Disclaimer: For the record, I do not own anything you read in this story…unless you don't recognize it then it is probably made up out of my own slightly insane mind.
One Decision That Changed Everything
Draco gasped in pain as once again the cursed mark on his arm began to burn. Grasping his arm and holding it close to him, he squinted his eyes trying to hold back the tears that were coming. He quickly shoved open the first door he came to and walked in. Turning he had just enough time to lock the door before crying out in pain. 'Merlin, it hurts, why did I let him do this to me?' Draco sobbed and slid to the floor, now openly crying.
"Is ickle wittle Malfoy sad?" a hollow but nasal voice asked harshly.
Draco snapped his head up, there in front of him floated Moaning Myrtle. Only now did he realize just what room he had walked into, it was the girl's lavatory, or more accurately Moaning Myrtles lavatory. "Leave," he ground out, his teeth clenched, his eyes beginning to dry themselves in anger.
"I was here first," was her reply.
Draco was to his feet in seconds, his wand pointed at her,"I SAID LEAVE!" he shouted, his frustration finally boiling over.
"I HATE YOU!"Myrtle cried plunging herself into the nearest toilet.
Draco watched her go, feeling no satisfaction he turned around and caught sight of his tearstained face in one of the mirrors. It was soon destroyed by a neatly aimed hex, followed by the sinks, and the stalls surrounding the toilets; Draco was spouting every destruction spell he knew, destroying everything in the room. He screamed and shouted, finally letting go of all the anger he had stored up over the years.
"Stupid Father!" There went another sink, "Stupid Dark Lord!" an innocent toilet, "Bloody Potter!" a piece of wood that was just lying on the ground, "Stupid, arrogant, holier than thou Pureblood fanatics!" Draco pointed his wand at the scattered pieces of glass from the broken mirrors; they quickly flew up and thudded into a stall wall. "Why did I join Him? What did I ever do to deserve this? Why?" Draco fell to his knees, "I am so bloody stupid," he hissed, tears rolling down his cheeks once more.
"You could say that again Malfoy."
Draco snapped his head up once more, glaring at the intruder, "What is this, eavesdrop on Draco day?" he snapped, trying desperately to wipe evidence of his tears away.
"Well, if you don't want people to hear you yell, you may want to try a silencing spell or two, I could hear you all the way down the hall."
"What do you want Mudblood?" Draco hissed rising to his feet, his wand still clenched in his fist.
"Do you really still believe that? All that stupid blood prejudice? " Hermione stated conversationally, pushing herself off the wall she had been leaning against while watching Draco's fit.
Draco eyed her harshly for a few moments before dropping his chin to his chest, "Go away Granger," he demanded not answering her question
"No," Hermione replied firmly.
Draco's eyes shot back to hers full of venom, "I said leave," he repeated slowly, his wand twitching.
"And I said I don't want to. Honestly Malfoy, if we have to repeat everything we say in this conversation it is going to get quite long. I'm not leaving," Hermione said, crossing her arms over her chest, trying to act nonchalant, though she was inconspicuously watching for any sign of a trap.
"Why not? Please, Granger. Just let me be," Draco pleaded, suddenly too tired to argue.
"I won't leave you alone, especially since it seems you are pretty upset about something," Hermione gestured to the destroyed bathroom, "Besides, no one wants to be alone, not really."
"I do," Draco growled turning his back to her. There was silence for a few seconds then he heard her move. Figuring she had decided to leave Draco clenched his eyes, trying to figure out why it hurt so much that she had done so, despite the fact he had asked her to. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder. He stiffened.
"Mal- Draco? Please, let me help you. Tell me what's happened," Hermione said softly, coming to stand in front of him and looking up at his closed eyes.
Draco opened his eyes and looked at her, "How can you trust me? After everything I have done to you? For all you know this is a trick and I am just trying to capture you for My Lord."
Hermione searched his pain filled eyes, "He's not your Lord," she said finally.
Draco's eyes filled with anger once more, "Yes he is. He owns me. I am his slave, his servant! I have his mark!" he yelled, abruptly yanking up his sleeve to show her the angry black mark that marred his arm.
Hermione gasped and took an involuntary small step backwards. Draco watched her with an irate satisfaction, 'Good,' he thought "Maybe now she'll leave me alone," Draco winced at the thought. He couldn't help the surprise that filled his eyes Hermione stepped forward and touched the mark, rather than run away like he thought she would.
"Does it hurt?" she whispered, gently tracing it with her cool fingers, soothing the burning somewhat.
Draco watched her, pondering what to say, as well as what to think of her. He seemed to come to a decision though when he said, "Yes."
Hermione looked up into his eyes again, "Did you want it?" she asked, already guessing the answer.
"No," he replied, "I didn't."
"Then why did you get it?" she asked tugging him to a wall so they could sit down, banishing the floor of the water that was flooding the room.
Draco sighed; it appeared the mud-, he halted the word, muggleborn wasn't going to leave anytime soon, "Has your father ever hurt you Granger?" he asked, knowing it was unlikely, "Has he ever cursed you, hexed you, or threatened you? Has he ever made you do something you absolutely didn't want to do?"
