Draco Malfoy always thought that he was a lucky guy. He had done many things that could have him expelled during his Hogwarts years but luckily he was never caught. Well, besides that one time in his first year when he had followed the Golden Trio. But since then he could practically do everything he wanted.
But this year everything was different. He knew that he should’ve been extremely happy considering that he was given such an important task. But he knew that he couldn’t finish it. He was only 16 years old so how was he supposed to kill the most powerful wizard? He couldn’t just raise his wand and hope that he’ll survive. But if he failed the Dark Lord wouldn’t even blink before killing him. So what was he supposed to do?
He thought about it all the time – even now during his potion class. He wasn’t listening to what Professor Slughorn was saying. He had more important things to do than that. And he was always the best in potions class and not because Snape favored him like everything thought.
“Hey did you hear that?” Blaise Zabini suddenly said to him. He was the only other Sytherin in this class. “We can win a bottle of Felix Felicis if we manage to brew that potion right.”
At this Draco perked up. A bottle of Felix Felicis? That would solve all his problems. And he was the best one in this class, wasn’t he? Sure, Granger always was only slightly worse than him but maybe he could win this? And then he could complete his task and hopefully continue living.
“Okay everyone, let’s start and good luck everyone,” Professor Slughorn said and Draco did everything he could to make his potion perfect.
“Time is up, everyone. Let’s see. Who is the winner?” The professor said and looked at everyone’s potions. He passed Draco, looked at his potion and smiled. “Great, Mr. Malfoy. I didn’t expect you to be so good but I must say that I was wrong,” He continued to the table of the Golden Trio and Draco held his breath.
“Oh, very good, Mr. Potter and Miss Granger, very well. I believe we have a winner,” He smiled and gave Hermione the bottle. “Miss Granger, you did very well.”
Draco sighed and cursed quietly. How could he get that potion? He needed it.
“You coming, mate? Class is over,” Blaise said and Draco looked up, “What’s up with you? Is it because of that… thing?”
Blaise was one of the only people who knew about his task but Draco wasn’t sure what he thought about this all. On which side was he?
“Um…yeah,” Was all Draco answered and stood up. “It’s…”
“Complicated, stupid, a plot of you-know-who to kill you? You know that I’m friend and all but come on, it’s almost impossible to do what you have to do. You’ll need a lot of luck,” Blaise said before stopping. “Oh you wanted to win the Felix Felicis?”
Draco nodded. “Yeah, I hoped that it would’ve helped me.”
“Go talk to Granger. Tell her that… you need it. Be nice and maybe she’ll give it to you,” Blaise said and Draco nodded before looking for Hermione.
He found her in the library – why didn’t he look there first – sitting at the back and reading.
“Hey Granger, can I talk to you for a minute?” Draco said and Hermione looked up.
“Hello. Um… yes, what do you need?” Hermione asked and Draco could see that she mistrusted him.
“I wanted to congratulate you. You did very well in Potions today and it was only right that you won the potion,” He said and sat down across from Hermione, “And I wanted to ask you if you would be willing to give the Felix Felicis to me? I know that this is a lot to ask but I really do need it.”
“What do you need it for? I mean, I won’t give it to you if you want to do something bad with it,” Hermione answered and Draco sighed. What should he do? He couldn’t tell her that he had to kill Dumbledore and had to use it for that. But he couldn’t lie to her either.
“I was given this assignment,” he started, “And if I want to be able to fulfill it – which I really need to do – I need to be very lucky.”
“Well, that really tells me more, doesn’t it?” Hermione said sarcastically and Draco smirked, “But you speaking so cryptically tells me that I probably don’t want to know more. Whatever you need to do sounds dangerous and don’t tell me that it’s something for school. I’m not sure if I want to help you doing that but I also know that you wouldn’t ask me if it wasn’t something important. But maybe you should go to Dumbledore and talk to him?”
“I can’t,” was all he answered, “Could you please just think about it?” He stood up and left the library, leaving a confused Hermione behind.
Well, that went… good? Draco thought while making his way up to the Room of Requirement. Maybe I should just steal the potion? I mean, that couldn’t be so hard? Who knows if she’ll give it to me.
He knew that he had to work on the Vanishing Cabinet even though he didn’t really want it. Even if he was lucky and got the Felix Felicis he still had to bring the Death Eaters into Hogwarts. He wasn’t sure who would come but he would bet his broom that his aunt would be there. She was everywhere because she was like the number fan in this whole “The Dark Lord’s so great” Fanclub.
I need a room to fix the Vanishing Cabinet, he thought when he arrived on the 7th floor and sighed when a door appeared. Why couldn’t Hogwarts just deny him to enter the Room? He could do nothing then, could he?
