Can You Feel My Love?
"The only heaven I'll be sent to is when I'm alone with you.
I was born sick, but I love you.
Take me to church; I worship like a dog at the shrine of your life,
I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.
Offer me that deathless death,
Good girl let me give you my life."
He was waiting for her outside her house, his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his black muggle jacket. He shifted uncomfortably in the jeans and sneakers she made him wear, he was not used to the rough fabric and the cheap shoes. He wanted to dress as he normally did, but she insisted that he look like a muggle to avoid suspicion. At this stage he would do anything she asked him to, especially because of what he was about to do.
He did not like waiting outside. He wanted to be in there with her, he wanted to help her and to protect her, but he also understood that this was something she had to do alone. It was not an easy thing to take the most important thing a person has, but it had to be done. They were living in dangerous times, war and death were all around them and they had to do whatever it took to keep the people close to them safe. That is what he kept telling himself repeatedly as he prepared for what he was about to do. He was going to protect the one person he cannot live without by letting her go.
It was fucked up, but then again so was he.
The door opened and Hermione appeared, tears streaming down her face and her trunk in tow. He did not say anything, he did not know what to say and he did not know how to take her pain away, so he just opened his arms for her. They stood in silence for a few minutes, Hermione's face against his chest and his arms wrapped tightly around her. They did not have much time left with each other, and both of them were well aware that the other might die during this war. There were things bigger than their relationship going on in their world and they were needed. Now was not the time to be selfish, even though he wanted to be. It would be easy for them to disappear, he had suggested it repeatedly, but she refused to change her mind. Both of them had duties to their families and friends and they had agreed long ago not to put each other first. Now was not the time to be selfish, even though he was going to be just that. Her duties were to her friends and he understood that, Potter was the only one who could stop this war and he needed her, but Draco was in love with her and his first duty was to her.
"Come on, we need to get going," Draco said finally, stepping back to take her trunk from her.
"They won't remember," Hermione said half to herself, as if she couldn't believe what she did to her parents.
"It's for the best Hermione. You need to focus on protecting yourself and Potter and Weasel, not be worried about your parents. This is the only way to keep them safe and out of harm's way," Draco said as he kissed the top of her head. He watched as she dried her tears and pulled herself back together. She had to be strong now, for her friends and for him. She lifted her head, pushing her shoulders back and nodding.
"Yes, you're right, this is for the best." Without casting another glance at her old home Hermione took Draco's hand, lacing her fingers through his before walking down the street. Draco followed her, pulling her trunk behind him. When they reached the end of the street he could see her preparing to apparate, but he stopped her.
"Wait, let's make this last a little longer please?" He wasn't ready to face losing her just yet, he wanted to drag this out for as long as he possibly could. He could see the pain flash across her face again, she wanted to get this goodbye over with, and he knew that. Long goodbyes only hurt more, but she would not remember the hurt. The only person he was going to hurt was himself, and he could live with that. Without waiting for her reply he took his wand out of his pocket and stuck it into the road. Seconds later the gangly, purple, triple decker Knight Bus appeared, racing towards them before coming to a sudden stop. Hermione eyed the bus, he knew she wasn't fond of it and the motion sickness that she got with it, but she got on the bus anyway. She would do this for him.
Draco flicked his wand at their faces, muddling their appearances slightly so that the driver and the other passengers couldn't see them. They had to be careful whom they let in on their secret, their relationship could be used against them in the most horrible of ways and they didn't want that.
Draco helped Hermione into the bus before shrinking her trunk down and slipping it into his pocket. The bus was mostly empty save for two witches sitting in the corner, their noses burned in today's Daily Prophet. Hermione sat as far away from them as possible, wanting to give her and Draco some privacy. They were used to secret meetings and touches by now, so it felt strange to be out in public, holding hands and sitting so close to each other.
They were silent the whole trip. What were they supposed to say to each other? Actually, they had a lot to say to each other, but the words would not come. There were so many emotions and feelings between them that they didn't know how to handle, so they just kept quiet. When the Knight Bus finally arrived at the Burrow, Draco's heart was in his throat.
It was too soon and he would never be ready. His heart was telling her to drag her with him, to take her somewhere safe, but his mind was shouting that this was the only way to truly keep her safe. His heart ached like it had never ached before. How could he even consider doing this to the person he loved with all his heart? How could he consider doing this to himself? The world is a truly fucked up place when you meet the right person at the wrong time. And it was the wrong time, it was the wrong time four years ago and it was the wrong time now. He hated it, he hated the world and he hated the war that would cost him her. He hated them all.
"Draco…" Hermione started after they got off the bus, her voice thick with emotion. She was swallowing back tears again. Draco didn't need to hear it. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into him before his lips crashed on hers and he kissed her with his whole heart and soul. Her soft lips moved against his with the same urgency and passion. The need they had for each other was overwhelming and almost consumed him. He needed her close to him, he needed to feel her, but most of all he needed to keep her safe.
"Hermione, I'm sorry," he mumbled against her lips, kissing her one last time. It was a soft, lingering kiss; one that would haunt him for the rest of his days. He pulled out his wand
Hermione was viciously snapped back to reality when Draco pulled away from her. He looked just as bewildered as she felt. What the hell just happened? Hermione blinked hard as she tried to distinguish fantasy from reality. She was in his mind, she saw whatever that was from his perspective. How was that even possible? She had no idea where that came from, or if it even was true. Was he doing something to her and to her memories? She felt nauseous and her head was spinning. She watched with his eyes how he did that to her, and she had to wonder if it was true. It felt very real to her, too real to be just another magic trick.
Draco dropped the feather as if it burned him, his silver eyes wide. Hermione could have sworn she saw fear in them, but it was gone too quickly to be sure. Draco took another step back from her, he was clearly shaken by what happened, and so was she.
She did not have that kind of history with him, she was sure of it. She remembered the day she took her parents' memories like it was yesterday, and Draco Malfoy was not there. She was not in love with him and she certainly did not date him when they were at Hogwarts. She was sure of that. He was simply playing with her, that's how he worked.
Yet, he had that haunted look in his eyes again, like what they just saw was a kick to the gut for him. Hermione couldn't shake the feeling that maybe what they saw was real…
Draco cleared his throat, his eyes looking everywhere but at her.
Hermione was not entirely sure what she was supposed to do with the information Draco had just given her, but one thing was for sure; she didn't like the way she felt afterwards. She felt like she had just lost something she never even had, and the feeling bothered her. She didn't understand the effect he had on her, or why he had so much power in her life and mind.
"I think you should go, Malfoy," Hermione said coolly, and she was relieved when he agreed.
"I'm sorry for bothering you Granger," he said, still avoiding eye contact with her as he walked out the door.
Hermione sighed, her gaze falling on the black feather on the ground. She had a bad feeling about all of this.