A/N: Hello! This is just a little one-shot I wrote tonight while failing an attempt at homework. Let me know what you guys think about it!

Four raps at the door had awoken Hermione from possibly one of the deepest and most comfortable sleeps she had ever taken, and a great bubble of annoyance popped to spread through every vein. Mumbling curses and words she would never ever say in front of anyone, she stood from coziness of her double bed and moved with large but quiet steps through her tiny apartment. She pulled her wand out, holding it at the ready and moved to the peephole. Immediately she threw it open with a force that would have surprised her, were it not for her company.

"Kingsley?" The shock in her tone was apparent, even through the grogginess of a well enjoyed afternoon nap. The Minister bowed his head in a swift fashion and glided into her living room as she opened the door wider. "To what do I owe the pleasure, Sir?"

His grand blue robes flew around him as he flipped to face her. She could read the worry that danced across his features and his eyes were dark with a secret she wished was as clear. "There's a Death Eater attack at Diagon." Her eyes widened as he continued hurriedly. "I couldn't get a hold of you because your Floo is shut off, but we need all Aurors and Ministry personnel to help immediately."

She swallowed back the fear and let determination flow through her as she nodded. The Minister grabbed her arms with a soft but firm grip and she felt the uncomfortable twist behind her navel of apparition. Opening her eyes, she could barely recognize her surroundings.

A mere 4 kilometers away from Hermione's home, they were now in Diagon Alley, but nothing remained as it was only an hour ago. All was black with death or ablaze in red. Buildings lay toppled to into the sidewalks, their signs cracked to pieces and charred to be illegible. Ministry authorities stood at every entrance, pulling survivors from the licks of flames that hissed in fury. Screams shattered through the destruction of the night and Hermione yelped as a something fell in front of her with a crash that shuddered through her body.

Kingsley Shacklebolt lay in front of her, dead.

Now at full alert, she stood tall; throwing spells left and right at the masked figures that popped out from behind every corner. She recognized Harry and Ron's voices yelling spells nearby, and the relief of knowing they were okay pushed her to fight harder. The green of a killing curse zipped past her head, scorching a curl gone astray, and it was then that fear finally glimmered to the surface.

Something grabbed the hood of the sweatshirt she wore and she opened her mouth to scream, only to have it stifled by a crush of the person's hand against it. She heard him mumble a couple of disarming spells at the Death Eater's and was impressed by their precision and aim even as she squirmed from the grip they had. Her captor forced her backwards into the charred building that Hermione once loved more than any other store on the lane. The books on the shelves were burnt to a crisp, making her wonder if Flourish and Botts would ever be the same.

With another mumble, this time to cast a silencing spell around the room she immediately felt tingle against her skin, the person behind Hermione flipped her to look at them. She gasped as a smirk crossed his face.

"Malfoy?"

His face turned emotionless and he pushed her into a corner behind what had once been a desk. "Stay here, Granger." He whispered.

Hermione frowned, fury boiling deep inside of her. "Why would I stay?" She practically growled. "I was brought here to help! I'm an Auror!"

His silver eyes rolled in their sockets in annoyance. "It's too risky for you. The Carrows want you dead more than anyone." The building shuttered threateningly and Malfoy turned to shield Hermione with his body. "Besides," he snarled back at her. "I'm also an Auror."

She grabbed his shoulder and turned him to face her. "The Carrows?" Confusion clouded Hermione's vision as her brain raced to connect the dots. "But aren't they in-"

"Azkaban? They've escaped,"

It was Hermione's turn to roll her eyes. "Obviously. How?"

"I don't have time to explain now, but I need you to stay here." Malfoy demanded, though it sounded more to her like he was pleading. She looked into his eyes and saw the fear she was feeling flash through the silver.

"Kingsley's dead."

An emotion that could have been interpreted as sorrow hit his features. "I know." He placed a hand on her shoulder and forced her into a nearby chair. "Now stay. Please."

As much as she wanted to fight him, something in her gut believed him and she nodded. And with another smirk, he left her there, twiddling her thumbs as the fight continued outside.


Eleven minutes and forty-three seconds later, Malfoy returned grinning like mad. "It's done. We've got them."

Hermione smiled and stood. "Where are the Carrows?"

"Potter and Macmillan have the bound near the Weasel joke shop. They'd been hiding in the Daily Prophet office," Malfoy said. They walked out of the building and he pointed to where Hermione could see a hoard of Ministry officials. "The rest of their gits are either dead or under custody."

She nodded looked up with a small sigh of relief. Ash danced around them and it seemed to fall from the sky. Holding out her hand, she studied a piece that fluttered to rest in her palm, and then looked to the ground that seemed to be blanketed with the stuff.

"It's like black snow," She whispered, blowing the ash away. Her eyes turned to his face and they stared at one another in a silence that seemed to comfort her.

The revelation hit her that Malfoy had gone out of his way to save her. Malfoy, the boy that had teased and hated her over her lowly blood status all through Hogwarts, had pulled her to safety and practically begged her to remain till the battle was over. Hermione studied his face, noticing the absence of hate he had worn the first twenty years of his life. He towered over her like he always had, and she saw that his build was a little bulkier, and she guessed that Auror training had helped him to gain all the muscle she had felt earlier in his grasp.

Her study object cleared his throat and nodded towards the group as she blushed in embarrassment. "You should probably go help them out over there." He murmured. The huskiness of his voice made her look back up at him. A tired smirk appeared. "Potter was worried about you and Godric knows they'll need some brains to get shit done with this case."

A shy smile crossed Hermione's face and she shoved her hands in her sweatshirt pockets. "You coming?"

He shook his head. "I have to report to Thomas about a couple of things that went down." Hermione frowned for a moment, making a laugh erupt from his gut. The sincerity of his joy brought her smile back almost immediately. "Don't miss me too much, Granger. People might start talking." He raised a blonde eye brow at her and turned to walk in the opposite direction of the crowd.

Hermione thought for a few seconds, watching him walk through the ash slowly, and in a hasty move, ran to catch up with him. At the sound of her foot falls, he turned to face her. His eyes doubled in size as she grabbed him around his neck, pulling his tall frame down in an embrace that was warm enough to melt the snow like-ash they stood in. "Thank you, Draco." She whispered into his shoulder. Hesitantly, his arms wrapped around her middle to return the hug, burying his face into her hair. The grin he wore was so genuinely happy, he thought he felt a tear drip across his cheek.

"Anytime, Hermione."

A/N: Don't forget to review! Thanks so much for reading!