Hi everybody, my beta Elantil is fixing the story from chappie one. So, any new fans – Yey! You get to read the new and improved chapters. And any old fans, if you ever want to read this again, then here's a nice new one. I like the idea of chapter songs (something i only started doing in later chapters) so much i decided to go back and put one in for every chapter.
I do not own Harry Potter.
"I'm so tired but I can't sleep
Standin' on the edge of something much too deep
It's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can't be heard
I'm so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose
Clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose
But once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light"- I will remember you ,Sarah Mclachlan
It took Draco Malfoy almost seven years before he could finally admit he was in love with Hermione Granger.
Now seven years later, at age twenty three, he was still hopelessly in love with Hermione Granger, if not more so.
He watched her from afar as a red haired man held her hand and nuzzled her cheek.
Why had he bothered to come?
He had patrols, hunts, missions. The Dark Lord would probably scan his mind later when he realised Draco's absence. He should be practicing his Occlumency.
Instead he watched as she married Ronald-bloody-Weasley?
But he knew why. He couldn't bloody help it. 'I must be a masochist,' he thought gloomily.
He'd polyjuiced himself as one of the guests; the real Mr Albert Nightingale had been stunned and left lying in some ditch with a few empty bottles as an explanation.
He watched from just beyond a small crowd; the Weasleys had stupidly decided to hold the wedding in the Burrow's garden. As if the last Weasley wedding hadn't ended in complete disaster at the beginning of the war, they'd planned another one for right in the middle of the same bloody war.
A hearty cheer went up from the guests of the party as the bride and groom, after being provoked by the cries of 'Kiss, Kiss, Kiss', complied. It hurt. It made his stomach churn to see Hermione Mudblood Weasley kiss her new husband.
Although truthfully, he had stopped caring about her blood status long ago; even the word burned in his mouth.
It had been in his seventh year, when he watched as his Aunt Bellatrix carved the word Mudblood into Hermione's flesh and he found himself wanting nothing more than to cast a Cruciatus on his dear demented Aunt. And it was because he hated seeing her hurt and screaming.
Her blood wasn't dirty, it was the same colour as his own and the realisation shook him. The word 'Mudblood' was no longer associated with his supremacy, but with Hermione Granger writhing on the ground in her own blood and every time, the thought made him sick.
Draco didn't know when he'd realised he loved her properly; he just saw her one day and knew.
As sappy as it sounded, he had just found her in the library, chewing her pencil while surrounded by a mountain load of books and he found himself smiling. With all the added stress of the vanishing cabinet, she had looked so pretty and calm, then he suddenly knew.
It seemed that the stress of his life at present overwhelmed his usual thoughts and finally revealed something he had been lying to himself about for years, but the realisation cost him dearly. Back then, in the library, only one thing came to mind when he finally acknowledged it: 'I am so fucked.'
After that, he came to realise other things. He watched her in the hallway, taunted her for the chance to have her attention, but he not once revealed even an inkling of why he did it. Because he knew that he was already too far gone. She hated him too much, he was already too dark. If the Dark Lord ever found out his feelings, he would die in a heartbeat and then he would seek Hermione out and kill her too, for daring to seduce a Pureblood; as if being Harry Potter's friend wasn't already enough of a reason to want her dead, this made it worse.
No one would ever know. This was the only thing he could do for her, protect her.
But that didn't stop him from noticing things. Things he always knew but never admitted.
Like the fact that although he always taunted her for having bushy hair, he actually rather liked it, as he did her big brown eyes and small face. He still thought her friendship speeches were irritating, but he liked that she was loyal. He still thought she was a know-it-all, but he liked that she was smart. He liked that she was kind, liked her bookish ways and her shy nature, and he liked how she could stand up for herself when she needed to. Even though she was a Gryffindor, and a Muggleborn, there were so many things that he both liked and admired about her, probably from the very beginning and he supposed that somewhere along the way, he had somehow fell in love.
He didn't know much more he could take, why the hell did he come?
She broke the kiss and looked out towards the crowd, coincidently looking right in his direction.
