Hey everyone! This is a Dramione oneshot I've been itching to write for a few months, ever since I've heard the JP Saxe song "If The World Was Ending". This is NOT A SONG FIC, it was just the inspiration (no copyright infringement intended). I highly recommend listening to the song.
The topic has felt more serious recently, with the current state of emergency due to COVID-19. I hope everyone is safe and healthy, and I hope this can offer a bit of joy in this difficult time.
Oneshot: post-Hogwarts Dramione. The night that the world is set to end, Draco Malfoy knocks at Hermione Granger's door.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or ITWWE, I make no money from this, it's just for fun.
The night that the world ended, Hermione Granger was reading a book.
To most people, this would seem surprising. As the sky fell, the once-upon-a-time war heroine was curled up in her seaside cottage, reading a book and drinking a cup of tea.
It was not that she didn't know the world was ending. Only a daft fool would have missed the signs; the newspapers had been writing for months about the astrological disturbances, the shops had been emptied for weeks, as desperate hoarders grabbed and fought over the last potions, protective mechanisms, and firewhiskey.
Stockpiling for the apocalypse looked a little different in the wizarding world.
However, this was not the end of the wizarding world. This was the end of the world. Muggles had sensed it too. Their scientists had been sending out more and more frightening reports, causing the media to go into a frenzy, and general panic to overtake the population.
Both worlds, looking desperately at the end of the line.
Hermione turned a page in her book absentmindedly. It was not that she didn't know the world was ending, it was that she couldn't bring herself to care much. Hermione Granger had always been a practical person, ever since her schoolyard days. There was nothing that she could do to change the trajectory of human and wizarding history, or their end.
So why worry? She was comfortable in her home, with her view of the sea. If this was the last night that she had on planet earth, the calm North Sea in mid-June was not a bad final memory.
She knew that the others were bunkered down for the apocalypse. Harry and Ginny were with the kids at Grimmauld Place, Ron and Lavender were at the Burrow with the rest of the family. Hermione knew that she was more than welcome to spend the night with all of them, end it all together. It wasn't that she didn't want to.
It was that she wasn't allowed to.
The wizarding world had put out a shelter-in-place order. They were not allowed to leave their homes. Hermione wasn't exactly sure why. Was the Ministry concerned that it would start a panic? Or that their inaction on the problem would cause a riot in those golden halls?
Hermione had a different theory. She thought it was because the Ministry knew, as she did, that no one could do a damn thing.
The world wasn't ending because of human action, or error. This wasn't another wizarding war, though the final battle of the last one had felt like the end of the world. Had it really been six years ago?
Time felt different now.
This apocalypse was not something they could control, and because they couldn't control it, they wouldn't be able to stop it. They had magic, but not even magic could stop the asteroid storm heading towards them at that very moment.
That was why the world was ending. Not dark magic, or muggle bombs. A giant asteroid was hurtling through space, and was projected, by both magic and muggle science, to hit Europe tonight.
Some wizards thought they could survive it, or even destroy it. But Hermione, who had learned about the dinosaurs in preschool, knew better. There would still be a world after this, but would there be people? She didn't know.
She wasn't too angry about the whole thing, quite frankly. Don't misunderstand, she wasn't itching to die, but after almost dying for much of her life, she felt lucky to make it this far. A good life of twenty-five years. Sure, she had wished for more, but everyone felt that way when their time came, didn't they?
She did not have many regrets. She had lived fully, experienced everything the world had flung at her. Had friendships that would make the gods envious and relationships that would make them pity her. Not a bad go.
She looked out her window, sighing quietly. She was not angry, but it wasn't her ideal apocalypse situation, alone in her cottage. But what could she do about it? The order was in place, and where would she go anyway?
Even as she inwardly asked the question, her subconscious laughed at her. Of course, she knew where she would go.
She knew it the same way that when she heard the quiet knock on her door, she knew who was on the other side.
She was surprised. Had he somehow evaded the magic tracking the order? Maybe he didn't care.
A chuckle escaped her lips at the thought. Of course, he didn't care. He had never liked the rules, had he?
It was one of the things that had made them so drastically different.
