~~Fall For You~~
~by Realmweaver~

Disclaimer: I do not own the lyrics used in this one-shot, nor am I attempting to make money off my usage of them. They belong to Secondhand Serenade, and the Writer, John Vesely.

~For those who need to be forgiven~

I don't know how she did it. How she convinced me to go, even when I so desperately didn't want to, just in case he decided to… But here I was, leaning against a punch table, feeling like an idiot while dressed like one of those pureblood elitists and holding a glass of expensive wine.

I mean, sure, the Great Hall looked amazing, with all the decorations and music and lighting and the huge banner over the staff table, reading

"Welcome back War Heroes,
For the 1st Ever Annual War-time
Hogwarts School Reunion!"

Ginny waved to me, the persuasive, sly little fox, and beckoned me to join her and Harry on the dance floor. I waved my hand back at her, but instead of beckoning I was signaling, "No thanks, I'm fine." She mock-pouted, but I stood my ground, and after a few more seconds she gave up and turned back to Harry.

It wasn't like I couldn't have had fun if I wanted to. I came with someone; Ron. And maybe he was hoping tonight would be the night I'd go back to thinking our relationship was far from platonic, but I just wasn't in the mood. I was content—if that's the right word for it—waiting, praying to God, that he wouldn't show up. But for some sick reason I was also almost wishing that he would, just to see what would happen… No, I said to myself, stopping those forbidden thoughts right in their tracks. That's not what you want. Just forget him. He doesn't care about you anymore; he proved as much at the Manor…

And that's when I saw him. Right when I was taking back all my thought of maybe wanting to see him, he shows up, looking all calm, refined, and, well, beautiful—with Pansy Parkinson on his arm.

"There's Malfoy," I heard Ron say from behind me. "And Parkinson. Wonder why they decided to come."

And then, without even meaning to, I thought, Maybe he came to see me. I was so shocked at my daring thoughts, that I dropped my wineglass and it shattered across the floor. Ron fumbled for his wand, remembering that I hadn't been able to bring mine on account of this thrice-accursed dress not having any pockets.

But all of that managed to happen after he'd spotted me, eyes widening. You idiot, Hermione, you've let him right to you! I yelled at myself furiously, dimly aware of Ron muttering "Reparo" and levitating the glass back to the table.

"Jeez, Hermione," he said. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

"I'm fine, Ron," I said as he began to fuss over me, breaking my eye contact with Malfoy. I wasn't sure whether I was glad for this, or not.

My mind was elsewhere for the next few minutes, reliving events that seemed to have happened a lifetime ago…


"You're a coward!" I had screeched at him. "A slimy, sneaking coward for leaving now!"

"I've no choice!" he roared back. Both of us had forgotten that yelling our throats out was probably not the best idea that night. "He's going to kill me if I don't do this! And it won't be a quick death, I can assure you."

"Then don't do it," I said, glaring at him furiously. "Take the risk of dying, and save a life; maybe more."

"I can't do that," he had replied. "I can't just let go like that… live in fear… give up hope…"

"But you're not giving up hope," I said, my voice beginning to tremble and the back of my eyes burning with the threat of tears. "Think of James and Lily Potter, dying to save Harry! You'll be remembered. You're giving hope to the people whose lives you're saving, and if you die, you'll die with a clean soul."

"I don't believe in all that shit," he said coldly.

"I don't believe you."

"Believe it. I'm going to stay alive, Granger. And if you were wise you'd do the same."

"No," I insisted fiercely. "I will never leave the people I love to save my own skin. But if you're going to act like this; stupid, cowardly, selfish; that's you're decision. We're done." I would've turned him in but-but I just couldn't do it. Even if it endangered Dumbledore's life, which made me hate myself immensely.

Then, for the first time that night, his eyes lighted with a smidgen of true regret, and I willed myself to stand my ground. "Hermione…" he had said, reaching a hand out to my shoulder.

