back and his arms-toned from Quidditch, she muses. Her gaze falls to his hips, narrow and lean, disappearing into the water. The water is high enough to cover his arse, but low enough to leave little to the imagination. He's fit, she must admit. It's no wonder the girls fawned over him at Hogwarts.
He begins to turn and she panics, rushing to make it look like she hasn't been watching. She automatically drops her belongings-a towel, soap and hair products and a change of clothes-at her feet and pretends to organize them.
"Granger," he calls.
She looks up, waving awkwardly as he smirks back at her. "Hey, I was just-"
"Admiring the view?" he teases.
"I was just waiting," she replies quickly, shifting uncomfortably.
"Right. Throw me my towel?" he asks, lifting his arm to catch them.
She blinks, trying to erase the image of his six pack out of her mind, as she picks up the towel and throws it at him. He catches it with ease and she laughs. "Nice catch."
They stare at each other for what feels like an eternity before he speaks and breaks the silence. "You gonna turn around?"
"Oh, right. Sorry," she mutters, blushing as she turns around quickly. She buries her face in her hands in embarrassment, shaking her head as he silently berates herself. She should've waited. Had she waited just five more minutes none of this would've happened. Now all she can think about how awkward it's going to be with Harry and Ron...
His voice startles her then, but not as much as his breath on her neck. "It's all yours."
"Thanks," she croaks.
And then he's walking away, dressed in nothing but trousers with his towel and shirt hanging over his shoulder.
Reading is like therapy for her. It's like being in a different world. She's able to immerse herself so passionately into the storyline of whatever novel, that she's able to forget about her own world. Her own war. She was telling the truth when she told Draco that reading provided her with an escape.
She makes sure to take an hour of everyday to read something, anything. It's the only thing keeping her sane.
The sound of footsteps coming towards her pulls her out of that world and back into her own. She looks up to see Draco hovering for a moment before sitting down next to her, the book she lent him in his hands. She smiles softly. "Did you finish? What'd you think?"
He nods, smirking casually. "It was pretty good."
"There's plenty more where that came from if you want them," she replies.
"Of course." She smiles, reaching into her little bag next to her, with the extension charm, and pulls out a stack of them.
He chuckles softly, rolling his eyes. "Only youwould bring along a library, Granger."
She can't help but laugh too, before diving into conversation with him on art and literature. A debate, of sorts, about genres and authors. Over his shoulder she can see Ron watching them.
"I love you."
She isn't at all surprised by the admission. She is, however, surprised by the time and place.
She looks across the tent at Ron. His eyes are filled with so much passion and emotion. It breaks her heart. Many months ago she might've jumped on him, snogged him, professed her own love for him. But things are different now. She isn't sure she feels the same way anymore.
She isn't even sure if what she felt was actually love or just...comfort. Stability.
She continues to stare at him and she can tell by the panicked look in his bright blue eyes that he's beginning to worry. To have second thoughts. She takes a deep breath, smiling weakly. "Ron...I'm flattered, honestly. I-I don't even know what to say."
"Say you'll be with me," he whispers.
"We can't," she whispers back, shaking her head sadly. "We need to focus, Ron. We need to keep our heads on straight."
He nods, visibly disappointed as he shoves his hands into his pockets. "Right. Yeah. I agree." He offers her a pained smile in an attempt to show her he's okay with it.
She smiles back before he turns around and leaves the tent to find Harry. Just as he walks out, Draco walks in. He pauses, his blond hair falling into his face. Somehow she knows he heard everything. And for some reason, she's sort of glad.
She watches the water trickle down the river bed. Watches the flowers blow softly in the wind. Listens to the leaves rustling in the very same wind. She hears foot steps behind her, slow but calculated. They're Draco's. After four months of living with him (and even longer with Harry and Ron) she's been able to decipher the differences between their footsteps (among other things.) Harry's are always quick, almost rushed and urgent. Ron's are heavy, with purpose. Draco's are softer, like he's gliding across the grass.