Hermione paused in her search through her bag to look at him, "Your father made you get that?" she gasped.
"What? You thought my father was a saint?" Draco scoffed. Hermione seemed to find what she was looking for, as she pulled a small vial containing something brown and goopy from it, "What's that?" he asked suspiciously.
"Honestly Draco, if I had wanted to harm you, I would have already done so, now give me your arm," she tutted, reaching out and taking his hand and pulling it onto her lap. She uncorked the vial and poured some of the goop on his Mark. "No," she said, focusing on her task, "I never thought your father was anything but the Devil incarnate. But I could have sworn you wanted to follow in his footsteps. It seems I was wrong, I apologize."
Draco watched her rub the goop into his Mark thoughtfully. The goop seemed to be doing its job, whatever that was, for almost immediately the Mark began to calm, and stop stinging. "I did in a way," he said finally after a few moments, "Growing up I was taught that blood was everything. Money was even worth less than 'pure' blood. The Dark Lord seemed to personify everything I had been taught growing up, he wanted to get rid of Mudblo— muggleborns like you, and half bloods, and half breeds. He was going to place purebloods, like my family, at the head of society," Draco shook his head in frustration.
"I was so simple minded," he went on, "I had interactions with muggleborns and half-bloods all the time; I didn't even know Professor Lupin was a half breed until everyone else did. I thought muggleborns were supposed to be less than I was, then why did you beat me in every single subject? I came in second, where my beliefs said that I should be first and you last. Potter, a half blood, was always beating me in everything you didn't: Quidditch, being the teacher's pet, even in being more Slytherin like. Everyone thought I was the heir of Slytherin, even you; don't deny it, but it was really him all along."
"So our being 'better' than you changed your mind?" Hermione asked, certain this wasn't the full story.
"Don't be so cocky Granger;" Draco said with a small smirk, "It was only the forethoughts to everything else. I honestly believed that the Dark Lord was the leader of the right, and that Dumbledore was the villain. But then I went with my father on a raid of a muggle neighborhood."
Draco clenched his eyes shut, and a muscle in his jaw twitched. "All of those innocent people were just slaughtered. They begged and pleaded, but the Death Eaters showed no mercy. They couldn't even defend themselves Hermione!" he moaned placing his head in his hands. "They-we killed them, men, women, and children. We spared the dogs, though, cats, birds, animals; they were all allowed to live, but not innocent children," Draco shook his head; his whole body was quivering now.
"Shh, Draco. It's okay now. You didn't mean it," Hermione whispered first gently resting her hand on his back, then slowly moving closer and pulling him into a hug. Draco gasped and hesitated a moment before grabbing onto her small body and pulling it close to him. Never once in his life had he even considered the thought that he might one day find comfort in the arms of Hermione Granger.
After letting out a few tears Draco pulled back, embarrassed. Looking up at the ceiling and anywhere but Hermione's face he said, "I didn't want anything to do with people who could kill so heartlessly. I still don't. At least that old coot Dumbledore didn't kill unless he had to." Draco snorted, "Did you know he offered me a way out? He offered to help me. But I refused. I couldn't take something from him when I was supposed to kill him." Draco looked down at his hands, "I couldn't even kill him."
"I doubt any sane person would have." Hermione murmured soothingly, her hand now rubbing circles on his back as he leant forward to place his head in his hands.
"Aunt Bella did," Draco said, "She had no problem killing him."
Hermione's hand stilled, "I wouldn't call Bellatrix Lestrange sane, Draco," she said with a sarcastic note to her voice. This made Draco smile a bit, despite the surprise he felt when she accepted that it was his aunt who killed Dumbledore.
"No, I guess not," he replied softly. "I think she knew," he tried to explain, "She knew I wouldn't be able to kill Dumbledore, and I am willing to bet she knew I didn't want to actually join the Dark Lord," Draco looked back to Hermione over his shoulder, "I think that was why she killed Dumbledore for me; it would be more of a punishment for me if I had both Dumbledore's death and the Dark Lord's gratitude on my shoulders. You realize that right?" he asked, just to make sure, "Everyone believes I killed Dumbledore. The only reason they let me back into this school this year was because they had no proof. Even my own godfather thinks I did it."
Hermione frowned and resumed making calming circles on his back, "Harry doesn't think you did it. Nor do I. Ron doesn't want to think so, but he knows you didn't do it either. We all know you didn't do it."
Draco turned to look at her fully now, "How do you know?" he demanded.
"Harry was there." Hermione said simply, her hand sliding off his back and lying idly in her lap as he leaned back against the wall once more, "He and Dumbledore had just gotten back from some place or other. Dumbledore heard you coming and shoved Harry underneath his Invisibility cloak stupefied. He heard and saw you talking with Dumbledore; he watched you waver. He was certain you were going to listen to Dumbledore, but then Bellatrix and some other Death Eaters showed up.
"Bellatrix lost patience with the conversation, and killed Dumbledore. Snape showed up in time to hear Bellatrix mock praising you, but before he could do anything, you all had to leave quickly. Harry told McGonagall all of this, so she let you come back to school, since you weren't really the cause of Dumbledore's death," Hermione said looking at him with understanding in her eyes.
