Disclaimer: Harry Potter doesn't belong to me…unless this is some freakish parallel universe where it does…hey, one can dream, right?

A/N: So this story has been ready for a while now, but I have just been too lazy to try and post it. Now however, I'm feeling an odd craving to post something, so I decided this was as good as anything else I had written. This story is technically a oneshot, but as I was writing it, it got to be so big that I had to split it up into three chapters. So hopefully, if enough reviews are given, (I never thought I would hold a story hostage for reviews, but what can you do? I'm an addict…lol) this story will be completely up soon! Hope you enjoy!

All I want Chapter 1

'Is there something on my face?' Hermione inconspicuously lifted a hand to brush some hair out of her eyes as she looked around. Everyone was staring at her while sharing small laughs and for the life of her she couldn't figure out why. When she had stepped out of the floo just minutes earlier she had been surprised to hear almost complete silence as everyone simply stopped and stared at her with knowing and mischievous looks before conversations picked up again in whispered voices.

Squaring her shoulders Hermione pressed on, entering her office and closing the door behind her with a relieved sigh. What on earth was going on? With movements that suggested the frequency with which they occurred, Hermione placed her bag down on one of the two vacant chairs in the office besides her own; shuffled around some errant papers on her desk and sat down with heavy movements.

She used to love her job, honestly she did, passing laws granting werewolves and elves their own rights and helping the centaurs regain control over their lands was, at one point, a very rewarding job that Hermione loved to do. Now however, with her main goals accomplished, the job had grown tiresome and a little more than exasperating with its repetitiveness. Not to mention the fact that she hadn't had the most relaxing weekend in her life.

Granted it couldn't be said to have been her worst by any stretch of the imagination, but it had not been pleasant. She and her boyfriend Ron had gone out on a date Friday night, as was their custom, and he had proposed to her. To be completely honest she had been expecting this to happen for some time now, but it wasn't the excited sort of expectant that one would think she should feel; rather a heavy sense of dread had surrounded the moment in her mind. So when Ron had knelt to the ground and pulled out the most tacky ring she had ever seen, it had come as no surprise that the overwhelming dread and discomfort had lead to her nearly needing to vomit.

She had kindly told him that she did love him, but that she was going to need some time to think about whether or not to accept his proposal. Ron had been upset, naturally, but had agreed to let her take her time. He was kind to her for the rest of the evening until he had dropped her off at the apartment she shared with Luna Lovegood and his sister Ginny.

With a voice that was full of suggestions he had asked if any of them were home, and when she had invited him in, telling him that no, there was no one home, he had accosted her. His lips attacked hers and he pressed her roughly against the wall, letting his hands roam across her body. It had taken her a few stunned moments to figure out what was happening and react. However, when Ron didn't move away as he should have when she pushed him, she pulled out her wand and hexed him across the room.

An argument had ensued, ending with Ron screaming at her and slamming the door behind himself as he left; leaving Hermione to spend the weekend switching between remorseful, frustrated, and angry. Her remorse stemmed from feeling that perhaps Ron was right, after three years of being together, and being practically engaged at that, maybe it was about time that she let him…but then her remorse would switch to frustrated and angry. How dare he try and force her to do something she did not want to do and then make her feel guilty for saying no.

Needless to say, it had been a long and exhausting weekend. Hermione had made her decision about whether or not to accept his proposal and she knew that come lunch time she would head up to where Ron worked with Harry and Neville in the Auror office, and return his ring to him and explain that while she could be convinced to stay with him as his girlfriend, she just wasn't ready to get married yet.

Then while she was there she would offer her congratulations to Neville on receiving his dream job as Herbology professor starting next fall, give Harry a hug, maybe try and sneak a small look at Draco Malfoy, and come back to her office to finish out the day. Hermione gave a contented sigh; with her day planned out, she turned her attention to the endless piles of paperwork and research that rested on her desk.

Soon enough the dreaded lunch break hour arrived and Hermione regretfully forced herself to her feet. Needlessly she smoothed her black high waist pencil skirt and ran a hand quickly over red silk top covered stomach that felt packed with nervous butterflies. Giving herself a mini pep talk she opened her office door and set course for Ron's office.

Again she felt the continuous stares at her back as she walked by, and still she could not fathom what was so interesting about her. Finally deciding that it didn't really matter she held her head high and turned the last corner to enter the Auror office. It was suspiciously empty at first glance, but as she made her way past the entry area back to where the offices of the various individual aurors were located she noticed a small group of aurors gathered around some commotion.

Intrigued and a little concerned Hermione moved over to the group just in time to see Draco Malfoy shove Ron up against the wall with his arm pressed tightly beneath Ron's chin on his throat. There was a dark look on Draco's features as he glared into Ron's increasingly red face.