She set her tea down on a copy of The Daily Prophet, strewed across her coffee table. SHELTER IN PLACE AS ASTEROID APPROACHES read the headline. It was dated this morning.
Hermione would be a fool to not realize the world was ending tonight.
But, she would also be a fool to think he would not show up.
She walked across her small living room to reach the wooden door. Clutching the brass handle for a moment, she took a deep breath before opening it.
Of course, it was him. It was always him.
"What can I help you with, Draco?"
It never stopped surprising her just how dastardly handsome he was. White-blonde hair, a small tendril hanging across his forehand, snow-white skin. Tall, imposing, demanding that time and space bend to his will. He was dressed his best robes, deep navy, silver trimming, wealth washing off him in droves.
He smirked, that tell-tale expression she knew so very well, as he leaned against the doorframe. His low voice hit her like a battering ram, an emotional time-turner sending her back years.
"Now, Hermione, it's the end of the world, or haven't you heard?"
She couldn't help the small laugh bubbling out of her mouth. "A rumour, here or there."
He had always been able to make her laugh.
He strolled into the cottage without hesitation, as if he lived there, as if it was his home to take over, to leave socks all over the bedroom floor and dishes on the table.
And he had, once.
She closed the door behind him. "What are you doing here, Draco?"
He pulled off his cloak, placing it over one of her kitchen chairs. He had assembled that table set, years ago. It had taken hours, as he poured over the muggle instructions. She had told him that there was no way he'd be able to assemble it without magic. The ever narcissist, puffing up his chest, had declared that he would. Seven hours later, he had proven her wrong.
"And I repeat, the world is ending, Hermione."
The sound of her first name on his lips had always given her pause, but now, it felt taunting. The universe had sent her a parting gift, giving her all that she wanted and everything she couldn't have as the sky turned to fire.
"I'm aware," she said, crossing her arms and leaning against her kitchen counter. "That doesn't explain why you're here. There's a shelter-in-place order, or do you no longer get The Prophet at the manor?"
"I saw the order, I just decided that I had other plans."
She chortled. "Only you would ignore the most binding magical order I've seen in my lifetime."
He smirked again. "Being a Malfoy comes with privileges, you know."
Her expression grew clouded. "I know."
The tension between them increased.
Draco broke their eye contact for a moment and walked towards her. Unsure what he was going to do, she tried desperately to keep breathing, but he simply reached over her head and opened a cabinet, taking out two glasses. The cabinet always opened above her head, given that she was so short.
He had teased her about it, in a past life.
"I came because I wanted a drink, Granger," he said, placing the glasses on the table. Granger, that was more like it. He used her surname now when he was unsure, or when he was angry. Over the years, she had seen enough of both to recognize the pattern.
"You had to come all the way over here for a drink?"
"You have my best bottle of scotch," he replied, turning towards another cabinet where she kept her liquor.
"The Macallan?" she asked, eyebrows raised. "Why would you assume I still have that, you gave it to me almost two years ago…"
Her voice died as she watched him pull the half empty bottle from the cabinet.
"I would assume that," he replied, pouring them both a glass. "Because you only drink scotch on very special occasions. Promotions, marriages, stuff like that. You've been promoted in the last two years, twice actually, so I figured that it wouldn't be full, and well, you aren't married."
No, she wasn't married. He knew that.
She picked up one of the glass from the counter, and gently tapped it against Draco's. His eyes were intense tonight. It had been a while since she had seen them like this.
It had been a while since she had seen them at all.
The liquor burning her throat was a welcome change from the tension in the room. She turned her body away from him slightly, averting her eyes to the window again. It was getting dark outside.
"Mhm," he murmured, taking a sip. "As good as I remember."
Remember. Implying their past, the room filling with promises broken and memories ignored.
The tension broke.
She sighed. "Why are you here, Draco?"
"I already told you, I wanted my…"
"You could've bought another bottle," she replied. "Lord knows you have the money for it."
He frowned. "What do you know about my money, Granger?"
"I did your taxes for three years, don't play dumb."
He chuckled. "I forgot you did that."
