7th Year – Just after Voldemort's defeat.
It had barely been half an hour since The Dark Lord's downfall and the Great Hall was flooded with people mourning the dead and celebrating being alive. Harry Potter stood amongst the crowds in the Great Hall, watching as his best friend had his heart shattered into a million pieces. Ron had plenty of reasons to be devastated, not least of all by his brother's death. But the reason for his current heartbreak was the other third of their trio, Hermione Granger.
Ron was currently in shock, the girl he was madly in love with had just ran across the hall and lovingly embraced the boy he had detested since first year. Harry wasn't sure how to comfort his friend who was watching in shock as Hermione stood wrapped in Draco Malfoy's arms.
Harry was sympathetic to his friend's plight, but couldn't help but think that if Ron had been a bit more observant over the years then Hermione's current actions wouldn't have come as such a shock to the redhead.
The first time Harry noticed that something strange was going on with Hermione was after she had been petrified. While Harry and Ron were visiting her in the hospital wing they found the slip of paper in her hand which explained about the creature in the Chamber of Secrets. She had even figured out how the basilisk was travelling around the school without being spotted.
That was when Harry spotted something weird, the scrawled writing on the paper was not Hermione's writing. Hermione's writing was small and delicate but the word 'pipes' that was written on the paper wasn't either of these things. But because Hermione wasn't awake, Harry couldn't ask her about the writing or the identity of the person who had wrote it. Ron however didn't seem to notice the penmanship wasn't Hermione's.
Harry had forgotten all about the mystery writing because of the events down in the Chamber of Secrets. He didn't remember until he was visiting Hermione in the hospital wing again with Ron accompanying him. As usual when someone was in the hospital wing at Hogwarts, the table beside the bed was full of sweets and chocolates that well-wishers had sent.
When Ron was searching through the chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts every flavour beans on the table, he came across a bag of choco balls. When Ron put them back down, after first helping himself to a couple, Harry noticed there was a small tag on the bag. Being naturally curious Harry looked at the tag on the bag of choco balls. Scrawled on the tag, in the same writing that had been on the paper they had found clutched in Hermione's hand, was the word 'Sorry.'
Unfortunately by the time Hermione was un-petrified a few days later, Harry had forgotten all about the mystery writer and his wish to discover their identity.
After the mystery writer, the next odd occurrence Harry noticed was near the beginning of third year. In one of their first Care of Magical Creatures lessons with Hagrid, he had brought Buckbeak to the class. In the same lesson, Malfoy had been his usual annoying self and gotten himself kicked by the animal he had just insulted.
It had been Hermione who insisted that Hagrid had to take Malfoy to the hospital wing. When Ron had joked that she shouldn't have interfered and left Malfoy to suffer, Hermione said she was trying to stop Hagrid from getting into trouble for not taking an injured student to the hospital wing. Harry wanted to believe his friend was only looking out for Hagrid, but he couldn't deny the worry for Malfoy he had witnessed in Hermione's eyes.
Harry spent the next few days trying to convince himself he was imagining things and Hermione hadn't been worried about Malfoy. The day Malfoy finally left the hospital wing, nursing a clearly fake arm injury, a conversation took place that left Harry wondering if had been right the first time about Hermione.
While the trio of friends were sitting in the Great Hall discussing Malfoy, who was milking all the sympathy he could get, Hermione said two things that made him wonder just how well she knew the blond Slytherin.
The first thing occurred to him straight away, when discussing events she called him Draco. Harry had never heard her refer to him as Draco before, ever since first year they had all used his surname whenever he was mentioned in conversation. Hermione however hadn't noticed her slip of the tongue, neither had Ron it seemed as the pair continued to talk as normal.
The second thing only occurred to Harry later in the day. Hermione had said that Malfoy's father was furious about what had happened with Buckbeak. Harry wondered how she knew about Malfoy's father and who had told her. Until Hermione had mentioned it, he had never heard a word about Lucius Malfoy's feeling's on his son's accident. Gossip surrounding Slytherin's and their families was scare in Hogwarts as the house of snakes liked to keep to themselves.