The wedding took place in the Weasley garden; it was a quiet affair, as he expected they were keeping a low profile due to the ongoing war.
Seven years after he finished school and people were still dying left, right and centre. Draco was now a fully-fledged Death Eater; though he now regretted the day he had chosen willingly to serve the dark side. It wasn't selfless, Draco had just become fed up with war and wished Voldemort would hurry up and die, or Potter would hurry up and kill him.
He had wanted to wait until this was all over. If Harry Potter defeated the Dark Lord, he would tell her he loved her, and try to make her feel the same.
But now it was too late.
Yet in a world of madness, Granger still found time to get married, he'd thought with a sneer.
Jealous, he was actually jealous. How the mighty have fallen.
But Hermione Weasley, nee Granger, made a beautiful bride. She wore a modest white dress that didn't reveal her breasts for the world to see and was long and easy to walk in. Practical, versatile and very much like her. She wore a goblin made tiara, nestled in her hair. Her usually bushy brown curls was tamed with Sleekeazy and tied up in a loose bun with some left hanging by her face, one tantalizing curl rested on the curve of one breast. Draco's heart sped up just looking at it.
He cursed himself. Malfoys were supposed to have more control over themselves - they weren't supposed to be emotional. And yet he knew he had lost any choice in the matter long ago.
If she knew, would she gloat?
She would never know what she did to him; he wouldn't let her - for his pride and for hers. She'd never understand. Why the person who gave her so much grief as a child, who hunted down her friends and killed her parents as an adult; she would never understand why that person loved her, so he kept quiet and watched over her. As much as he wanted to just let her die, he found he couldn't.
She was so beautiful. He didn't want to see her married to someone else. He wanted to dust his hands off of the matter. 'Well, that's it, she's hitched and gone, it was fun while it lasted, plenty more fish in the sea,' he wanted to think, but it wasn't that easy.
He watched her glance in his direction to see him standing by a tree outside the crowd. She smiled politely before turning her attention back to her husband. Merlin, what that single smile did to him - he wanted to march over and yank her away from that red-haired idiot. It took all his willpower not to.
Draco began to feel the Polyjuice potion losing its effect. With a sneer he turned and walked away without a word, leaving the sickeningly happy couple behind. He would find a secluded area to turn back and Apparate to the next point.
Then suddenly the party was interrupted by one high pitched scream. Draco looked up into the sky as his blood froze.
The Dark Mark.
Not here, not now.
Before he could even think, the person beside him was enveloped by a green light as she dropped dead. Death Eaters swarmed the party and what had started out as a wedding became an all-out battle. The wedding party consisted almost entirely of Order Members, but they were grossly outnumbered.
But where was Hermione?
Suddenly, he remembered. The raid, the raid on the Order. Draco hadn't paid proper attention in the meeting at the time, but did they mean today, now, on her wedding day?
Of course they did. Why wasn't he surprised?
He began searching for her, desperately watching out for a glimpse of bushy brown hair. He hoped Weasley had done the right thing and taken her away. But there were so many Death Eaters, forty to ten, and four of those ten were already dead.
Then his foot met with something.
Weasley. Dead. Killing curse.
Where was Hermione?
Draco dodged a hex from an Order member and redirected it with a killing curse. The curse killed both the Order member and the Death Eater behind him. Draco didn't care, they were in his way.
Where was Hermione?!
His heart hammered in his chest. She had to be alive, she had to be alive! He couldn't picture the possibility of her being dead. Not now.
He dodged more curses. He stunned three and killed two. Where was Hermione?
The Burrow was burning. More Death Eaters were pouring in. It seemed the Dark Lord had finally become tired of the Weasley's opposition; it was a planned massacre of the whole family, that's why they chose the wedding.
Draco didn't care about the Weasleys. But Hermione was now a Weasley.
Then he saw her.
She'd fallen, and Blaise Zabini stood over her body. "Bloody Mudblood," he spat.
Draco expected her to glare, to fight back, to show some of that Gryffindor courage he was so accustomed to.
She was dead.