"Draco!" Hermione exclaimed as she quickly attempted to shove her way through the group surrounding Draco and Ron. Draco didn't seem to hear her, and no one else seemed to care that Draco was clearly depriving Ron of much need oxygen as they were all too busy cheering and egging the two men on.

Just as Hermione finally reached the epicenter of the commotion she heard Draco growl, "If I ever hear you say anything like that about her again I will kill you Weasley! Hermione doesn't deserve to be treated that way by filth like you!" and with a final shove Draco removed his arm from Ron's throat and turned away as Ron fell to the ground gasping for air.

Grey eyes locked with hazel as Draco noticed Hermione standing there watching him. Draco's eyes widened momentarily before they shot to the floor, refusing to look up as he shoved his way through the crowd without another word. Hermione watched him go in shock and slight horror at what she had just witnessed; she could have sworn Draco would never have done anything like that, yet she had seen it with her own eyes.

A moan brought her attention back to Ron and she hurried to her knees beside him, "Ron, are you alright?" she asked reaching her hand out to grab his arm, unaware of the other aurors dispersing.

"I'm fine!" Ron snapped shoving her hand roughly away, "That git couldn't hurt me if he tried," Ron stumbled to his feet, his face still red.

Hermione shook her head and tried once again to assist Ron, not letting his comments, which were obviously fueled by his pride, get to her; but again Ron shoved her off.

"What in the name of Godric is going on here?" the familiar voice of her other best friend Harry demanded as the man appeared, clearly just getting back from his own lunch break.

"That ferret Malfoy just attacked me is what happened!" Ron answered, appearing to suddenly want to play the victim, "I didn't do anything to him and the next thing I know I'm being thrown against the wall with him trying to suffocate me!"

Harry looked around at the three other aurors still around, Neville included, "Is this true?" he asked them.

All of the aurors but Neville nodded, "Yes," one of them shouted, "I saw the whole thing, Weasley did nothing to provoke Malfoy. The guy just snapped."

Draco suddenly appeared at the other end of the hall, "Malfoy!" Harry shouted, "My office! Now!" Harry pointed to the Head Auror's office and waited until Draco had entered before following.

"Ferret boy is going to get it now," Ron snickered making Hermione frown at him, "Hello Hermione," he said, suddenly appearing friendly, "Come to apologize for the way you acted last Friday?" he asked.

Hermione frowned at him, she needed to apologize? What about him?

Before she could say anything Ron continued, "Don't worry about it babe, I already forgave you for that a while ago. Now I'd love to stay and chat, but I have to go drop off some paperwork in Marcus' office and talk about some boring security stuff. Love you!" and with a quick peck on the lips he was gone.

Hermione gaped after him in surprise, unsure of what had just happened. That had most certainly not been part of her plan for the day. A loud bang was heard as the door to Harry's office was slammed open, "Of course you'd chose to listen to him over me! Why am I even surprised Potter? I come to work, I do my job—a job I am quite good at thank you very much-and I never break the rules; yet you won't believe me over Weasley even thought he only shows up half of the time, and even when he is here he doesn't actually do anything other than look like an idiot!"

Draco's back appeared through the door, "I thought you were better than that Potter, clearly I was wrong. Don't worry about any 'disciplinary action', I quit! I don't need this!" and with that Draco turned on his heel and stalked back to his office, flicked his wand, sending several small packages into his pocket, and stormed back down the hall towards Hermione.

Again their eyes locked and that ever present zinging sensation soared through every nerve in her body as she watched him leave. Draco swallowed harshly and lowered his gaze with a shake of his head as he passed her, appearing hopeless.

Suddenly deciding that maybe Draco was right and that Harry hadn't heard the full story, Hermione scurried up the hall to Harry's office just as Neville moved to enter as well. Neville's warm brown eyes met hers and he nodded for her to go ahead of him before following her into Harry's office.

Harry lifted his head from where it had been resting on his desk to look at his two friends, "What can I do for you two?" he asked with a tight smile.

Hermione opened her mouth to speak, but Neville spoke before she could, "Draco was defending her," he stated clearly, in a voice that portrayed the confidence and demanded the respect that he had earned during the war.

Harry's eyebrows raised, "Defending who?" he asked.

"Hermione," Neville responded, "Ron has been spreading rumors about her all morning. He was claiming to have finally shagged her and telling everyone explicit details about their encounter. Draco finally couldn't take any more and only did what I would have done had Ron opened his mouth one more time."

Hermione gasped, was that why people had been giving her those looks all day? "Are you sure he's been saying things like that Neville?" she asked, interrupting what was sure to be the same question coming from Harry's own lips.

Neville nodded, "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been standing right next to him while he told Barthens about…it. It wasn't seconds later Draco hit him and they started fighting."