Draco snorted, "So you're telling me that the Golden Trio are the only people on the planet who don't think I killed Albus Dumbledore? Are you mad?" he asked, "If people found out you thought that way they would suspect you all to be imperio'd."
"Just because people might know you didn't kill Dumbledore doesn't mean they trust you," Hermione replied simply.
Draco eyed her uncertainly, "Do you trust me Granger?" he asked then.
"My name is Hermione," was her reply, Draco shook his head.
"That isn't an answer…Hermione," he said her name, it was difficult to get out after years of calling her many other foul names, despite the fact he had previously let it slip.
"I don't know. Should I trust you?" she asked, "Do you want me to trust you?" Draco shrugged and looked away, as if her response didn't matter to him. "Draco, do you want me to trust you?" Hermione repeated slowly, knowing his answer could change their future.
They sat in silence for nearly five minutes. Hermione could tell Draco's thoughts were whirling around, trying to figure out what to say. Finally he opened his mouth, "Yes," he said so softly Hermione wouldn't have heard it had she not been paying such close attention.
Hermione smiled, "Then you have my trust. All of it."
Draco gave a small smile that didn't reach his eyes, "So that's it? All I have to do is say that I want your trust and you'll give it to me?" he asked incredulously, "Are you daft?"
"No, that's not 'it', I trusted you long before I ever spoke a word to you tonight. I just needed to hear you say you wanted my trust. And no, I am not daft, in case you forgot; I am the smartest witch of our age," Hermione teased.
Draco stared at her, "You trusted me before you talked to me tonight? Why? I haven't been anything but horrible to you."
Hermione shook her head, "Not since…well since Dumbledore's death. Sure you made some snide comments, and other small things, but I could tell your heart wasn't in it."
"I don't have a heart," Draco said petulantly, "There is nothing inside me. No heart, no warmth, no feelings. I'm a cold, hard, shell."
"Right," Hermione snorted, "and that's why you were crying and throwing things around poor Myrtles' lavatory. You're so feeling-less that you didn't even notice that little mark on your arm burning you alive both physically and mentally. You're so cold, that you can't even cry over the muggles that were killed during that raid. Sure, I believe you Draco, really," Hermione said sarcastically before snapping, "Don't be stupid Malfoy."
"I wasn't crying," was all he said looking down stubbornly, causing Hermione to laugh softly. He looked back up at her his eyes curious.
"What?" she asked innocently.
"Were you just laughing at something I said?" he asked, "You actually think I said something funny?"
Hermione just laughed again, "You were too crying," she finally said, then realizing his question was an honest one she raised an eyebrow, "Why do you look so shocked and surprised?" she asked, growing confused.
"No one ever genuinely laughs when I am being funny," Draco replied, "My father paid some of my so called friends to hang around me and laugh at my jokes. Others he just threatened. So no one ever really means it when they laugh around me."
"Well," Hermione said, "I can promise you that your father couldn't and wouldn't pay or threaten me to laugh at your stubbornness."
This made Draco smile, "That's true," he said and was about to go on, when he gasped in pain and jerked his right hand to clutch the Dark Mark on his left forearm.
Hermione frowned, "Draco?" she asked, "What's wrong?"
Draco fought hard to speak through the pain that was shooting through his arm, "The Dark Lord is summoning me."
"Why is it hurting you so much?" she asked worried for him.
"They say it hurts a lot the first several times he summons you, but after that it is just a stinging sensation, but right now it feels like my arm is being cut off," Draco gasped again and squeezed his eyes shut.
"What can I do?" Hermione asked, wanting to help him, but not knowing how, "Do you want me to put some more of this Recesserimus potion on it?"
Draco nodded and held his hand out to her again, "I don't want to go," he said softly as if pleading with her to let him stay.
Hermione finished rubbing in the potion, her thoughts flying every which way, trying to come up with a solution to their problem. Yes, their problem. He was her friend now, whether he liked it or not, she had seen a side of him that not many other people could claim to have seen and she wasn't about to let that part of him disappear. She was Hermione Granger, blast it! She was supposed to have all the answers.
"Draco," she said slowly, waiting for him to look at her, his eyes watery despite his best efforts, "I think I may have a solution, it won't be very pleasant for you, but it would definitely help Harry win the war. We will need to talk to Harry and the others before we officially decide."
"But you still want me to go," Draco said dully.
"No, Draco, no!" Hermione said, "I don't want you to go at all. It's just, this plan, it…well…" she hesitated, "We need a spy," she finally said. "You would be an excellent spy, Draco, and it would help so much. But, you need to choose this. If you really don't want to, I won't make you. We can come up with some other way to keep you safe—" Draco interrupted her.
"A spy?" he repeated incredulously, "You think I can be a spy against the Dark Lord?" Hermione nodded making Draco hesitate before continuing, "I think…I think I need to think about this a little bit before I decide."
Hermione nodded, "Of course Draco. I didn't expect you to just agree on a spur of the moment idea. I wouldn't be able to respect you if you did. We still need to think everything over, and talk with Harry. But I think for this to even be an option you need to go to this meeting."