But luck wasn’t on his side – as always – and that’s why he entered the room and began fixing the cabinet.
“Hey mate, where have you been? Have you been trying to you know?” Blaise said when Draco sat down next to him at the Dinner table.
“Yeah but it didn’t work. I don’t know what I should do,” Draco answered and helped himself to some food.
“Did you talk to Granger? Oh wait, let’s talk outside. We wouldn’t want someone to overhear us,” Blaise stood up and Draco put his food in a napkin so that he could eat it outside.
“Oh look, Potter and Granger are looking over here. Even though Potter looks like he wants to murder you and Granger… well, she definitely doesn’t want to murder you,” Blaise smirked and Draco looked over to the Gryffindor table to see what his friend was talking about.
And he was right. Potter looked at him like he was the scum of the earth (a look that Draco had perfected over the years) and everything would be better if he would just drop death right there. And Granger, well Draco wasn’t sure what he saw in her face. It wasn’t hatred but it wasn’t lust either. It was something in-between and it confused Draco a little bit. He had to admit that Hermione had grown up quite nicely. Her hair looked way better than it did when they first started Hogwarts and it suited her. And her eyes were a nice shade of brown. You had to be blind not to see how beautiful she had gotten.
But wait, what was he thinking? He couldn’t think about Hermione – no Granger – being beautiful.
“Oh, Potter’s standing up. I think we should leave,” Blaise suddenly said and Draco nodded. He didn’t want to get into a fight.
The boys left the Great Hall and went down to the Lake.
“Okay so you tried fixing the Cabinet?” Blaise asked him and Draco nodded.
Soon after Draco had been given the mission he had told Blaise everything about it. He knew that he could trust his friend and he also knew that Blaise would never tell anyone about what Draco told him. Blaise wasn’t a Death Eater and he once told Draco that he would rather kill himself then become one of them.
“Yes, but it didn’t work. I don’t know what to do. I really need that potion but I’m not sure what Hermione will say. I also thought about stealing it but I know that it’s not going to work that way,” Draco said and sighed while Blaise smirked at the fact that he had called Granger by her first name.
“I know, this sucks but who knows maybe Granger will give you the potion. She must know how desperate you are. I mean, you don’t ask her for help every day,” Blaise said and turned around when he heard someone coming towards them. “And there she comes.”
Draco turned around, too, and saw Hermione coming towards them and wondered if she had made up her mind yet.
“Hello Malfoy and oh, hello Zabini. Could I talk to you for a minute, Malfoy? Alone if it’s possible?” Hermione asked and Draco could see how nervous she was. She was worrying her lip between her teeth and for a moment Draco wondered if they were as soft as they looked.
“Yes, I’ll be waiting in the Common Room. Nice to meet you, Granger,” Blaise said and went towards the castle.
“I thought about our conversation and I know that asking me must be your last resort so I decided to help you. But I have a few things I want in return. I want to help you doing whatever you need to do. I had this feeling that you first have to finish something and then need the Felix Felicis and I need to know what that is. I also need to know what you need the potion for. If you agree to these things I will give you the Felix Felicis,” Hermione explained to him and Draco was surprised.
He had really thought that she would say no. Why should she help him? He had never been nice to her and they really weren’t friends. But Draco was glad that she agreed to help him even though he knew that he couldn’t tell her everything.
“I’ll let you think about it. Just tell me when you’ve made up your mind,” Hermione said when he didn’t answer. She smiled at him and went back to the castle leaving him to his thoughts.
That evening Draco filled Blaise in on what Hermione had said and also told his friend that he wasn’t sure what he should do.
Now as he lay in bed he still hadn’t made up his mind. He knew that he needed Hermione’s help – wait since when did he call her Hermione? He wasn’t sure. Maybe it was when he had realized that she was beautiful or maybe when he had wondered how it would be to kiss her. He just knew that he needed to keep his attraction to her to a minimum. It would never work and she certainly didn’t think of him like that.
So he knew that he needed Granger’s help – that sounded better. But he also knew that he couldn’t tell her everything. He definitely couldn’t tell her that he had to kill Dumbledore but maybe he could tell her about the whole “let’s get some Death Eaters into the castle” thing. And he had to tell her that he was one of them – even though he didn’t really want it. But he couldn’t have said no, he knew that. No one dared to say no to the Dark Lord or you would be death faster than you could blink. Draco also knew that his mother’s life was in his hands now, too. If he failed to succeed not only he would be punished but also his mother and Draco would do everything to keep her safe.
So he needed Granger’s help and he would tell her some parts of his mission.
With his mind made up he was finally able to fall asleep.