Harry's expression of shock rivaled Hermione's, but before he could say any more there was a knock on the door, "Come in," Harry called, waiting for the door to open.

"Is it true?" Ron asked sauntering through the door like he owned the place, "The ferret finally quit?"

Hermione simply stared at Ron, trying to decide how she had ever thought she knew him. Actually, now that she thought about it, she did know him, well enough to know that this was very much in his petty nature. Harry's voice brought her back to the present, "Neville has just been informing me of a different side of the story about what happened between you and Draco."

Ron raised an eyebrow and his eyes seemed to harden a little as he looked over at Neville, "Oh?" was all he said.

"Yes oh," Harry stated, "It seems Draco was responding to some rumors you were spreading about Hermione."

"Rumors?" Ron had the gall to look confused, "What rumors?"

Neville gave Hermione an apologetic look before he spoke; telling everyone exactly what rumors Ron had been spreading. More and more tears gathered in Hermione's eyes as she felt each rumor slice her heart and self-esteem to shreds. There was silence in the room after Neville spoke, it was sharply broken when Hermione began hitting Ron with her clenched fists, "How could you!" she shouted, hitting him as hard as he could, finding some perverse pleasure from the pain Ron seemed to feel from her hits.

Ron suddenly seemed to find his senses as he grabbed Hermione's wrists in a too-tight grasp, "Hermione!" he shouted to get her attention, "You don't honestly believe Neville and Malfoy over me do you?" he gave a weak laugh, "Because if you do you aren't as smart as I thought you were."

Hermione glared at him. Lifting her foot she drove the heel of her stilettos into his own foot as hard as she could, causing him to yell in pain, "Then would you care to tell me just why everyone in the building has been giving me lewd looks all day, and whispering behind my back then? If it isn't because of some rumors then why else?"

Ron collapsed into one of Harry's extra chairs clutching his foot, "There are rumors going around babe, but they weren't started by me. Malfoy was the one who was spreading them."

"Then why were you telling them to Barthens?" Neville asked pointedly, coming to Hermione's aid.

Ron glared at him, "Because I was telling him to look out for people who were spreading those rumors so he could put a stop to them. Obviously you aren't as smart as I thought you were."

Neville looked over at Harry, realizing that Ron's argument was likely to sway him, "I know what I saw Harry," he stated clearly, "Draco was clearly defending Hermione from Ron's rumors."

With a snort Ron managed to force himself to his feet, "Well then I guess it's a good thing you've resigned to be a lowly professor then isn't it. Obviously your memory is faulty."

Neville's face was one of incredulousness as he stared at Ron, before turning back to Harry, "Harry—" he started but Harry raised his hand.

"There is no proof either way," Harry commented, "You have no proof that Ron is lying and I have no proof that you aren't. There's nothing I can do."

Neville's shoulders slumped and he turned to leave, giving Hermione another apologetic look, knowing there was nothing else he could do, Harry's word was just about law after all. Hermione couldn't help but feel more than a little upset with her two friends that had so firmly and easily shot down Neville.

"Well there is something I can do," she snapped raising her wand and stunning both Ron and Harry, "You Harry Potter, are being an idiot! You and I both know that like Draco said, Ron can be flakey on the best of days! Not trusting Draco I understand, you never did grow up when it came to judging people, but Neville? Neville has never once lied to you, I can't say the same for Ron! And as for you!" Hermione turned to face Ron, pulling out her wand, "You are nothing but a lying, manipulating, lazy, arrogant, pathetic excuse of a boy, and if I ever see you again it will be too soon!" Hermione pulled the ring box out of her pocket and threw it at him, "By the way, I was going to say no anyway, but now I think it's more of a 'not a snowball's chance in hell' sort of a no."

A few hexes later, thrown at both boys, though Ron bore the brunt of them, Hermione turned and flounced out the door, heading for Neville's office.

"Thank you Neville," she murmured, entering the small room and moving to give Neville a hug, "Thank you for being such a good friend."

Neville hugged her back in surprise, "You mean you actually believe me over Ron?" he asked her incredulously.

Hermione pulled back with a small laugh and nodded, "It's not that hard, believe me. Spreading rumors about something that never happened just because I refused to let it happen sounds just like something Ron would do," Hermione ducked her head to prevent Neville from seeing the small patches of red on her cheeks, "And beating someone up for saying something like that about me, even if he doesn't care about me, sounds like something Draco would do."

Neville smiled, "Don't tell Ron and Harry," he started with a twinkle in his eyes, "But Draco and I have actually become rather close recently. I'd even go as far as to say we are really close friends," Neville propped himself up on his desk, "So trust me when I say that Draco definitely cares about you," he paused, "As much as you care about him."

Blinking Hermione frowned at her close friend, "What are you talking about?" she demanded, trying her best to school her features to show surprise.