Draco nodded, swallowing harshly. Standing he brushed himself off and reached down to help Hermione up. She stood and faced him, "So you're going to go?" she whispered. Draco only nodded. Pulling out his wand he summoned his Death Eater robe and mask. Hermione watched him put in on with worry. When he was assembled she couldn't help herself, she sobbed and threw herself at him in a tight hug.
Draco froze for a moment before slowly hugging her back. After a few moments he asked, "What should I say? He isn't going to be happy I am so late."
Hermione pulled back from their hug wiping her eyes, "Tell him…tell him that Potter's Mudblood wouldn't leave you alone," she gave a weak smile, "That sounds like the old you right? Say we had a project to work on together and I wouldn't let you leave. You had to make me cry to get away from me," she shook her head, disappointed in her own lying skills, "Elaborate a little," she finally said with a shrug and a small sad smile.
Draco reached out and wiped her tears off her face, "Don't cry for me Hermione, okay? Nobody's ever cried for me before, and I don't want someone, especially you, to start now."
Hermione gave a small laugh and nodded, "Okay. You should go. I'm going to stay here and repair the mess you made so Myrtle doesn't get you into trouble with McGonagall. Then I will wait for you. I'll be in my room when you get back, I promise." Hermione said referring to her bedroom in the Head's tower.
It was near the end of their sixth year, and both had been chosen as Head boy and girl for next year. McGonagall had thought it would be best to see if the two enemies get along while living in such proximity to each other without killing one another, though she believed it was impossible. She was acting on Dumbledore's orders, and should it appear that they could not, in fact, get along, McGonagall would choose different quarters for them, or replace them altogether. So it was with trepidation she allowed the two to experiment with their new living conditions.
Hermione caught Draco's eye once more, "It will be okay Draco," she spoke gently, "Just come talk to me when you get back, I don't care what time it is."
Draco nodded and turned away from her. 'If I do come back,' he thought sadly.
Draco walked weakly over to his bed. He had been right. The Dark Lord hadn't been pleased with his lateness. Even though he had bought the excuse Hermione had made up, he had still decided that some punishment was in order, and had therefore placed him under the cruciatus for several minutes.
'How can I do this? If I become a spy I will have to do this again and again, I don't think I am strong enough for it,' Draco thought to himself moaning as he felt another aftershock of the cruciatus pass through him. Thank Merlin for private head rooms. He was certain that if he had had to go down to the Slytherin dorms he would have been mocked mercilessly and questioned endlessly, for he was the youngest Death Eater to join the ranks of the Dark Lord.
The only one who had been even close to his age when he had become a Death Eater was Snape, and he had been almost eighteen. Draco laid there for what seemed like hours just thinking in circles. Should he be a spy for Potter or should he not? What would Hermione say? Did she even care? What should he do?
Finally letting out a frustrated groan he looked over at the clock beside his bed, 3:30 a.m. 'Okay, if Hermione is still up I will join her. Or at the very least listen to what she has to say. If not, I will go back to bed and suffer in silence until I come up with my own solution,' Draco shook his head; he knew he was taking the coward's way out. No one in their right mind would still be up at this time of night, not even Hermione, and he knew it.
Pulling open his door he walked slowly down the stairs and across the commons room he and Hermione shared as Head Boy and Girl. Slowly climbing up the stairs to her room, pausing every now and then for air, he arrived at the landing in front of her door.
Taking a deep breath he slowly opened the door, not wanting to knock, just in case that would wake her up and ruin his whole compromise with himself. As he peered through the small crack in the doorway he was surprised to see Hermione sitting on her bed reading, her lamp on the table next to her lit brightly so as to give her enough light.
Draco shook his head, he couldn't go in, if he went in there was no turning back, she would hold him accountable for everything. Just as he was about to turn and walk back down the stairs defeated he heard her voice, "I know you're there Draco."
Draco couldn't stop the overwhelming sense of happiness he felt when he realized that she had known he was back all along. She really trusted him. Despite everything he had done to her in the past, she trusted that he would come to her. She trusted that he would do the right thing. And he now knew without a doubt what the right thing to do was.
Pushing the door open he walked inside. Hermione smiled at him, "I was hoping you would come to me. I'll be honest though, I almost fell asleep," she looked over at the clock on her desk, it was now 4:00 a.m. Draco noticed, how had it taken him half an hour to get to her room from his?
His confusion must have shown on his face for Hermione soon asked him what was wrong. He shook his head, "I don't know, probably nothing, I just realized it took me a half hour to get to your room," he was about to go on when his legs collapsed from underneath him. He barely managed to catch himself on the edge of Hermione's bed before crumpling all the way to the floor.
Hermione gasped and rose to help him. She helped lift him onto her bed where he laid panting for breath, "Draco? What's wrong?" she asked worriedly.
"It's nothing," he said in between breaths, "I just got hit with a few cruciatus curses tonight. The Dark Lord wasn't pleased I was late as I told you he wouldn't be," Hermione was now rummaging through a cabinet in her bathroom. She came back with a purple potion, "What's that?" he asked, this time trusting that it wouldn't harm him.
"It's a potion that helps relieve the side effects of dark curses. Drink it," Hermione urged, helping him to sit up and lift it to his mouth.
"Where did you find that?" Draco gasped after gagging on the vile taste.