Harry had initially decided to keep a close eye on Hermione for the rest of the year. Unfortunately within a few weeks Harry was too obsessed with Sirius Black to spare a thought about what his best friend might be up to.
The next time Harry thought about Hermione and Malfoy was the day of Buckbeak's supposed execution, the day Hermione punched Malfoy. While Ron had cheered Hermione on Harry had been shocked by her actions. Hermione was the rational one in their three way friendship. While it was quite normal for him and Ron to fly off the handle, Hermione always stayed calm and collected. Even when Malfoy had called her a mudblood in second year, it had been Ron who had reacted, not her.
The events of the night caused Harry to forget the incident, until him and Hermione used the time turner. While they were re-watching the incident form earlier, Harry noticed that Hermione seemed to regret her rash actions from earlier in the night.
Several times that night Harry thought about asking Hermione about the incident with Malfoy, but he wasn't sure what sort of response he would get. Harry decided to question her another time, but as usual events conspired to make him forget about Hermione's strange behaviour.
The first time Harry was certain that something was going on between his best friend and school enemy was at the Quidditch World Cup. While he had suspected something was going on in third year, events during the night of the cup final confirmed his suspicions.
It was while they were running from the Death Eaters that they encountered Malfoy in the woods. From a certain point of view, Ron's included, it would seem that Malfoy only stopped them to insult Hermione. Harry however saw it differently. The supposed insult to Hermione, was really a warning about her safety.
Harry noticed that while the blond's words were seemingly cruel, his eyes told a different story. Throughout the whole encounter his eyes never strayed from Hermione, willing her to understand his message. Hermione and Harry both understood the message, but Ron just seemed to think the Slytherin was tormenting them. What Ron didn't notice but Harry did, was that Hermione turned and looked at the blond one final time as they disappeared into the trees.
The events of the year and his participation in The Triwizard Tournament left Harry little time to think about Hermione and Malfoy. In fact after The World Cup he didn't think about them until The Yule Ball. Harry couldn't help but notice that Malfoy watched Hermione throughout the entire night, scowling whenever she danced with Krum.
Later in the night when Hermione and Ron were arguing about Krum, Harry noticed that Hermione kept stealing glances at Malfoy. She was obviously realising that if Ron was so against Krum he would be even more against Malfoy.
An hour or so later and Hermione and Ron were still arguing. When Hermione lost her temper and ushered them away, Harry couldn't help but think the words she had thrown at Ron were actually aimed at a certain platinum blond Slytherin.
After The Yule Ball Harry was immersed by thoughts of surviving The Triwizard Tournament, so any thoughts about Hermione's life were abandoned. The next time he was free to think about Hermione, was the end of term feast where Dumbledore gave a touching speech about the late Cedric Diggory.
Harry noticed that Hermione and Malfoy watched each other throughout the speech, each wearing an identical wistful expression. Harry couldn't help but feel sorry for his friend, clearly there had been some sort of burgeoning romance happening between her and Malfoy. Unfortunately Voldemort's return had only made it more difficult for the son of a Death Eater to get involved with a Muggleborn witch.
For a while at the beginning of fifth year, Harry thought that whatever had been happening between Hermione and Malfoy had ended. For weeks the pair of them ignored each other and Hermione spent all her spare time in the Gryffindor common room.
It wasn't until one night after a detention with Umbridge that Harry heard raised voices. Harry decided to ignore it and head back to the common room when he realised that one of the voices was Malfoy. Despite his curiosity, Harry still decided to carry on back to the common room until he heard who Malfoy was arguing with, Hermione.
Creeping closer to the classroom where the voices were coming from, Harry could only hear the odd word of the argument. Among the things he picked up were the words; father, secret, disapprove and dangerous. From what Harry could piece together they were arguing over whether it was worth the risk to spend time together.