In a second, so was Zabini, with a killing curse from Draco's wand. He grabbed the body and Apparated away from the battlefield.
Draco refused to believe she was dead.
In the forest, he slumped to his knees, her body in his arms, her face pressed against his chest.
He tried to turn her, but he couldn't. He needed to see her alive, but his body wouldn't obey.
"Hermione," he whispered. "Granger, wake up!" he shook her, his eyes shut tight. "In case you haven't noticed, it's me, Draco Malfoy, remember me? Wake up and curse me already!"
She did nothing. Still he refused to believe. "I'll turn you over to Voldemort," he warned, a complete lie, but he hoped it would be enough to arouse her. The feeling of panic grew, he shook her.
"I killed your parents, wake up and kill me!"
She said nothing.
"I'll kiss you."
Finally, he pulled her away.
Her face was grey, her eyes still open. Pain riddled across her face, probably from seeing the death of Weasley. She was so cold. She really was dead.
Draco felt his throat burn, he choked. His eyes stung. No, he wouldn't cry, he was a Malfoy, he was better than this.
Yet another glance at her cold, unfeeling body had him undone. He sobbed, clutching her closely, his face buried in her neck as his hand caressed her hair with shaky touches. He felt broken, his whole body was numb.
She was gone.
How could this happen? He was always so careful, seven years of protecting her, watching her so carefully from the shadows. It was so he'd never have to do this, hold her in his arms. Dead.
He never asked for anything, he gave up any chance of having her for the chance that she'd be safe. All he had ever wanted was for her to live.
Even if she'd never love him, even if she became a Weasley and had a whole team of red-headed morons for children, even if she'd one day killed him in battle.
As long as she was alive.
And she was alive, only five minutes ago. Laughing, kissing - she had been alive.
The war had taken everything from him. Now, it had taken Hermione too.
This wasn't what was supposed to happen. What was he to do now? Wasn't there anything he could do? She was the smartest witch of a generation, she was special, she was precious, wasn't there anything he could do to bring her back? She couldn't be dead.
He held her and sobbed.
"I love you. I love you, Hermione." Words he had kept hidden for so long, words he never wanted her to hear, words he now desperately wanted to reach her, wanted her to know. "Dammit, can't you hear me? Wake up! I love you." Her head lolled to the side, her ears heard nothing.
The tears wouldn't stop, he didn't care who found him as he held her and howled. She was what had gotten him through his darkest moments, knowing he couldn't die because he had to keep her safe. There was no man who treasured Hermione Granger as much as he did - her childhood nemesis. What a joke. "Don't leave me!"
But she was gone.
He kissed her. He'd always wanted to kiss her. Wasn't it funny? He'd never kissed her or touched her before and yet he'd fallen for her so deeply? It sounded like something from a dumb novel.
Her lips were cold and dry. It was a mockery to what she had been; what her kiss was probably really like. It only made her death crueler.
"I love you."
Hours later, without a single emotion across his face, he Apparated to where her parents were and buried her there - she'd like that.
He couldn't bring himself to do the same for Weasley. Not when he couldn't protect her. If it had been him by her side, she would have lived. Weasley was a moron.
Now, no one was left.
Draco felt empty, like shattered glass. The shock still hadn't gone away, his chest felt numb. Of all the deaths Draco had experienced, hers had hit him the hardest. He really loved her.
No, the worst part was he still loved her.
Of course Saint Potter survived. They saved the Boy Wonder, but forgot Hermione.
To them, her life was expendable, but to Draco, she was irreplaceable.
But they didn't know that, nor would they have cared.
His Hermione, in the ground. His beautiful, feisty, know-it-all, Hermione.
He still didn't believe it.
Even a month after her death he was still grieving. He'd never grieved for anyone this long before. Grief was a distraction, distractions meant death, but he just couldn't let go.
If anyone in the Death Eater ranks noticed anything strange about his demeanour, they put it down to stress. They didn't know he was grieving.
For a Muggleborn, no less.
A Death Eater mourning a Mudblood, crying even, for one, wishing it had been him. His father was probably writhing in his grave. Good. This was entirely his fault.