She rolled her eyes. "Naturally you forgot. You weren't the one in the office pouring over Gringotts statements for hours trying to figure out why you had spent hundreds of Galleons on an upgraded broomstick…"
"The features were brand new, top of the league, I couldn't not upgrade the broom…"
"Or why you had bought almost all of Madame Malkin's party gowns for the fall season."
"Those were for you, Hermione. It was my best attempt to get you to go to those damn galas with me."
"You couldn't have gotten me to go to those galas if you had threatened to burn down my library."
He laughed. "Now whose playing dumb?"
She couldn't help but laugh along.
Taking another sip of her scotch, she let her eyes wander back to him.
"Why are you really here, Draco?"
He looked back at her. "Is it so outrageous that I wanted your company?"
She nodded. "Yes, it is."
"Why?" he shot back.
"Because we broke up over a year ago, Draco, and I've barely seen you since then. That's why."
There it was. The elephant in the room stood tall. The very room he had walked out of two Easters ago, when the media-obsessed love story of the reformed Death Eater and the mudblood heroine finally came to an end.
He pursed his lips. "Maybe I've reconsidered that decision."
Now she really laughed. "Really bloody brilliant timing on that one, Draco. You decide that we're actually meant for each other, just as the world was ending?'
He scoffed. "Don't mock me."
"What else am I supposed to do?" she exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air. "You decided that you weren't ready for forever, and you walked out. I didn't hear from you again. I didn't see your friends. I didn't see your mother. You make it clear that you've moved on. I respected that. I didn't contact you."
"Hermione," he tried to interject, but the words were bursting out of her, held tight to her chest for a year now, desperate for release.
"Then, the papers start reporting strange astronomical conditions. I don't hear from you. The first asteroids start hitting. I don't hear from you. And then finally, the night it's all supposed to end, you show up at my doorstep, suddenly ready for forever?"
"It's easy to be ready for forever when that only means one night, Draco."
He stared at her, the muscle in his jaw twitching. Telltale sign of an oncoming argument. She knew all his tells.
She knew all of him.
"Hermione," he said quietly. "Do not presume to know that I've moved on."
"Come on, Draco. You walked out."
"I know I did," he answered.
"Then I don't know what else to say," she said, crossing her arms. "What do you want from me right now? A quick fuck? To get off as the sky is falling?"
His eyes flashed. "Don't talk like that."
"What else could I say?" she said, feeling her own anger start to bubble. "I don't want you to hurt me, Draco Malfoy, as the last thing to happen to me on earth. That's happened enough."
Her words silenced him. She felt tears start to form in her eyes. He couldn't see her cry again; she wouldn't allow it. Turning on her heel, she walked over to her bedroom and closed the door behind her.
She curled up on the right side of the bed. It had been a year since she had shared it with anyone, but she couldn't bring herself to sleep in the middle. It felt unnatural.
As least when she was on the right side, she could imagine he was coming back.
She heard the door open quietly, and she pressed her eyelids shut, trying desperately to get the tears to disappear. Could they fall backwards, into her body, away from his judging eyes, his watchful gaze?
She felt his added weight press into the mattress.
He had gone directly to the left side.
"Hermione," he whispered. She still refused to look up at him.
She heard a deep sigh, pain forming into breath. Release.
"I'm not going to say that the onset of the apocalypse has assuaged all my fears about our relationship," he whispered, his voice twinkling through the air, closer to her body than she had expected.
"Shocking," she muttered, under her breath, eyes still forced shut.
"But it has," he continued, ignoring her snide comment. "Changed my view of the whole situation."
She finally opened her eyes. "What situation?"
"You. Me. Us."
Slowly, against all of rational judgement, she sat up and leaned against the backboard. Deep brown eyes met shocking silver.
"There is no us, Draco. Not anymore."
His eyes flashed at the dismissal. "No, there's no official us. The papers reported the breakup, you took the ring off…"
"I took the ring off because you said that you didn't want to get married anymore."
"I didn't want to get married anymore," Draco admitted. "That didn't mean I didn't want you anymore, Hermione."
She raised an eyebrow, an unknown feeling expanding in her diaphragm. "Explain."