When Harry reached the slightly open door, he carefully peered around the corner not wanting to be seen. Looking in the classroom Harry saw Malfoy sitting on one of the desks while Hermione paced in front of him, clearly their argument was over and Hermione was making a decision about whether it was safe to continue seeing each other. Harry knew from experience that Hermione always paced the floor as she was making a hard decision. When Hermione stopped pacing and went over to Malfoy, who immediately wrapped her in his arms, Harry decided he'd seen enough and it was time for him to leave.
Harry wondered whether to confront Hermione about Malfoy, but he decided to trust her judgement in the matter and wait until she was ready to come to him. Ironically once he knew about Hermione and Malfoy he noticed how much time they spent watching each other. He wondered how no one else noticed the longing looks between the pair because at times they were very obvious.
Once the D.A. was set up, Harry put all his focus into the unofficial school group and stopped worrying about Hermione. The only time Harry thought about his friend's relationship with the Slytherin was when she would tell Harry to rearrange a meeting time so they could avoid Umbridge and her Inquisitorial Squad. When asked how she knew about the Inquisitorial Squad's movements, Hermione would say she had been listening to gossiping Slytherin's in the library. While Ron thought this was a feasible way to gain confidential information, Harry suspected the information was coming directly from Malfoy.
Harry's suspicions that Malfoy was helping the D.A were proved correct when they were caught by Umbridge trying to use her floo network. While Harry was placed on a seat, the rest of his friends were being held by members of the Inquisitorial Squad. While Harry was being questioned he noticed that Malfoy leant over to whisper something to Crabbe, who was the one guarding Hermione. Harry saw Malfoy's hand brush against Hermione's side but he didn't understand why until later in the forest when Hermione suddenly produced her wand that had been taken off her earlier in the night. When Harry asked about the wand, Hermione shrugged and said she had pinched it back from Crabbe when he was distracted. Harry didn't believe her, he was certain that Malfoy had given her back her wand.
After events at the Ministry Harry wondered if Hermione was still seeing Malfoy. Malfoy was obviously angry by his father's arrest and clearly blamed Harry and his friends. Harry got his answer the night before they returned home for the summer. On his way back from visiting Hagrid, Harry saw Malfoy sitting alone by the black lake. Even from a decent distance Harry could see the blond was upset, he had his head buried in his hands and was paying no attention to his surroundings. As Harry watched, Hermione appeared from the castle and sat down next to Malfoy. She immediately put her arm around him and he turned so he was leaning into her. Harry watched the couple for several minutes, Hermione was clearly comforting the stone hearted Slytherin.
Harry had thought sixth year would have brought an end to Hermione and Malfoy's relationship. Before they even returned to school, Harry was convinced the blond had turned and was now a Death Eater. Harry felt sorry for Hermione as she tried to persuade him and Ron that they were barking up the wrong tree, she was clearly grasping at straws rather than face up to the fact her boyfriend had turned to the dark side. To be honest Harry himself was surprised that Malfoy had taken the mark, from what he had seen of his relationship with Hermione it seemed to be serious and they seemed to genuinely care for each other.
For the first few weeks of term, Harry noticed that Hermione was quieter than usual and more withdrawn. Harry suspected she was dealing with the fact that he had been right about Malfoy, the incident on the train in which he'd had his nose broken by the Slytherin was hard to defend. Harry was sad that Hermione had to go through the heartbreak of finding out her boyfriend was a Death Eater but he was pleased she was finally facing reality. Without Hermione to worry about, Harry threw himself into Quidditch training.
It was because of Quidditch that Harry failed to notice that Hermione had suddenly came back to life. It was a throw away comment from Ginny one night that drew Harry's attention back to his friend. One night when the Quidditch team had finished talking strategy and were gossiping instead, Ginny commented on how nice it was to have Hermione back to normal and smiling again. Ginny's comment had Harry panicking and he immediately set out to find Hermione.