Malfoy Manor had always been a quiet, cold house. It was even more so now that he was its only occupant. Especially now that the Muggles that had once acted as his unintentional neighbours were all dead and their houses burned to the ground. He had also stupidly gone and fired all the house elves during one drunken night, convinced that if he did, she would forgive him for all the things he did to her in the past. Needless to say, he woke up with a headache and with no one to fetch his sober-up potion. He couldn't be bothered to hire anymore.
His parents were dead, tortured and killed by Voldemort after multiple failings. Draco was the only one who hadn't let Voldemort down so far. Oh, if he only knew.
Draco was the one who had failed him the most. He was hopelessly and madly in love with a Muggleborn. Perhaps this was his punishment, for wanting something that wasn't meant to be his.
His father was right, he was a failure. He couldn't do anything right. All he had wanted was to protect her, and he couldn't even do that.
He had no more family in contact with him after his parents' death. His father he cared nothing for, his mother he missed. His godfather was sorely missed, his relatives, gone. His 'friends' were all idiots. His only real friend, Theodore Nott, was dead, and now Hermione was gone too.
Everyone was gone. What was the point?
Draco slumped down onto his dark leather sofa, his hand reaching into his pocket for a familiar trinket. He pulled out a golden cube about the size of a golf ball.
Saint Potter wasn't the only one Dumbledore left something to after his death, much to Draco's surprise. When that ministry official cornered him in Diagon Alley, he had almost thrown the thing away. After all, he was the one who had planned Dumbledore's death. But something had made him keep it, although in all his years of having it, he never once really looked at it.
'To Mr Draco Malfoy, I leave one of the many trinkets I kept in my office with only this advice to accompany it: If all else fails, try, try again.'
What the old codger had probably meant, Draco would never know. He didn't even know what the bloody thing did.
He was fed up. Voldemort hadn't brought about the world he had promised, full of hope and pride.
And even if he did, it meant nothing without his parents, and it meant nothing if it was a world he couldn't have Hermione in. Because in Voldemort's ideal world, Hermione would either be dead or acting as a slave, neither suited him.
Scratch that. She was already dead. Perhaps this was Voldemort's ideal world.
Draco fiddled with the cube. He hadn't taken it out in years. He always carried it with him, but never really looked at it; never spoke the words Dumbledore gave him. It hadn't felt right. But now, in his depression and misery, he found himself thinking about him. About what might have happened if Draco hadn't killed him.
For one, Hermione would be alive. Dumbledore was a fool, but he was no idiot. He knew Potter couldn't do a thing without Hermione. He would have protected her.
He held the cube up to the light. "If all else fails, try, try again?"
Try again? He wished.
He closed his eyes and in his mind he saw himself, the first time he called her a Mudblood. Now, years later, and a wiser man, he wished he hadn't done that. He regretted it so much.
He wished he hadn't killed Dumbledore. He wished he hadn't been such a prat in school, talking tough without knowing anything about the real world of Death Eaters. He wished he had been kinder to her, if only a little. He wished he had told her the truth. He wished he had ripped her away from Weasley the way he had wanted to that day, then she would have been by his side - he could have kept her safe. He wished he had known he would one day love her, and then he wouldn't have wasted so much bloody time!
He wished he had told her he loved her while she was still alive to hear it. Now what was he supposed to do with all these emotions?
"Hermione," he whispered softly. He had so many regrets.
Suddenly, the cube in his hand began to vibrate. It grew hotter and hotter until it was burning, Draco tried to let go but his hand wasn't listening as it remained holding on to the burning cube. It was now so hot Draco was sure it was burning though his hand, he screamed in agony.
Was he dying? Was this why Dumbledore gave him the cube, as some sort of revenge for killing him?
The last thing he thought about was Hermione, in her wedding dress, smiling happily at the crowd at her wedding, her reading at the table in Hogwarts, her face the first time he called her Mudblood.
He saw her one more time behind closed eyes. Then he saw nothing as the world went black and he fell to the ground.
"Raise your arm a bit higher my dear."
