When she was younger, Draco had told Hermione that certain things in life were delicate; that they were fragile and needed to be treated with care. That was why he made a mockery of sensitivity and complex emotions, she had decided; because life had shattered the most brittle parts of his life in the most cruel way possible-had snatched his vulnerability from him and splintered it into pieces. It was why she assumed that he had layered himself in a sheath of ice-jagged and frozen to the touch. Draco was cold; bitter and undeniably wintry in persona. But on some nights, when they had been alone and there was nothing but a thick blanket of shadows to cover their hushed words and murmured confessions, she would trail the tiny outline of her hand up to rest on his chest and could feel his beating heart pulsate and drum against her fingertips. Warm, steady, and alive. It was then that he melted.
When she had found his heart.
She liked to think that it was their little secret; something special that he didn't share with another living creature. She wanted to know what had been broken in his life-she wanted to mend his wounded heart and fix him to the best of her abilities. She wasn't perfect; she knew she had more faults than she was willing to admit. But she wanted to be perfect for him-she wanted to be his sun and stars and moon and everything romantic she'd read about in books growing up. She wanted to be everything that he was to her.
But these memories had grown foggy and worn with age; they were still so fresh in her mind, but felt so far away. She craved his touch and ached for the soft murmurs of his voice as he lulled her into a state of unconsciousness; these days, when she drifted off to sleep at night, it was with the intent of dreaming up a world where she could turn back time and sit herself permanently in the past. Life had moved on around her, but Hermione kept at a standstill. Because for all it was worth, the tears and the pleas and everything in-between, he had yet to return. She was still living with the ghost of who he used to be.
Some days were easier than others. Some days he remembered his name for a fraction of a second-on other days she thought she could see a hint of life flickering in his weary grey eyes. But never her. He could never remember who she was, as desperately as she wanted him to. She would always arrive at St. Mungo's bright and early or late into the evening, fully prepared to spend her breaks and time in-between shifts at the Ministry with him. He was the focus of her life-the reason she worked as hard as she did and strove to great new heights. She was the one who stayed with him day and night; who paid the bill to St. Mungo's at the start of every month to ensure he was kept as their patient. Everything she did was no longer a desire, but rather a necessity. A need to keep him healthy and alive; to give him a chance.
Every day was the same-she would walk in and approach the Healer with a faintly hopeful expression on her face, anxiously asking "How is he?" and every day, without fail, the attendant would reply in a similar fashion.
It became a routine-one in which the steady rhythm blended into her everyday life. The balanced thrum, thrum, thrum of her existence; waking up, visiting Draco, going to work, coming home. Everything moved in slow, circular motions-her life shifted in the shape of a sphere, and every day she began and ended things in the same monotonous fashion. It had been approximately thirty-six months since the episode, and yet her life continued to drag by. Each tick of the clock and drum of her heart felt slower and longer-painful to hear and excruciating to bear. And so every day, when the Healer told her that he was in the same state she'd left him in less than twenty-four hours before, Hermione would pull her chair up next to his bed and just watch him; study him to make sure that he was still there. That, despite how ardently her mind tried to betray and tempt her otherwise, he was still alive. Barely breathing, but still very much there.
Sometimes, when the corridors were vacant and all signs of life were absent from the room, Hermione would crawl into bed next to him. His body would be warm, and as she pressed herself against him, she'd try to imagine that they were in a house together-far, far away. She liked to pretend that they lived alone on a deserted continent-surrounded by nothing but the knowledge that the other was safe. Sometimes she would repeat these tempting thoughts to him as he slept-she'd brush the silky blonde strands of hair from his face and resist the urge to press her lips against his in a fit of affection. And when Hermione was called away from the sinful fantasies of her subconscious and sent into a shattered reality, she would murmur one last sentence in his ear before allowing her body to be dragged away from his.
"You're my lighthouse."
She had been twenty-two years old the day the accident occurred. She often tried to will the memory from her mind, but day after day it came crawling back to her; clawing its way through her subconscious and dominating her thoughts and actions. She would grow drunk on the painful remembrance of what had happened-of how the man who had become her anchor in a sea of turbulence and dwindling war had crumbled before her very eyes. She could never forget that her Auror partner-that her lover and best friend and everything a thousand shades in-between-was the reason she was still alive. That he had defended a killing curse meant for her in the hopes of deflecting it onto her attacker.