Hermione hesitated, then turned and went to place the vial in her bathroom, "In the restricted section," she said her back to him.
"Excuse me?" Draco exclaimed, "Have you tried that potion out on someone else before you decided to try it on me? What if it was cursed? What if it was supposed to kill you instead of heal you? Merlin Granger, I thought you were supposed to be smart!"Malfoy exclaimed indignantly.
"I am smart you dimwit, and my name is Hermione remember? Yes I did try it out on someone else, Harry volunteered to test it," Hermione sat down next to where he was laying his head on her pillows.
Draco stared at her, "I don't know which is worse. You trying out a potion you found out about in the restricted section on me, or on Harry-fetching-Potter, the boy who is supposed to save us all. What if it wasn't a safe potion?"
Hermione rolled her eyes, "I read all the ingredients Draco. None of them were even remotely harmful for humans to digest, nor were any combination of ingredients harmful. In fact the only reason why that potion was in the restricted section was because it was in a book full of dark curses and hexes. It was a potion designed to help those who were casting the dark curses to know how to heal themselves. The potion ingredients are all very natural and healthy plants."
Draco sighed, "Well, I am probably going to need some more of that in the future if I am going to be a spy for you lot," he said closing his eyes.
Hermione gasped, "Are you sure?" she exclaimed grabbing one of his hands.
Draco shook his head, opening his eyes he looked at her, "No. Honestly I don't think I am strong enough to go to all those meetings, but if I don't help you, bad things could end up happening. Even more bad things than are already happening anyway."
Hermione lay down next to him, figuring he wasn't going to be going anywhere soon. "Is the potion working?" she asked after a few moments of contemplative silence, "Do you feel like you're going to die anytime soon?"
Draco chuckled dryly, "That's the wrong question to ask Hermione. I may die tomorrow. I may be summoned at any moment and be killed then. But as to the potion helping, yes, I feel immensely better. Thank you." They laid together in silence for a moment longer before he turned to look at her, "Hermione?" he asked, catching her attention, "Do you really think Potter and Weasley are going to be as accepting as you are?" he asked dubiously.
Hermione thought about this for a second, "Harry will be I'm sure, but Ron and the others, I am not so sure about."
"Others?" Draco exclaimed his eyes widening, "Who all are you intending to tell?"
Hermione smiled at his panic, "Remember last year when you and the rest of Umbridge's lackeys busted up that club Harry, Ron, and I were a part of? Dumbledore's Army?" Hermione asked, Draco nodded, "Well some of the members are back together again."
"Like who?" Draco asked suspiciously.
"Well there's me, Harry, and Ron, naturally. Then there's also Ginny, Ron's sister, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnegan, Dean Thomas, Pavarti and Padma Patil, Hannah Abbot, Lavender Brown and Susan Bones," Hermione mumbled, her voice trailing off as she felt sleep begin to try and take over.
"That's it? What happened to all the rest of you people?" Draco asked, recalling how many people had been on the list he had found of their names.
"That's just the First class. They're the ones who were able to-, well, you'll find out later I'm sure. The others are either Second Class, they still learn advanced spells but they are unable or unwilling to become …one of us; or they have graduated…or passed away."
"Oh," Draco was quiet for a moment, "Hermione?" he asked, but received no answer. Looking over at her he found her fast asleep. He gave a small smile, "Good night Granger," he whispered putting out the light and lying back down.
The next day came and passed without either Hermione or Draco moving from the bed, both too exhausted from the day before. They were still asleep at six that night when a loud knock sounded on the portrait door outside their common room. Hermione groaned, waking Draco. The knock came again followed by a "Hermione? Let us in!"
"It's for you darling." Draco mocked, rolling over and burying his face in a nearby pillow. Hermione growled. Draco turned his face to look at her, "Did you just growl at me Hermione?" he demanded incredulously. Hermione's only response was to glare at him.
They both were about to fall back to sleep when the pounding started again, followed by more yelling. One shout from Ron was particularly entertaining to Draco. "If that ferret hurt Hermione I swear I'll—" there was some muffled conversation during which Hermione grumbled something about Ron being a wimp and burrowed her face deeper into her pillow. The pounding started again, making Draco groan.
"Go get that stupid door Granger, your boyfriends want to speak to you," he grumbled as he went to turn over to find a more comfortable position, only to find his face full of carpet.
"Oops," Hermione giggled, in mock innocence, "Did I knock you out of bed?" she asked stepping over him and through the bedroom door. Draco glared at her until she was out of sight, then rose and began to follow her.
Just as he reached the last step of Hermione's staircase, he suddenly realized what it was going to look like, him coming down Hermione's stairs, with both of them looking like they just woke up, their clothes and hair rumpled. He froze, his foot on the final stair, and his eyes shot up and over to where Hermione stood, next to her three best friends. Ron and Harry both had horrified looks on their faces, while Ginny looked positively gleeful.
"Hermione!" the youngest Weasley exclaimed, "You didn't tell me you were sleeping with Malfoy!"
Only now did Hermione seem to pick up on the horror that was in all three male's eyes. Her eyes widened and her cheeks turned a brilliant shade of red, "No! No, no, no, no, no! EW! No! I wasn't….how could you guys even….me and MALFOY?"