Draco blinked. Where was he? He felt funny, his head felt like he'd fallen off of a broom and his hand hurt. His hand really hurt, like something had burned it. He glanced down at the small white hand. No burn, then why did it hurt so?
"Did you hear me love? I said raise your arm a bit higher." He looked down to see a small witch dressed entirely in mauve. He noticed the sign on the wall: Madam Malkin's Robes for all Occasions.
Then he remembered.
He was getting all his things for Hogwarts. His letter came two days ago; he was now eleven years old, although strangely, he didn't feel eleven. Madam Malkin was starting to look irritated so Draco wordlessly lifted his arm higher. She chided him and began pinning the fabric up. He should apologize; he was the one ignoring her after all. As soon as the thought popped into his head, he wondered where it had come from. It sounded so reasonable and so unlike him.
He was a Malfoy; he apologized for nothing and to no one.
Madam Malkin stood up after adding the last pin. "You can move now love, I'll just be a minute." As she walked off, the door sounded with a bell and she started to turn to the new customer, ready with a smile, but stopped abruptly, "Love, are you crying?"
He glared. "Of course not! Just get on with it and stop calling me 'love'," it made him uncomfortable.
She sighed, and walked off to deal with the new customer. When she had gone, Draco's hand flew to his cheek.
Merlin, he was crying! His eyes were wet and there was a tear from his left eye dribbling down his cheek - but why?
He rubbed it away hurriedly, horrified at his actions. Why had he suddenly started crying? He never cried. And it wasn't just that. He clutched at his chest, why did he feel so sad? He felt like he had lost something important.
He was so far in his thoughts that he almost didn't notice the boy with messy black hair take a place on the stool next to him. He looked raggedy and poor, but he was clearly a Hogwarts student. So as a gesture of goodwill, he smiled as Madam Malkin began sticking the boy with pins. "Hullo, Hogwarts too?"
"Yes," the boy said. He looked a bit uncomfortable. Draco ignored it, another person's comfort wasn't that important to him, but he did want to make the effort to make friends this year, for all he knew this boy could end up being his roommate. The thought made him feel giddy as he was reminded of his upcoming year at Hogwarts. Though he would never show it, he was tremendously excited.
"My father's next door buying my books and my mother…" he trailed off suddenly. Why did he feel as if he had already said all of this before? He hid his confusion with a look of boredom and changed the subject to racing brooms.
The boy didn't look too interested, but Draco patiently tried to keep up the conversation. In the span of five minutes he learned that the quiet boy did not know much about Quidditch, was friends with the savage from Hogwarts and that his parents were dead. So far he wasn't making a good first impression. So Draco brought up a topic that was always popular with his pureblood friends.
Since when did he call them Muggleborns? They were Mudb—
But then Draco found he couldn't bring himself to say the word, not even in his mind. His mouth felt like it was burning and his head felt funny.
"But they were our kind, weren't they?" he managed to ask.
He expected the boy to go off on a rant about his Pureblood heritage; instead he said swiftly, "They were a witch and a wizard, if that's what you mean."
Strange, maybe he was one of those half-bloods he had heard about?
"I don't think—"and then he stopped. Because Draco had been intending to tell the boy all about the Malfoy philosophy about M-Mudbloods (he forced the word out) not being allowed into Hogwarts, yet found he couldn't. It was like something in the back of his mind was making him stop.
Perhaps he was under the Imperious curse? What had that crazy witch done to him? First crying, now this?
What was the Imperious curse? Why had he thought that?
But he was a Malfoy; he would not falter in a time of confusion, so he quickly changed the subject with an ease and grace belonging only to a Malfoy. "What's your surname?"
But before the boy could answer, he was finished off and sent on his way by Madam Malkin. Draco was annoyed, first she Imperioused him, and then she interrupted him - his father would be having words with her.
"Well, I'll see you in Hogwarts, I suppose," he said in his best drawling tone.
The boy smiled and Draco felt rather successful.
Please review and I'll put up the next chapter really soon.
I'm still deciding on whether to continue this story. Next chapter, young Draco meets young Hermione and Harry, but things go a bit differently this time.