Neville rolled his eyes, "Don't play dumb Hermione, you and I both know exactly what I'm talking about."

Hermione ducked her head with a sigh, "Does anyone else know?" she asked as she looked back at him with a small grimace.

A shrug was his response, "Luna may know, though you can never tell what she does and doesn't know," he stated with a fond smile. It was no secret that Luna and Neville had been dancing around each other for years, so Hermione just gave a small smile back.

"Well regardless," Hermione cleared her throat, "I am quite certain that Draco would never stoop to being in love with a Mudblood."

Shaking his head Neville placed his hands on Hermione's shoulders, "First of all, do not ever use that word about yourself again," he told her pointedly, "Second, I know for a fact that Draco doesn't even remotely think about you in that negative light; and third…is that how you feel about him? Love?" Neville's eyes turned teasing.

Hermione's face went red as she realized what he was getting at, "No—yes… I don't—I have to get back to work now," she mumbled incoherently before scurrying out of the door, leaving a chuckling Neville Longbottom behind.

Hermione's slight jovial mood was dashed as she once again noticed that people were still giving her looks. Knowing now what the looks were from-the false lies that Ron had spread- did nothing to help her deal with the lewd way her coworkers were looking at her.

As she entered the receiving area of her own department she caught sight of her department head on the far side of the room. Tall with the typical Weasley red hair, it had been a shock to find out that Percy Weasley had decided that his true passions lay not in following the Minister of Magic around like some lost puppy, but being head of the Department of Laws and Regulations where his abilities could truly flourish until such time as the Minister position became a viable option for him.

Never before had the sight of her superior annoyed Hermione more, particularly when Percy turned and caught sight of her. It was clear from the expression on his face that she was the reason he had come out of his office, an occurrence that only happened when trouble was occurring.

Sighing Hermione attempted to squelch the tightness in her chest as she headed towards her office, knowing without a doubt that Percy would follow. She had just barely managed to sit down in her chair when her office door opened and closed, signaling Percy's arrival.

"Miss Granger," he started out formally, standing importantly before her desk with his hawk eyes peering down at her, "It has come to my attention that there have been certain rumors floating around the Ministry about you and Ronald Weasley."

Hermione refrained from giving a humorless snort of laughter; it had always amazed her how easily Percy was able to distance himself from his friends and family while at work. Often he referred to his own family members as if he had never met them before, "I am aware," she responded, doing her best to imitate his business like formality.

Percy frowned, "While I am sure that your sexual encounters with Ronald Weasley may have seemed…significant…to you, I assure you, the rest of the Ministry does not need to hear about it."

Now it was Hermione's turn to frown, was he implying what she thought he was?

"Are you saying that you think that I am the one spreading these rumors?" she exclaimed, her body stilling dangerously.

His hawkish eyes blinking, Percy stared down at her, "I have already spoken to Ron about it, and he told me that he hadn't said a word to anyone; and that if anyone had been able to tell about your…encounters...with him it would be you. Are you saying that this is not true?" he asked importantly.

Hermione shot to her feet, "Why that lying, evil, son of a—"

"Miss Granger!" Percy exclaimed, both in surprise that she had been clearly about to swear and in warning that she was about to mock his own mother.

Hermione glared at him, "Do you honestly believe, even for one second, that I would spread rumors about myself like this?"

Percy shrugged, "I can't say," he evaded, "But I would insist that you stop now, before I am forced to take drastic actions. The work place is not a place for you to spread your tales Miss Granger; it is a place of responsibility, respect and propriety, none of which these rumors portray."

"So what you're saying," Hermione clarified, "Is that that git of a brother of yours told you that I was spreading these rumors?"

Percy nodded, "Yes, isn't it true?" he asked, "I highly doubt Ron would lie to me about this."

Hermione looked incredulous, "He would if it was actually him spreading the rumors and not me!" she threw her hands up in frustration.

"Are you saying my brother is a liar?" Percy asked carefully, his voice tense.

"Yes I'm saying your brother is a liar Percy! Don't be daft!" Hermione moved away from her chair and began pacing, "One, not only would I never spread rumors or tell stories like the ones that are going around, but two, I have not and never will sleep with Ronald Weasley!"

Percy narrowed his eyes, "But Ron told me that you two were engaged."

Hermione scoffed, "Right, like would ever marry him after all of this! No, what happened was he proposed, I said I needed to think about it, he tried to remove my clothing without my permission, and I hexed him. I show up to work today and the git has spread rumors all over the place about something that never happened, and I tell him that I wouldn't marry him if he were the last surviving creature on the planet!" Rant finished Hermione turned to look at Percy, studying his face closely, "You don't believe me," she whispered in surprise.

"Ron is my brother—"

Hermione interrupted, "Which is exactly why you should know that he is quite capable of lying to you!"