Draco had to retain a snort of laughter at her incredulousness, "Geez, thanks Granger. What a wonderful way to boost a man's confidence," he said stepping down the final stair and stretching, a yawn bursting forth.
"You slept with him?" Ron exploded.
Hermione was about to answer in the negative when Draco responded for her, "Of course she slept with me Weasley," he said as if it was obvious, "I just came from her room didn't I?" he rolled his eyes, "But that was all we did was sleep," Draco flopped down onto one of the couches and tossed an arm across his eyes, "Which, thanks for reminding me, I need more of. Now will you please go about your business, and leave?"
"Draco," Hermione hissed, not at all amused by his comment about sleeping with her, "There is a meeting tonight."
Immediately Draco knew what she was talking about and a feeling of dread settled in his stomach. He slowly sat up and eyed Hermione and her friends. Ron, Harry and Ginny were gaping at their friend in horror, worried that she had spilled their secrets to their worst enemy.
"Merlin, I don't know which is worse, a meeting with the Dark Lord, or them," he responded dully. Now the three were gaping at him. "Honestly, you three look like bloody fish, shut your traps before you catch flies in them," then he looked at Hermione, "Are you going to tell them or am I going to have to do that myself?" he asked.
Hermione shrugged, "I was going to wait until tonight, but since their here now…" Hermione trailed off and turned to her friends.
"But Mione, that's why we came to see you, the meeting was supposed to start an hour ago," Harry said still looking at Draco, but now with more of a contemplative gaze.
Hermione shook her head, her eyebrows furrowed, "That's impossible! Did you move the time?" she asked.
Harry now looked back at her, "No, we didn't change the time Hermione; it's nearly six o'clock…at night."
"No way!" Draco exclaimed shooting up from his place on the couch, "It can't be that late! I had Quidditch practice at ten today!"
Ron snickered, "They were all lost without you Ferret, your team I mean. They didn't know what to do."
"Of course they didn't Weasel, those idiots wouldn't know how to ride a broom or remember their heads if I wasn't there reminding them," Draco snapped glaring at Ron, coming to stand beside Hermione.
"Draco," Hermione said, restraining him with a hand on his arm, "This isn't what we wanted to talk to them about."
This time it was Harry who spoke, "Are you two seeing each other?" he asked calmly.
Draco stared at him, "You lot make it too easy," he said, "Of course we're seeing each other, I'm not blind Potter," Draco then went and put his arm round Hermione's shoulders, noticing quickly that they were tense, and she was about to snap, "But to answer the question behind the idiotic question you just asked, no. Hermione and I are not dating one another, nor are we 'sleeping with each other'. There, I said it, happy now Weasley?"
Hermione rolled her eyes and shrugged Draco's arm off her shoulder, "Go get dressed Draco, we have a meeting to go to," Then turning to her friends she said, "We'll be just a few seconds."
As she was walking up the stairs to her room she heard Ron shout, "Wait, you're bringing him along?"
Hermione didn't bother trying to respond knowing Malfoy would do it for her. Sure enough milliseconds later she heard Draco shout, "What wonderful observation skills you have Weasley!" she just smiled and shook her head.
Five minutes later she descended the stairs only to see Draco standing in an awkward silence with her friends. He had thrown on a dark green button up shirt and black slacks. He hadn't bothered to do anything with his hair as he didn't really have time to accomplish anything worth doing. Grinning she wrapped her arm around Draco's and opening the portrait door she looked hurriedly around before stepping out. She pulled out her wand and pointed it at Draco.
She felt him stiffen, but whispered the now familiar words between the two of them, "Trust me," she then cast a disillusionment charm on him. Turning she called out to her friends to hurry on a head. "We'll catch up," she said, "We just need to talk about some things before we get there," Ron was about to protest, but Ginny quickly slapped a hand over his mouth and dragged him off, calling for Harry to follow her.
Draco hesitated as Hermione began to tug him off at a slower pace after them. "Where are we going?" he asked after a few moments of silence between them.
"The Room of Requirement," she responded, "You know where that is right?" she asked smartly. Draco glared at her. She just smiled and continued walking. "Are you sure you want to do this?" Hermione asked suddenly, "I know it may have sounded like a good idea last night…or this morning, whichever it was. But you do have the right to change your mind."
Draco was silent for a while, and then he said softly, "Would you be mad if I said I didn't want to do it?"
Hermione's eyes widened and they came to a complete stop right outside the Room of Requirement, "Of course not. I would be behind you one hundred percent no matter what you chose, as long it wasn't to follow Voldemort mindlessly. So you don't want to spy?" she asked tentatively.
Draco smirked, "I doubt you'll ever find an honest spy who wants to be doing what he is doing," he stated before he grabbed the door handle and swung the door open.
Hermione watched him walk through the door, "Well that wasn't very clear," she finally responded.
Draco looked down at her, that smirk still on his face, "Intentionally like mud," he replied confidently, but Hermione felt him tense up as she removed the disillusionment charm. Nobody seemed to notice the two standing at the entrance. They were all busy with what they were doing to pay attention to them. Neville was over in the corner instructing two sixth years on how to conjure full fledged patronus.