She supposed neither one of them had seen the curse coming. She struggled to remind herself that it wasn't her fault-that she didn't know the angry assailant wasn't alone; that she couldn't have protected him.
But Draco had sacrificed himself for her, and she was left with nothing but fragments of dashed hopes and a broken man lying at her feet.
She should have been comforted that the aggressor who had destroyed her lover was locked away in Azkaban, but it brought no comfort to her uneasy mind. She had tried to forgive the man for what he'd done to Draco-for what his companion had attempted to do to her-but she didn't find them worthy of redemption.
Redemption, she thought, embodied the man she had woken up next to every morning. It was the way he croaked her name when his mind was thick with sleep; it was how his fingers dusted against hers whenever he passed her in one of their work corridors. It was the way he teased her and taunted her; it was how he wiped away her tears or sputtered out apologies that required swallowing his pride and admitting defeat. Redemption was the Wizard she had grown to love-not the men who had destroyed him.
Living in a world where Draco Malfoy was ignorant of who she was or what she meant to him was like living in a constant state of twilight-she was stuck between night and day. There was no moving forward or going backwards; there was simply the state of limbo she found herself residing in. The spell that had hit Draco and sunk deep into the very fabric of his being had been just as fatal to Hermione as it was to him-there was no guarantee that he'd ever regain his memories. No promise that he would ever remember her or the life they'd grown to share together. She had remembered those nights where she could melt his cold heart and relish in the comfort of his presence-she remembered how she'd thought once that Draco's vulnerabilities had been snatched from him at such a young age. But she'd been wrong-so achingly naive and mistaken. Draco's vulnerabilities didn't lie in what Voldemort had stolen from him or for the youth he'd been forced to relinquish.
It was in his memories. And those, too, were now in shards.
Hermione didn't dream much these days, but when she did, she often imagined up a lighthouse. It looked out over a chaotic mess of waves that rolled in and away from shore with the wild ferocity that came with nature. The air was thick with an impenetrable fog, and she would find herself stranded in the midst of the ocean's roaring waves that beat against the shore. She would feel lost-so achingly, desperately alone. In those moments she acknowledged her despair-she confronted it and accepted it. And then, without fail, she would spot a light in the distance. It would be faint at first; glowing a wonderful golden shade of yellow as it pierced the dense fog that was smothering her. It would grow brighter and brighter-more vibrant and powerful as the moments passed. It was what anchored her; it was what led her out of the eye of the storm and into the calm security that the shore provided.
The lighthouse in her dreams was her savior; it could, without a doubt, draw her out of the dark abyss she found herself sinking into night after night.
She liked to tell herself it was Draco pulling her to shore; to safety and security and everything she sorely missed in the absence that followed his accident.
He was her lighthouse, and the damage inflicted on his memory was causing the bright light to fade-day by day, bit by bit, it grew dimmer and dimmer.
She knew that it would go out soon. It would fade, and so would she.
After the incident, Hermione had learned that a memory is very much like a piece of glass. It's fragile and delicate-it's shimmering with the promise of beauty and the caution of care; it requires gentility above all else. It can be transparent or intricately designed-it can be a small and cheap memory, or something much more elegant and valuable. The worst thing about glass, she supposed, was its tendency to break. Cracks could easily appear and destroy the value of the fine object; it could shatter before your very eyes into a million shards and churn into a fine powder. It doesn't matter how ardently you struggle to piece the ornament back together-in the end, it is still a crushed piece of glass, and you're left with wounds inflicted by the damage left behind. The very moment your fingers graze the broken fragments, the glass slices you; harms you. The sting isn't enough to cause fatal injury, but enough to inflict pain...enough to hurt.
In a perfect world, Hermione Granger very much desired for her memories to be as clean and clear as a sparkling new piece of glass; something delicate and ornate that she could hang in a display cabinet for her to be able to see and touch whenever she so chose to. Reality, though, had very different things in mind-life had left her with a cracked piece of glass, chipping away at the slightest touch and crumbling beneath the soft caresses of her hand. On some days, staring at this piece of cracked glass and realizing how...imperfect it was deteriorated her strength; it destroyed her resolve to stay strong and made her wish with everything in her that she could trade this imperfect piece of glass for something shiny and new. On her darkest days, the ache in her chest grew to tremendous amounts; it reminded her that the glass illustrated a potential for a kind of perfection that had long since been deceased. But then she'd think notice the cracks reflected in her own frame, and realized that she was rather well off. Her memories might have been cruel and painful, but at least she still harbored them.