He sits down next to her, bending his legs at the knees and resting his elbows on top. He looks at her quickly before following her gaze the water.
She likes the way the sun reflects off the water, making it look like a sheet of crystals. She likes the way the water reflects off his skin, making it look even more like glass.
"You shouldn't feel bad for what you said the other day, to Weasley," he tells her casually.
She peers sideways at him for a moment before looking back to the water.
"You made a decision based on your feelings. He can't be mad at you for that, and if he is then he's a bigger arse than I thought."
"You were eavesdropping," she acknowledges.
"You were talking inside a tent, Granger. The walls aren't exactly thick."
"Right, well, anyhow...you're wrong."
"I have every right to feel bad. I...when all of this started we were sort of...together. We were unofficial, but were together. And then he left and ever since he got back it's like there's this weird, awkward tension between us," she admits, out loud, for the first time.
"Well then it's not your fault the Weasel wigged out," he points out.
"Well, no, but..."
"But nothing, Granger. He made his decision and you made yours."
"I want to talk to Luna's father," Harry tells them.
She's shocked. She glances at Ron, who looks at her questioningly, and then at Draco, who's staring at Harry like he's mad.
"Why Luna's father, Harry?" she asks softly.
"Because he's lost his marbles," Draco mutters.
Harry rolls his eyes. "That drawing you found in the book, Hermione. Mr. Lovegood was wearing a necklace with the exact same mark. He'd have to know what it stands for."
"I dunno, mate," Ron replies skeptically.
"C'mon, he's on our side-you've read the Quibbler."
"Harry-" she tries.
"Potter's right. We've got nothing to lose," Draco says, looking at her.
She blinks, staring at him. "Okay. Yeah, we can go tomorrow."
Harry grins. Ron looks between them skeptically.
"I can't go, though."
"Why not?" Hermione asks softly, confused.
"Nobody can know I'm with you lot-not yet anyway. I'll wait nearby and meet up with you after."
"No. No way-"
"Do you have a problem with me, Weasley?" Draco taunts.
"As a matter of fact, I do. I don't trust you-"
"Ron-" Hermione tries again.
"Well that's a relief, because I don't trust you either-"
"Stop it!" Hermione shouts, pushing herself between them. "You're acting like children."
"He started it," Draco taunts, smirking down at her.
She almost laughs, rolling her eyes. "Look, just...we're on the same side. We should be working together," she says, speaking more to Ron than anyone.
"And how do you know that, huh? That he's really on our side?" Ron asks her.
"Because I trust him," she admits. "Just...give him a chance, Ron. It's the only choice we have."
"He's just desperate Ron. They've got his daughter," Harry replies softly, understandably, to Ron's outburst after they'd disapparated into the forest near the Lovegood home.
They've just been attacked by Death Eaters.
"Where's Malfoy?" Ron demands. He's practically glowing red. "He's supposed to be-"
"Well, well, what do we have here?"
All three of them whip around to find themselves surrounded by snatchers. They look at one another, exchanging the same silent thought: RUN. And so they run.
"What are you standing around for? Snatch 'em!" the leader yells.
And then they're running faster. And faster. A sense of deja vu washes over her as she jumps over logs and ducks under branches. She nearly falls after tripping on a tree root but Ron is quick to help her, catching her so she doesn't fall and pushing her along.
Her eyes widen in fear and she skids to a stop when two more snatchers, adding to the four already chasing them, appear in front of them. On instinct, she spins around and fires a stinging hex at Harry's face. The only way to save them, is to disguise him.
They are immediately detained; Ron is pushed to the ground, Harry stays on the ground and Hermione gasps as a snatcher's arm curls around her neck. The leader comments on Harry's face before asking her who she is.
"Penelope Clearwater," she replies smoothly. "Halfblood."
Merlin, where's Draco?
