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Only Exception

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‘Why would he do that Harry?’ asks Hermione in shock staring at Draco’s lifeless body on the ground.

‘I don’t know,’ he replies as she kneels down beside Draco and looks him over curiously and takes his cold hand. There is a platinum band on his ring finger and she slips it off to look at it. It has a snake carved into with a green stone for the eye and an inscription on the inside. She expected it to be the school motto or something to do with Slytherin as the ring seems to be a memento from that.

‘You are the only exception,’ she reads to herself before she puts the ring back on Draco’s hand and backs away.

Hermione thinks about that day a lot, and that moment more than the rest of the day. She wonders about his ring and whom the saying on the inside was for, or from rather. It has been ten years since that day and though she and everyone else seems to have moved on with their lives. Harry never did. She knew that the final battle would be hard for him, and the losses that happened that night would weigh more on him than anyone else. He could not save everyone, but he has the people he loves.

After two years of being married, she and Ron started a family and tried to pull Harry into it as much as possible. After four years, Ginny gave up on him and dated other people. She married the next year. After seven years, Hermione caught him smiling watching the children open up their Christmas presents. Every once in a while, she would catch him smile when they would talk about their old days at school. After ten years of everyone desperately trying to get him to move on with his life, and after everyone gave up on him.

He killed himself.

Looking down at his cold body, she kneels down beside him. Tears roll down her face and she takes his hand. Then she notices a ring that she knows he has worn for years, but never really looked at on his ring finger. It is platinum and she thinks back to that day when she slips it off. It is not the same ring she sees, but it is similar. It is a dragon with a diamond for its eye. When she turns it to looks inside, she already knows what it says before she reads it. It is obvious that this ring represents Draco, but she never thought that the snake would represent Harry. He is a Gryffindor, not a Slytherin, but he does speak parseltongue and have green eyes. Well, he did.

They’re in the middle of the battle and all the Horcruxes have been destroyed. All Harry needs to do is kill Voldemort, but he has never killed anyone. None of them have and they do consider themselves lucky to not have had to, but now Harry has to.

Voldemort raises his wand and shouts the killing curse. No one even noticed that Draco Malfoy was right there until he screamed and jumped in front of Harry taking the curse for him. Harry stood there in shock as Malfoy fell into his arms dead. Not even attempting to defend himself he held Malfoy when Voldemort laughs and sends the curse again. It hits Harry in the chest. Anyone would have thought that Voldemort would have learned his lesson the first time he did this, apparently not. Like when Harry was a baby, the curse rebound on himself and struck Voldemort killing the last body that he had and destroying him for good.

A part of Hermione knew it was true long before this. It was the only way to explain what happened, but she, like everyone else, refused to face it. They did not want to believe it, not when they were kids and Draco followed them everywhere they went, doing whatever it took to get Harry’s attention. Not when Ron or she had to pull Harry away from an encounter with Draco because he could never walk away himself. They tried to ignore that Harry was all Draco would ever talk, about or how he would always stare. They tried arguing with Harry, or get him to concentrate on something else, anything else in their sixth year, when he was obsessing about Draco.

They did not think about what it meant, for Draco to die for Harry, and no one mentioned it or ever talked about it. Despite the fact, that he was the one to win the war and not Harry. She cannot stop thinking about it now, and wondering if they had been more supportive if things could have been different. She wonders if she would have been able to live, ten years after Ron died. Or he been able to live without her. It doesn’t matter now. All that matters now is that she is going to have to tell them.

All of them.

The truth.

And they are not going to like it.