"Watch yourself Miss Granger," Percy warned, "You are getting dangerously close to insubordination; quite truthfully if you were anyone else I would have already fired you."

Hermione gaped at him, "Fired me?" she repeated disbelievingly, "You would fire me for telling the truth?"

Percy was now glaring at her, "You are asking me to believe you over my brother," he stated, "If I can't trust my brother who can I trust?"

"Funny you should say that," Hermione snapped, "I seem to recall a period when no one in your family could trust you!"

Percy's face turned an entertaining shade of red, "Enough!" he shouted, "You have gone too far Hermione," he stated lowly, causing Hermione to frown, he never used her first name, "I want your things packed and out of this office by the end of the day. End of discussion."

"What exactly are you saying?" Hermione asked him, confused by her own lack of reaction to what she knew he meant.

Percy turned and walked to the door, just and he opened it he turned his body slightly, "I'm saying you're fired Miss Granger. Good day."

Slightly stunned Hermione fell back into her chair and stared at the closed door in silence. Fired. Her. She had just been fired…why didn't she seem to make herself care? Hermione turned her attention to herself, trying to answer that very question. Perhaps it was the fact that she had long grown bored of the job, or maybe it was because that all along, from the very beginning, she had known that this wasn't the job she wanted to spend the rest of her life doing.

She wasn't completely surprised, therefore, to find that she was actually feeling quite relieved at having been fired. Now she could finally have the opportunity to go and do the things she had always wanted to do. Money wasn't really a problem as the Ministry had pumped her Gringotts vault full of guilt money for all the trouble they had put her through and thanks for saving the world. Not to mention the money her parents had left for her after their deaths in Australia.

A large smile spread across her face, it was good to finally be free, she decided, very good. Standing she flicked her wand and watched as her office tidied itself up a bit, and her personal belongings flew into her pocket, reminiscent of Draco earlier that morning.

Draco, Hermione sighed as she opened her office door and turned to leave for the last time. Draco Malfoy had been the source of mixed feelings for as long as Hermione had known him. To be perfectly honest when she had first met him on the Hogwarts Express she had thought him a perfectly wonderful boy. He had been pleasant to her, and she had been kind in return. Things had changed once they reached Hogwarts and he had discovered her blood status.

After that he had displayed nothing but contempt for her, which had admittedly hurt her feelings on more than one occasion. She had had a crush on him far longer than she had had a crush on Ron, making it more difficult to despise the boy as her two friends did so easily. When she had punched him in third year, she had done so out of an emotional break of sorts, her feelings had been beyond hurt that year by him, and she was pretty sure he knew it. It had also helped that she was fairly certain that no one else would dare to hit him like she had, and he most certainly needed it.

Draco had gone on to avoid her from that moment on; he no longer went out of his way to make fun of her, or to bug her in any way. He only spoke to her when absolutely necessary, and there were even times when they had been alone where he would let her escape without a word being spoke between them. Of course there were those few occurrences when Draco would have no choice but to be cruel and mean, like the teeth incident, as she had come to call it.

But there were times when she would find him watching her throughout the years that would make her pause and wonder, if only for a second, if maybe he felt the same sort of feelings for her as she did for him. During sixth year Hermione had noticed how worn, tired and absolutely terrified Draco was beginning to look. Naturally Harry, being the judgmental teenager that he had been, and apparently still was, had believed Draco incapable of doing anything for the right reasons, even if it was the wrong thing.

As a result of this awareness of Draco's health Hermione soon took to an even more intense Draco-watching regiment, she watched as he picked at his food at meal times, eating just enough to get by on; his eyes became sunken and worn from lack of sleep, increased study and who-knows-what-else. He often appeared to be more than a little paranoid, watching his so called friends closely and the 'Golden trio' closer, close enough in fact, that it was quite often that Hermione's gaze would catch his own and they would stare at each other for long intense periods of time.

One night she had found him in Myrtles bathroom, a place, ironically, that she went to be alone as no one else ever went there. He was sitting against a wall, his knees pulled to his chest, his elbows propped up on his knees, and his normally immaculate blond hair was being clenched tightly in his fists as his shoulders shuddered up and down. To this day she still doesn't know how she knew, but every instinct in her was screaming to go to him, to comfort him; that he wouldn't hurt her.

Her instincts had been right.


She approached him with caution, naturally, it hadn't been long since his duel with Harry after all, and he would still be on edge she suspected. She came to a stop just in front of him, hesitating only a moment before moving to sit beside him, unheeding of the dirt and grime on the floor that was likely to sully her muggle jeans.

Whether he was unaware of her presence or if he knew she was there and simply didn't care, Hermione didn't know. She simply remained silent, trying to think of the right words to say. Finally deciding that perhaps it wasn't words he needed she slowly lifted her hand and placed it on his far shoulder, resting her arm around his back.