Everyone else seemed to be either watching one another duel, or be dueling themselves. Cries of Stupefy, expelliarmus, petrificus totalus, and other offensive and defensive spells could be heard. Draco looked around his eyes clearly showing his shock at the preparedness of the students he saw. There wasn't a teacher among them.
Hermione was watching him with a pleased look on her face, "Cool, huh," she said when he looked down at her in amazement.
Draco nodded, "The Dark Lord has no idea what he is up against. He thinks everyone but the Slytherins are unprepared."
"What do Slytherins have that the rest of us don't?" Hermione asked, pulling Draco over to where Harry and Ron were watching Ginny duel Dean Thomas.
"Death Eater parents," Draco replied absently causing Hermione's walk to falter a step.
"Oh," she said, as if the thought hadn't occurred to her.
"Hermione, Malfoy," Harry said, acknowledging their presence with a small smile. Draco nodded in his direction in response, "Colin is having some problem getting the impedimenta curse down. We can't figure out what he is doing wrong."
Hermione and Draco turned to where Harry was pointing, Collin was trying once more to use the impedimenta hex. Hermione hummed, "I got it," she said, walking over to Collin and grabbing his wrist.
"She is really good at catching things like that," Harry said, trying to make small talk with Malfoy. In his mind, if Hermione said Draco was okay, then Harry was going to trust her.
"Swish and flick," Draco replied a small smile on his face.
Harry turned to him, "So you heard about that huh?" he said he too had a smile on his face, remembering their first year.
Draco laughed, "Who didn't?" he asked shaking his head.
Ron chose this moment to join the conversation, "I don't trust you Malfoy," he said abruptly, "Just because you were able to trick Hermione doesn't mean you can trick Harry and me."
Draco turned so he was face to face with Harry and Ron, and everyone was behind him. He looked at them seriously, "I want to be a spy," he said finally, after struggling with himself. This was clearly not what either of the two boys had been expecting; their faces had nothing but shock on them.
Draco raised his left arm and pulled up the sleeve, "I already have the Dark Mark. The Dark Lord trusts me and my family. Anything he doesn't tell me he tells my father, and my father tells me. I hate him!" Draco stated firmly, "I have already been punished enough by receiving this stupid mark on my arm; if I can spy for you then at least I won't have received this thing for nothing. I can help you. Just ask Hermione, you can trust me, I swear."
Harry looked at Ron, he was speechless for a moment, then finally gathering his wits he repeated, "You want to spy, on Voldemort, for us," He clarified his hands gesturing between himself and Ron.
Draco shrugged, "Well, more you than Weasley. If I can help give you information about the Dark Lord, then you can win this war sooner and a lot less people have to die. The fewer deaths the better."
The two boys eyed him in suspicion. "Would you make an unbreakable vow to prove it?" Ron asked suddenly. Draco met his eyes, and then firmly said, "Yes." Ron stared at him for a moment, then his face relaxed, "Okay then. I can't say it isn't weird to not consider you my enemy anymore, but…it's… nice, I guess, to have you on our side."
Now it was Draco's turn to be surprised, out of everyone, he had figured he would have the hardest time convincing Weasley that he was good. But for him to be the first person besides Hermione to truly accept him? That was truly something Draco had never in his wildest thoughts predicted. So he did the only thing he could think of, he stuck his hand out; and for the first time since the beginning of wizardry, a Malfoy shook hands with a Weasley.
Harry watched all of this in a sort of shock. Then he looked over to where Hermione was standing watching Collin perform the impedimenta spell perfectly. Of course, she must have known about this all along, "How did this come about?" he asked Draco.
Draco looked at him contemplatively, "Well the Dark Lord summoned me last night, and I really didn't want to go. I went into Moaning Myrtles Lavatory and started to blow things up, throwing a bit of a tantrum I suppose you could say. Hermione found me, and we started talking. She gave me a potion that helped calm the Dark Mark, and she gave me an option that I hadn't seen before. When I came back from the meeting, it was pretty late, and I was really weak from sustaining the cruciatus for an extended period of time. I nearly convinced myself not to go and talk to Hermione again. But when I did, I solidified in myself the decision to be a spy for you."
"Did Snape have anything to do with this?" Harry asked, his eyebrows raised.
Draco scoffed, "Severus Snape is the most faithful Death Eater you will ever meet! Why would he convince me to spy against the Dark Lord?" Draco shook his head as Harry and Ron began to smile.
"Well, I guess we should give the bat more credit," Ron said, "He apparently has even Malfoy here tricked."
Draco eyed them suspiciously, then he began to shake his head, "Nah…Snape wouldn't… Snape's a spy?" he exclaimed.
This had both Ron and Harry laughing. While neither of them were able to get out any words Hermione came back over, "What's going on?" she asked a smile on her face. This only caused the two boys to laugh harder. So Hermione turned to Draco, her eyebrow raised.
"Is my godfather a spy?" Draco demanded.
Hermione's eyes widened, "You didn't know?" she asked incredulously.
"That isn't a very clear answer. Yes or no will suffice." Draco snapped.