“So you’re going to tell her that you need her help?” Blaise asked him when they went to lunch the next day.
“Yes. I will tell her some parts of this whole debacle but not everything and hopefully we will get this done,” Draco answered and saw Hermione coming towards them. “I’ll go tell her now.”
“Good luck,” Blaise said before continuing on his way.
“Hey Hermione, can I talk to you?” Draco asked her when she was almost in front of him. He wondered what people would think if they saw them together. Normally they didn’t talk to each other – well besides having arguments.
“Yes, of course,” Hermione said and Draco smiled at her.
“I would like to tell you that I thought about your offer and decided that I would like to take it. I will tell you what you need to know and you can help me,” he told her and Hermione nodded
“Okay, when do you want to start? Maybe this evening if it’s alright with you?” Hermione asked him and Draco was surprised at how eager she was to get started.
“This evening is okay with me. Meet me on the 7th floor after Dinner,” he said and smiled at Hermione, “See you later.”
He then continued to lunch leaving a confused Hermione behind.
A few hours later a nervous Draco Malfoy was pacing the corridor in front of the Room of Requirement. What if she didn’t come? What if she told Potter? What if someone saw them together and told Potter or worse his father?
“Hello, Malfoy,” he suddenly heard someone say behind him and turned around to see Hermione smiling at him shyly.
“Hello. Are you ready?” He asked her and when she nodded he thought of the room they needed.
“So, I’m going to tell you everything I can. I’m glad that you decided to help me but I’m not sure if you’ll continue to think so after you heard me out,” Draco said and started telling Hermione everything, “It all started this summer after the whole thing at the Ministry. My father tried everything to get on the good side of… you know who but nothing really worked. Well, until my father told his lord that he would give me. I got the mark a few weeks after school ended and also got a mission. I’m to bring Death Eaters into the castle through this Vanishing Cabinet. Its other half stands at Bourgin and Bourkes. I don’t know what will happen if I don’t succeed but it won’t just affect me but my mother, too, and she doesn’t deserve this.”
“Oh Draco, that’s horrible,” Hermione said, “I know that I shouldn’t help you but I don’t want something to happen to you or your mother just because I was too selfish. I know now why you didn’t want to talk with Dumbledore. So, I will help you even though I will regret when the Death Eaters will be here.”
“I won’t let anything happen to you, Hermione,” Draco said without thinking, “you’re helping me and I couldn’t live with myself if something would happen to you.”
Hermione smiled at that and stood up to regard the cabinet.
“Okay, let’s see,” she said and Draco went to help her.
Draco and Hermione tried fixing the cabinet over the next few months and while doing this they also got to know each other better.
Draco know knew that Hermione always loved learning and even in pre-school kids were mean to her because of that. She also had looked up her family tree to see if someone in her family had magic abilities after he had called her a mudblood in second year. He had apologized for that and to his surprise Hermione had told him that she now understood why he had done it. She had said that it was the way he was brought up and didn’t know better at that time but apparently he know knew that the things Voldemort wanted weren’t right.
He also now knew that most of the times she and her friends got into trouble it was Harry’s idea. Apparently that guy attracted danger like a magnet.
His attraction to her also grew steadily. He knew that he should fight it but it was harder than he thought. They had so many things in common – which had surprised both of them – and he appreciated talking to her. She had her own opinion and it didn’t matter to her if someone didn’t agree with her. They also read the same books and she could be funny if she wanted to.
He also started to notice little things about her. She bit her lip when she concentrated or was nervous, she loved hot chocolate with cinnamon and damn, that girl could swear when angry. She wore a little bracelet that her mother had given her when they first were in Diagon Alley.
And he saw how she starting blushing whenever he smiled at her. He told himself not to read too much into it but he couldn’t help but wonder if maybe she was as attracted to him as he was to her.
“Okay, so the apple worked and the bird came out alive, too,” Hermione said and Draco nodded, “We know what that means.”
“We did it. I can tell them that they can come,” Draco replied and looked at Hermione. He hated this. He didn’t want this. It meant that he had to kill Dumbledore – something Hermione still didn’t know.
“Draco? Is there something else you need to do?” Hermione then asked him and he sighed. He knew that he liked her but she would probably never talk to him again after knowing the whole truth.
“Yes,” he simply said.
“I knew it. It’s something hard, isn’t it? I have this idea but I’m not sure…” she stopped talking then. “I mean, you’re supposed to let them in on Friday when Dumbledore isn’t in the castle. Or to be clearer, when he returns. So they want to harm him? Kill him?”
“I must kill him,” Draco said then, “I know that I can’t do it but these are my orders. I’ll fail and I know that.”