Using the Marauder's Map Harry located Hermione in an empty classroom on the fifth floor, unfortunately she was with Malfoy. Scared about the potential danger to his friend, Harry ran to the classroom as quickly as was possible. Upon arrival at the abandoned classroom Harry was appalled at what he saw. Malfoy had Hermione pinned against the wall, her legs wrapped round his slim waist. Hermione's skirt was bunched around her waist while her school shirt was wide open revealing a emerald green bra. While it was dark enough so that Harry couldn't see anything too traumatic, there was enough light to see just how close his friend was to the young Death Eater. The parts of Hermione and Malfoy he could see, along with the moaning and grunting noises ensured Harry was well aware of what the pair were doing.
Harry left the fifth floor, disgusted by his friend and the fact she was still with Malfoy despite his dark nature. Seeing Hermione getting intimate with Malfoy made Harry determined to prove the Slytherin was evil and in league with Voldemort.
Harry's determinedness to prove that Malfoy was on the dark side quickly became an obsession with him. But no matter what argument he came up with, Hermione still refused to believe her boyfriend was on the dark side.
When Hermione started spending more time away from Gryffindor Tower in order to distance herself from Harry's obsession, Ron convinced himself it was because the brunette witch was jealous of his new relationship with Lavender Brown. Harry debated whether to tell Ron about Hermione and Malfoy but he decided to spare his best friend the pain. He was working on proving the blond was up to no good, therefor freeing Hermione to be with Ron.
Harry's obsession took a sinister turn when he followed Malfoy into the abandoned girls bathroom and a fight broke out, leaving Malfoy seriously injured. Despite still being convinced that Malfoy was a Death Eater, Harry couldn't help feel guilty when he saw the devastation on Hermione's face when he explained what had happened in the bathroom. Although once again Ron failed to notice anything strange about Hermione's horrified reaction to Harry's story.
A few days after the incident in the bathroom Harry decided to confront Hermione about Malfoy, he knew she had been to visit him every night in the hospital wing. Using his invisibility cloak Harry followed Hermione to the hospital wing, waiting until Madam Pomfrey had retired for the night before revealing his presence to his friend. Hermione had been shocked and angry that he had followed her. Harry however stated that he should be the one angry at her for betraying them with a Death Eater. After a brief argument Hermione persuaded Harry to listen to her story before judging her. While Harry wanted to know if he was right about Malfoy being a Death Eater, Hermione insisted she tell the story from the start.
Harry was shocked to hear that after the 'mudblood' incident in second year, Malfoy had found Hermione and apologised. Hermione had been sceptical about the apology but Malfoy kept showing up at the library, eventually she believed he was genuine and they formed a tentative friendship. By this point Harry wasn't at all surprised to find that Malfoy was the one who wrote on the slip of paper and sent the choco balls while Hermione was in hospital.
Hermione explained to Harry that they kept their friendship up after that, despite falling out during third year. Hermione explained that they had fallen out over Buckbeak and Malfoy's refusal to help to save the innocent creature. The punch that Hermione delivered to the blond had been due to months of fighting between the pair. Harry was once again shocked when Hermione revealed that it was Malfoy that apologised first, getting their friendship back on track.
As Harry had suspected the romantic feelings had snuck into their friendship by fourth year. Hermione wistfully explained how she had longed for Malfoy to ask her to The Yule Ball, even though she knew it wasn't possible for them to be seen together. Hermione told Harry how they had finally kissed at the end of the year, with Voldemort's return they decided it was too dangerous to be friends and it was a goodbye kiss.
The kiss that had meant to be goodbye had only intensified their feelings for each other, even though they tried to avoid each other at the start of term. Hermione told Harry that eventually they couldn't stay away from each other and decided their relationship was worth the risk. Hermione also confirmed what he already knew, that Malfoy had been helping the D.A. during fifth year.