Ron's growl of "slimy bastard" pulls her out of her head and follows his-and everyone else's-gaze to see Draco Malfoy emerging from behind a tree to her right.
"Well done boys," he drawls, his hands shoved into the pockets on his robes.
She watches him in confusion. And disappointment.
The leader looks at him. "You're the Malfoy boy. The traitor," he spits.
Draco smirks. "Traitor? Is that what they're calling me?" he wonders casually.
"Among other things."
"Well, they're wrong. I've been tracking Potter for months now. Secretly," he sneers. She watches his gaze as it glides across them all and lands on her for a fraction of a second before glaring once more at the leader. She's no longer disappointed or afraid.
"Oh yeah? Why hasn't anyone been told then?" the leader questions, folding his arms over his chest.
"Because it was top secret. You-know-who trusted me, and only me, with this task on account of the fact that I...regrettably know the so-called 'Golden Trio'. If we were to tell anyone else, it would've compromised the entire mission," Draco lies easily.
"Hmmm. How do I know you're telling the truth?"
Draco shrugs. "You don't."
"Let's take them back then, to your Manor. If this is Potter then surely-"
"It isn't Potter," he denies.
"You just said-"
"I said I've been tracking them, yes. I never said it was them," he clarifies. "Besides, look at him. Potter's ugly, but he's not that ugly."
Almost immediately after he says it, Draco whips out his wand and disarms the leader and a fight between them and the snatchers breaks out.
Having just settled into number 12 Grimmauld Place with the boys and the rest of the Order, Hermione decides it's about time to wash up. She's covered in dirt and mud and a little bit of her own blood from fighting with the snatchers in the forest. All four of them had managed to get to the same side, standing among one another side by side, and in one swift movement they'd grabbed hold of her, allowing her to apparate them all to safety. Leaving the snatchers behind.
They've since settled into Harry's godfather's house, and furthermore, into their own bedrooms. Well, Harry and Ron are now sharing a room with Seamus and Dean while Draco and Hermione each have their own.
She grabs a change of clothes out of her bag before making her way to the bathroom on her floor of the house. Upon arrival, she finds that it's already occupied by Draco. She bites her lip, leaning against the doorframe as she allows herself a few moments to consider him.
His blond hair is unkept and dirty, almost a darker blond colour. His shirt is ripped and torn in some places and his trousers are dirty. His skin is about the only part of him that isn't a mess.
She watches him with baited breath has he splashes water onto his face before leaning heavily against the edge of the sink, gripping it hard with his hands. He looks at himself in the mirror, and he must see her too because he looks at her over his shoulder before turning around completely and leaning his bum against the sink.
She smiles softly. "Thank you."
He smirks, shaking his head as he crosses his arms over his chest. "You doubted me."
She shakes her own head. "I didn't doubt you. I was just wondering what the hell was going through your head."
"I was stalling."
He takes a deep breath, rolling his head on his shoulders. "That's gonna get back to my parents...to Him. I'm as good as dead the next time they see me."
"I won't let that happen," she replies strongly.
He raises his eyebrows. "And howwill you manage that?"
"I'll fight for you. Just as you've fought for us," she says softly.
A tiny hint of a smile graces his lips. "Thanks, Granger."
"Just so you know, Harry and Ron thank you too. Harry will admit it, eventually. I'm not so sure about Ron though," she admits.
He chuckles softly, rolling his eyes as he pushes himself away from the sink. "Bathroom's all yours," he whispers as he slips past her. Before he leaves, however, he turns back to her, resting his shoulder on the frame. "That's the second time I've saved your pretty little arse, Granger. You owe me."
Pretty little arse…
"Your friends don't trust me," he tells her, glancing over the top of his book at her.
She looks at him, tilting her head to the side in disappointment as she closes her own book. "I think Harry and Ron are coming around. They're a bit slow, but-"
"Not them, you're other friends. Finnegan and Thomas."