“Oh Draco, that’s so unfair,” Hermione said and Draco could see that she was close to crying.
“Hey, don’t cry. I’m not worth it. Even with the Felix Felicis I won’t succeed. But maybe I’ll live through all this,” he said and suddenly Hermione was hugging him.
“I don’t want you to die. I will give you to the potion but only because I hope that you’ll survive all of this,” she said while still hugging him. “Go and write that owl now and never forget that you’re a better person than everyone things you are.”
She handed him the bottle holding the potion before leaving the room and Draco couldn’t help but feel like he had just lost the best thing that ever happened to him.
On Friday evening Draco stood in front of the Vanishing Cabinet and waited for them to arrive. He had just drunken the potion but it didn’t work yet.
When he heard the mad laughter of his crazy aunt he actually shuddered. He didn’t like the woman even though she was family. She was just too crazy.
He held his breath when the door of the cabinet opened and saw them emerge – Bellatrix, Greyback and two guys he didn’t know.
Draco turned around and made his way up to the Astronomy tower. Apparently that was where it was going to happen. Snape was waiting for them there, too.
With every step Draco felt more miserable. Maybe he should’ve talked to Dumbledore like Hermione had said? Or maybe the headmaster wouldn’t be up there.
“There you are,” he heard Snape say and looked up. Did his godfather actually look like he understood how Draco felt? No, that couldn’t be. Snape was a death Eater of the first day. “Come on, Draco. Let’s go.”
Draco nodded and climbed the stairs hoping that Dumbledore would be somewhere else. He didn’t want to be a killer.
“Draco, hello, how can I help you?” he heard as soon as he entered the platform of the Tower.
Damn, even with the Felix Felicis luck wasn’t on his side.
“I need to do something up here,” Draco said and with shaking hands he took hold of his wand and pointed it at Dumbledore before disarming the guy. “I need to kill you.”
“Draco, let’s talk. I know that you’re young but there are other options. Please,” Dumbledore begged with him and Draco could feel tears in his eyes. What did he do to deserve this? Yes, he used to bully younger children but even karma couldn’t be that spiteful.
“There’s not other way,” he shouted but lowered his wand, “he’ll kill me and my mom if I don’t succeed,” he then whispered knowing that the others could hear him.
“Oh Draco,” Dumbledore said and it reminded him of Hermione. Sweet Hermione who helped him even though he didn’t deserve it.
And then everything went fast. Snape and the others entered the room, his aunt was whispering in his ear that he should do it and suddenly everything went black but the last thing he heard was “Avada Kedrava.”
When he opened his eyes he was lying in a bed in a room he didn’t know. What had happened? Where was he? He slowly sat up and saw his godfather sitting on a chair next to a small window.
“You’re awake. That’s good,” Severus said and Draco nodded, “You probably wonder where you are. You’re at a safe house. I’m a spy and I haven’t been on Voldemort’s side for a long time. Dumbledore is death but the Order knows why. He was slowly dying because of a curse and after I told him of your mission he decided that it was time for him to go. I killed him because he asked me to. We also knew of you working together with Miss Granger and the potion you drank? It wasn’t Felix Felicis. Miss Granger is still in the possession of that potion.”
“What about my mother? Is she okay?” Draco asked and was afraid of the answer.
“Yes. She’s here as well as some other members of the order. We don’t want anything happen to you,” he stopped when there was a knock on the door, “Come in.”
Draco’s breath stopped when Hermione walked in and smiled at him. He had thought that she had never wanted to see him again.
“You’re awake,” she said and once again Draco only nodded.
“I’ll leave you two alone then,” Snape said while standing up and left the room.
“I’m so glad that you’re awake. I was terrified that you would be death. Harry and Ron didn’t understand that but I’m glad that you’re okay,” she said and hugged him.
“I’m glad that I’m alive, too,” he replied and Hermione smiled. Oh how he liked it when she was smiling – she was so beautiful then.
“Draco I need to tell you why I was helping you. At first I thought it was because I thought that then I could stop it if something bad would happen. I also wanted to make sure that Harry would stop being so paranoid but after a while I realized that I started to like you. You were always so nice and I could see that you hated to complete that mission. I was so afraid when Harry told me that Snape left with you after he killed Dumbledore – which was all a plan of them but still – and then when he arrived with you here and you were still unconscious I was afraid that I had lost you forever,” she explained him and Draco couldn’t help but feel hopeful, “I then realized that I want more out of this than friendship and I knew that if you would wake up I had to tell you that even if you didn’t feel the same,” she finished and Draco smiled.
“I feel the same,” he said before kissing her and feeling like the luckiest man alive.
Maybe luck was on his side for once if he got Hermione Granger to like him.