Harry had to prod Hermione to tell the next part of her story, she clearly didn't want to admit to him he had been right. Eventually Hermione told Harry how she had avoided Malfoy at the beginning of the year as she was starting to believe what Harry had told her. Hermione explained how one day Malfoy got sick of being ignored and cornered her, forcing her to tell him of Harry's suspicions. Harry was both furious and relieved to hear that he had been right and that Malfoy was in fact a Death Eater. Before he could rant on about it, Hermione told him he needed to hear the rest of the story.
Before sixth year, Severus Snape had helped Malfoy arrange a meeting with Dumbledore and the Order to discuss Malfoy joining them. Because Voldemort was threatening Malfoy's mother, Dumbledore decided it was best for the blond to go undercover as a Death Eater and pass on as much information as possible to the Order. Hermione explained that Malfoy had a contact with the Order and he had given them valuable information and would continue to do so.
Hermione had begged Harry to keep their secret as it could lead to serious trouble for both her and Malfoy. Despite not been happy about keeping secrets from Ron, Harry agreed to keep his friends secret. He had known deep down that if his redheaded friend had been aware of Hermione and Malfoy he would not have been able to resist flying off the handle and potentially revealing their relationship.
Harry had left the hospital wing convinced that Hermione was telling the truth about Malfoy, until the night of Dumbledore's death. Even though Malfoy didn't kill Dumbledore he still played a massive part in his death in Harry's opinion. Harry was so upset and angry about Dumbledore he refused to talk to Hermione, even though she insisted she knew something more about that night, something Harry should know.
It wasn't until Harry arrived at The Burrow, during the summer before what should have been his last year at Hogwarts, that he finally agreed to listen to Hermione. Hermione explained to Harry that Dumbledore had been dying and his death had been planned with Snape and Kingsley. Needing conformation about what Hermione had told him, Harry went to see Kingsley. Kingsley confirmed that he was Malfoy's liaison with the Order and what Hermione said was true, Dumbledore and Snape had pre-arranged Dumbledore's death.
After the disaster of Bill and Fleur's wedding, Harry found himself on the run with Hermione and Ron. Harry could see that Hermione was finding it hard to be on the run, not knowing how Malfoy was doing but with Ron in constant attendance Harry couldn't broach the delicate subject matter of Malfoy with his friend.
When Ron abandoned the mission and his friends, Harry and Hermione were finally able to talk openly. In the few weeks they were alone Harry and Hermione's close bond grew even stronger as Hermione confided in Harry exactly how hard she was finding the situation they found themselves in.
Once Ron returned, Hermione found it difficult to forgive him for abandoning them when they had vowed to stick together. Ron took Hermione's unforgiving attitude as proof she had missed him as more than a friend. Harry tried to convince Ron that Hermione only saw him as a friend but Ron refused to listen to his friend, instead choosing to believe that Hermione was in love with him.
When the trio were caught by the snatchers and taken to Malfoy Manor, Harry once again wondered how people were so blind regarding Hermione and Malfoy. From the moment they entered the Manor, Malfoy struggled to take his eyes off Hermione and any fool could see he was lying when he said he couldn't identify them.
Harry's knowledge of events in the dining room of the Manor after him and Ron were taken to the dungeons consisted of the miniscule details Hermione provided. What he did know was the events of that afternoon had affected Malfoy greatly, when him and Ron arrived in the dining room to rescue Hermione he noticed the broken and haunted expression on the blond's face.
While Harry and Ron rescued Hermione, Harry realised that Malfoy knew he was aware of his relationship with Hermione. While Harry was trying to take the wands off Malfoy, the blond managed to whisper a message to Harry before relinquishing his hold on the pieces of wood. Before they apparated away Harry managed to nod once in Malfoy's direction, confirming he would do what was asked of him and look after Hermione.
In the few weeks the trio stayed at Shell Cottage, Hermione was quiet and spent a lot of time by herself when they weren't planning how to break into Gringotts. Everyone assumed she was recovering from her attack at the hands of Bellatrix, but Harry knew she was missing Malfoy even more, now that she had seen him in the flesh.