She sighs, frowning slightly as she leans back in her chair in the library. "I know. They just don't know you like we do-"
"-youdon't know me like you think you know me," he points out.
"I know you well enough to know that I can trust you. You just...we have to give them time, you know? You have to earn it," she says softly.
He groans, rolling his eyes. "If getting them to trust me means I have to save their arses too, you can forget it. I'm not some sort of Gryffindor savior, Granger," he tells her grumpily.
She laughs softly, rolling her eyes as she goes back to reading her book.
She's beginning to suffer from anxiety.
It's been days since Draco, Seamus, Harry and Ron had gone on the latest mission, leaving her, and a number of other Order members, behind. She's beginning to worry. Beginning to fear the worse. What If something's happened to them, and they can't call for help? What if they're in danger and can't do anything? What if they don't come back?
She's been seriously contemplating trying to find them. Trying to help them. In fact she's just finished speaking to Dean about it when, as if on cue, the boys return. Seamus walks in first, followed by Harry and then Ron, who's carrying something large over his shoulder-Draco's unconscious body.
Ignoring the fact that all four of them are covered in dirt and soot, Hermione throws herself at them. Seamus pulls her back, holding her around the shoulders as Ron rushes to the couch and lies Draco's body on down as he calls for his mother.
"What happened?" she asks. When nobody answers, too busy rushing around to get supplies to help heal the wounded man, she tries again. Panicked. "What happened to him?"
Seamus goes on to explain to her how Draco jumped in the way of a curse that was aimed at his back an saved his life. He sounds partly relieved and grateful, and also sort of shocked. "Guess I owe him my life now, huh? Or at least a year of it..." he jokes.
Hermione smiles softly, watching as Molly Weasley tends to Draco's wounds, knowing that Seamus has no ideawhat he'll owe Draco in the near future.
She hears the bed sheets rustle, pulling her attention away from her book as she looks up to see Draco stirring in his bed. She sits up straight, placing her book on the bedside table.
His eyes flutter open and he groans groggily, shifting on the uncomfortable mattress to find comfort.
She hands him a glass of water, helping him to take sip.
When his thirst is quenched, he lays back, tilting his head to look at her. "How long have I been out?"
"A few days," she tells him, adjusting the sheets over the bed. "You've been on healing potions ever since. Do you remember what happened?"
He chuckles, rolling his eyes at himself. He is clearly inebriated by those potions at the moment. "Yeah. I became the Gryffindor savior I said I wouldn't be," he mutters, almost bitterly.
She giggles softly.
"It's not funny, Granger. You Gryffindors need to learn to watch your own backs."
Hermione rolls her eyes playfully, but puts that thought in the vault in the back of her mind. She watches him stare up at the ceiling as he twirls his family ring around his finger once more.
"You know, two years ago I hated the lot of you," he murmurs suddenly breaking the silence between them. She looks at him curiously, wondering why he's telling her something she already knows. "Now I'm like the bloody Gryffindor whisperer. Pathetic."
"Oh c'mon it's not that bad," she giggles.
"You'renot that bad. The jury's still out of the others."
"I'm so sure..." she trails off sarcastically.
When she turns to leave moments later, to let him rest, he calls her back, telling her has a favour to ask of her. She turns back to him and he lifts his hand, waving her over. She walks back to the side of his bed and his fingers wrap around her wrist, pulling her down so that her face is closer to his. She sucks in a deep breath sharply.
"Kiss me," he whispers, his grey eyes boring into hers.
She hesitates, her eyes shifting from his eyes to his thin, pink lips and then back. He cocks his head to the side mischievously. And then she does, closing the gap between them slowly, pressing her lips against his softly. His lips are warm against hers, soft and smooth. He deepens the kiss, moving his lips against hers while curling his free hand around the base of her neck.
When she leaves, seconds later, she reminds herself that he's under the influence of a number of healing potions.