"Well I guess he wouldn't be a very good spy if he couldn't convince his godson," Hermione said more to herself than anything. Then looking at Draco's frustrated face she laughed, "Yes, Draco, Severus Snape is Dumbledore's man through and through."
"Why didn't he say anything though?" Draco asked.
Hermione touched his arm, "He couldn't Draco. He couldn't even let his mind wander. He had to master occlumency and legilimency. Speaking of which, you should probably learn some too, though how I don't know…" Hermione trailed off thinking.
Draco shook his head, "I have already mastered both," he said. "Snape made sure of that. I had lessons from him from the age of 14 until just before Dumbledore's death," this caused all three of the Golden Trio to stare at him.
Then Harry smirked, "Maybe Snape wanted him to choose this all along," Harry said. This made Draco look at him hopefully.
"So does that mean you'll let me be your spy?" he asked.
"You have to be the only person on the planet who would be excited to be a spy," Ron replied. Harry just nodded.
Draco frowned, "My life is pointless if I don't do this," he told Ron, "I would be just another one of the Dark Lord's lackeys. I am no one's lackey."
Hermione smiled, and turning to everyone in the room she used the sonorous charm on her voice to make it loud, "Okay everyone, I think that is good enough for tonight. You are all doing wonderfully! Remember the next meeting is on Thursday! See you then!"
After all the second class students were gone the First class members all came and sat down in the middle of the room where bean bags had appeared. Harry gestured for Draco to follow him, Ron, and Hermione as they walked over and sat with them. Taking a deep breath Draco followed their lead.
"Everyone," Harry said once Draco, Hermione, and Ron were seated, "We have a new member joining us tonight. Draco Malfoy would you please stand up."
"This isn't like some freaky meeting or anything at all," Draco muttered to Hermione before rising to go and stand by Harry, making Hermione giggle and smile.
"Malfoy has agreed-," Draco interrupted Harry.
"Draco," he said, "Please call me Draco. Malfoy reminds everyone of my father and other ancestors I am not so proud of."
Harry smiled at him, "Draco," he said, "Has offered to be a spy for us in Voldemort's inner circle. He is already there as he is Mr. Malfoy's son, and very trusted. He already is skilled in Occlumency and Legilimency, and I suspect is very good with a wand," Harry looked at Draco only partially for confirmation.
Draco smirked, "I'm sure I could show you a thing or two Potter." He said.
Harry smiled, "I am looking forward to it Malfoy." He then turned to everyone sitting around them, they were all staring at Draco with disbelief on their faces, well, everyone except Luna and Ginny. "As many of you know, there is only one thing you need to do to be considered a First class DA member."
Everyone began to snicker at this, "Only one thing he says," Ginny scoffed shaking her head. Draco began to feel a growing sense of dread as he contemplated what this one thing could be. He knew he hadn't exactly been the best person around these last couple of years to these people. He just hoped they weren't as vengeful as most Slytherins were.
"Draco, you must become an animagus," Harry said as if commenting on the weather.
Draco stared at him. "I'm sorry," he said, "I think I heard you wrong, did you say I need to become an animagus?"
Harry nodded. "We're all accomplished animagi here. It comes in handy sometimes," he said nodding to the others.
"Even Longbottom?" Draco asked incredulously. He was soon pinned beneath a rather large cougar. He peered up into two terrifying pure black eyes. The only colors in the cougar's eyes were his AK green pupils. The cougar growled and bared its teeth before stepping off of him and transforming back into the form of Neville Longbottom.
Draco gulped, "Okay, so even Longbottom can do it. No offence," he said nodding to Neville who rolled his eyes in return. Heaving a deep sigh he turned to Harry, "So where do I start?" he asked.
Long Authors Note:
Point 1: So this story is basically part of the background of most of all of my other stories. It messes with the timeline of the six book a little, making it so Dumbledore died around January, and as it is explained in the story Snape didn't arrive in time to complete his promise, as Bellatrix, the ever impatient woman that we know her to be, jumped the gun and killed Dumbledore herself, but reporting it to everyone who wasn't in the tower at the time as it having been Draco who did so as a sort of punishment to Draco who didn't really want to be a part of the Death Eaters. Draco leaves school but comes back after Easter break, this took place about a week later. There are two ways the seventh book ultimately plays into this, one, Hermione never actually came back to be Head Girl her seventh year as she was hunting Horcruxses, or two (the plot I go with on my Animagi story that will be up relatively soon) everything that happened in the seventh book is miraculously shoved into the summer months…unlikely I know, but necessary. Most of the time however the plot option used is number one.
Point 2: I do have other ideas for what happens later on, such as Draco figuring out his animagus form (three guesses what it is and the first two don't count) Draco teaching the First Class DA some spells that are pretty much unknown and dangerous, but necessary if they want to be able to defend themselves from the Death Eaters. Draco may also have something to do with teaching a certain person how to use occlumency…However, this was not intended to be a Dramione love story, though I may throw some Dramione in the story but know that if I do ultimately they will not end up together…unless I decide to write a sequel of sorts in which they do.
I don't know if anyone actually cares, but if you did in fact read the author's note point 2 and want me to write this as a full story…well I think it should be pretty obvious what you should do…REVIEW! ^_^