He sighed, leaning against the backboard with her. He ran a hand through his hair. "I was scared. Blimey Hermione, I was fucking terrified. I was twenty-four, about to settle down for the rest of my life. I got cold feet."
"I was aware of that part."
"But, after I walked out, I realized every day afterwards that I had made a mistake," he said, voice breaking slightly. "I had walked out on the most important person in my life because I was scared of a white dress and a piece of paper."
She tried desperately to not let his words affect her. "Don't do this now, Draco. Not after a year. I only just figured out how to think about you without it...just don't do this now."
"If I don't do this now, will I ever get the chance again?" he asked, eyes closed. "I wondered about you every day, 'Mione. I scoured the gossip sections to see if you were seeing anyone. When you went on that date with Boot I punched a hole through one of my mother's old 18th century paintings. Merlin, she was pissed."
Hermione was too shocked to laugh.
"I thought about contacting you," he continued. "I didn't know how. I didn't know what to say. How to fix it. If I could fix it. And then the papers started reporting on the asteroids."
"It made me think, you know. I tried to imagine how you would react to the whole thing. Where were you when Diagon Alley was hit last month. Were you out drinking with Potter and them? Were you at home, watching that stupid muggle television? And every day, as the reports got worse and worse, I found that you were the only thing I was worried about."
"I could never have forgiven myself if I hadn't tried to talk to you before the end of the world."
Hermione's eyes were blinking in an out of awareness. This had to be some messed up nightmare, right? She'd wake up, or she wouldn't, and Draco would still be gone.
"You walked out on me, Draco," she repeated, trying not to sound as destroyed as she was.
"I know that I did, and I wish that I could take it back," he whispered, turning his head to look at her. "But it didn't mean that I stopped loving you."
Her breath stopped. Were the fates just toying with her? It seemed cruel, at this point.
"And so here we are, Hermione, at the end of the world," he said, reaching over and taking her hand. The second she felt his skin, some of her resolve crumbled. "Sure, we had issues. Sure, there's a lot of unresolved pain there, and a lot to make up for. And if there was a chance that we could wake up in the morning, then I'd be on my knees begging for forgiveness. But we're not going to wake up tomorrow."
He stroked his thumb gently down her knuckles. "So, what I'm suggesting is that we decide not to give a fuck."
"What?" she asked, trying to keep her head on straight.
She was losing the battle.
"All our fears are irrelevant. They don't matter anymore. I'm fucking in love with you, Hermione Granger, and I have been since we bumped into each other at Flourish and Blotts five years ago, and you didn't spit in my face, as you had every right to do. I have loved you this entire time, even though I left, even though I hurt you, even though I had no right to come back after everything I did to you. But can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me that you don't love me too?"
She stared at their intertwined hands.
He had walked out on her, she whispered to herself. He had left her alone, with a ring, a broken heart, and a drawer of men's clothes that he had never picked up. He had hurt her. They weren't meant to be together. They weren't meant to be forever.
She knew all of this, on one level at least. But that wasn't the question, was it? The question wasn't how they could make this work, or if she could forget everything that he had done to her.
She knew the answer to the question he had asked.
The rest of her resolved crumbled.
"I can't tell you that."
He sucked in a short breath.
They sat there in silence for a moment, as they had so many times before.
Then he spoke, his words causing a rupture in her reality that the asteroid would envy.
"We have tonight, Hermione. The world is ending, and I came over. The world is ending, and your face is the only thing on this entire wretched planet I wanted to see. I want the image of you to be burned into my mind for eternity, which, as it stands, looks like about seven hours. Just…god, you love me, don't you? Hell, heaven, the whole planet be damned. It's the end of the fucking world, Hermione, and I want to spend it with you."
He smiled sadly. "If that's not what true love is, then I don't bloody know what to do."
She scoffed. "You always hated that term."
He nodded. "I know. And then I realized who it meant, and I changed my mind."
She pulled her hand back from his and felt him stiffen at her side.
"I don't really know what to say," she admitted.
"I think that's the first time I've heard that," he said stiffly, but she could hear the nervousness beneath.