Draco's head jerked up and he looked wildly over at her, "What do you want mu—Granger?" he sneered, attempting fruitlessly to wipe away the tears that just kept coming.

She looked at him with a gentle gaze and said nothing, just offering him a small shrug. Her hand moved in a small circle of its own accord, causing tingles to race up her arm and her heart to skip.

"Answer me!" Draco snapped, though he made no move to stand and leave.

Hermione's hand rubbed another small circle on his back, "You look like you could use someone to talk to," she murmured, not breaking their stare.

Draco's grey eyes searched hers closely for several minutes before he snorted, "What makes you think I would want to talk to you?" he asked, finally breaking their connection and looking towards the door, "How long exactly to do I have before Potty and Weasel come bursting through the door with hexes and curses flying my way?"

Hermione caught his point, she was friends with his enemy, naturally he wouldn't trust her intentions, "They think I'm in the library, so it is unlikely they will even be remotely concerned about my location until long after curfew," she told him, "And even if they did come in here flinging spells around, believe me when I say that I would hex them right back. You should have seen what I did to Harry when I found out what he did you last time," Hermione shook her head.

Draco turned to look at her, "You expect me to believe that you took my side of that little duel between Potter and I?" he scoffed, "Come on, you're Hermione Granger, why would you care?"

They were silent for a long moment, Hermione's fingers tracing light patterns on his back. The silence was comfortable, and somehow Hermione knew that it was just what he needed, so she let it continue. Eventually Hermione noticed that Draco hadn't tried to remove her arm from his shoulders and smoothed another circle carefully, watching her hand vacantly, "Contrary to popular belief Draco," she was surprised and a little pleased to feel his body tremble when she said his name, "You're not a bad guy."

Draco's head whipped around and his eyes flashed, "What do you know!" he hissed, jerking away from her and launching to his feet, "For all you know I could be the world's worst person! I could have killed hundreds of people, and tortured thousands more! What makes you think that I'm not a bad guy when I have this," Draco roughly dragged up his shirt sleeve to reveal a dark mark, "on my arm!"

Hermione's eyes stared at the dark mark for a second before she stood carefully and looked Draco in the eyes, "I know because despite everything you may have done, or will do," she paused and shook her head watching her hand slowly reach out to grab his marked arm as her other hand stroked carefully around the tattoo, "Your heart isn't in it. You do what you have to survive Draco," another tremor, and Hermione looked up at his face only to see his eyes watching her fingers carefully with some sort of longing, "Someone once said that eyes are the window into the soul," she murmured, bringing his eyes back to hers searchingly, "There is no evil in your eyes Draco," her fingers continued their soothing motions, "There is no evil in your soul."

Draco swallowed tightly, his eyes seeming to search her own for something but not knowing what. Eventually he became aware that he had been staring at her for longer than was considered normal and he blinked, his eyes moving to look at her soothing fingers. They were like magic, taking out the pain that engulfed him all the time. Slowly and gently he removed his arm from her grasp, meeting her eyes one last time with a soft gentle look before closing the doors on his emotions.

"You shouldn't be so trusting," he hissed, back to being mean Draco, "I could curse you where you stand and you wouldn't be able to do anything about it."

Hermione shook her head, feeling sad that he had felt the need to close himself off once more, "You need to talk to someone Draco, everybody needs someone."

Draco stepped away from her, his body ridged, "Not me," he growled.

"Then maybe you should write it down or something, you can't just keep everything inside of you all the time, you're going to explode!" Hermione tried urgently watching as he began to walk away.

Draco shook his head, "I think it's too late Hermione," her name slipped through his façade.

Hermione shook her head as he turned the corner and left the lavatory, "It's never too late," she murmured, unaware that Draco could still hear her.

End Flashback

Opening her apartment door Hermione sighed as she looked briefly around the messy apartment. She tried to keep it clean honestly she did, and she knew for a fact that Luna did too, but one of the many down sides to living with other people is that sometimes they seem incapable of cleaning up their messes; Ginny was one of these people. If she hadn't been one of Hermione's friends there would have been nothing stopping her from kicking the girl out. It honestly felt sometimes like the girl had been a little too spoiled growing up.

Without much hesitation she decided to forego cleaning up the mess and head to her room to change. As she shut the door to her comfortable sized bedroom Hermione tried to avoid looking at her bed where she knew a worn dark brown leather journal would be resting. It could wait for a few seconds while she changed.

Reaching into her closet she pulled out a dark green top and a pair of black cut off shorts. Putting her new change of clothes on, she teased her eagerness further by making sure her work clothes were hung up in the correct way and that the rest of her room was tidy. Finally convinced that there was nothing else for her to do, she moved slowly to the bed, sitting with her back propped up against the wall and her legs stretched out in front of her.