Leading up to the battle of Hogwarts, Harry had little time to worry about Hermione and Malfoy. For Hermione's sake he was hoping that the blond wouldn't be involved in the battle, but events in the Room of Requirement proved that Malfoy was very much in the line of fire. By this point Harry could read Malfoy well enough to know that the entire confrontation in the room was purely acting on the Slytherin's part.
When Crabbe accidently set the room on fire one of the main reasons Harry saved Malfoy was Hermione. He knew that Slytherin wasn't all bad and he didn't think his best friend would ever get over it if anything happened to her boyfriend. Once outside the room Harry distracted Ron for a few minutes, giving the couple a brief moment together. Ron didn't notice that while Harry was talking to him and making sure his attention was focused elsewhere, Hermione was making sure Malfoy was okay.
The next few hours brought about the end of Voldemort with plenty of drama involved. It was when Harry was standing in the Great Hall in the aftermath of the battle that he realised that his best friend was about to have his heart broken.
Harry was observing the people in the Great Hall and as such wasn't paying attention to Ron and Hermione who were standing next to him. It was only when he heard Ron ask Hermione who she was looking for that Harry realised what was about to happen. One glance at Hermione told Harry that she was so worried about Malfoy that she had forgotten about Ron and his reaction to her relationship. Before Harry had a chance to say anything to her, Malfoy walked into the Great Hall and Hermione immediately ran to him forgetting about everyone else in the room.
Harry watched as Ron gaped at the pair and stuttered over his words of anger and shock. Harry looked between his two best friends, feeling happy for Hermione and sad for Ron. Not sure of what to say to Ron, Harry put an arm around his friends shoulder and said the only thing he could in the circumstances.
Three Years Later.
"Shut up, Ron." Harry murmured to his best friend was sitting beside him muttering under his breath.
Huffing slightly Ron stopped muttering and focused his attention on the couple at the altar. Harry didn't mean to be hard on his friend, he knew how difficult Ron was finding the wedding, but the day wasn't about Ron it was about Hermione and Malfoy.
Over the last three years Harry had gotten to know Malfoy pretty well and while they would never be best friends they did get along with each other fine. Ron on the other hand was a different story, even though he was now aware that Malfoy had never really being on the dark side he still thought of the blond as a former Death Eater.
After the ceremony it was time for the reception and Harry found himself babysitting Ron, who was drinking quite heavily. Harry couldn't help but think that Ron partly had himself to blame for his own sadness, if he had paid more attention to Hermione he would have known it was pointless to pin his romantic dreams on her. Harry knew he had known much more about Hermione and Malfoy, but Ron had witnessed all the early events that had aroused Harry's suspicions. Ron however had seemed oblivious to everything; the mystery writing in second year, Hermione's use of Malfoy's first name and her out of character punch in third year and even the warning at the Quidditch World Cup just before fourth.
After nearly half an hour of Ron's drunken rambling's, Harry got bored and focused his attention on the bride and groom.
Hermione was wearing a form fitting long, strapless off white dress that flowed around her body like silk. Her long curly brunette hair was clipped back out of her face but was loose enough to flow mid-way down her back. Harry decided he had never seen his best friend look so beautiful, although part of her beauty was the fact she had spent the whole day with a large smile gracing her features. Malfoy was wearing expensive black dress robes and a similar smile to Hermione's had been present on his face all day, it was the most Harry had ever seen the blond smile.
Ron had often said over the last three years that things could have been different if he had had the courage to tell Hermione how he really felt about her. Harry had never had the heart to tell his friend that he had never stood a chance with Hermione. By the time Ron had noticed Hermione was an attractive female, her heart already belonged to another.
Watching Hermione with her new husband, Harry was convinced she had made the right decision to see past the cold and cruel façade that Malfoy had once put up and gotten to know the real him. It had brought her true happiness with a man she loved and whom loved her back. Harry was sure that in another world, another time, Hermione could have been happy with Ron.
But it was obvious to Harry that Hermione Granger belonged with Draco Malfoy.