At least she wasn't Draco Malfoy. His memories had broken long ago; they had crumbled in his fingertips and had churned into fine grains of shimmering dust.
It had been three years since the incident. Days of endless torture, self-deprecation, and loathing of the highest degree. She'd managed to uphold a strong sense of courage and optimism up until now, because the likelihood of the current condition she found herself in lasting for the remainder of her life was...well, surely it was impractical, wasn't it? Things would go back to normal; he'd get better, and so would she. The fidgeting with her hands and the way her teeth dug into the supple flesh of her lower lip would all end soon-the nervous habits would have to die out eventually. There was no way this could last forever.
She'd sworn to herself that it wouldn't.
The lighthouse would emerge soon, and she would tear away from the dense fog that covered the sea-she would break for shore, and the shining beacon that never failed to bring her to shore would be there. Just as it always was...just as it always would be.
It was a warm summer evening, and Hermione didn't have any plans for the weekend-Ginny had asked if she would accompany her and Harry to the theater, but she had politely declined; the only person she wanted to be with tonight was Draco. Friday nights were their nights, and she was determined not to let anything spoil that. Her ginger-haired friend had tried to tell her once or twice that it was unhealthy to dedicate her weekends to a man who spent all of his time in a daze or unconscious, but Hermione refused to listen. She liked to think-no, no, she knew-that if the roles were reversed, Draco would do everything in his power to be with her. She would be here for him-it didn't matter that he didn't know her name; it didn't even matter that he didn't acknowledge people on most days.
He was hers-to care for and watch over. Nothing would wreck that; nothing.
The Healer on duty for the day had given her permission to be alone with him-some of them understood better than others that she relished in the solitude she was permitted to share with her lover. Even if he couldn't remember who she was.
By the time Hermione had arrived to his room, he was staring out the window. She could see his fingers pressed up against the cool glass, surveying the world outside him. She wondered if he missed it-if he could even remember what the crisp morning air felt like or how the world smelled after the rain had fallen. Her heart ached at the realization that he more than likely did not, and she could do little else but watch helplessly as the man she had dedicated herself to so entirely studied the world that would always move on while he was trapped in the confines of this room. She wondered if he would remember anything today-if it would be easier to handle him than on the days where he shrieked and screamed for someone to help him; on the days where he was convinced she was the enemy.
Those were the worst days.
"What's a lighthouse?" He asked, his voice startling her. He didn't bother to turn around-just continued to press his hands against the glass as he observed the on goings of the world around him. She hadn't been expecting him to address her-to even notice she had entered the room. Hermione paused, frozen stiff with astonishment and confusion as the weight of his words settled within her. It was an...interesting question; one that perplexed her. She tried to think of a story she might have read him that would have contained a lighthouse, but nothing came to mind. After a long moment's pause, however, she realized she still hadn't answered his question. So slowly-tentatively-she began to speak.
"It's a bit like a tower," She began, her voice soft and hesitant as she took a step closer to him.
"Yes," She continued, inhaling sharply and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "It's usually placed on the shore of a beach-it's meant to guide ships out at sea to shore or out of danger. It's a beacon of light-it's like a friend that's watching out for you over the horizon."
Draco grew quiet after that, and Hermione wondered if any of the information she'd just given him had even processed in his deteriorating mind. She wanted to reach out and touch him; to wind her arms around his waist and greedily inhale the scent of fresh linen and crisp apples-an aroma that was undeniably Draco. But she refrained...the last time she had so much as grazed her fingers across his shoulder while he was in a state of consciousness, he'd thrown a fit and she had been escorted out of St. Mungo's. It broke her heart, truly, but it was something that had to be done. Sacrifices had to be made with Draco's fragile mental state, and while she craved his touch more severely than she ever had anything else, she understood her limits.
She didn't like them, of course, but she understood them.
"I hear you at night sometimes," He whispered, and the confession is enough to cause Hermione's heart to crack in two. Her breath hitched in her throat, and in that moment she can't bear to do anything but gaze upon him in wonder. It's unlike Draco to retain anything for longer than a twenty-four hour period of time, so the way he murmurs the word 'sometimes' is enough to cause her body to tremble and tingle with anticipation.