She stared at the journal in contemplation; it had appeared a few weeks after her confrontation with Draco in Myrtle's lavatory. She had been emptying her bag searching for a lost quill when she had seen it sitting against the side of her bag as if it had always been there. Cautiously she had opened it, surprised to find that there was a note already written on the inside. It told her that though she may be concerned about the book being dark magic, particularly because of what happened to Ginny in her second year, the book was actually a two way journal, and was a common thing among wizards.

The note then explained that she could write in it all she wished without the other journal knowing the words, but if she wanted to share her writings all she would have to do is draw a certain symbol, in her case a small star, at the beginning and end of the passage she wished to send. It would then appear in the other journal, and the owner of the other journal would be able to write back.

Hermione decided that it was sort of like the magical form of muggle email, and had cautiously decided to give it a try. Soon enough she found herself becoming almost addicted to talking to whoever it was that had the twin journal. He, she knew he was a he because he told her so, was very intelligent and loved learning just as much as she did. She honestly couldn't remember if and when she had ever had such an intelligent conversation with anyone in her life. She began to call him Nameless-One both as a joke and as a name to call him by. Nameless-One was in fact amused by the name and allowed her to continue to use it without any arguments.

When Nameless-One and she first began writing to each other their conversations would mostly consist of small discussions, eventually they evolved into sharing things about themselves with the other. He told her minor details about his life at first, generic things like how he was an only child, he loved quidditch and his favorite class was potions. He also told her that he gave the twin journal to her because he had a feeling that she was someone he could trust and talk to, and he needed someone to talk to. They wrote to each other throughout the rest of her sixth year, with a brief pause after Dumbledore's death, and throughout the summer before she left on the hunt for horcruxes.

Two days before Bill and Fleur's wedding he told her that he wasn't as good as he had led her to believe, causing her some stress and hesitation to continue their writing back and forth. He recognized her hesitation and told her that he had been forced to join the Death Eaters by his family, and that although he had absolutely no desire to follow Voldemort, he had no choice. Hermione had only hesitated for a couple of hours, during which she hadn't left her room at the Burrow.

Finally putting quill to parchment she had written him back that she knew another boy like that named Draco Malfoy, and she would trust him with her life. Of course by this point it would be idiocy to say that part of her wasn't hoping that the owner of the other journal was in fact Draco Malfoy himself, but she said nothing to him about her thoughts on this matter, deciding that whoever he was, he would tell her when he was ready.

After she had responded he had written that he was relieved, but that he felt he needed to warn her. Because of his position as a Death Eater he was privy to certain bits of information, it was because of this that he knew that Voldemort would be launching an attack on the partygoers on the night of Bill and Fleur's wedding.

Thanks to Nameless-One's warning she was able to prepare effectively and come up with a plan for what to do when the attack began. He kept contact with her throughout the hunt for Horcruxes, pages and pages were spent apologizing for the trouble and pain that she was going through.

He had ranted about Ron leaving, felt properly upset when Harry's wand was broken, seemed unimpressed when Ron came back, and absolutely horrified about the torture that had been inflicted on Hermione when Snatchers caught them. He had mourned with her about her friend's deaths, and celebrated when the war was finally over, declaring himself to finally be free.

In the three years after the war Hermione and Nameless-One had been in almost constant contact, writing back and forth in the never ending pages of the book. He had been there for her when she had written about Ron's explosion over the weekend, and it was because of his wise words of "if you have to think about it for so long, don't you think that's a sign you don't really want to do it?" that she had ultimately decided she wasn't ready to marry Ron.

Really as she thought about it now, it wasn't that she wasn't ready to get married—this thought surprised her—it was that she simply wasn't ready to marry Ron. There wasn't a part of her being that didn't know for a fact that if by some unfathomable stretch of imagination Draco Malfoy were to waltz into her room and propose to her right then she would agree in a heartbeat, tears in her eyes and a smile on her face; just like they do in the movies.

Slowly Hermione picked up the book and pressed her thumb to the lock, listening for the small click that came when her magical signature was recognized. Instead of the small click, however, there came a large bang as someone threw open the front door and slammed it shut behind them, shaking the walls.

"Hermione Jean Granger!" the unmistakable voice of Ginny Weasley shouted, followed by a softer click as the front door was opened and shut again.

Hermione could only assume that the second person coming through the door would be Luna, and part of her hoped that it was. At the very least Luna could make sure Hermione and Ginny didn't hex each other into oblivion, as it sounded Ginny was wanting to do.

Regretfully setting the journal back on the bedspread, Hermione forced herself to her feet to go and face what was likely to be another angry Weasley. Just as she was about to open the door it swung open, narrowly missing her face and a red faced Ginny Weasley stomped into her room, followed peacefully by a tranquil Luna.