"It's just a lot to take it," she whispered.
"We are working on a reduced timeline, here."
She chuckled and rolled her eyes. "God, Draco, what a time to try and get back in my good graces."
"It's our last night on earth, Hermione," he whispered back, his eyes a kaleidoscope of emotion. "You can't honestly tell me that you don't want to spend it together."
"Of course, I do," she said, finally admitting the truth and letting a tear roll down her cheek. "It's just a lot to take it…and I can't work it out in my head. I can't make the puzzle pieces fit. How can this all be happening? How can you come back here today, of all days, and proclaim your love? It seems…calculated."
"It's not calculated," he answered. "It's a death row meal. It's a dying wish. No point in keeping up pride when you have hours on earth left."
"I love you," she whispered, looking down at her hands. She heard the crack in his neck as he whipped around to look at her. She sighed. "I'd regret it if I never said it again."
He leaned over and placed his forehead on her shoulder, an echo of an intimacy long since felt. "You know I love you. I would take it all back if I could."
"You can't," she whispered, openly crying now. "But you're right."
She felt him smile, stubble tickling her arm. "Don't hear that often, either."
She chuckled, choking on her tears as they continued to fall. "I want to spend my last night on earth with you, Draco Malfoy. I was wondering, earlier, if you might come. Part of me hoped you would, and part of me hoped you wouldn't. But all of me wondered."
"I had no doubt where I was spending tonight," he whispered. "Even if you kicked me out, I would've sat on your doorstep to just be near you. It would've been a great view of the asteroid."
She sobbed. "The world really is ending, isn't it?"
He sat back up, and reached his arm around her, pulling her tight to him. "It is. But I'm here. And I'm going to spend the end of the world with you, Hermione Granger. Think about it. I'm never going to leave again. This time, there's no reason for us to even bother fucking saying goodbye…"
As the final word left his lips, she covered them with her own, feeling eternity in their kiss.
He was right. It didn't matter at this point. It didn't matter that he had walked out. It didn't matter that when they fought, it took days before she would even give an inch. It didn't matter that they argued about stupid things, like where the dishes should go or which colour they should paint the bathroom.
All the mattered was that the world was ending, and he had come over.
She kissed him desperately, like he was an oasis in the desert. He held her face in his hands, holding her tight as the sky began to fall. Before long, her clothes were gone, and so were his, as they rediscovered what it meant to love each other.
And they did love each other. Time, space, and the goddamn apocalypse could not change that.
Years ago, if you had told Hermione Granger that she would spend the last night of her life with Draco Malfoy, she would have called you insane.
If you told her now, she would say there was nowhere else for her to be.
The sunshine blinking through the window woke her up. It was brighter than she thought it would be. She rolled over slightly, shifting her weight, before realizing that she had rolled into another body.
Reality came flooding back in. She opened her mind.
Draco was lying at her side, smiling brightly, silver eyes dancing. On his side table was a pot of coffee, steaming, filling the air with a familiar, morning smell.
"Good morning, Hermione," he said.
"You're still here," she said, shocked.
"We're still here," she repeated for clarity.
He smirked. "We are."
Draco reached forward and pulled her to his chest, pushing the hair from her face before kissing her jaw. She tried not to get distracted.
"Draco, the asteroid…"
"It missed," he murmured in response, going back to his ministrations.
"It MISSED? How is that possible, wizards and muggles alike…"
"Sometimes everyone is wrong," he answered, moving his lips to her neck.
She blinked. The world hasn't ended. They were still there.
"The world isn't ending," she whispered.
She felt him shake his head, his hair tickling her jaw.
"And you're still here."
"Of course, I'm still here," he nearly growled, lips sucking at a particularly sensitive spot.
She saw stars for a moment.
"Draco," she whispered, as his hands began to wander, and lips moved lower. "What are you doing?"
"The world didn't end," he whispered against her skin. "Which means, as promised, it's time for me to get on my knees and beg for your forgiveness."
And in that moment, even though she had felt forgiveness already, she didn't ask him to stop.
Thanks for reading! Shoot me a review if you'd like :)