"I hear you referring to me as your lighthouse," He continued, his nails scraping against the thick pane of glass. "Every night that you're here-when I'm asleep, when I'm dozing off, I hear those words. 'You're my lighthouse.' They lift me out of the fog."
Hermione was certain, in that moment, that her heart was going to beat its way directly out of her chest.
"Why?" He asked, and Hermione could note the desperation in his tone this time. She struggled to swallow the knot building in her throat, and with a shuddering intake of breath (on her end, of course) Draco turned to face her, his stormy grey eyes clouded with confusion and a sense of urgency that she hadn't seen from him in Merlin knew how long. When she didn't say anything, he spoke again.
"Who are you?"
She didn't know what to tell him-should she be honest? Should she lie? Should she settle for something in-between? The truth was lodged in her throat; it suffocated her as it tried to claw its way up her vocal cords. She wanted to scream at him-she wanted to grab his shoulders and shout that she was Hermione Granger and he was Draco Malfoy and they were supposed to be together. She wanted to slam her body against his own and kiss him in a thousand different ways until he was too breathless to continue questioning her. But most of all, what Hermione Granger wanted was the one thing that was a thousand miles away-him. Just him.
But she had lied to him enough for one lifetime-she had kept him in the dark for far too long. So with shaking legs and an aching throat, Hermione stepped towards him-cautiously. Always cautiously.
"I'm Hermione Granger," She spoke, the words sounding foreign as they fell from her lips. "And I'm here to keep you safe."
Draco eyed her warily, as though he was trying to figure out whether or not he could trust her. He eventually moved away from the window, hesitantly inching towards her with a curious shimmer in his bright grey eyes.
"Why?" He demanded, his voice taut with the need to comprehend. "What are you supposed to be? A friend or something?"
"Or something," She agreed, giving him a tight-lipped smile in return. She watched as Draco murmured her response to himself-she suspected he was testing the words out on his tongue.
"How do I know I can trust you?" He inquired immediately-she could hear the authority laced in his tone; it made her nostalgic, oddly enough. He sounded, for the first time in over three years, like the Draco she had grown to know.
"I suppose you don't," She admitted with a sigh, shrugging her shoulders slightly. "You never really do, though, do you? Not unless you...take that leap."
"I wouldn't know," He managed.
"Why am I your lighthouse?" He ventured finally, and the words took Hermione by such surprise that she jumped slightly in shock. Her heart was hammering something fierce in her chest, and try as she might to calm her frazzled nerves and divert the subject, she knew it would do no good. She knew that he deserved to hear the truth-deep down, she was certain he was aware of as much, too.
"Because you keep me safe, too," She whispered, her voice shaking with pent-up emotion. "Because you give me a safe place to land."
"But I haven't done anything," He protested, and Hermione had to squeeze her eyes shut for a moment to keep herself from falling apart. This is the longest they've spoken in Godric knows how long; the longest he's acknowledged the presence of someone else without fading away. Her presence.
"You saved my life," She breathed, astonished by the words that tumble so freely from her lips. She opened her eyes long enough to see him reel in shock-she could detect the fear and shock mirrored in his deep grey eyes, and what she wanted more than anything else was to soothe him. To calm him before he erupted and tore at the seams. She shouldn't have said anything, that much she knows-he could break at any moment and it would be entirely her fault. But...he doesn't. He doesn't scream or tremble or cower away from her words. He stood still, and it was perhaps the greatest accomplishment she'd seen since he was admitted into St. Mungo's all those years ago.
"I..." He trailed off, his throat thick and his brows heavy as they knit together in frustration. She could tell that he was trying to figure out what was going on-that he was trying so bloody hard to fill in the blank slate of his mind. Unable to refrain herself any longer, Hermione stepped forward and timidly lifted a hand, fisting her small fingers in the cotton of his sweater and pulling him closer to her. His eyes widened in surprise, but rather than shudder away, he merely stood his ground and gazed down at her.
"You don't have to say anything," She breathed, her voice barely audible. "Please."
"I remember better when I'm with you," He continued, his voice soft and tentative. "It's like...I'm surrounded by fog, but when you visit me everything begins to clear...bit by bit, day by day."
"But you don't...you don't remember anything," She replied shakily. "You never remember me."
"I'm starting to. Remember you, I mean-I can't...help but wonder how I ever forgot you."
She was so stunned that she couldn't help but fall silent. When she said nothing, he cleared his throat and continued.
"I loved you, didn't I?"