"Don't touch me!" I hissed, slapping his hand away. "I'm done wasting my time on you."

I turned around and began to jog away, forcing myself not to wipe at the tears that I'm sure had begun to fall already.

"Hermione!" he said again, in a voice so injured and torn I couldn't help but turn around, immediately cursing angrily at my weakness.

"Just one more time," he whispered, and after a moment I realized what he was saying.

I slowly walked back towards him, and he watched me, step by step. I stood in front of him, and every-so-slowly went on tip toes and gently pressed my lips against his cheek.

Then I started walking away again, but that time, I didn't look back.


The night wore on, and I didn't see Malfoy at all. He seemed to have disappeared, so I tried to have fun, smiling (hoping it didn't look like a grimace), cracking jokes (hoping they didn't sound half-hearted), and dancing (hoping I didn't look like a suffocating penguin). But apparently I wasn't doing a very good job, because Harry or Ginny would give me a weird, inquisitive look every once in a while.

Ron, of course, remained completely oblivious, which I was glad about, for once. Every once in a while his obtuseness comes in handy.

I was on the edge of the dance floor, back at the punch table, when the music abruptly stopped.

"And now," The DJ, who happened to be Luna Lovegood—which everyone appreciated, because it brought back memories of when she had commentated at Quidditch matches—said, "I'm going to play some slow songs and hope the Nargles can keep away. So find a person you love and hope they've brought good Nargle-protection charms."

I felt a hand on my shoulder and I jumped, spilling a bit of punch—not wine this time, mind you—onto the floor. "You know Granger," said a very familiar voice as I turned around, "—I'm not really equipped with Nargle charms tonight, but I hope you'll give me the pleasure of dancing with you, anyway."

He looked just the way I remembered him; quite tall, though not nearly as tall as Ron, with skin and hair so fair they were almost white, a strong, pointed chin and nose, and a pair of eyes that were dark grey and so powerful they could just suck you in, like an angry tornado…

Snap out of it! I scolded myself angrily. "Alright," I said out loud. I mean, what could one dance do? I was being ridiculous, wasn't I? Wasn't I? "But I'll hold you accountable for any damage done by Nargles, the damn brutes," I added, and he chuckled me as he took my hand, leaving me surprised that I could still make him laugh so easily.

He took me out to the near-center of the dance floor, leaving me quite self-conscious because everyone would be able to stare at us if they wanted to.

Malfoy put his hands on my hips and I put my hands around his neck, holding them together tightly, as if the firm grip were my only link to sanity, and hoping he wouldn't notice.

Then the song began and my breath caught in my throat.

"The best thing 'bout tonight's that we're not fighting.
Could it be that we have been this way before?"

"Oh my God," I murmured, squeezing my eyes shut and my arms tensing even more so than they had been before. "Oh my God."

He had the audacity to look down at me and grin, as if this were all just a joke. The slimy ferret! But even then, when I was staring at him with such disbelief and disgust, I was picturing him, his stunning face singing that song to me, like he did after every time we had had a big row…

I whipped my arms from around his neck but he caught them and placed them back. I glared up at him, livid. "You planned this, you shrewd, conniving little snake. Is this your idea of a prank?"

"Come on, Granger," he said lightly, as if this were just another round of bickering between us. "Just dance. For old time's sake."

"But hold your breath—
Because tonight will be the night that I will fall you,
Over again;
Don't make me change my mind."

"No, I refuse," I said, trying to wrench my arms from his grip, but he was too strong.

When I looked up at his face again, his eyes had lost their humorous, joking quality and gained a searching, almost pleading one. "Please Granger? For me? For us?"

I let my arms relax again, almost immediately hating myself for giving into him like that. He didn't deserve me, I didn't deserve this

"Good girl, Granger," he whispered, and I had to stop myself from calling him a very nasty word.

"I thought you were supposed to be here with Parkinson," I muttered instead as we started to sway back and forth.

