He hadn't really wanted to go with anyone but her. Of course he couldn't ask her and she probably would have said no anyway. He'd asked a girl in his house, Astoria something. But he'd really wanted to go with her. Hermione Granger. His mother often joked about his love of Potter because he spoke about him so much but it would kill her to know that his actual crush was on a Muggle-born.
Draco Malfoy watched as Hermione came down the staircase in a periwinkle blue dress. Her hair had been put up and to him she had never looked more beautiful. He was so caught up with his thoughts of her that the ball went by in a blur. He stood over near the refreshments watching her dance with Viktor Krum, wishing it was him that she was dancing with.
A few days before the second task, Draco was up in the big oak tree overlooking the Great Lake. Hermione and her friends were studying in the grass. The sun was shining on her beautiful hair. He would have tried to speak with her if Potter and Weasley hadn't been there. As he moved to get a better look at her beautiful face, the branch under him snapped under his weight. As he fell, he realised that the branch was out over the lake meaning that he was going to miss the cliff completely. Hermione, Harry and Ron heard the snap then a loud splash. They ran over to the edge of the cliff to see what had happened. The person hadn't resurfaced. Before anyone could think, Hermione, who had taken swim safety lessons as a child, jumped off the cliff into the water. She opened her eyes and saw the frantic thrashing of a student who didn't seem to be able to swim. Holding the student under the arms and swam up to the surface. Pulling the student exactly as she had learned in the safety classes, they made it to the shore. Harry and Ron had alerted Professor McGonagall and were waiting on the shore as Hermione and Draco crawled up out of the water.
When they were alone in the Hospital Wing, Madam Pomfrey having gone into her office for a potion, Draco asked her a question that had been bugging him as soon as he'd gotten to shore.
"Why?" he said.
"Why what?" Hermione asked.
"Why did you save me?" Draco clarified. Hermione was surprised.
"I didn't know it was you until we were out of the water. But it was the right thing to do. I would have done it for almost anyone."
"Almost anyone?" Draco grinned slightly.
"Well maybe not You-Know-Who or some of the worst Death Eaters. But anyone else. Why are you so surprised that I would help you?"
"Well I haven't exactly been the kindest person to you. Calling you names and trying to get you and your friends in trouble whenever I can." Draco answered shrugging.
"Why would that stop me from helping you if you really needed it? Helping you and being friends with you are two completely different things Draco." Hermione stated with a giggle. Draco grinned more genuinely this time.
"Maybe…if I changed that is…we could be friends? I mean there's no rule saying Slytherins and Gryffindors can't be friends. I'd stop with the names and nastiness. To you and Potter and Weasley."He said adding; "Sorry Harry and Ron." When he saw her raised eyebrows.
"We can trial it." Hermione said cautiously.
A few months later…
It was getting closer to the final task. Draco had become friends with the trio and all four had actually started to get along quite well. Even Ron had given him a chance. Unbeknownst to any of them, Draco had started listening to muggle music. Trying to find something to have in common with Hermione. A couple of Muggle-borns in Slytherin had helped him finding songs. He was listening quietly one night when he came upon a song that he thought might help his case for asking Hermione out. He spent the whole week learning the song in preparation for the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend. When Harry and Ron went off to Zonko's, Draco led Hermione to a quiet secluded clearing and asked her to sit and listen. He pressed play on the cd player, (which had been charmed by some older Slytherins so it would work), and sang to her. The song in question was by an American muggle band Hooberstank called 'The Reason'. After he finished, Hermione clapped.
"I didn't know you could sing Draco." She said smiling. Draco could feel his face going red. This was the moment he had waited years for.
"Hermione…I…want to ask…you…would…would you go out with me?" Draco felt like his face was burning. He had made such an effort to change and liked himself better for it. He hoped it wasn't all for nothing. Hermione was blushing and giggling.
"Yes of course."
Draco breathed a sigh of relief. His father would disown him but he couldn't care less. The girl of his dreams had said yes.