"Yes," She answered finally, biting back tears of grief as her fingers curled into the soft material of his shirt. "Once upon a time, yes."
"Do you think I'll ever remember?" He asked, his voice low.
She didn't know how to answer him. Partially because she didn't want to give him false hope, and partially because she was terrified of the words that would fall from her lips. She didn't trust herself-not when it came to admitting the truth like this.
Because she didn't know if Draco ever would remember her. And that was more terrifying than admitting defeat or acknowledging how broken he was.
"Do you?" He pressed, and Hermione released the firm clutch she kept on his shirt in favor of backing away.
"I don't know," She admitted finally, raking her hands through her hair and sighing in aggravation. Aggravation because she didn't know; because there wasn't a way of knowing-because she could never be certain.
Because Draco's memory felt like a ticking time bomb.
They passed in the same fashion for ten minutes-Hermione with her head hanging in her hands and Draco gazing at her in a perplexed state of wonder. It was only when she heard him clear his throat that Hermione even bothered to look up, acknowledging for the first time in a handful of minutes that he was still in the room.
"Hermione?" He began, and his voice was so tender and familiar that Hermione could feel her knees buckling beneath her. But she stood tall and stared at him skeptically, struggling to decide whether or not it would be intelligent to step closer to him.
"Yes, Draco?" She breathed, because it was the first time it felt like he was talking to her in years. Really talking to her. It was the first time she felt like she was speaking to her lover and not a man devoid of remembering, and Godric...she loved it. She craved it-she needed it.
She needed him.
"I'm sorry that I don't-" He began, but a loud crash out in the hall distracted him from his thoughts. Hermione jumped, startled, and ran to the door. Peering out into the hospital's corridor, she noticed that one of the Healers had accidentally knocked over a tray of food he had been delivering to one of the patients. The clatter caused a ruckus in the hall, and Hermione could hear the St. Mungo's employee mutter a quick "shit" before scrambling for his wand and cleaning up the mess. Deciding that there wasn't much she could do to help, Hermione turned around to face Draco once more, eager to resume their conversation.
"What were you saying, Draco?" She continued breathlessly, stepping towards him once more. It was only when she got close enough that she could tell the noticeable change in his demeanor-those brilliant grey eyes that had been so alert and full of life mere moments ago were covered in a thick haze of confusion as he surveyed his hospital room, and Hermione realized that it was too late.
He was gone.
"Who are you?" He asked faintly, only barely glancing at her. He seemed to disapprove of how close they were to one another, for he stepped away and eyed her suspiciously. Hermione, struggling not to cry and crumble before this already-fragile man, dug the heels of her hands into her eyes and let out a shuddering gasp. It was only when she felt she could speak without bursting into tears that she let her arms drop to her sides, forcing herself to face the lost man standing in front of her.
"No one important," She croaked out, her voice hoarse with suppressed emotion. "Just a friend."
"I don't have any friends," He hissed out, backing towards the corner and trembling. She knew it was too late now-he was growing restless and scared in his heightened state of confusion. And Hermione, as usual, could do nothing but nod along.
"Of course-my apologies," She breathed, but the damage was already done.
"I demand to know who you are," He stated, his voice raising louder than before. She knew that soon the Healers would come rushing in; they would have to strap him to the bed and inject a sleeping draught into his veins in order to calm him down for the evening. They'd ask her what she had said exactly and how he had reacted-they'd jot everything down on a loose piece of parchment and nod before telling her that he was just exhausted and done for the day.
"Draco, no-no, it's okay," She managed, stepping towards him and holding her arms out. He flinched away from her touch, smacking her hands away and stumbling away from her. He crashed against some equipment stuffed in the corner, and the racket was loud enough to wake the entire bloody hospital.
"No-no, how the hell did you get in here?" He yelled, a dark vein popping out on his neck. He was glancing around the room anxiously, as if he had no idea how he'd gotten here. "This isn't my house-I don't belong here, I don't belong here. What the hell did you do to me? Where have you brought me?"
"You're at the-" She began to say, but was cut off by the sound of feet clomping towards them. Two Healers burst into the room, coaxing a thrashing and ever-growing violent Draco onto his hospital bed, and as per usual, Hermione had to turn her face to avoid the onslaught of emotion she would undoubtedly face if she so much as allowed her gaze to linger on the sight presented before her.
The last thing she heard was Draco's screams. Two words repeated over and over again; beating a steady rhythm in her mind and heart.