"Yeah, right. Like she'd take this seriously. Probably messing around with Nott in a corner somewhere; if he had the guts to come. My mother invited her to come with me," he said, a hint of disgust in his voice.

"This is not, what I intended.
I always swore to you I'd never fall apart.
You always thought that I was stronger.
I may have failed but I have loved you from the start."

"And you don't care?" I asked.

"No," he replied casually, tossing the word from his mouth as if it was the easiest answer in the world. And it should've been, seeing as it was only two letters. But it made my stomach twist unpleasantly and my throat go dry. And then he said something that made my stomach altogether plummet.

"All I care about tonight, is you."

I gasped a little, truly surprised at his words.

He plunged on. "I'm sorry, Hermione," he said, and I knew he was being serious because he used my first name. "I'm sorry for never staying with you, for causing so much pain, hurting you so much, for acting like a right coward and running…" he leaned down to press his forehead against mine, and I nearly stopped breathing.

"I'm sorry," he repeated.

"So breathe in so deep,
Breathe me in, I'm yours to keep
So hold on to your words
'Cause talk is cheap—"

"And remember me tonight, when you're asleep," he whispered along, his breath cool on my face. "Forgive me," he pleaded, but before I had time to reply he dove forward, hands clutching at the back of my neck, his mouth crushing into mine, forcing my lips open with his own, his breath no longer cool, but warm, very warm, and pressing into my mouth and down my throat…

"No!" I shouted, ripping myself from his grasp. "No, you can't do this! Come here, ask me to dance, play that song—our song—and then kiss me—like—nothing—ever—happened…" I said in between very deep breaths, almost sobs. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Ron rushing towards me, and Harry putting an arm up to stop him, because nearly the entire hall was staring and Malfoy and I now.

"Hermione," he said, taking another step forward. I flinched as he took my face in his hands, and saw the hurt flicker across his face as I did. Good, I thought to myself viciously as I pulled away. Hurt like you've hurt me…

"You don't deserve me," I said, voicing my thoughts from before. "You don't deserve me, after what you've done… After what happened on the night at the Astronomy Tower, after when happened at Malfoy Manor, while you watched, and did nothing. I still have scars from that. " I held up my arm with the word Mudblood was carved into my skin. I felt a gruesome sort of sense of satisfaction as I watched him cringe at the sight of it. Yes, I thought ruthlessly. I hope it hurts.

"Hermione, I'm so insanely sorry," he said when I finished ranting, as if I hadn't heard it enough already that night. "But I can't stop how I feel about you, and I won't ever stop coming after you now. I can't undo what I've done the past, but I can try to fix my mistakes. I came here to prove something, and I'll do anything to get my point across.

"I'm in love with you, Hermione Granger, and have been since fourth year, at the Yule Ball. And I so desperately want—no, need you back." He took a step closer. "Because a girl like you is impossible to find," he whispered, so only I could hear him.

That did it. He'd broken me down. Made me forget everything he did to me, and Harry and Ron, if only for a second. But a second was all that he needed. I rushed up to him, wrapping my arms around his neck and mashing my mouth against his as he had done to me moments before. I buried my hands in his hair, running them through the silky strands as he held me to him, as tightly as he could. When we pulled apart, gasping for air, he looked at me as if seeing me for the first time.

He pulled me to him again, but this time in a hug, one arm around my back and the other gently pressing my head into his shoulder. "I love you," he whispered, and I had to smile.

I didn't answer, knowing that I didn't really forgive him yet. It would take more time for that to happen, and just one kiss wouldn't change my mind completely. But it was a start.

For now, I was just content to stand there in his arms, oblivious to the dozens of people in the room staring at us, and anticipating the day when I could echo his words.

"Tonight will be the night that I will fall for you
Over again, don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day, I swear it's true.
Because a girl like you is in possible to find.
You're impossible to find."