"How dare you say such things about my brother!" Ginny started.

Hermione tilted her head, "Which brother exactly are we talking about?" she asked quickly, just to make sure that Percy hadn't also spread around false lies.

Ginny didn't seem to hear her, or if she did she simply didn't care, "Not only did you insult him and our family by turning down his gracious proposal, but you insult him by lying and spreading rumors about—"

"Gracious proposal?" Hermione exclaimed, "What's that supposed to mean?"

Luna's partially vacant eyes watched the shouting match in a way that someone would watch a tennis game, her eyes flicking back and forth between the two challengers as their voices rose and their words became angry and mean.

"Look at you Hermione!" Ginny snapped, "No other wizard is going to want you! You were lucky to get Ron, you have no idea what he has gone through just so you could pretend to be pretty and have the life you want! He could have any witch alive and he knows it, yet for some unfathomable reason he stuck with you! You of all people! Then to top it all off, just when he was about to try and make your happiness permanent you go and shove it back in his face by spreading rumors around and throwing a very expensive ring at him while you hexed him for absolutely no reason."

"No reason?" Hermione shrieked, "That lying git was spreading rumors about me! Not the other way around. Then he had the gall to try and blame Draco Malfoy for it, lying not just to my face, but to Harry's as well."

Ginny pointed to the front door, "Get out!" she yelled, "I will not allow the harlot woman who broke my brothers heart to live with me! Now pack your things and leave!"

Hermione felt her jaw drop as a very affronted look appeared on her face, "Excuse me?" she demanded, "I'm sorry, did you just tell me to get out of my apartment?" when Ginny simply nodded Hermione felt her posture stiffen, "Let me ask you this Ginerva Weasley," she ground out, intentionally using Ginny's full name to bug her, "Out of the three of us who is it that makes the largest payments on this apartment? And who is it that is constantly cleaning and repairing and cooking and cleaning some more just to make sure this place is even remotely livable?" Hermione didn't let Ginny answer either question before continuing, "Oh that's right, me!" Hermione looked over at Luna who was still watching them, "And Luna!" she added, "Sorry," she murmured to Luna.

"No worries," Luna breathed with a shrug and a smile.

Ginny glowered at Hermione, "What are you saying?" she growled.

"I'm saying," Hermione returned, "Is that if anyone is going to get their things and leave it isn't going to be me and it isn't going to be Luna."

Ginny turned to Luna for help, "You can't let her talk to me like that! You heard what happened, she is the one who should be kicked out not me!"

Luna shrugged again, "Actually," she stated in her Luna voice, "I'm on Hermione's side," Hermione and Ginny both gaped at Luna. The Hermione and Ginny may have been friends but they argued a lot, yet not once did Luna pick a side or get involved. She normally stayed far away from the two when they were arguing.

"What?" Ginny hissed, "What do you mean you're on Hermione's side?"

Luna fiddled absently with a strand of her long blonde hair, "Neville told me what happened today at work. From what he says and from what it sounds like Hermione was saying, Ron was the one spreading those horrible rumors, and that Draco had to defend Hermione from the rumors by attacking Ron. Then when Hermione and Neville went to tell Harry about it, Harry unwisely believed Ron when he said that it had been Draco spreading the rumors."

Ginny's face was turning an unbecoming shade of purple; "Fine!" she exclaimed loudly, "I'm leaving! I wouldn't want to stay here anyway!" Ginny turned and stormed out of Hermione's room, slamming the door behind her.

There were several loud clatters, bangs, and other noises as Ginny magically packed her things, then five minutes later the front door once again rattled the walls as Ginny left. Hermione felt her heart clench in a painful way as she realized that she may have just lost the only family she had left. Surely if both Ginny and Percy took Ron's side in all of this, the entire Weasley clan, Harry included, would too.

A small sigh came from her right causing Hermione to look over at Luna's undisturbed face, "Well," Luna started, "What do you say I go change into some muggle clothes and we go into Muggle London for some pizza and a movie?"

Hermione frowned, "Aren't you upset that she just left?"

Luna shrugged, "A little, but if she's as good a friend as we thought she'll come back. And if she doesn't…well, at least the apartment will be cleaner."

Unable to help it, Hermione gave a laugh, "Yes it will," she agreed, "Pizza and a movie sound just like what I need right now."

"Good, would you mind if Neville came along?" Luna asked as she made her way out of Hermione's room, not waiting for an answer; though Hermione couldn't decide if this was because she already knew the answer or if she had just forgotten she needed one.

Longingly looking at the journal on her bed she sighed, it would have to wait.

A/N: So here is chapter one, I hope you liked it! If so leave a review! More reviews mean quicker updates!