She gave him a bit of space after that. The Healers suggested she wait a week or so before returning to allow him to fully recover-his episodes had been increasing in frequency, and they couldn't help but pinpoint the cause to her. Always her. It killed Hermione to realize that Draco was more than likely suffering because of her, though she never voiced the guilt she felt. She didn't need anyone's pity or comfort.
She didn't think she deserved it.
One night, however, when she couldn't take the temptation of his presence any longer, Hermione gathered her belongings and headed for St. Mungo's. It was a stormy Thursday evening, and the amount of visitors present were scarce. She had slipped into Draco's room without much notice and found him fast asleep in his hospital bed. She had tried to maintain her distance-she'd even pulled out a book and began to read in one of the vacant chairs the room provided! But the allure of his body was too tempting for Hermione to ignore, so after half an hour of fidgeting and reading the same two lines over and over again, she shut her book in a huff and glanced over towards the man sleeping peacefully. She loved studying him in the midst of slumber-it was when he looked most peaceful; when he didn't seem confused by who he was or why he had been placed in this room. It was when she could allow her walls to come crumbling down, and as she carefully pulled the sheets back and crawled into bed next to him, she couldn't help but relish in the warmth he provided.
And his scent. Clean cotton and crisp apples. Always.
Tucking a small arm around his frame, Hermione buried her face in his neck and drank in his scent-she could easily spend the rest of her life in this exact position, she decided. It was only here-when Draco was asleep-that Hermione could pretend nothing had changed. She sometimes fancied that they were at home; he was fast asleep and she had been kept up with work and was only just now crawling into bed with him hours later.
It wasn't the truth, not by any means, but her imagination liked to trick her into believing as much every now and again.
She listened to the light patter of rain against the windows outside, pressing herself closer to him and savoring the few moments she knew she'd be permitted with him. She didn't know how much time had passed-only that she could feel him stir beneath her. She suddenly grew stiff, her eyes opening snapping open. Panicking, she pulled away slightly and met a sleepy pair of bright grey eyes that were staring down at her expectantly. Her heart was drumming painfully inside of her rib cage now, and try as she might to form some sort of coherent sentence that would explain her behavior, everything seemed to fall flat.
"It's you," He managed, and Hermione felt her weary bones sag. It's you. He...he remembered her tonight; he remembered who she was.
"It's me, Draco."
"You left me the other day..." He managed, contemplative. Hermione shook her head gently, her hair brushing against the defined angle of his cheekbone accidentally.
"No-no, I didn't. I wouldn't ever leave you."
"...I didn't realize how much I needed someone until then," He continued, as though he hadn't heard her. Hermione's brows furrowed together in confusion and she stared at him in bewilderment, silently urging him to continue.
"But I do now. And I...will forget you come morning, so just-"
"No, Draco, don't say that."
"-you just need to know. To know that I need someone, and I guess that someone is you. I guess that's who it's always been, though I'd be lying if I said I could remember far enough back to tell."
She didn't even know how to respond. So instead...she cried. The tears fell down from her hazel eyes silently-staining her cheeks and providing them both with the proof of her emotions. Her emotions that she could not hide, no matter how hard she might have tried. She wanted to brush the tears from her eyes; to blink them away and sniff and forget that she'd ever fallen apart in front of him, but before she could, he was talking again.
"You were wrong, you know," He stated suddenly, and her throat suddenly grew very, very parched. He reached forward, as though uncertain, and brushed a tear from her face with his soft, warm thumb.
"...Wrong?" She probed, her hand sliding up to rest against his chest. He nodded as if to clarify, silently musing over his response before deigning to continue.
"You said that I was your lighthouse-that I helped to bring you to shore," He said finally, in a voice so hushed that Hermione had to strain to hear it.
"...I did, yes. I'm sorry, but-how is that wrong, exactly?"
"Because I'm not your lighthouse," He murmured, shifting slightly in bed to face her better. Hermione could feel her heart in her throat, she'd swear it, so when he bent down and pressed his lips against the warm shell of her ear, she really didn't know what to expect.
a/N: Hey guys! So, I've had this general idea planned for a little while-I had wanted to write the piece for my friend Holly, who has been my role play partner and best friend for well over a year now. This had been meant to be a "friendaversary" present, so to speak, but it's a little late! My apologies, Holly, but I hope you like it all the same! Don't forget to let me know what you guys think :).